Stone chips are unavoidable and quickly become part of owning a vehicle. Unfortunately they can look quite unsightly and detract from the perfectness of your pride and joy. At AutoInstruct we’ll show you how to fix these stone chips, making them 99% invisible. Time and patience is critical for success.
All photos seen below were taken with a macro lens. This particular stone chip is incredibly small in real life.
- Quality colour matched touch-up paint. We recommend visiting a body shop to mix the paint. Use the same paint system as the manufacturer where possible (e.g PPG). Do not use touch up pens or cheap mixes!
- Clear Coat (Also matched to the paint system)
- Fine grade sandpaper with sanding block (~3000 Grit)
- Machine polisher, pads and scratch removal compounds (You can do this by hand but it’s a slow process)
- Painters tape
- IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol)
- Microfibre Cloths
We will now begin to fill the chip with colour matched paint. The process is as follows:
- Dip the very tip of the toothpick into the paint so it forms a very small drop on the end.
- A single dab will transfer this small drop of paint into the stone chip.
- Stop here and wait 12-24 hours for the paint to dry and shrink. Do not try to fill the entire chip on the first attempt!
- Over a period of a few days, continue to slowly layer the paint until the level is just below the surrounding surface. We need to leave some headroom for the clear coat. Don’t rush!
After waiting 24 hours for the clear coat to dry you can now wet sand the stone chip. This is the most daunting and delicate process for beginners.
- With wet sandpaper (again lubricated with soapy water) GENTLY sand the area. You MUST use a sanding block to avoid creating a divot in the clear coat which is often created by finger pressure.
- Only a few moments of light sanding is required to lower the cleat coat ‘dome’ and blend it with the surrounding paint levels.
Once sanding is complete, use a machine polisher and medium grade compound and pad to remove the sanding marks. After a minute the sanding marks should be completely removed and the chip repair finished. Wipe the surface with IPA and a new microfibre cloth and be amazed at the work you’ve done!
As you can see in the attached picture, the chip is now virtually invisible. Nice!