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Old 06-23-2011, 10:02 AM   #1
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 156229
Join Date: Aug 2007
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Baltimore
Default Small paint chip and Rust spot

What is the best way to treat this? I was thinking about using some rustOleum rust stripper and then some touch up paint. I'm not sure if that stuff is a little extreme for something this small. Let me know what you guys think as I'm up to all suggestions. Thanks.

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Old 06-23-2011, 10:48 AM   #2
Scooby Specialist
Member#: 128022
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Danbury, CT
2015 Mustang GT


subbed, same issue...i was thinkin i was gonna wet sand my spot a little and then use some touch up paint
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:04 AM   #3
The Duke
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Join Date: Nov 2010

That's going to require a sand and paint.

You could either sand the entire region and spray on color and clear, or aggressively sand the chip/rust only, and then fill with touch-up paint.

Either way, you have to make sure you remove all rust, both exposed and any forming under surrounding paint.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:24 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Moon Twp, PA
2011 WRX Limited 5dr
WR Blue Pearl


best method for sanding? what grit to use? I've got a similar spot to take care of.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
Former Vendor
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Join Date: May 2010
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: WNY and www.autoaesthetica.com

A search should yield a lot of results for next time.

For now, here is a long blab I did and repost frequently for the guys who are dealing with this. You need to lift the chip and clear the rust or the chip will fail.

Here you go this just came up this past week. The only difference in your case is that you really need to lift the edges of the chip(if they are unattached) and break them and you realllllly need to get that rust out by carefully scuffing it with a small piece of sandpaper possibly glued onto a toothpick or pencil eraser or other tiny tool. [email protected] is my email if you need more on this

Taken from another post of mine on the forum for someone with a similar question:

With most paint chips you have to figure what has started will most likely continue(rust, paint lift etc...)

If you think you can carefully break off the lifted edges that is what we typically do to enable us to see the entire chip for roughing, priming and then the actual part of touching up. If not you should be very certain you can completely cover the area so no moisture gets under the new exposure.

You have to figure that any moisture that gets in between your touch up and now lifted OEM paint sets the stage for potential corrosion and rust.

OK, I couldn't find the good post, I will try to type this as straight forward as possible. In reality matching touch up is a major pain because touch is lacquer based paint and even harder with metallic because of the lacquer base the metallic tends to fall faster in the paint because of thin viscosity amongst a host of other things.

Key points
1. THIN COATS - multiple thin coats with 30min to 1 hour drying time each - if its cold and damp more time. THIN! This goes for primer if you choose, paint and clear if you choose. The touch up paint as it dries, shrinks.
2. Work clean and prep clean - anything in the chip before it could make the chip fail
3. Patience and knowing when to stop

The final thing is deciding if you want to try to stop your THIN coats just at the level of the regular paint and if you are going to wetsand, suby paint is soft so wetsanding takes a lot of material off in a hurry. I would recommend doing thin coats until you reach the top and then letting it dry for a few days and seeing if you can live with it.

Process(abridged) - I can update this if people want it stickied and elaborated on. We all know Subaru is a bit prone to chipping

(this is after you have decided or decided not to break the lifted edges carefully with a toothpick or a pin)
- Clean and dry the area, wipe a couple of times with isopropyl alcohol to ensure no grease, wax, other contamination is gone.
- You need something to rough the area prior to priming some use low grit sand paper, others use 2000 grit or w/e they have on hand. If you do this be careful you don't sand the OEM paint because that would need polishing or risk remaining dull. I like to use 1500 or 2000 to rough just the metal. For smaller chips you can glue cut out pieces of wetsand paper onto a pencil eraser to address smaller chips(this can apply to post touch up wetsanding AND pre touch up metal scuffing)
- IF the area has rust you must CAREFULLY sand all of this out, any rust will probably make the chip fail fairly quickly
- 1 good thin coat of primer with 1 or 2 hours drying if you choose to prime. Multiple light coats of color stopping just short of what you think is 1 or 2 coats worth of space to clear if you are going to clear
APPLICATION METHOD Using a toothpick or a tiny artists brush apply your WELL shaken and hastily opened [Primer OR paint OR clear] to the chip which should if cleaned properly suck right down into the chip. Over filling the chip will start a mess, THIN small coats with a little persuasion to fill any low spots(bump the drop carefully with your toothpick or brush if it stands high instead of spreading out automatically)

- After 1 thin coat allow ample drying time of 30min to 1 hour - at this stage you will notice the paint is much lower as it has dried and this is why you use thin coats.
Again, multiple light coats of color stopping just short of what you think is 1 or 2 coats worth of space to clear if you are going to clear.

Allow total chip touch up to dry for a couple of days if at all possible. Most paint can be dry(using hairdryer or CAREFULLY with a moving heatgun in 30 min to prepare for wetsanding if you are going to go that far.

Wetsanding if you choose should be VERY carefully done and very well lubricated because lacquer based touch up can easily be pulled right out of the chip. lacquer paint can also be very soft so 3000 grit at this point is probably your best bet if you are going to be polishing it out especially by hand, again, if you choose to wetsand.

A couple light strokes at a time with a backing pad for wetsanding- I will caution you if you choose something like a finger as tracers can be left too deep to safely polish out. On the other hand some professionals with feathersand using a VERY VERY light touch on a small finger. Again checking your work every couple of strokes both visually and using your tactile sense to see when it is close to level or level.

Then something like Meguiars 105 or OTC Meguiars ultimate compound to remove the sanding scratches even by hand in some cases- again very carefully because the paint can still be ripped from the chip. Then removing the haze left by your 105/UC or equivalent with your polish of choice.

I would just use the multiple thin coats stopping at the level of the paint, and really would try to avoid wetsanding at first to see if you can live with it. Best of luck - if you need more descriptives or would like my help you can email me at
[email protected]

Its a heck of a task to do it right but be patient and work clean and you will be good. We often tell our customers that touch ups will never look 100% so beware . Another last tip is when doing touch up work I always work in well lit areas, and use halogens a couple feet off of the paint to allow the chip to warm up and dry after each coat.

Mike Fortunato
Auto Aesthetica Exclusive Detail Supply and Premium Vehicle Care
Tel : (716)860-6366
Email : [email protected]
Detailing Gear: www.autoaesthetica.com - Will be back running full speed shortly
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #6
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 229528
Join Date: Nov 2009

Take it ti body shop
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:04 AM   #7
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Member#: 286527
Join Date: Jun 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
2011 2.5i


i had a serious cancer problem on an old car.

sanded completely, body filled, sanded completely, touch up paint, clear coat = brand new
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