Paint Repair /Undo Touch ups


Living the Dream
Hello everyone!

I am looking for advice on repairing my paint on my car that I picked up last year. I will try to upload pics in this post, but I don't have any close ups of the problem spots, so not sure they will be of much help to anyone right now.

It is original black paint and while there are blemishes all around (scuffs/rubs/scrathches), there are what I would call unnatural issues on the trunk and spoiler. There are dozens of droplet sized blemishes that have a physical texture to them. Googling the condition I think the accurate term is etching. I don't know what the cause of them was. I am the third owner and the damage was there when the previous owner got it.

Additionally, there are multiple attempted 'touch ups' on some of them with what appears to have been either a pen or a small brush, I am a complete amateur, so I don't know what my touch ups will looks like, but these are awful. It looks as though someone brushed over the spot AND the paint around it. Combined with the etching, it looks like my car has chicken pox on its butt (hehe). Truth be told the trunk probably needs to be repainted, but like so many of the people whose posts I read, I want to see what it looks like when it is done to the best of my abilities first.

Overall the car is in need of a full exterior detail, lots of dust and contaminants have settled in and are fully visible in direct light. As I begin the detailing process, I want to see if there is anything I can do about these spots.

Given that this is lacquer paint, is there anything I can do to remote the existing touch up paint and try again? Lacquer thinner would probably make the good paint match the bad (which will make the chicken pox then look like herpes hehe)

In searching the forum, posts from 10-12 years ago indicate getting GM paint code matched touch up paint was recommended. However recent posts (last 2-3 years) I get that impression that 'over the counter' gloss black is the same thing and that color matched GM touch up paint is not easily available. Is that accurate? Should I get over the counter 'universal' black touch up? Does it need to be lacquer too or does it even come that way anymore?

My original plan is to seriously cay bar everything, soak the trunk using multiple applications of Meguiar #7 then go over everything with a moderate buffing pad with Meguiar ultimate and see where I stand. I don't have any expectations that those two processes will necessarily impact the etching, but afterwards I will attempt to wetsand one of the spots to see what happens. In my mind, worse case scenario I add another touch up spot to the chicken pox.

I am however worried about the correct 'order' of dealing with possible touch up repair. Am i correct to do the above first, prior to trying to remove or place new touch ups? (Assuming a way to remove them is suggested of course) It occurs to me that if i buff everything down, and 'then' do something abrasive to try and remove the old touch up paint, the exiting paint could be more vulnerable leading to more damage. Especially if more buffing woudl be needed on a new touchup. Should I try to remove/apply new touch ups before oiling/buffing the whole trunk?

I appreciate any guidance offered. And if nobody has told you all lately... You ROCK!
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First measure paint thickness. Some paint shops have paint guages. 3to 4 mils was oe . All your speaking about is covering up problems not really repairing.

The Kid

87 hardtop GN
Use YouTube, a while ago I seen a video were a touch up expert came out to a dealership and he touched up car professionally. One tool he used were pencils that he modified small round pieces of
of sand paper (common senesce tells me non aggressive wet sand style) I believe you can make the modification to the pencils using a hole puncher on the sand paper then clue them onto the eraser side.
he fixed scratches and ugly paint touch ups. I have seen this also at a Toyota dealer ship a friend worked at. Hopefully this info can steer you in the right direction. I have a door that has the same ugly touch up.

The Kid

hers the video with the pencil type fix, this guy is awesome.
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Living the Dream
Thanks for the responses so far!

I am attaching a couple more pics which hopefully better show examples of what I am up against. I claybar'd the trunk and put the first application of Meguairs 7 on it. Man that stuff really lets you see into the paint. What I thought were contaminants actually I believe are the beginnings of crows feet. As weird as this sounds I think I am okay with that for now until they grow bigger because at first glance they almost make the pain look like it is actually metallic. ( Let me live in my denial for a little while longer hehe). So Buhog, you are right, my effort is better classified as concealment at this point. I keep going with the #7 application (I have been putting it on by hand). I might try some colored wax just to see what it does.

Turning my attention to the undo/redo of the touch up. The Kid, that is a great video! I had already been thinking of doing something similar on my own. Cutting the sandpaper and affixing it to something so I can be more precise, but i couldn't get an idea as to what, other than a plastic straw type item. The hole punch with a pencil is Perfect (that is genius). Awesome leverage and sturdiness for applying light pressure and minimal worry about doing damage if I slip. I can't believe how simple that it and how I never would have thought of it. Thank you VERY much!

So some open questions I have.

I still am wondering if 'universal' Black gloss is the right thing to use. Any comments on that?

When I was looking at videos and reading articles on removing touch up paint, many times the demonstrations used a solvent of some kind. (mineral Spirits, lacquer thinner, rubbing alcohol) but in almost all the videos I saw, they were working on newer cars that already had clearcoat. I am smart enough to know that lacquer thinner would remove lacquer paint, but i have been hesitant to use anything.
Do I need any kind of solvent to soften up the touch up paint or just stick with the delicate wet sanding to get it off.

Thanks again for your help!

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Living the Dream
Spent a few hours this weekend seeing what I could do. Keep in mind I was very cautious since i wasn't sure how the paint was going to react. I picked a few spots and focused on them. The 'pencil sanding' allowed me to really work only those spots which was nice. I was relatively gentle overall, but it has given me some confidence to continue on a larger scale. The first pic is I took right after using the pencil. The second pic, while not centered, you can make out which area is devoid of the big spots. I hadn't cleaned it, and only did one pass with a medium pad to remove the marks but the damage is far less noticeable.

I felt myself getting too ambitious and chose to stop for the day. Thoughts of just using my sanding block or DA and going over the whole trunk entered my head. I had the idea that if pencil sanding can work out the big spots, an even going over the whole thing could get out the little ones too. However I didn't wanna be back in here this week asking for tips on how to respray my trunk using aerosol cans hehe.

So I am for sure encouraged, but I don't want to get too ahead of myself.

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Once you get it going, you can try this stuff called La Cera Amarilla. I have seen this stuff take paint job that is faded with splotches and bring it back to a deep black shine. There is another product made by the same company called midnight special specifically for black cars too. Company is called production car care out of Stockton CA. check it out.


Living the Dream
I spent this weekend keeping at it. This pic actually gives me WAY too much generosity in how it looks. You cant really seen them in the pic, but they are there. However compared to the what they looked like before, it is a remarkable improvement. The spots have no texture to them now and are 100% smooth to the touch. I have a question, and I know this is gonna sound stupid when I ask this, but I have no qualms about swallowing my pride while seeking knowledge. Folks are pros for a reason, and I know I am not a pro. Here goes.

After sanding, cleaning, and polishing I wipe things down with several clean, dry, microfiber towels. Though the surface is what I woudl call 'dry' to the touch, the spots go from barely noticeable (i woudl say 90% invisible) to mildly noticeable after about 10-15 minutes. Does that tell me anything? Again VERY happy with the results so far on the spots. I redid some of the touch up spots and I want to do a couple of coats on them sometime this week hopefully.

Thanks Slay for the recommendation. Another person told me I should try stuff specially formulated for black paint to help conceal it better. Once I get all my touchups re-done, I will give something like that a shot.


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