DIY Hell: How I spent an afternoon with touch-up paint part 1

So as you can read from the title, this started out as a simple DIY guide for touch-up paint.  I figured since most of them are vague, I would try to be a bit more specific.

But, naturally my impatience got in the way.

Before I go any further, I have to apply this touch up paint for two reasons.

1. Some paint chipped off in the winter and rusted thanks to the salt.
2. Some douche bag decided to key my car while in the parking garage.

I really hope karma catches up to this rogue-car-keyer and he gets what he deserves.  Namely this:


Thanks to both Father Winter and some jealous asshat my poor BMW has spots like this on it:

And

I started with this, a simple post on eHow.  After reading it my first thought was, "This is easy. Any idiot can do this."

Yeah.

Um.

About that...

Before I got started I needed to gather some materials.

Coffee, water, toothpicks, ultra-fine sandpaper, BMW touch-up paint, Krud Kutter Rust remover

Not pictured is a microfiber cloth and a roll of paper towels.

First, I followed the directions on the bottle for the Krud Kutter.  So far so good.  Next, the directions on eHow suggest that you use a broken toothpick to dab little water droplets of paint into the scratches using as little paint as possible.  This sounds easy so I started on the rust spot but, for whatever reason it just wouldn't work.  It could be that I was being WAY too impatient with it (they do suggest blocking off an afternoon for this process).  But, no matter how I adjusted it, it just didn't seem to be getting paint on there.  

So I switched to the keyed spots to see if it was any better.

Nope.  In fact, because the lines are so thin, I hardly got any paint in there.

I tried to altered my approach as much as I could.  I switched hands, angles, etc.  I steadied my hand as many ways as I could.  I swear, when I try to do precision work with my hands it looks like I have the drunk shakes.  Why? I don't know. I'm pretty sure I don't drink THAT much Bourbon.  Regardless, no matter my tactic, I couldn't get this patented toothpick method to work. 

Thus, using my deductive reasoning powers, I decided to try this brush approach.  It seemed to work on the rust spot albeit a bit poorly.  There was a bit of a paint raised bump but I figured I could at least sand that down before applying the clear coat. However, when I went to do the same thing with the keyed spot, the paint just spread.  Now at first this was OK since I could use the a little bit of water on the microfiber cloth to get it out.  But as my zealous Picasso-esque strokes grew so did the extra paint.  Everywhere but in the scratch.  And lo and behold, the cloth/water technique wouldn't get the ugly paint globs out.  

PAUSE. Breathe.

After careful consideration, I decided to use what I thought was an ultra-fine, 1600 grit square of sandpaper to get off the excess.  

You can see where this is going, I'm sure.

I scrubbed it careful with this wet sand paper and after a couple of seconds of scrubbing I noticed that my paint was getting some light scratches on it AND THE FUCKING EXCESS PAINT WAS STILL THERE!

FML.

The ultra-fine paper I thought I grabbed was just 600 grit sandpaper and it put light scratches on my poor, abused car.

The scratches are hard to see but you can see the discoloration.

After a couple minutes of manly hysterics and cursing the touch-up paint gods I decided to take 5.  Well, more than 5.  I decided to go to a place that men can relax and browse their troubles away...

The hardware store.

I needed to pick up a few things for this weekend's home renovation projects and I could see if I could find something to fix this small crisis.  Luckily, they had Meguiar's Direct ScratchX 2.0.  Now, they aren't paying me to say this, yet (notice a pattern here advertisers?) but I use their car care products and I've been satisfied thus far with the level of quality.  Plus, Lowes takes back anything and I figured if it didn't perform as advertised, I could at least get my money back.

Thankfully it got all of the excess paint off and after about 5 minutes of scrubbing the sandpaper scratches are starting to fade.

At this point my car now looks like this:

Like before, but thankfully no splotches or sandpaper scratches

It still needs work, but at least it's not all rust.

So, after having learned all these oh-so-helpful things this fine afternoon, I will be tackling the rest of this job tomorrow evening.  At least now, you can learn from my bumbling attempts at detail work.

Tomorrow my wife will be guest blogging, but part 2 of this DIY adventure will be posted on Saturday.

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