Fixing paint chips

October 1, 2016 | By Staff


My ’62 Pontiac Bonneville only has 70,000 miles on it, and its original paint looks good except for a few little stone chips and a couple of minor scratches. Can these be fixed so they look good or do I need to get the car repainted to really make it nice?


If the paint is still good on your Bonneville, don’t repaint it. Instead, take a small item such as a gas filler flap or a glove compartment lid to an automotive paint store and have them match its color with a pint of new paint. Then clean out the chipped area with a small knife to eliminate any rust or dirt. Next, use a good degreaser or alcohol to clean the area, and then dab small drops of paint into the stone chip and let it dry. Don’t pull it around with your brush, and let the blob just overlap the surrounding paint. Repeat this process until you build up the paint to a small bump on the finish.

Let the paint dry for a week or so, then use 400-grit wet sandpaper and a small flat block of wood to sand the resulting bump down flat. After that, switch to 1200-grit microfine paper and plenty of water to get rid of the scratch marks. Finally, use a rubbing compound, followed by a light polish to produce a high lustrous shine. Your paint will look as if it was never damaged.

(Upper, left to right.) Scrape out any rust or dirt. Clean with a good de-greaser. (Lower, left to right.) Dab, but don’t pull the color coat into the chip, and let the paint dry for a week. Use an old spool or small block of wood with 400- and then 1200-grit sandpaper and water to sand the spot flat before polishing.