Dealing with all those tiny surface scratches - Alfa Romeo Forum
You are currently unregistered, register for more features.    
Reply
 
Thread Tools
(Post Link) post #1 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Dealing with all those tiny surface scratches

Hi all

a week into owning my 2ndhand 159 I've now started spotting all the small scratches on its lovely black bodywork. None of them (so far) are deep enough to catch my fingernail in, but long enough to notice, esp with the light grey undercoat showing through.

Of course, having bought into AR, I am now completely nuts about this and want to get rid of them as well as possible, but without too much complication.

I've spent the last couple of hours (don't tell the boss) poring over various threads on the same or similar subject. There has been myriad different suggestions, so I'm more confused than ever.

I don't want to get involved in sanding of any kind (I am more likely to really screw the paintwork than improve it) so I'm wondering what the best approach is. So far I think this is the best approach -

- Wash the car carefully as per SRs sticky thread.
- before applying the wax / polish using one of the following :

T-Cut Fast Colour Black Polish

T-Cut Scratch Remover


- polishing / waxing


Now I've not seen anyone else mention the t-cut products above. There is one review for the scratch remover on the halfords site which sounds like the customer damaged the paintwork.

What I want to do is to make the marks less noticeable. It doesn't have to go completely but I want to blend it in as well as possible. I'm prepared to put in plenty of elbow grease but I'd prefer to avoid any product that is abrasive if possible.

I have got get touchup stick for the paint work (on its way from mangos), but previous experience suggests that it may not get that nice flush finish. Any thoughts on this, or how to apply it with something other than the brush would be great.


Thanks folks, I know this gets asked a lot.
_ginger_kid is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Status: Optimistic for new season
AO Silver Member
 
rossogtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Lincolnshire
Posts: 2,007
In the past, to touch up small stone chips I have used a matchstick (sharpened slightly) to 'drop' the paint into the hole,not perfect obviously but not bad either.

Martin
rossogtv is offline  
(Post Link) post #3 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

They're not so much stone chips, altho there are a couple of those, more very light key marks. There is one on the roof, no idea how that got there.

I think most of them would polish out, as I didn't notice them after the dealer had valeted it. I don't think it'd been polished very well though.
_ginger_kid is offline  
Status: -
AO Member
 
owlzen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Wiltshire
Posts: 230

Member car:

Alfa 147 2.0 TS

Don't what ever you do use the t-cut products, especially on a black car. Having lived with a black Golf for the past 7 years, if you plan to try and solve the scratches yourself, I would suggest something like Meguiars scratch x. Painstaking work but this may take out some light scratches and swirls. If the scratches are deep (you are suggesting the undercoat is showing through), I would get a reputable valeting company to have a look at it. They may be able to machine polish the worst of them out.
owlzen is offline  
Status: Optimistic for new season
AO Silver Member
 
rossogtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Lincolnshire
Posts: 2,007
TBH I wouldn't personally use the touch up stick for scratches.Damn near impossible to blend in properly.Can you take it back to the dealer and get them to machine polish it for you?
rossogtv is offline  
(Post Link) post #6 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by owlzen View Post
. If the scratches are deep (you are suggesting the undercoat is showing through).
they are not deep. I've just been out to try and take a pic but couldn't - the only thing I could see was a reflection of the car parked one bay down

I ran my fingernail across them and it doesn't catch at all. It does show as a light grey mark against the gloss black of the paintwork. I'm assuming that means the undercoat is showing, but maybe not. I'll confess I am no expert.
_ginger_kid is offline  
(Post Link) post #7 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by rossogtv View Post
TBH I wouldn't personally use the touch up stick for scratches.Damn near impossible to blend in properly.Can you take it back to the dealer and get them to machine polish it for you?
The dealer cleaned it before I took delivery, and given that I've only had it a week I don't have a huge opinion of their valet guys

Presumably these marks will appear again over time as well so it'd be good to know for the future, when I have to do it for myself.
_ginger_kid is offline  
Status: Wyrd is Life
AO Gold Member
 
Stori's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
County: -
Posts: 11,591
Actually if it was available I would try Meguiar's Swirl X first before the more severe Scratch X

http://www.meguiars.com/video/index....&VideoName=How
Stori is offline  
jay w
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ginger_kid View Post
Hi all

a week into owning my 2ndhand 159 I've now started spotting all the small scratches on its lovely black bodywork. None of them (so far) are deep enough to catch my fingernail in, but long enough to notice, esp with the light grey undercoat showing through.

Of course, having bought into AR, I am now completely nuts about this and want to get rid of them as well as possible, but without too much complication.

I've spent the last couple of hours (don't tell the boss) poring over various threads on the same or similar subject. There has been myriad different suggestions, so I'm more confused than ever.

I don't want to get involved in sanding of any kind (I am more likely to really screw the paintwork than improve it) so I'm wondering what the best approach is. So far I think this is the best approach -

- Wash the car carefully as per SRs sticky thread.
- before applying the wax / polish using one of the following :

T-Cut Fast Colour Black Polish

T-Cut Scratch Remover


- polishing / waxing


Now I've not seen anyone else mention the t-cut products above. There is one review for the scratch remover on the halfords site which sounds like the customer damaged the paintwork.

What I want to do is to make the marks less noticeable. It doesn't have to go completely but I want to blend it in as well as possible. I'm prepared to put in plenty of elbow grease but I'd prefer to avoid any product that is abrasive if possible.

I have got get touchup stick for the paint work (on its way from mangos), but previous experience suggests that it may not get that nice flush finish. Any thoughts on this, or how to apply it with something other than the brush would be great.


Thanks folks, I know this gets asked a lot.
i will try and help, however i am aware that there are times when too much info can create as much confusion as not enough info

There are a number of different terms for 'scratches' it sounds like you are referring to Random Swirls, these are created when tiny pieces of dirt etc are dragged over the surface of the car, normally when the car is washed by using a sponge, the sponge allows the dirt to sit on the surface, so when washing a car you pick up the dirt, drag it along the paintwork and then when washing the sponge, deposit it in the bucket.
Best thing to use is a washmitt, preferably a lambswool one, any dirt it picks up has a greater chance of being enveloped by the wool and so stopping the dirt particle from scratching

there are a number of polishes on the market that have 'fillers' built into them, these temporarily hide the swirls and marks, Autoglym Super resin Polish is the best known of these and will go a long way to hiding them, the ones you have listed do a similar job, but in my opinion not as well. Dont forget that once you have applied the super resin polish to get a really nice deep shine use wax on top of it, you have a black car, i would recommend DoDo Purple haze or Blue Velvet, that are the mutts rear danglies, specially developed for dark coloured cars they make the paint look like it is wet...and they smell fantastic

The only way to get rid of marks like this would be to have the car 'detailed' and polished with a rotary polisher or a dual action polisher, please don't attempt this is you are not sure when you are doing, you can burn the paint off the car as a worse case scenario. Machine polishing will take off a small amount of the top coat by using abrasive polishes, in doing so it gets rid of these marks/scratches.

If the undercoat is visible then it will be a case of getting the touch up pen out, i have seen these 'chips away' guys get rid of a multitude of marks and chips to the point where it is totally invisible, you would never know.
The trick it take your time and have patience, clean up the affected area, build up the paint until it is level with the topcoat and then using some 2000 Grit wet and dry lightly flat the area back so the join becomes invisible, then use a good quality polish to buff it all back up , that whole process can take 24-48 hours depending on weather.

to be honest as a starting point i would try this.

Wash and dry the car
Clay the car to get rid of all imperfections.
Super resin polish
Final finish wax (blue velvet for example)

Stand back with tired arms and look at it then, then ask yourself does it still need further attention?

good luck

Last edited by jay w; 08-06-09 at 13:26. Reason: added more info
 
(Post Link) post #10 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Not really random swirls. The marks are usually in an (almost) straight line, rather than a circular form. I have used chipsaway before on a previous vehicle. Curious as to how they'd cope with a black car but I suppose they must have done it before - after all, plenty of black motors on the road.

I've dropped them a line to get a quote / opinion. At the end of the day I'd rather spend a few quid and have it done properly than royally balls it up myself.
_ginger_kid is offline  
Status: -
AO Silver Member
 
corbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: United Kingdom
County: Somerset
Posts: 1,610
Painting a car with a sharpened matchstick.

A glorious example of Alfa obsession lol
corbo is offline  
Status: Optimistic for new season
AO Silver Member
 
rossogtv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: United Kingdom
County: Lincolnshire
Posts: 2,007
Quote:
Originally Posted by corbo View Post
Painting a car with a sharpened matchstick.

A glorious example of Alfa obsession lol
Took me years to repaint my old Montreal.
Ginger kid I reckon the pro route is probably the best way forward.
rossogtv is offline  
(Post Link) post #13 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by jay w View Post

Wash and dry the car
Clay the car to get rid of all imperfections.
Super resin polish
Final finish wax (blue velvet for example)
Thanks for the long reply jay ... and this bit is the most useful I think. Moral of the story, start with the simplest solution and if that doesn't work move up a notch.
_ginger_kid is offline  
Status: -
AO Platinum Member
 
Ralf S.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
Posts: 13,073
Aye! They sound like swirls, so you only really need to mask them for now. Use the Dodo doodah or something similar (Poorboys Black Hole glaze is my particular weapon of choice) applied to a washed and clayed surface.

Then wax over the top.. this helps to keep the fillers in place and mask some of the remaining visible swirls even more.

Later on, give the beast a machine polish (you can DIY or get a pro' in). It doesn't sound like you need to put new paint on it at all anyways.


Ralf S.
Ralf S. is offline  
(Post Link) post #15 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

well I bunked off work a little early to try out some suggestions. I washed the car as per SR's thread -

* rinse off with mix of water / shampoo (I used the cheapo tesco stuff and my wife's watering can )
* wash with AG body conditioner shampoo & a mitt. How good are those mitts ...
* rinse thoroughly
* dry with microfibre cloth

Then I applied some AG super resin polish to some of the scratches with a polishing rag, and buffed off with a polishing mitt (from halfords). There is a definite improvement to most of the marks I tried.

So, I think with more time I'll manage to polish it up quite well. It may take a few coats to really hide the worst of them.

They are definitely not swirls though. The ones of the roof in particular look like the prev owner put their bag on it, then dragged it off. None of them catch on a nail, but they are straight (ish) rather than a swirl typical of a circular washing motion.

I'll continue to polish up when the weather is more amenable and see how it hows. The bonnet is terrible though. Thats the downside to this - I've found 3 proper stone chips now

The upside is I think I can deal with them. I'll get chipsaway to come and give me a quote anyway, and maybe get the worst ones sorted eventually.




who would've thought owning such a lovely stylish black car would induce so much paranoia, attention to detail, worrying and general wringing of hands aaahhh alfa
_ginger_kid is offline  
jay w
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ginger_kid View Post
well I bunked off work a little early to try out some suggestions. I washed the car as per SR's thread -

* rinse off with mix of water / shampoo (I used the cheapo tesco stuff and my wife's watering can )
* wash with AG body conditioner shampoo & a mitt. How good are those mitts ...
* rinse thoroughly
* dry with microfibre cloth

Then I applied some AG super resin polish to some of the scratches with a polishing rag, and buffed off with a polishing mitt (from halfords). There is a definite improvement to most of the marks I tried.

So, I think with more time I'll manage to polish it up quite well. It may take a few coats to really hide the worst of them.

They are definitely not swirls though. The ones of the roof in particular look like the prev owner put their bag on it, then dragged it off. None of them catch on a nail, but they are straight (ish) rather than a swirl typical of a circular washing motion.

I'll continue to polish up when the weather is more amenable and see how it hows. The bonnet is terrible though. Thats the downside to this - I've found 3 proper stone chips now

The upside is I think I can deal with them. I'll get chipsaway to come and give me a quote anyway, and maybe get the worst ones sorted eventually.




who would've thought owning such a lovely stylish black car would induce so much paranoia, attention to detail, worrying and general wringing of hands aaahhh alfa
ahh the joys of owning an Alfa

Megs do a brilliant clay kit, might be worth getting one and using that when you get the chance as well...

the other tip i would make it get a good quality wax to go on top of the polish, and build it up so as to protect the paint and give it depth

welcome to the world of polishing
 
Status: Needs a thermostat
AO Silver Member
 
10,500RPM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Ireland
County: -
Posts: 3,263
Personally I'd use a Meguiars G220 DA polisher and top it off with a wax of your choice (I'd reccomend Blackfire or Fk 1000P). The G220 is my new toy, be warned though these bloody things will end up costing you a small fortune. I started off with the £140 machine, then I bought a £150 PTG (then I was informed you don't need these on DA's, but they are essential when using rotary polishers ), loads of polishing pads with varing levels of aggression and size. I won't even start on the polishes I have bought..... total so far for everything..... £500?
10,500RPM is offline  
(Post Link) post #18 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by 10,500RPM View Post
I won't even start on the polishes I have bought..... total so far for everything..... £500?
having only just dropped the 13k for the car I don't think my wife would be too happy with me

its gonna have to be hard graft for the time being I think
_ginger_kid is offline  
mr-mac
Status: - Update
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
hmmm sure my mate bought a proper random orbital polisher from the states for about £40.

Does a great job... Still need to get a shot for me 155

John
 
(Post Link) post #20 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr-mac View Post
hmmm sure my mate bought a proper random orbital polisher from the states for about £40.

Does a great job... Still need to get a shot for me 155

John
there is a heap of them on ebay. just curious about the pads, getting replacements for them. But I suppose any comparable sized pad would do the trick.
_ginger_kid is offline  
Status: No more warranty!
AO Silver Member
 
twissler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Cheshire
Posts: 1,051
After reading your posts, I think your worrying to muh about these scratches. Super resin polish will fill these in but each time you wash the car you will remove some of the fillers. Getting light scratches out isn't a big deal. You can do it by hand using megs swirl x or scratch x or use a dual action polisher and something like Megs dual action cleaner polish, but the machine route will set you back at least £200. Try Megs Swirl x by hand to start with.

A good tip ist to just work one section at a time until you remove the scratches so you know how much work is involved before doing the whole car. And, I'd set myself a goal of a sectio of the car to work on per session so as not to wreck your arm and morale.
twissler is offline  
Status: -
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ginger_kid View Post
well I bunked off work a little early to try out some suggestions. I washed the car as per SR's thread -

who would've thought owning such a lovely stylish black car would induce so much paranoia, attention to detail, worrying and general wringing of hands aaahhh alfa
Don't suppose I could drop mine over for a wash?
ShortyMcStompy is offline  
(Post Link) post #23 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by twissler View Post
After reading your posts, I think your worrying to muh about these scratches.

...

A good tip ist to just work one section at a time until you remove the scratches so you know how much work is involved before doing the whole car. And, I'd set myself a goal of a sectio of the car to work on per session so as not to wreck your arm and morale.
do I know you ? You got me spot on. I am the biggest worrier ever. Total fussy so n so. It's all about having just bought the car and I'm annoyed that its not perfect. Not that it ever would be, being 2ndhand

Your tip is spot on too. The two pieces I did this evening improved the situation noticably, which encourages me to keep on working at it, one panel at a time.

I'm gonna avoid the powered polishers. I read another thread about them, and all the choices of speed, pad, polish pretty much adds up to big potential for a screw up.
_ginger_kid is offline  
(Post Link) post #24 of 28 Old 08-06-09 Thread Starter
Status: -
AO Member
 
_ginger_kid's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: United Kingdom
County: Oxfordshire
Posts: 62

Member car:

Alfa Romeo 159

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortyMcStompy View Post
Don't suppose I could drop mine over for a wash?
no chance ! its already rained on it and made it spotty again. This is gonna become my obsession
_ginger_kid is offline  
Status: -
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by _ginger_kid View Post
no chance ! its already rained on it and made it spotty again. This is gonna become my obsession
Tell me about it!!! I am ignoring the state of my alloys right now as they are going black from brake dust

I need to find a good car wash/valet type place and get a payment plan
ShortyMcStompy is offline  
Reply

Go Back   Alfa Romeo Forum > Supported Alfa Romeo Models > Technical & Vehicle Assistance > Car Detailing

Tags
dealing , scratches , surface , tiny

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome