Just What the Doctor Ordered

Cosmetic Surgery for Your Car

Story Kevin Harper / Images Provided - November 07, 2013 10:00 AM


1 Our test subject has taken it on the nose with all of those chip marks on the hood.


2 Here’s another view of the problem. The area on the left has already been cleaned and fixed with the Dr. Color Chip kit. It gives a great “before and after” example.


3 We have isolated one area. Shake the paint well and dab a small amount on and around the area. Use a tandem brush, micro-brush or cotton swab.


4 Immediately after application (work in small areas at a time), smear the paint with your gloved hand. It needs to be flattened to dry because a blob will create haze in the clear coat and reduce the quality of the improvement.


5 After five minutes, it’s time to blend. Shake the SealAct blending solution and apply it (about the size of a quarter) onto the cloth. Using light pressure with the open flat hand and rub over the area to blend away the excess. Don’t scrub … let the chemical do the work.


6 This is the same hood after the Dr. Color Chip kit was used. It’s now far more presentable.


7 Lighter colored cars and black tend to be victimized with these road hazards. The blemishes are prominent, but not permanent. Dr. Color Chip has an extensive library of colors to bring back the look.


8 A little time, patience and the Dr. Color Chip kit has restored the look.  


Image 1 of 9

They say a new car is only new until it leaves the dealer’s lot.

Once it is taken from that sheltered environment, it is now susceptible to plenty of things that threaten everything about it, especially the looks.

No matter whether it is a new car or a collectible coming out for its occasional cruise, all cars are alike in that they can have their beauty taken away by just the slightest act. Door dings are small but unnerving, but they can be avoided by parking away from threats. However, you can’t avoid every threat and one of the biggest little problems can be stone chips.

A car’s surface is the place where that ever-important first impression gets started. No one will give the car a second glance if the paint isn’t as good as it could be and even high dollar paint jobs can be undermined by stone chips kicked up in travel.

Accepting just one chip is a compromise to quality. There’s no reason that any blemish in the surface should be accepted.

There are numerous ways to deal with the problem when (and notice we’re not saying “if”) it occurs. You can get some touch-up paint and it will likely do the job on the surface … if you are very careful in your application. It’s a crap shoot on color match and you could end up with “dots” that the discerning enthusiast can spot from six feet away. It calls into mind that maybe the paint isn’t as good as you are letting on.

You could repaint or replace the part, but a new hood for the sake of chips is a decision that should only be made if your Powerball numbers came in. Check carefully before you commit.

And then there is always the idea of “no one will notice”, the denial that leads you to do nothing. You’ll sit in that chair all day and no one will want to talk to you about your car. Now, you don’t want that.

Fixing the chips and getting the color back to the way you expect it to be does not have to be an expensive or time-consuming proposition. The experts at Dr. Color Chip have done the extensive testing and research. When disaster strikes in the form of stone chips, there’s no need to panic and think the look is gone forever.

The Dr. Color Chip process involves a kit that is fast, simple and renders a quality permanent repair. Each kit is hand-made by a mixing tech who has access to OEM formulations and proprietary components. Before shipping, the kit is tested for matching against the vast color chip library in replicated sunlight, a process that guarantees a color match.

For those whose confidence isn’t at its highest level, and who don’t want to do anything to hurt their “baby’, there’s no need to exhibit the anguish. Simply follow the application instructions. The product is safe for clear-coated vehicles (or it would have been run off the market a long time ago). Officials at Dr. Color Chip were honest enough to say that they have had success with lacquer and enamel finishes on older cars, but they don’t recommend it since there are too many variables that could lead to removing good paint around the chip.

For those going on, the simple steps of application begin. Take a little of the paint and dab it on or next to the chip. Smear the paint flat over and a bit beyond the chip. For more than one chip, simply repeat the process at the place where the paint is needed. Within a minute, the paint will dry, but it’s not cured. It is suggested to wait five minutes before beginning the blending process. If you start too soon, you run the risk of pulling the paint out of the chip. The longer the paint stays flat on the panel, the better the bond will be. The paint has been tested to sit for up to two hours without blending problems.

Blending becomes the barometer of success. The SealAct blending solution is applied to a soft cotton cloth that is included with the kit. The cloth should be slightly dampened, not soaked. Rub the folded cloth over the paint smears in small areas. The paint will begin to pull away from around the repair, but stay in the damaged area. The ultimate goal is to pass the three-foot test, so it’s not likely the chip will always be filled 100 percent with the paint.

Larger chips call for more work and a second layer can be added after a day or so.

Dr. Color Chip has a paint squeegee for quickly applying paint to a road-rashed hood or bumper, which allows for larger quantities of paint. If larger areas are done, a clean T-shirt or cotton cloth can be used to blend.

The most popular colors tend to be those which show the damage more – silver, pearl white and black. Dr. Color Chip offers a single bottle of paint for the difficult pearl colors, mixed so that it is off-white and dark when smeared, but blends in to the surrounding paint color.

Bill McLean of Dr. Color Chip said the company is committed to making the color right. “We make colors going back to the 1940s if not older, though we can’t verify the integrity of the formulation as we have on chips to make a visual comparison. We also have customers e-mail us photos of their old cars and ask us to make a paint kit to match them. In most cases, we can get a good match the first time. If not, we re-mix and work with the customer until we get a match.

“If we can’t do it, we’ll just refund the order. We’ve had oddball requests such as matching colors for golf clubs, fishing rods, laboratory microscopes and accessories for bone-drilling equipment. Our most frequent orders are for cars five years old or less, but we get a number of requests for muscle cars from the ’70s, usually red.”

There’s a good chance that someone you know has used the Dr. Color Chip product. Unlike the new exhaust system or stereo, it’s something that doesn’t stand out and that’s the point behind it. The kit can bring your car back to where you wanted it to be, winning trophies and getting attention for the right reason.

For your information:

Dr. Color Chip

(866) DR-CC-KIT [372-2548]