touch up paint and cold weather

janie_gaJanuary 5, 2011

Hello, I am usually on the Kitchen Table forum but need car help.

My car was banged up this week- a fellow college student backed into it in the parking lot. There are a few spots where the paint chipped off. The spots are about the same size that results from road gravel hitting the car. I am in WV and we have LOTS of road gravel because of all the snow and stuff- I have a couple of those spots that need attention, too.

I need to touch up the spots before the weather warms up because of all the chemicals/salt they put on the roads. I do not want it rusting before warm weather (probably May if last year is any indication!).

I do not have a heated garage (heck, we do not even have a driveway) nor do I know anyone that has one. The 10-day forecast does not have above freezing temps. The touch-up paint I have recommends not using it below 70 degrees. Any suggestions- would a hair dryer work to help set the paint? And maybe a heating pad on the metal to warm it up before applying the paint?

There is a minimum of a 2 month wait for the body shop to fix the dents so I need to get something on it even while I am waiting on the repairs- we should start getting snow again SOON.

Thanks for any suggestions!

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Applying heat is a good idea, except in the cold weather, a heating pad or a hair dryer does not have enough power to warm the metal enough. A heatng pad will not work for the simple reason that it has to be removed to apply the paint and then it can't be re-applied over the fresh paint. The metal will cool rapidly and will need a source of heat until the paint solvent has evaporated.

If you are close enough to an electrical socket, a powerful radiant heater might work. Adjust the distance of the heater from the spot of interest to maintain a temperture above 60 F, but not too hot to cook the finish.

Caution: Most electric heaters for use in the home are not rated for outdoor use (shock hazard). Use only heaters that have adequate grounding and insulation, and protect from splash.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2011 at 6:14PM
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Your hair dryer idea is a good one. Just the warm air blowing over what you touch up ought to do the trick.

Also, FWIW, don't worry about rust due to this. You could touch it up now or later and it won't matter much. When you see vehicles with bubbling paint or holes rusted through due to salt, it happened from the inside out where you wouldn't think about cleaning or touching up, not from a scratch or ding on the surface. Good news is that manufacturers have gotten pretty good at treating metal so this isn't the problem it was in vehicles of say the 70's and before. jmo

    Bookmark   January 15, 2011 at 11:03PM
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