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Doctor ColorChip Will See You Now

I always love it when someone makes a product that performs as advertised. One of those products is the Doctor ColorChip Automotive Paint Repair Kit.  Often imitated, the original is still the best. Follow the directions and work only on a small area at a time and it works wonders.  Dab on some paint, smooth it before it dries, use the blender as directed, and then buff to polish.  No more touch-up paint lumps and near color-matches — perfect blend to your factory paint code.  We used it before on our 2004 MINI.  The photos below show it on our 2004 Jetta.





The Doctor is In: Dr. Color Chip

I love it when a product actually works as advertised. The product in this case is produced by Dr. Color Chip. The good doctor produces an automotive touch-up paint kit that really works. Here’s how: Let’s say you have a car with a very blunt nose, like a MINI.

chip city

After a number of years, the entire leading edge of the hood can get really chipped as you see in the photo above. If you use regular touch-up paint, you end up with little blotches of paint where there once were chips. Almost and anti-chip and just as ugly.


With Dr. Color Chip, you dab paint on the chip, smear with a gloved finger and once dry to the touch, you buff with the secret sauce.

blending agent

The key is the blending agent. It removes the excess paint, but leaves enough to cover the chip. Polish with a microfiber towel and the results are amazing.


You aren’t going to win a concourse with this, but from five feet away, it looks much better than the traditional blotch approach. In fact, most of the blotches you see in the photo above were from using the previous method. I’m a convert.

Unwanted Thanksgiving Gift, Part 1

Someone backed into my wife’s Audi over Thanksgiving weekend damaging the bumper cover and leaving a small dent and no note. Before taking it to the paint shop to get the entire bumper cover repainted, I thought I’d see how much I could correct with buffing, touch-up paint, and with a commonly available bumper repair kit.

This is a 2015 Audi A4 with Mythos Black Metallic paint.  Working with black paint is always a mixed bag: when the car is dirty, black hides a lot of imprefections. But when it’s clean, minor defects really stand out. Audi clear coat is pretty thick so you can usually be fairly aggressive when compounding surface scratches. What you initially see is a combination of paint transfer from the other car, scratches in the clear coat, scratches through the clear coat to the base coat, and scratches through the base coat to the plastic. Before starting, I always check that the paint isn’t cracked at the point of impact. If it is cracked, you might as well skip ahead and have the entire cover professionally painted as it will never look right with DIY repairs. This one isn’t cracked, so we’re moving ahead.

Thoroughly clean the area and see how much of the surface paint transfer you can remove with your thumbnail. You would be surprised how much you can move with just your thumb and a magic eraser.

My next step is to compound and polish.  I’m using Sonax 04 06 and Fine Abrasive Paste. I start by polishing the surrounding area, then switch to the 04  06 to take on the worst areas. I make a couple of passes, checking that I’m not building up too much heat, and then finish with a couple passes of polish. What I’m left with are mostly scratches through the clear coat and deep scratches through to the plastic (and the dent circled in red).

I’m going to have to sand and paint eventually, but since I never know when I’m going to have another day above freezing before April, I thought I’d see how well I can try to hide some of the damage with touch-up paint: Paging Dr. ColorChip.

I’m a huge fan of the good doctor, but long scrapes and deep gauges are not the intended application of this product.  I’m going to be putting the paint on thick and not blending it into the surface.  The goal is to mask the problem from five feet away, not create a perfect finish. I try a broad application using the squeegee to begin (and this I do try to blend with the magic elixir.) Then I dab paint to fill the deep gauges. The finished result isn’t bad, and if this were your typical commuter beater , I’d be tempted to stop there. But this car is remarkably ding-free for a three-year old car with 50,000 miles. So it’s on to the dent repair.

The dent is actually in a fairly accessible spot. By removing some interior trim in the trunk, I can easily reach it to press on it from the inside as I try to pull on it from the outside. Before I break out the PDR pry tools, I thought I’d see how far I can get using the glue-gun external puller that you can get from Amazon.

If your paint isn’t damaged (and your clear coat is strong) you can pull many dings from the outside using just a glue tab and a puller tool. It’s a little more complicated when the ding is more like a crease as is this one, but the idea is the same. You glue a little tab to the outside and apply pressure to pull it back into shape. This actually worked pretty well. I ran out of daylight, but got most of the dent out and now just have a scratch to deal with and a little bit of prying to do from the inside to get it flush again.

That’s it for part 1.  From five feet (and especially in low light) it looks presentable. The Scratch Wizard bumper  kit has been ordered and as soon as it arrives — and I have a day off when it’s above 60 degrees — I’ll see if it does a decent job of blending with the original paint. If not, then it’s off to the pros.

Bumper Scratch Repair

If you’ve read any prior posts on this blog, you know I’m a huge fan of Dr. Colorchip. For small paint chips and scratches, the good doctor cannot be beat. But when the chips and scratches get bigger, the repair isn’t usually as simple. So I thought I’d try out some other products on the market to see if they work as advertised. Today I’m trying the ScratchWizard system.

First some background. I bought a 2013 BMW X5 in the fall of 2017. Although it came equipped with Park Distance Control sensors and cameras (back and side), the previous owner (aka Mr. Magoo) managed to scrape some paint off of all four corners. I bought a bumper repair kit from the ScratchWizard last November, and it took until May before the weather was nice enough for me to use it.

I followed the video instructions more or less, starting with two problem areas. First was this huge chip and scratch on the top edge of the bumper cover.

And secondly, a large scrape along the fold. One good thing about the color of this vehicle is that it hides scrapes really well, and I didn’t initially see this scrape until I started to work on the other one.

I didn’t want to use filler on plastic so I tried my best to repair the areas just by sanding before using the primer.  The key I’ve discovered is to go big.

Take advantage of the natural panel seams and plan ahead where you want to blend  into the original paint.  If you mask off a small area, you’ll get hard lines and the repair will be more obvious.

Follow the instructions allowing 10 minutes between coats, and 30 minutes between primer and color, as well as color and clear. Each step involves a light initial coat, followed by two medium-heavy coats.  You want good coverage, but you don’t want the paint to sag. Metallic paint is usually tough to match, but this came out pretty well.

I’m really happy with the result.  Once the paint has hardened for another month, I’ll level the clearcoat with Meguiars 105. Result.

MINI DIY Project Index

DIY MINI Projects by Category


  1. Brakes
  2. Engine & Drivetrain
  3. Exterior
  4. Interior
  5. Suspension

1. Brakes

How to change your brake pads.
How to replace cracked and brittle caliper dust boots.
How and when to rebuild brake calipers.
How to create a simple front brake duct.
How to install racing brake ducts.
Tips for installing Wilwood Rear Calipers.
How to replace a broken parking brake cable.
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2. Engine & Drivetrain

How to change your oil.
How to reset the oil service light after an oil change.
How to get more air to your cold air intake.
How to install an intercooler diverter.
How to close the diverter gap.
How to install silicone IC couplers.
How to install the Detroittuned Bypass Valve.
How to replace your Motor Mount.
How to delete your entire AC system.
How to replace your crank damper, part 1.
How to replace your crank damper, part 2.
How to install a cat-back exhaust system.
How to change manual transmission/differential fluid.
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3. Exterior

How to build an inexpensive grille for your hood scoop.
How to fit a Shark Fin antenna on an 02-04 MINI.
How to replace A Pillar Trim.
How to install an extension to your rear roof spoiler.
How to modify your rear brake lights on an 02-04 MINI.
How to restore your headlights.
How to repair paint chips with Dr. Colorchip
How to replace your mirror caps.
How to install aftermarket fog or driving lights.
How to install OEM fog lights.
How to retrofit a rear fog light in 05-06 MINI.
How to build an inexpensive front splitter.
How to modify your splitter for your aftermarket fog lights.
How to fit GP underbody panels on 02-06 MINI.
How to retrofit the Aero Grille Kit on R53 MINI.
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4. Interior

How to replace the hand brake handle.
How to install an adjustable short shifter.
How to install a shift well cover.
How to retrofit black-out door sill plates.
How to install SiriusXM radio with stock head unit.
How to install aftermarket speakers.
How to use carbon fiber overlay on interior trim pieces.
How to replace the accelerator pedal.
How to install aftermarket pedal covers.
How to install RS style door handles.
How to replace the steering column shaft.
How to install a MINI steering wheel.
How to install an aftermarket steering wheel.
How to replace the horns and slip ring.
How to install gauge pods.
How to install oil pressure and temperature gauges.
How to install competition seats.
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5. Suspension

How to install a rear sway bar.
How to install a front sway bar.
How to install strut tower defenders.
How to install wheel studs.
How to replace a broken ABS pulse generator.
How to install adjustable camber plates.
How to install adjustable rear camber arms.
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