As a general rule, I try to do minimally invasive work, only removing enough paint to get the desired level of shine and clarity before coating. But occasionally there isn’t anything to work with as was the case with this fender flair. A good bit of paint was scraped off down to bare metal which had rusted.
Since this was a track car, I advised the owner that his best option was for me to just paint the flair, blend the arch, and compound the surrounding area. If it looks good from five feet, we’d call it a win. The result was better than expected.
After washing and using a clay bar to remove any rolled-up rubber on the surface, I sanded the edge down to bare metal. Given the amount of surface rust, I was surprised to see there wasn’t any pitting. There was evidence of some body filler so I didn’t roll the fender which I normally would have on a track car like this. Once sanded, I used a minimum amount rust inhibiting primer on the edge. I wet-sanded the primer flat, then scuffed the next two inches or so around it to prep for painting.
I cleaned it again and carefully sprayed the base coat on the lip and edge, blending only slightly into the fender where I had scuffed it previously. I waited 48 hours then wet-sanded the base coat along with a few more inches into the clear on the fender. This gave me about an eight inch margin to work with when I wet sanded the clear coat the next day.
After sanding, I used a wool cutting pad to compound, and finished with a foam polishing pad. After waiting a week, I coated the entire quarter panel with a ceramic coating. It’s not a lot of work and isn’t a complicated repair, but it takes a lot of time between the steps, so don’t rush it. And when someone tells you that you can’t get body shop results from a rattle-can, show them this. A special shout-out goes to Automotive Touchup Paint for such a great paint system.