OUR SHED, OUR CARS, OUR STORIES
Yeah, yeah, I know it’s part of the usual wear and tear, but washing a car with a zillion stone chips on its snout is just plain annoying.
That’s it – just couldn’t stand it any longer.
In fact, a couple of our cars – the Mighty Kingswood and Brunhilde the Bimmer – both looked like they’d had a few buckets of gravel chucked at them. Nor was that the end of the problem. For months, probably years, I’d been ignoring a couple of rust spots which were growing – one at the base of an A-pillar and the other in the skirt ahead of the driver door of the Holden.
The car was stripped and resprayed years ago and most of the paint was still fine, so I really wasn’t up for the awe-inspiring cost of a full respray, or the huge amount of time needed to tackle even just the prep myself. The tragic thing is I do actually have a compressor and a spray gun, and the latter’s never been used (And I’m picking I’m not the only one in the country who can say that!).
The thing is, time is in short supply and, when I go to tackle my first pukka spray job, I’m going to start with something much smaller and less valuable, such as a few panels off a motorcycle.
So the only workable option was to call in a mobile touch-up service.
I’ve used them before with some success, but that was years ago. The unwitting star of this show turned out to be a bloke called Mike, in a van logically labelled Mike’s Touch-Ups.
First, he gets busy with the sanding and repair gear.
Try not be alarmed when you see him roughing up a larger area than the actual repair – it’s so there’s space to blend the new paint into the old. If you have other vehicles nearby, move them
or chuck a car cover over them.
Here’s a tip: find the paint codes for your car before the bloke turns up – it will save time. With that info in hand, he turns to a mini mixing bar not unlike the one you’d find in a real paint shop and brews up the correct colour.
Mike says the paint he’s using is a two-pack. With a spray gun being waved around, this is a time where some shade, not too much wind and a low dust environment are ideal.
In what worked out to be about two thirds of a day, he had done a couple of quick rust repairs on the Holden, filled in a minor dent on the BMW, and sprayed much of the front end, from the A-pillars forward, on both cars. The plan then was to let them harden overnight and return the next morning for a quick buff.
Mike tends to do that for larger jobs but, in the case of small patches, he’ll do the whole thing in one session.
And the result? Good. The whole lot cost $1200 and I didn’t have to shuffle cars across town to get them fixed. A super-fussy critic may well spot the repairs, but the cars look heaps better and, now I’ve been reminded how easy it is to fix, I’m a whole lot less concerned about minor damage.
You might not get the bloke to restore your Rembrandt, but the results for a couple of cars we like to be able to play with are just fine. You’ll find a service like this in many places – Mike’s Touch-Ups is Melbourne-based and can be contacted on 0414 562 578.