BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > learning to detail my e90

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      10-20-2019, 02:32 PM   #1

Drives: bmw 3
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: berkeley california

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learning to detail my e90

after incurring catastrophic engine failure in the 2006 mazda 3 i had been driving for 6 years, i decided to try something different. i am recently made the proud owner of a space-gray 2011 series 328i (manual transmission). i love driving the car, and i have decided to use this car as an exercise in taking care of my vehicle, and i would very much appreciate any advice.

given that scratches and chips are certain to happen, i would like to learn a modicum of detailing. to that end, i recently tackled the problem of a somewhat significant scratch ~(3mm x 8mm x 2mm deep) on driver-side rocker panel. after a few attempts, my best results to date had me do the following:

1) tape down an area a little bigger than the area-to be painted.
2) sand down the scratch and surrounding area (maybe 2in^2) with 400 grit.
3) fill the scratch and cover the area to be painted with primer.
4) 60min for primer to harden.
5) sand down the area with 1200 grit.
6) spray on 3 layers of A52 waiting 15 minutes between each layer.
7) 30 min for paint to dry.
8) sand down the edges of the paint patch with 2000 grit.
9) spray on 2 layers of clear coat.
9) 12 hours for clear coat to dry.

i would say that it worked... but not satisfactorily. i can clearly see the area i painted as the color is notably darker. i talked to my paint man and he was adamant that with metallic paints there was nothing to be done short of painting the entire panel. i had to try myself... because. also it would be difficult to justify the $500 cost of professional attention without trying it myself for 1/10 the cost. also, i would like to be able to detail away scratches on cars i own in the future, though this may be a lesson to never buy metallic cars.

so, please, if anyone has any suggestions on this topic, please provide them. i no longer have any fear of sanding down and repainting, so if it's clear i can achieve better results using a different technique, i will try again.

thank you in advance.
Appreciate 0


detailing, e90, paint, space gray

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