Yesterday I went on a routine shopping trip to my local Tesco. Some while after I arrived home, Mr PP was loading his latest model railway bases into my car to check that they still fitted in when he came into the house demanding to know if I had been in an accident. No, I replied, everything was fine in Mrs PP’s world, so he asked me to come outside and look at my car – shock and horror, the passenger side front wing had been driven into by what was obviously a red car – there were several red scratches and paint marks on the car, and after committing this heinous crime, they had obviously just driven off. Now part of me understands why they would do this, as they must have seen the damage and realised that I would not be best pleased, but the other part of me is shocked and angry at the sheer thoughtlessness and selfishness of not owning up to having caused damage to someone elses property. Still, not one to be downcast in the face of adversity, I took it as a sign that it was now the right time to make the repair to a small scratch I had made myself several months ago while reversing into a space next to a wall – so intent on watching the screen in the car that shows what the reversing camera sees, that my foot slipped and the car lurched to a halt against a small piece of brick buttress holding the wall up – oops! After that incident I had ordered some paint to be made up specially (you can’t buy my car colour off the shelf yet) and it is has sat on a shelf for about 4 months waiting to be used. Now it seems, I suddenly had two repairs to make.
damage to my front wing caused by unknown careless driver in Tesco car park
scratch to rear corner caused by me paying too much attention to my reversing camera!
Now, it is over 30 years since I last did any car body repair work; but I figured that nothing much has changed so I set about cleaning up both areas by wiping down with some white spirit and then using wet’n’dry paper (wet of course) I rubbed down the damaged areas to get a smooth flat surface.
rear end rubbed down
Once both areas were flat, smooth and dry I cleaned them again with white spirit before masking off the unaffected parts and spraying the prepared surface with grey primer.
front end primed and ready
As it was a very hot day (about 28 degrees C) the paint dried very quickly, so it wasn’t too long before I could apply the first coat of actual paint. The colour match is good, but I do have to admit to a tactical error by not also filling in the tiny scratches on the rear end before painting; still you can’t have everything, and you live and learn don’t you!
rear end painted
Once I had applied a further 3 coats of paint, it was time to remove the masking and allow the paint to ‘cure’ and harden off overnight. This morning I finished off by adding about 3 coats of gloss varnish (which was supplied with the paint so it is the right type).
front end repaired
back end repaired
Now I do admit that it is not as good a repair as a professional bodyshop would have done, but it’s a whole lot better than having scratches and red paint all over the bodywork.
See, I just knew that being an artist would have other practical uses!