Scratch/gouge repair?

I had an unfortunate incident yesterday that left a chunk of paint gouged out of one door panel with light scratches heading away from it in both directions. The gouge is small-ish (1.5 fingernails in length) and scratches are light, but it’s a brand new lease so it bothers me to no end.

I don’t mind spending some cash to get it fixed, but I don’t want the fix to end up being worse than the damage. I could go to a regular body shop and pay a decent amount to have the whole panel re-painted, or I contacted another place with good reviews that would buff out the scratches, touch up paint the gouge and then clearcoat the whole thing to blend.

Painting the whole panel feels like overkill, whereas I’m worried the touch-up/clearcoat method would not look good? It’s BMW’s portimao blue metallic so I don’t know how either of these places match the metallic paints in the first place.

If it came down to it I could just live with it until lease end…but I don’t really want to.

What’s the question?

The answer is get the touch up place and clear coat to blend ---- it’s a lease. Respraying the panel for small scratches is too much …

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The question is a) go with the auto body shop whole panel re-paint? or b) go with the mobile buff/touch-up/clear place? or c) leave it alone?

I’m just worried a new clear would somehow throw the look of that panel off from the rest of the car.

Do you really think a respray is going to be a perfect match? Especially if you’re looking for it (which you are).

That’s…what I’m asking. I don’t know how good these color matches are when it comes to these premium metallic paint colors.

The touch up place/person will get the touch up paint from BMW, as close a match as they can get.

It will look a lot better: it’s not ever going to be perfect no matter what you do.


You made me quote Vhooloo :japanese_ogre: but he’s absolutely right. This is why you lease, and once it’s touched up you’ll forget about it, until you go looking for it.


Without the cheeky answers.

1st step is to wash/detail the car
And look at the scratches under a light

Much of the clear coat scratches can be buffed out.

After that you can reassess. Dont guess in what repair you need without doing the basics.

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A good body shop can touch up and blend that and you’ll never see it. I took delivery of a car with worse damage on a bumper edge than that, and the dealer had it repaired a few days later. I was equally worried about the job that would be done, but even though I have an image of where the damage was, the only way I could tell was to feel where there were contaminants in the paint (from the car sitting on the lot for several months) vs. where there weren’t. Color, visual orange peel, metal flake, everything else was spot on.

No need to paint the door.

Dealerships have what are called lot lizards who set up camp behind the dealership every couple of weeks (during normal times) and they will touch up 5 to 10 to 20 cars like that in a day for $75 ea or a little more per scratch/chip/dent.

The trick is getting with one of these lot lizards and getting your car fixed while they are doing others vehicles somewhere and of course not being charged by the dealership $500 for something the dealer is paying $75-125 for.

Fun fact: Back in the '00s, Carmax in Norcross, GA had at least a dozen lot lizards working full time out of sight behind the dealership. Each one or two had its own specialty. A couple of guys did nothing but paint bumpers and door dings. Another guy did nothing but chrome bumper repair. These guys also do mobile wheel repair and interior repair.

A couple of friends of mine owned an independent body shop down the street and they had two guys at that Carmax do serious paintwork, one car that comes to mind was paint the entire side of a late model Jag in a lean-to tent behind the dealership.

Lot lizards are why you rarely see a used car for sale with door dings or rock chips at a quality dealership.

Lot lizards are also known as mobile paint techs and mobile touch up. If you can’t find one locally via Google or Facebook, call your local automotive paint store for a reference.

Colors on Parade is a somewhat national chain to look up.


Thank you, kind sir!