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Discussion Starter #1
I have an applicator bottle of MB OEM touch-up paint for our C230K. The paint has become a little too thick to spread properly and I was wondering what (if any) thinner would properly redilute the paint? It's still liquid but a bit too viscous to spread well.
 

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2000 CLK430 2010 S550 4matic
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I'd love to know the answer to this question as well. Its solvent based - although the finish I think is water based?! Auto lacquer thinner will dissolve it but it could be something else like toulene. Smells like lacquer though. My kit is ok but I'd like to just thin it just a bit before applying so it levels properly. I just don't want to "try" something that can soften the factory finish. The prices of these kits is getting insane at about $32 here in the US!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm considering trying a little lacquer thinner and testing an out-of-the-way spot, like under the hood. I agree that touch-up paint is too expensive to toss out, if it can be avoided.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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The darn stuff is hard to apply at best even if it is at the "proper" thickness. Good luck thinning and using it.
 

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Agree on application. I have a Brilliant Silver and its nearly impossible without multiple super thin coats to get a decent match. When I had non metallic black it was a matter of a small dot with a micro brush and it blended in. With the silver or really any metallics unless you brush on thin forget it the metallic chips clump up and the spot repair looks way darker than the original paint.

What I found and tried is Dr Colorchip which is a paint/removal system. You order the exact paint color from them and they also supply a solution that is used to remove/smooth the paint. Was very skeptical as I've tried something called Lanka and it softened the original clearcoat on a car I used to have. It was a leave a blob and the solution would take the blob down.

With DrColorchip you smeer on the paint with a standard latex/nitril glove - let it sit for about 15 minutes then come back with their solution and basically wipe it flush with the chip.

The paint match is 100% perfect. I did about 20 small road rash chips and one larger on my hood. You have to stand less than a foot away to even notice. I think with another application to fill the crater a bit more it would be even better. The repair took about 30 minutes total and its been on for about 2-3 months. After carwashes etc. still perfect. Not cheap but the results are 1000% better than the standard MB kit. - or any dealer supplied kit for that matter. No blobs, brush marks, overfills or touch up paint over the original paint. Just in the chip.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What I've done, so far, is to go to the local model airplane shop and discuss the situation. The guy there, who seemed knowledgeable about paints, sold me a small bottle of a "metalizer thinner" which he said was a lacquer thinner and would work well for touch-up paint. I used a dab of this to clean an area under the hood and a drop or two to thin a couple of drops of the thick touch-up paint and then painted over the cleaned area. It seemed to work fine. I could hardly tell where I had painted. The next step, after rechecking the test area, was to be to add thinner to the bottle of touch-up paint, one-drop-at-a-time until it reaches a good consistency, then try it on a scratch on the outside. This has been delayed by the arrival of Hurricane Isaac. Maybe this weekend.
 

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I use a shot glass, the smallest artist's brush I can find, and a flip down magnifier like jewelers use (Harbor freight) or,...in a pinch,....2 or 3 pairs of reading glasses.

Put a few dabs of your touch up in the shot glass, and then add your Laquer thinner or acetone. Dab your micro artist's brush in, flip down your magnifier, and place tiny dabs of paint IN the chip. Build up until level with the surrounding paint for the best repair,....use a microfiber towel with a very mild solvent like adhesive remover to then wipe away any excess that is outside the chip or scratch. For scratches, wipe across the scratch,....not along it. Like any process,.....be sure to clean the chip thoroughly and if you happen to have a glass fiber pen for touch up cleaning, use it first.

For those who want something simple and about as good as it gets with everything in one box......I also recommend the Dr. Colorchip system,.....do a google search or Youtube search for videos on how that system works. I used it on a BMW Motorcycle a few years back.......worked very well on all my stone chips.

Brian in Austin
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it worked, sorta.

I got an opportunity to thin down my gooey touch-up paint and try it on a few scratches and chips. It took about 60 drops of the thinner to get the paint to flow properly. The paint dried very nicely but it had darkened from a pure ice-white to a sort of cream color. I suppose this is the product of the age of the paint.

So, thinning the touch-up paint for me was a noble but futile exercise. Perhaps on a color other than pure white it would have worked better. I need to find some fresh paint and start over.
 

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I got an opportunity to thin down my gooey touch-up paint and try it on a few scratches and chips. It took about 60 drops of the thinner to get the paint to flow properly. The paint dried very nicely but it had darkened from a pure ice-white to a sort of cream color. I suppose this is the product of the age of the paint.

So, thinning the touch-up paint for me was a noble but futile exercise. Perhaps on a color other than pure white it would have worked better. I need to find some fresh paint and start over.
What did you use for a thinner? (just curious)
 

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2001 E320 4-matic wagon
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Thinner details that worked for me

DRNewcomb, thanks for the thinner tips. It is amazing how hard it is to find the correct thinner.

I was able to thin down Mercedes-Benz Touch-up stick 693 travertinebeige mica (2001 Desert Silver metallic) using Testor 1419 Metalizer Paint Thinner, which cost me $4.30 at a local hobby shop. The material data safety sheet for the thinner lists the hazardous components as: n-Butyl Acetate, 2-Propanol, Ethanol, Isopropyl Acetate, Methyl Ethyl Ketone and Isobutanol. This is a bit different than the hazardous components of lacquer thinner: Methanol, Toluene, Acetone, Methyl ethyl ketone, Ethanol, 2-Butoxy, Acetic acid and Hexane, Light aliphatic naptha. I'm not a chemist, but the ingredients do look different.

I prepared the surface (in my case the touch up was 1/4" x 5") to receive the paint, ending with 600 grit wet sand paper. I used a 1/4" wide artist's brush and soaked it in thinner. I used a second artist's brush to add extra thinner to the middle and the outside edges (in case I needed more) of the small flat glass plate I used to mix the paint. About an hour before, I had put the touch-up stick in my pocket to raise its temperature. When I was ready, I shook the touch-up stick until the ball moved well. I then put 3-4 drops of paint onto the center of the plate (into the thinner) and used my 1/4" artist's brush to mix it well and to add additional thinner from the sides as needed. The additional thinner allowed me to do three or four of these mixing sessions for each coat, as the thinner basically melted what was left on the plate from the prior mixing. This methodology allowed the paint to glide onto the car fender (front side) as if it had been sprayed. Due to the thinning, it did take four coats for adequate coverage though.

I pre-thinned the clear lacquer coat and basically used the above methodology to apply it as well. The final result looks like a professional job (i.e. barely visible from about 6" using a 300 watt halogen light). I kept the same light about 3' from the fender, but pointed right at the fender, during the entire process. This kept the fender at a constant 93 - 95 degrees F (as measured with my IR gun). The light and temperature allowed me to add additional paint coats every 15 - 20 minutes and to sand, buff and wax the final touch-up within 12 hours (versus waiting 24 hours to start the process).
 
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