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Paint chip visibility under Xpel (long) (archive)

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Posted by PerryinVA on November 06, 2000 at 12:36:21:

I was so impressed with how easy & clear my headlight and fog light Xpel went on my Boston Green 99 2.3, that I installed the rear fender kit from BMW ($30). My concern was how existing stone chips would look under the Xpel. I had tried to cover the chips with touch up and Langka, but they are so shallow that the paint just wiped off. The optical quality on the headlamps was improved as all the little pits in the plastic that were a sort of light haze were TOTALLY eliminated, I assumed by being filled in by the adhesive. Minor paint chips & scratches are often less visible after waxing because, I assume, the clear wax fills them some. After the wax turns white from water, dirt, or whathaveyou, the pits are again noticeable. I first polished the area with Meguires #3, then #7, until it was squeaky. The pits were still there but less dimensional, smoother. I used the 50/50 distilled water/rubbing alcohol solution to wash & rinse the area, then applied the Xpel. It was much more difficult than the headlight installation due to the thinness of the material, and the adhesiveness to the paint. Getting it started at the right point and aligned is the most difficult part. I had to peel it back a few times and was worried of permanent fingerprints in the adhesive. I used the rear fender arch to line the Xpel against. Plenty of spraying and swearing are required. The second fender went much faster and smoother. It has no solution bubbles at all, vs about 15 on the other, though they are evaporating very quickly. (Did this on Fri @ noon)After inital installation, I was estatic, only 3 or 4 larger chips were visible, all the minor ones had disappeared! However, after 3 days of drying, there are now about 10-15 small ones per side visible, though the majority are still "invisible". At 4 ft, even the visible ones are less noticable than they were without the Xpel. I think the horizontal line is quite noticeable, depending on the angle of the sun up, till about 5 feet. Much more so than on white or silver. However, I am pleased with the gloss of the Xpel; it matches the paint gloss exactly. I would definitly put it on a new bumper/air dam, but doubt that I would on a dark hood.

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