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Paint Chip Repair using Langka - It works!
This stuff may not be perfect, but it is damn close to it.
Repairing paint chips is a troublesome task, if you want good cosmetic results. There are all kinds of suggestions for filling chips with touch up paint from using the edge of a matchbook cover (skimming the paint flat) to filling chips via "capillary action" using a toothpick tip (actually you are relying on surface tension). Despite trying these and other techniques, I have always ended with chips that either were covered with blobs or incompletely filled. Also, these techniques are tedious and time consuming. For instance, read the current state of the art here as described by a respected care car products business. Daunting, isn't it? Along comes Langka.
What is Langka?
Basically this system is based on a solvent that seems to have an affinity for relatively fresh paint. After applying a "blob" of touch up paint and letting it dry for 45-90 minutes, you use the Langka solvent on a tightly woven cloth, like a sheet or t-shirt, wrapped around a flat plastic card, to plane away the blob from the old paint field. The results are amazing. Here are some photos of a mirror I fixed with Langka. Unfortunately, I did not take a "before" shot, so I simulated it from the second shot:
Before (unfortunately simulated from the second shot). Pock
After applying touch up to chips. Blob City!
After rubout with Lankga. Voila!
Good as new! Now, truthfully, I had to make two passes to get this mirror to this state. Also, if you got your nose up to the mirror you would see there still are a few almost invisible pits and nicks. Very small, shallow pits will not grab the paint and will show up as you just finish planing the blob. Perhaps enlarging or deepening these pits would improve the results. I don't really know. Still the result is remarkable. Excluding the 45-90 minutes waiting for the paint to dry, this was a 30 minute process. 28 of those minutes were putting on the touch up, although you don't need to be particularly careful about this. The important thing is to have the pit completely filled. Touch up paint tends to sink in the center of the chip, so a few applications may be needed to build the blobs. There may still be a place for alternative techniques, such as fine block sanding, but waiting a week for paint to harden before sanding, and the need for polishing afterwards, makes Langka a great alternative.
As far as I can determine the Langka solvent has no ill effects on the finish. It does clean the paint, so surrounding areas may not match if they have not been cleaned recently. I verified that it was not altering the shade of the paint, since cleaning the surrounding areas brought them to the same hue as the area treated with Langka.
If you find that as you plane the blobs some of them look darker than the old paint and as you attempt to eliminate this, the old chips reappear, you have not allowed the paint to dry well enough. No harm done. Just refill the chip, but go beyond the 45-90 minute general drying period before using the Langka the next time.
This is just a brief review to give you an idea of what this product can do. To read more about Langka and order the product, go here.
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