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Old 10-24-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Dr. Color Chip - Impressions

I bought a Dr. Colorchip kit for my car and spent part of today treating my front end.

My overall impressions with the kit is that it is pretty good - as long as your expectations are realistic.

I had seen the website and their "testimonial" before/after photos - which I took with a grain of salt. some of their before/after photos are amazing looking. I did a fair amount of other reseaarch online and found a lot of reviews on various car forums - some with great results (and photos to back up their claims) as well as some unhappy customers who said "it sucks".

With any painting projects - YMMV, and expectations have a lot to do with people's opinions.

if you are expecting a 10 year old car that is plastered with rock chips to look like it suddenly rolled off the showroom floor with brand new paint - you will not be happy. If you buy it and expect it to be "snake oil" and do nothing - you will be pleased.

I was expecting *some* improvement, but not expecting magic. that's pretty much what I got.

I've used touch up paint before - it's works well for very small spots and things not in areas that are "high visibility". I've used them down low on front end splitters that hit a curb, but wouldn't try it on a hood.

the dr colorchip system uses two bottles. one is paint. the other is some kind of thinner that makes the excess paint wipe away - theoretically leaving only the paint "in" the chip behind. if your chip is microscopic, it would probably make it totally disappear. but for "real" rockchips, that are all the way through the paint - one or two treatments will NOT make it totally flush. you'd need to work it over and over and over....if you have ONE chip, i'm sure you could pull it off. on a car like mine with hundreds of them, you might as well repaint if you want it perfect.

before I did the Dr. Colorchip treatment, my car had a lot of rockchips. even from 10' away you could see them. in certain light conditions it was REALLY obvious, in dark light they didn't stand out too bad, but overall...if you looked at the hood and front bumper, you could obviously see them.

NOW, I would say it's much better. the chips are still there, but they have a well matched layer of paint inside them. from 10' away, the chips and rash is much much harder to see, and you get the illusion that the paint is perfect. get up close, and you can see that there are chips - as the paint is not 100% flush.

the color match seemed pretty good - it's just not easy to get the rock chips totally filled in. if they do fill in when you apply the product, when you are wiping off the excess you manage to remove some of hte paint in the chip, leaving it not totally filled. maybe if I was a professional detailer, I'd be better at it - but for your average person - this is an easy DIY project - but I doubt you will get the "amazing" results the website claims. maybe car color makes a big difference too.


Overall - for the price - this is a decent kit. If you are dying for a "perfect" paint job, and have the money - get a full blown paint job - otherwise, for $50-70 - depending on how big of a kit you buy - this is not a bad "bang for the buck" mod.

on an older car like my 986, where the price of a new paint job is out of the question given the value of the car - this is a great way to make it LOOK like it has a new paint job from 10' away.

I may post photos tomorrow. I took some "before" shots, but by the time I was done, the sun was down, an dhte "after" photos didn't have enough light to really make a fair comparison.

Okay - I took some nice after photos...here you go.

the kit


close up before




Overall Before


Overall After





chips around the crest BEFORE


chips by crest after - see the ones just to the right..still there but really hard to see



more AFTER





I have to admit...after I finished it last night, I was less impressed with it than I was today! Once I got out int eh sunlight and looked at the end result...from 5' away, I was pretty happy. Especially when I looked at the before/ after pictures. I think I may have honestly been expecting "too" much and was slightly let down. now that I've had a chance to see the results...and to truly look at the before / after - it reallly does look a lot better.

As I said..in some of these photos, you can't see ANY chips.. but I took most of my "after" shots from at least a few feet away. like I said earlier, get up next to the car..even from 2-3' and the naked eye will pick them out - especially if you are "looking" for them...but to a casual observer, or glancing at the car from 5' away, it now looks a lot nicer. rather than seeing all those little pin prick spots...you just see glossy ocean blue.

If you are looking for a lot of "bang for your buck" and want to improve the look of your car and get rid of rock chips, this is not a bad investment. it's not magic, but it's not snake oil either. for what I paid, I'd give it a thumbs up.
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Last edited by 23109VC; 10-25-2009 at 09:50 PM. Reason: adding photos
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:44 PM   #2
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We experimented with Dr ColorChip on my friend's black car. I think the real key to the stuff is to put multiple layers and don't rub the solution for at least a half hour, thereby allowing the paint to harden. This method does not rub off the paint you've just applied, but requires a little more effort to remove the excess. Be careful not to slop the paint when applying in the first place.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:32 PM   #3
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I never let it sit 30 min. I only let it sit 10-15 max. the longer it sat the harder it was to get off. maybe I should have waited longer...and my results would have been better.

okay..just went out and did another few chips...let it sit 30 min. can't say it turned out any better.

i'm not unhappy with the result...it looks better. if I took a pic from 10' away, and uploaded it, you would think tkeh car looks flawless. come on over in person, get up close and you'd see all the chips.

like I said, it's not a miracle cure for rock chips..but for $50 this is as good as it gets.

I got some good cheap quotes to repaint the front end... for like $500...but i'd be afraid that for that money the end result would be horrible and I'd regret getting a "deal"...

what *should* a good repaint of the front end run? bumper covers, front hood, fenders...done RIGHT? $1000-1500 or is $500 not unreasonable.

i was thinking more like a grand or more.
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2006 RL - My daily driver
2000 Boxster - Ocean Blue Base 5spd on Black Full leather. 18" wheels and M030.

Boxster mods I've added: Rear speaker kit, Painted Calipers, Painted Bumperettes, Painted Center Console, 987 Shifter Assembly, 3 Spoke Steering Wheel, Clear side markers, 03+ rear lights, de-snorkeled.

Last edited by 23109VC; 10-25-2009 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 10-25-2009, 04:47 AM   #4
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I was able to get the bumper cover painted for $550. I cut 2hrs labor from the bill by removing/installing the cover myself (I just took them the cover).
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:53 AM   #5
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Quite a few years ago, 10 maybe I bought www.langka.com to remove the blobs left with touch up paint.
I used either the Duplicolor touchup paint or OEM touchup paint and Langka on many cars since.
I have more than enough Langka blob remover left to last a life time.

Recently my new Jaguar got some scrape damage at the rear fascia. Duplicolor does not make the color.
The dealer suggested I go to the local auto parts store where they also sell paint, and have a small can made up as it would be less expensive than Jaguar's touchup paint.

I wound up just getting the Dr Colorchip as it was more convenient than Jaguar's suggestion.
The downside for me it being pricey as compared to using a touchup and blob remover but it worked the same what I have been used too.

In retrospect, after going to www.langka.com I would only had needed to but their color pen and use my original blob remover

If you have multiple vehicles or want to have something on hand to do any color or vehicle in the future the blob remover is the way to go. It cost me $20 back then, I am not sure what it is now and I notice on their website they also have some other preparation stuff in a kit now
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Last edited by Frank M; 10-25-2009 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:56 AM   #6
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touch up

Do a little research and find the best auto body in your area. A place that deals with restorations or classic cars. Give them a bottle of the factory touch up and ask them what they can do for you. I know some good body guys and I have seen some amazing results. A few layers of touch up with a very fine detail brush/applicator. Some very LIGHT wet sanding and a good buff. Those repaired chips that look good from 10 feet away will look as good from 1 foot away. Scratches take to this process even better than chips. I have seen a car that got keyed down the side have the scratch virtually disappear. I'm talking 98% gone. Gotta find the right body shop to do this. A couple chips they might charge $25 to $100. More chips and scratches could cost a few hundred but it's cheaper than repainting and you retain the factory paint.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:09 AM   #7
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There is a thread on this 2 months ago -- similar feedback/impressions. Seems the best results come with darker cars. Even Dr. Color Chip himself notes on his website that the results on silver cars (which many of us have here) are usually less impressive. And that is indeed the case with my car. Using it on my wife's blue Mercedes, however, we found the results to be excellent, following much of the advice noted below.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:58 AM   #8
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If you want to spray the nose of the car (bumper, hood, and fenders) $1500-$2000 is much more in line with what a good shop will charge. What you want to find, if you want good work, is not a production body shop, but a shop that does restoration and custom work. These guys are usually small shops who actually care about the quality of work that they put out. If you want cheap, well, there is always Maaco
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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Second Year Impressions of Dr Color Chip

Last year I was pretty unhappy with the results I got (Guards Red). This year I have changed a few things and the results are considerably better.
1) I use a Q-tip as an applicator.
2) I don't use rubber gloves to smear the paint, I do that with the Q-tip.
3) Let it dry two hours.
4) Don't get in a hurry with the solvent. Rub softly and like the directions say, let the chemical do the work.

It all comes down to patience -- something I have very little of. That, and a little practice and your results with improve greatly.
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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It's been a decent scratch and chip fix on my Bimmer, but not perfect by any means.

Jfro, $550 to respray a front bumper when it's been removed from the car is 2-3x more than you'd have to pay here in Houston. I do hope they gold plated the thing for you.

I've got touch up paint from Porsche for the boxster and I'll use that until I can afford to have the whole car resprayed ... and 3M film installed.

I wish I could afford to have my car wrapped like the Ferrari boys do
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:16 PM   #11
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Try not to run out of solution/thinner like I did.

Works well.
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Old 05-08-2010, 07:24 AM   #12
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I definitely agree with the original post. It works well but don't expect miracles. I used it on my E46 M3 but fortunately the Boxster S doesn't need it as the nose was repainted by the previous owner. I just wish the kit included a little bit more paint. I came very close to running out.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #13
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Paint is damn expensive by itself. I bought a quart of paint for my Firehawk, and it was $200 or $300. Of course, that's a complex color, but any metallic color will cost you quite a bit of money. You may not even be able to buy a quart of paint in some states.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:20 PM   #14
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I'm the OP. Since that experience with Dr. Colorchip, someone hit my car in a p-lot, and as a result, I got a full front end repainting on their dime....

my car looked "ok" after the colorchip job. It was by NO means "new" looking, and even the photos I posted here in my original post look better than it did in real life. From 10' away the car looked great, but up close you could still see all the chips.... they had some paint in them, but they were still there, still looked like a chip..jsut an ocean blue chip... some of htem never filled in... for what I paid it was fine..

now that my car came out of the body shop - it looks phenomenal. It looks like a new car. the body shop i went to was a high class shop, and the results show. i paid a little extar out of my own pocket to supplement was ins covered to get more of the hood sprayed to cover up 99% of the rock chips.... they also did my center console for me for $300.... i did the R&R and they jus tpainted it. THAT looks amazing!!! with the top down...walking up to the car...looking in and seeing a big chunk of ocean blue against the black interior... awesome..that was money well spent...

overll - if you have an older car and want it to look like new again - there is no easy or cheap way. i got "lucky" by getting hit and getting it done for free...but having seen the results..if I could get this type of work done for about $500 it would be well worth it. i'd rather save the $80 you'll spend for dr. color chips job and just save up for the full respray of the front nose and the hood.

i also had my car professionally detailed and THAT made a huge improvement. the pro was able to get the little swirls, fine scratches, and imperfections to go away. the car looks gorgeous. it sure as heck looks a lot newer than the ten years old that it is!!

my advice is if you get dr. colorchip - be prepared to be underwhelmed and then you won't be disappointed. if you expect the "miracle" results they have on the website you will be somewhat let down. i kind of was. i was content with it, given how cheap it was...but now that I've seen what new paint will do - i vote you ge ta new paint job on the front end.

good luck!

here is mine after a total front respray.... and full detail... I love it!

now I just need litronics!!!



and the painted center console..

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Cars:
2007 MDX - Wife's mommy mobile
2006 RL - My daily driver
2000 Boxster - Ocean Blue Base 5spd on Black Full leather. 18" wheels and M030.

Boxster mods I've added: Rear speaker kit, Painted Calipers, Painted Bumperettes, Painted Center Console, 987 Shifter Assembly, 3 Spoke Steering Wheel, Clear side markers, 03+ rear lights, de-snorkeled.
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