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Paint It, Wrap It, Leave It? - Scratched the Truck


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Hey guys,

Was really opting not to have to make a topic like this as I'm sure there's a lot floating around, but I've really appreciated/respected the advice and opinions of the people on this forum and I really thought it would be worth hearing what other truck owners would do if they were in this situation, so here goes:

To make a long story short, a couple months ago in September I was using our driveway for something so I parked my truck in front. Once I finished and I was backing up the truck to move it back in the driveway, I must've not realized how close I was on the curb because my bed grazed the little hook that extends from our mailbox, putting a key-like scratch on the passenger bedside extending from the tail-light towards the fender. I was incredibly upset by this, such a dumb mistake on my part, it ruined my whole day, but I didn't really react much to it because just the previous year a piece of metal was hanging off the side of the bed and scratched the exterior and I was able to buff that out. This was almost identical to that (clear-coat scratch) and I could barely feel it with my fingernail. Flash forward, went to a body shop and detailer and they smoothed out the scratch and touched it up but they did end up telling me it got into the paint layer and the whole bed had to be repainted to remove it. I was so pissed, I just couldn't believe the scratch was that bad.

I love my truck, and I'm definitely one of those people who parks a mile away at every lot and takes any precaution to avoid jacking up the paint. I hand wash it and keep it clean to the best of my ability. However, I won't deny that my paint (onyx black) is riddled with imperfections. It spent its first 60k miles as a work truck traveling all over the state of Michigan. The inside of the bed is scuffed up, there's chips all over the hood and bumper skirt, the driver's side headlight has a huge gash from a piece of metal on the highway, and obviously there's swirl marks. These imperfections don't bother me at all though, but this new scratch on the bed drives me absolutely insane. If it's overcast, you can't see it, but if there's even a smidge of sunlight it is noticeable from a mile away. My truck is usually street parked and it's the first thing I see in the morning, just puts me in a fowl mood, and I think it's because I know I'm the one that put it there.

At the end of the day, I'm writing this to get some advice from you guys as to what I should do, and what you would do if this was on your ride. The fortunate thing about scratches like this is that they can be removed, and this one isn't deep enough to expose metal/cause rust, etc. but it comes with a price ($$). I'm probably going to have to wait until winter is over, but here's what my options seem to be:
 

  • The only real permanent fix it seems is to bite the bullet and have the passenger bedside repainted. Fortunately, we have connections to two very reliable and quality auto body shops here in southeast Michigan, both of whom say they can do the job easily and with no problems at all. I have a lot of worries about destroying the original paint of the entire bedside just for this small scratch, but they assured me that the paint will be just like factory when they're done and even in the right lighting conditions I wouldn't even be able to tell anything was done. I guess part of me is still on the fence, cause they have to take all that plastic trim on top off, bumper, etc. and I'm also worried I'll lose that rhino guard on the bottom. What do you guys think? Am I wrong to be concerned about a job like this? It'll cost $600-$700.

 

  • I was thinking of just hiding the scratch/turning it into artwork by putting a bed stripe or some custom vinyl design over it. I've thrown this idea into Photoshop and it looks pretty okay, but I feel it's a cheap solution and will probably do more harm than good and ruin the look I've been making for the truck. If enough people recommend this though, I'll definitely consider it.

 

  • The third solution and what all of my friends, family, and co-workers tell me is to just leave it alone. From an economical standpoint, I get it. It's been about three months now and I've pretended it isn't there and nobody seems to notice it. However, the truck is paid off, I plan to keep it for a long, long time and given that I'm making a thread like this I really don't see this scratch staying on my truck for the entirety of 2021, lol. However, if you guys think that it's ludicrous to get a body shop involved for this I'll take your word for it.

 

Anyway, that's all I have to say. Thank you all so much for reading, I apologize for making this so long-winded, wanted to share my frustrations about this. Also attached is a couple of pictures so you can see the scale of what I'm talking about. The one with the hazy paint is about right after I got the scratch and did the "water test," and the second one is after it was smoothed out/touched up.

Looking forward to what you guys have to say!
-JR.


 

Scratch 1.jpg

Scratch 2.jpg

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If you took the time to make this post, it bothers you, so I suggest you get it fixed, how you feel would be the best way.

 

You can justify the cost of being a lot less than a new truck, and you take a lot of pride in what you have. plus it will make you a lot more happy driver knowing it is gone.

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7 minutes ago, JimCost2014 said:

If you took the time to make this post, it bothers you, so I suggest you get it fixed, how you feel would be the best way.

 

You can justify the cost of being a lot less than a new truck, and you take a lot of pride in what you have. plus it will make you a lot more happy driver knowing it is gone.

JimCost, I really appreciate your kind reply, thank you so much for taking the time to help me out. ?

Your point is definitely something I wanted to hear and I absolutely agree. Really, that's how I felt when I just dealt with the radiator/water pump failure on my truck and likely any mechanical issues that comes after. It's expensive and takes a lot of time but in the end I always feel it's worth it to have the truck working again, all while having full knowledge of what's been done/what's next as opposed to buying a brand new vehicle. 

I guess my final concern is should I be worried about messing with the factory paint on the rest of the bed? Can a good, reliable body shop get the finish close to factory and blend it well? Sorry if that seems silly, not too keen on paint work done on trucks this new with all the paint layers fully intact, I think it's just the size of the panel that has me worried. I'm sure there's been some K2s on here with collision work done before.

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20 minutes ago, Salsa De Piña said:

Leave it.  It's not the scratch that bothers you; it's the reminder of your mistake.  Repainting it won't fix that.

 

It's a six-year-old truck, and now it has character.  You're the only one who notices.  It was never going to Barrett-Jackson.

Haha, thanks for the reply Salsa, appreciate it! Love the Barrett-Jackson tie-in.

I definitely see what you mean, and really I basically said exactly that in my original post. Character is a much different way to look at it, didn't really cross my mind. What you said is what a lot of people have been telling me, 'just forget about it' and that 'they wouldn't have even seen it if I didn't tell them about it.' Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, will keep this under consideration.

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I'd have smoke coming out of my ears if I did that. If you get the bed painted it won't match the rest of the truck. Being black and six years old I'm positive there are swirls in the paint. Not to mention the sun has faded it some. The fresh paint won't be swirly.
I'd paint the whole truck but that's just me.

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Get a few estimates and explain this is out of pocket and not an insurance claim.  If they can't give you a good cash price,  ask the estimator if s/he can recommend anyone who may need the work.  Twice I've received recommendations from big auto collision repair facilities to try a smaller shop with better prices.  Many years ago it was very easy to tell when new paint was applied to an older vehicle's fender.  Color matching has benefited from advancements and your scratch will become a distant memory.  The painted part may appear cleaner and fresher for a bit but will quickly assume the look of the rest of your truck!.

Edited by Donstar
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11 hours ago, Imcrazy said:

Try Dr. Colorchip. If that doesn’t work, get it painted. Did something similar to my last truck and bit the bullet and had it painted.


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Hey Imcrazy, thanks for the recommendation!
One of my neighbors down the street has a black Dodge Charger and he is definitely a detailing enthusiast, takes really good care of it. He actually recommended me Dr. Colorchip as a solution a while back and I've done research on it since then. Have been on the fence given the length of the scratch, but this Spring just for the hell of it I might test it out on some small areas to see what results it brings. Just out of curiosity, were you happy with the results of your last truck when it was painted?

11 hours ago, dieselfan1 said:

I'd have smoke coming out of my ears if I did that. If you get the bed painted it won't match the rest of the truck. Being black and six years old I'm positive there are swirls in the paint. Not to mention the sun has faded it some. The fresh paint won't be swirly.
I'd paint the whole truck but that's just me.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Yeah, that's pretty accurate to how I felt at the time, lol.

Thanks so much for the insight, this was actually one of the concerns I had. I wasn't too worried about the lack of swirls. Obviously, it would look a little goofy to have six years worth of swirl marks on the passenger doors and front fender but none on the bed, but I feel I could live with that. The fading is what was a concern to me though: how do you match factory paint that's faded some? When I talked about this with our family friend who runs the auto body shop, he assured me that it wouldn't be an issue. I trust his judgement, given he's a professional, but my general lack of knowledge on the subject still makes me indifferent. I mean, maybe there's been advancements in paint procedure and there's new special tools out there, but that's all uncharted territory for me.

11 hours ago, Snowcamo said:

That's where a 4x4 logo would go. I'd side with finding a local shop and have them buff it as well.

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That's absolutely right, and it's so funny you say this. I was generally considering slapping one of the '4x4'/'Z71' decals on there. Obviously, the factory placement is a little bit higher than where the scratch is and the dimensions would make it run into the fender, but there's options all over the internet with different dimensions that I might explore just for the heck of it. I kind of like the clean, plain bed look though on my truck but as a last resort it's definitely a consideration, haha. 

I've went to a couple places since buffing/touching up the scratch who all told me it wouldn't be a good idea to buff it or wet-sand it further due to the clear coat, and I took their word for it. Pretty much 100% of the shops I've spoken to all mentioned that repainting was the best option, and that brings me here today. Was hoping that given the information they gave me and the opinions from everyone here my decision would be swayed. One thing I'm thankful for is there there are an abundance of very reliable auto body shops in my area. ?

8 hours ago, Donstar said:

Get a few estimates and explain this is out of pocket and not an insurance claim.  If they can't give you a good cash price,  ask the estimator if s/he can recommend anyone who may need the work.  Twice I've received recommendations from big auto collision repair facilities to try a smaller shop with better prices.  Many years ago it was very easy to tell when new paint was applied to an older vehicle's fender.  Color matching has benefited from advancements and your scratch will become a distant memory.  The painted part may appear cleaner and fresher for a bit but will quickly assume the look of the rest of your truck!.

Hey Donstar! Thank you so much for this response it helped me a lot. I totally agree with your statement.

Back in Sept., I went to the closest and most popular collision place near our house. A couple years ago our family's lease vehicle at the time (Ford Explorer) was side-swiped and was totally repaired under insurance; they did very great work and it looked brand new. However, they gave me an estimate that I felt was a little bit too expensive and I was also put off by their reputation online, so I looked elsewhere. I'm very picky about where I take my truck so I usually do research and look for recommendations.

In November I found a smaller shop a little bit away from our house that are very well known for their paint services. I think I'm very fortunate in this scenario because the guy who owns the shop is a close family friend, so I'm going to be given a slight discount on the cost and I also feel like they'll put a lot of time and care into the job. I still looked around and went to different repair places and got some estimates, and this one seemed to be the cheapest. It's still clearly expensive - regardless it will be a couple hundred bucks - but it is reasonable and I've been promised excellent results.

So, I think the final price of the job is within my budget. I think my only concern is really seeing if actually doing the job with be worth it, I really don't want to jack up the truck. I'm really happy to hear your insight on modern paint application and how the new paint will gradually blend in and get those swirls, your confidence on that makes me feel a lot better. Coincidentally, when I was at the shop there was a 17' Onyx Black Elevation with a pretty nasty gash in the passenger rear door, so obviously I'm not the only one lol.



 

Edited by OffTheAir
Accidentally hit the submit button before finishing my last sentence
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Having a few and wrapping a few cars, a vinyl "cover-up" will still show the scratch unfortunately.  Vinyl works as a great extra layer of protection, but any body imperfection in the body, will show through the vinyl.

 

With that being said, if it bothers you that bad, I would just save up/bite the bullet, and repaint that side

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Hey Donstar! Thank you so much for this response it helped me a lot. I totally agree with your statement.

Back in Sept., I went to the closest and most popular collision place near our house. A couple years ago our family's lease vehicle at the time (Ford Explorer) was side-swiped and was totally repaired under insurance; they did very great work and it looked brand new. However, they gave me an estimate that I felt was a little bit too expensive and I was also put off by their reputation online, so I looked elsewhere. I'm very picky about where I take my truck so I usually do research and look for recommendations.

In November I found a smaller shop a little bit away from our house that are very well known for their paint services. I think I'm very fortunate in this scenario because the guy who owns the shop is a close family friend, so I'm going to be given a slight discount on the cost and I also feel like they'll put a lot of time and care into the job. I still looked around and went to different repair places and got some estimates, and this one seemed to be the cheapest. It's still clearly expensive - regardless it will be a couple hundred bucks - but it is reasonable and I've been promised excellent results.

So, I think the final price of the job is within my budget. I think my only concern is really seeing if actually doing the job with be worth it, I really don't want to jack up the truck. I'm really happy to hear your insight on modern paint application and how the new paint will gradually blend in and get those swirls, your confidence on that makes me feel a lot better. Coincidentally, when I was at the shop there was a 17' Onyx Black Elevation with a pretty nasty gash in the passenger rear door, so obviously I'm not the only one lol.



 

Yea it looked great and it was not noticed when I traded the truck in.


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Sorry to hear about the mishap but unfortunately ? happens!

 

id suggest the following:

 

1. Dr colorchip

2. Decal

3. Repaint. It will be hard to match to rest of truck since it’s a dark color and several years old  But it doesn’t have metallic flake in it so that’s a big plus on getting the new paint to match very close to the 2014 paint. 

 

Don’t beat yourself up too much. We’ve all had similar moments. 

Let us know how it turns out & Good Luck!

Edited by 2018GMC
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