Superficial scuffing to bumpers and plastics can be often be economically repaired, usually without having to remove or excessively strip the bumper down. Sometimes convenient break lines and bumper contours allow the repair area to be kept to a minimum which saves time, materials, and cost.
Polishing & Cosmetics
Some types of scratch damage may be removed with flatting and polishing techniques, which can be very cost effective compared to the cost of having to paint the panels instead. Provided the scratch is superficial and doesn't extend beyond the lacquer coat then polishing can be a very effective option.
Automated car washes can be particularly damaging to vehicle lacquer with prolonged use and can significantly reduce the gloss, giving the paintwork a dull grey tint. Machine buffing can restore the natural gloss level of the lacquer and bring a tired-looking car back to life.
The scratch pictured below, along with many others on adjacent panels, was entirely removed purely by flatting and buffing and the entire car was then machine buffed with clear results.
A full buffing job like this may take anything from 1-3 days to carry out, depending on the size of car and the state of the existing paintwork. Costs start from £185.00
Allow Wheel Refurbishment
Various options are available when refurbishing alloys, these depend on the existing condition and the type of finish required.
Corroded alloys or wheels with a poor/flaky existing paint surface will need a full chemical dip and shot blast (as pictured above) prior to any refurbishment and will involve tyre removal/refitting, new valves and balancing. Please be aware that a full refurbishment of this kind can be time consuming and involve extra processes that push the cost and turnaround time upwards - meaning that this type of refurbishment may only be worthwhile on expensive high-end wheels such as Mercedes, Lexus, Porsche, etc. If cost is an issue then the best suggestion for alloys in poor condition would be to just get them powder coated.
Wheels that are NOT corroded and in good cosmetic condition other than surface scrapes and curb damage, can often just have the front face repainted without having to completely remove the tyres or be dipped/blasted. The bead of the tyre can be broken away from the outer rim to be able to fully attend to any curb damage, but not having to shotblast or fully remove tyres can make the job quicker, easier, cheaper and worthwhile on a range of alloy types.
Powder Coating vs Spraying :
Overall the cheapest option for a full refurbishment is powder coating. I don't carry out powder coating directly, but can provide contact details for recommended local powder coaters if required. Powder coating is tough and hardwearing, but may sometimes have a slightly uneven texture depending on the underlying condition of the alloy surface and the conditions during coating.
Powder coating cannot be rubbed down to remove surface imperfections or polished - the final baked-on finish is the only available choice. Its use is more suited to intricate wheels with awkward surfaces that cannot be easily sprayed by hand, and also alloys that may be subjected to a hard life and require a tough finish such as 4X4 wheels where an ultimate smooth surface isn't a priority.
Colour choice is more limited with powder coating.
The other option is to have the wheels fully painted / wet-sprayed. This has the advantage of being a better finish. The 2-pack lacquer can be flatted down to remove imperfections and buffed up to a nice gloss. Any awkward to reach areas in recesses and in between spokes may have to be left with a 'gun finish' exactly how they were sprayed, but good results can be achieved using paint - particularly on wheels with large flat areas and big spokes that can be worked on easily and polished up nicely. With painting, colour choice is virtually unlimited.
In reality, the best overall results are achieved using a combination of powder coating (for the tough underlying phosphate primer coats) and wet-spraying the finishing coats in a specific choice of colour with 2-pack lacquer and final polishing. This is the standard route that I use but the actual processes may vary slightly depending on other factors during refurbishment.
Damaged wheels that are distorted or cracked can sometimes be repaired, but this work is not carried out by myself. Direct contact details for specialists are available on request for anyone requiring this type of work.
The pictures below demonstrate work carried out to various types of alloys. All of the wheels pictured are finished in paint and lacquer.