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Paint Matching Side Skirts

  • Model & Year: 92-95 3-Series
  • Expertise: Intermediate
  • Date: February 19, 2002
  • Updated:
  • Time Estimate: 4 hours

Tools Required

  • Scouring pad
  • Rubbing Compound
  • Acetone
  • Wax
  • Rags
  • Touch-up paint

Facilities Needed

  • Garage or level surface

Parts Required

  • None

Getting Started

Some of the gray side skirts on my '93 325is were wearing away, revealing the original paint underneath. I then noticed that this gray area was actually an anti-abrasion, rubbery compound, probably sprayed on the body to protect against rock chips.

It seems painting over this gray material may not allow the paint to adhere properly. So I thought it should be removed first. Since I was interested in paint-matching this area, I performed this experiment:


supplies result
Supplies Result

I used a kitchen scouring pad to remove as much of the gray as possible, then wiped it with acetone to soften it up more. I then removed the rest with a rubbing compound to reveal the original paint underneath. I finished it with a coat of wax. Voila! No expensive painting necessary.

I then used my touch-up paint to paintmatch the jack plugs. In time however, the factory touch-up paint has begun to come off, so now I would suggest using "Tire Black" or "Armor All Black" to treat it, leaving the plugs unpainted.

Remove all the gray with the rubbing compound. It's easy to see your progress as you rub. If paint color starts to appear on your rag, stop - you've removed all the gray.

This method does require a lot of elbow grease but is much cheaper than a professional paint job.

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Texas, USA