I replaced my cracked rear light today. Being a bloke I had to dismantle the old one. I was surprised how easy, with a wet wipe, it was to get rid of the silver paint. Held up to my car, it looks good. I don't have the balls to pull a part a good set of lights to do the same!
Painted under the light and blended the lacquer along the quarter panel. He has done a very good job, the paint was very faded (original paint from 2002!). It did take him two attempts to get the match spot on.
The paintwork was preservation rather than restoration. It's all well and good to take an Escort Cosworth and restore it to better than new, if that's what you want, but you will have erased 25 years of history in doing so.
My Mini looks pretty god for a 17 year old that cost £1600. There are some marks on the bodywork, but they add to the life story of the car.