There’s an easy DIY solution for small scratches and chips in car paint. You can repair the paint job yourself for a fraction of the price of professional vehicle painting services. Find out more about this quick fix.
Car paint can be touched up with do-it-yourself kits sold at any well-stocked automotive supply store. This type of product is helpful for temporary repairs or small paint damage spots. For example, a few, little spots of chipped paint caused by roadway rocks or gravel can quickly be patched. Severe damage, such as rust or oxidation corrosion, however, should be addressed by professional car paint services.
Steps to Effective Touch-Up Paint Application
Here are the seven steps that you should follow for best results using a DIY touchup paint kit to fix the damage on your car.
- Clean the Surface of the Car
- Identify the Damage
- Sand the Damaged Area
- Clean with Paint Thinner
- Apply the Touch-Up Paint
- Ensure the Surface Is Smooth
- Apply the Clear Coat
- Let the Touch-Up Paint Cure
- Polish the Paint
1. Clean the Surface of the Car
When doing paint repairs, you should always work with a clean surface. Make sure the car has been washed recently. Then, before beginning, clean the area with a spray glass cleaner. Finally, dry off the car thoroughly with a microfiber cloth.
2. Identify the Damage
Use a bright light to inspect the surface of the car, all along the body. It might be helpful to mark the damage spots with a small piece of masking tape. This will make it easier to identify them when you have the touch-up paint in hand.
3. Sand the Damaged Area
To prepare the damage for repair, the paint will need to be sanded. Use a 1500 to 2500 grit sandpaper or small sanding block to go over the area immediately around the chipped spot. Use short, light strokes back and forth when sanding the paint. Sand it until the paint has a uniform look and has lost its glossy shine. Rub the area with your finger; it should feel smooth around the chip.
4. Clean with Paint Thinner
Next, apply paint thinner to clean and prep the sanded area. Dip a cotton swab into a small amount of general purpose automotive paint thinner. Then, use the cotton swab to clean out the paint chip and over the sanded damage. It’s important for the repair paint to stick well and stand up to the elements when driving. Applying a paint thinner will also help the touch-up product to adhere better.
5. Apply the Touch-Up Paint
Use a fine-tip paintbrush to apply a base coat that matches your car color. Add a little paint to the tip of the brush. Then, dab it lightly over the area that you prepped. Use just a small amount at a time. As the paint dries, you may notice that it loses volume. Wait until the paint layer has dried to determine if another coat of base paint will be needed before moving onto the clear coat.
6. Ensure the Surface Is Smooth
For deeper chips, the paint will need to be built up to be flush with the rest of the car’s surface. Do this in stages, applying paint then allowing it to dry before adding another layer.
7. Apply the Clear Coat
When the base coat has dried completely, it needs to be finished and sealed with a clear coat. Use a clean fine-tipped paintbrush and the same dabbing technique as before. Let it dry partially before deciding if an additional clear coat will be needed.
8. Let the Touch-Up Paint Cure
nce your satisfied that the paint has been fixed and the touch-up job looks good, it’s time to step back. Give it at least 48 hours to completely dry and harden.
9. Polish the Paint
After the paint has fully cured, use a car polish compound to complete the job. This will give the repaired area a new-paint glossy shine.
Remember that this type of do-it-yourself vehicle paint repair is not intended for extensive paint damage. It’s best used for temporary coverage for small areas of chipped paint. In the long-term, or to repair more severe damage, professional repainting is recommended. Poorly treated or untreated paint damage can make your car even more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
Watch this video for a helpful step-by-step demonstration of how to apply touch-up paint to your car.
Trust a Professional Body Shop
You rely on your car every day and want to maintain your investment for years to come. So, get the best service available. Take your vehicle to an experienced body shop for a quality paint job, guaranteed.