How To Touch Up Your Car's Paint

Scratches may happen to your car's surface for many reasons, including poor parking areas, accidents, or vandalism. Unless you have insurance, you may want to attempt to fix the damage yourself. Body shops charge by the hour and the process could be very expensive. First, you must assess the damage to see if it is a scratch or just dust or other debris on the car to determine what you should do about it.

Your car has layers of paint: a clear coat, a color coat, and a primer coat. If you can see steel or a different color, you may have more than a do-it-yourself project. You may need to hire a professional. However, first try some of these steps. After all, what have you got to lose if it doesn't work?

Touch-Up Paint

The easiest way to fix scratches on your car is using a bottle of touch-up paint. You can usually check the plate on the firewall of your vehicle that will have the paint code number on it. You will need a small bottle of primer paint. Most of the touch-up paint bottles come with an applicator in them.

Prepare the Surface for Paint

Be sure the car is rust-free. You may just need a small amount of rust arrestor to stop the formation of rust under the new paint. You should use a small piece of sandpaper to rough-up the surface. You should verify which product (sandpaper) will work best by asking an auto or body parts technician.

Be sure the area is clean before you apply the primer coat. Remove any wax, rust arrestor, dirt, dust, or filler residue before you start. The primer coat will seal the metal surface so the paint will stick. The primer coat also seals any imperfections on the surface, including any small holes.

If it is only a surface scratch, you will probably be able to just apply the touch-up paint. You should never apply paint to bare plastic or metal. It should only take a drop of paint to cover the area. Be sure the primer is dry completely before you proceed.

Important Tips

The touch-up paint may not match exactly, but the paint on newer models usually doesn't fade as fast as the older models. If the scratch is small, you may use a toothpick to help you apply the car paint. Be sure not to apply too much paint because it may bubble, run, or peel away.

Be sure the paint dries for several days. Then, polish and wax the car to blend the repaired area with the rest of the car's color scheme. The high gloss should make the area unnoticed.

If you have followed these steps, you should have a product that will last. If you have any areas that don't look right, the most you have spent is on the few products you purchased. It is always worth a try!