What are the Best Tips for Touching up Car Paint?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Over the life of an automobile, scratches and scrapes are very likely to happen. Touching up car paint is an easy way to maintain the visual appeal of a car during its lifespan. Properly applying paint takes care and preparation and there are many tips that help accomplish this goal. Preparing the automobile and paint are crucial steps in the process; properly applying the paint is another.

Observation is the first tip for touching up car paint. Draw a rough sketch of the car in question and walk around the vehicle, making note of the location and severity of each portion in need of work. This will help establish the amount of paint necessary and ensure spots are not missed during the actual painting process.

Acquiring the proper paint is an essential step in this process. One tip for dealing is to consult a dealership that sells the same type of car being painted based on a factory color code. Automobile manufacturers have special paint blends for cars. Once you've determined the specific color, it can be purchased from the dealership or an auto parts store.


Once the car has been inspected and the proper paint is purchased, washing and drying the automobile comes next. An tip for successfully touching up car paint is to first apply a clear coat layer to the affected areas once the car is dry. This acts as a primer for the actual paint and ensures a cleaner finish and smoother application. This type of layer can be purchased in most automotive paint supply stores, and special attention should be paid to its application instructions.

Another tip for properly touching up car paint is to test a small amount of the paint before actually committing to painting all scratches and blemishes. Locate a spot that is not easily visible, such as a portion of the frame on the underside of the car, and apply a small portion. This process will help match paint colors and ensure the shade is the perfect type to go with the automobile's color scheme.

After the new paint has dried and is the correct color, the paint is ready to be applied. Touching up car paint with a sprayer is essential to an even, smooth application. A helpful tip is to take several light passes with the sprayer to ensure the coat is not too thick or too light. Several light layers will look more natural than a single heavy layer of auto touch-up paint.


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