How to Touch Up Car Paint

by Contributor

Specifically formulated automotive repair paint is available from stores and websites that cater to those people who want to keep their car looking great. A little scratch can detract from a beautiful paint job just as much as a scrape several inches in diameter. Just knowing how to fix this problem is valuable knowledge. Read on to learn how to repair automotive paint.

Prepare the Project

Look over the exterior of your automobile for areas that need paint repair. Jot down any thoughts if you are going over the entire car. You may be surprised at just how many areas need to be touched up.

Search for the right automotive paint for your vehicle repair. Check websites, car dealerships and paint companies to find the correct shade for your automotive make and model. Generally, the paint comes in aerosol cans, touch up bottles and applicators with a brush on the end.

Use a pint or quart can specific to your auto maker's shade chart if you need to correct a larger area of paint. Most retailers who carry automotive paint have it in these sizes.

Prepare the car by washing it thoroughly and giving it a chance to be totally dry. Lightly sand the problem area with special sandpaper made for automotive paint. This is a pen holder for sandpaper and is called a "nick sander."

Complete the Project

Add a clear coat layer to allow the automotive repair to have a base. This is particularly important for larger repairs. Pay special attention to the directions of the particular product you use since the process varies from brand to brand. The art of touch up automotive paint is tricky and each brand has its own specific tips to get a great look.

Take advantage of a hidden area on the automobile to do a spot test to see how the paint will look. Be sure to use the base coat in this test as well so that you can gauge the degree of gloss.

Use straight, even spray patterns with a back and forth motion. Overlap the first spray and the edge of the second spray by about one-half of the original width.

Complete the repair project by applying wax to the freshly painted area. Buff the repair and you will be finished.


  • check If your touch up paint job is not glossy enough, try heating the area with a hair dryer. You should notice that you now have a smoother, shinier finish. This is a tip that auto paint shops use when they need a little help.


  • close Do not use automotive paint when it is humid. This repair job is worth doing right.
  • close Overspray is sometimes a problem. You can buy products to help you protect areas that are likely catch the overspray. Use fine steel wool to remove overspray from glass.
  • close Auto parts stores do not sell quality paint, so don't buy from them.

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About the Author

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