Touch Up Paint Options

 Paint Scratches Happen
When you buy a new car or a car that is new to you, there's nothing like the pride you feel when driving it home for the first time. You invite your friends and neighbors to come over and check out your new ride. Why is it that there is always at least one person who tries to rain on your parade? Uncle Don gets down on his hands and knees and pokes at a side panel blemish. "You've got a scratch here, buddy boy!" Your kid points at an ever so slight chip on the hood. "Hey dad, look at this! Your new car isn't perfect and you're a big loser!"
Couldn't they just give you a few minutes to imagine that your new baby was flawless? The answer is, "no." No matter if your car has a scratch, a ding or a chip, we've got the answer on how you can repair it at home. Even the most cared for vehicle will eventually get a chip from a rock that hit your car on the highway, or a slight scratch from a grocery cart that ran into your precious conveyance at the local market. It happens. Here's how to fix it.

Factory paint scratched?

The factory paint job on your car is composed of the top clear coat, the paint itself, and a primer coat underneath. Sometimes you might get lucky to have a scratch to the clear coat that can be easily removed with a scratch removal product or a little car wax that includes a cleaner. In heavier scratches, rubbing compound includes an abrasive ingredient that can remove light scratches quickly. Just use it with care. For rock chips or any area where the paint itself has been removed, you'll need touch up paint that matches your car's color exactly.

Match the paint

You'll find the paint code for your paint color on a tag inside the driver's side door panel or under the hood on some European cars. If you call your dealership and give them your vehicle's VIN number, they can tell you your car's color code. You can also find it by going to Touch Up Direct at
You can buy automotive touch up paint that matches your car from the dealership, from auto parts stores, or from online sources such as Amazon. You can buy the paint by itself or as part of a kit that includes a small amount of paint, an applicator, and even a clear coat to finish the job.
Quality Touch-up Paint Products
In researching this article, we looked for high-quality paints and products that will not only make your touch-up chores easier but are easy to find on Amazon.

Chipex Premium Touch-Up Automotive Paint Kit
Chipex kits come in Lite, Plus, and Pro sizes and the three-step process includes paint, blending solution, polish, application brushes, gloves, a paint removal cloth, and microfiber cloth for polishing. All kits come with a 100 percent color match guarantee and step-by-step instructions.
Color N Drive Touch-Up Kit
This kit comes with paint that is matched to the color code of your vehicle as well as cleaning solution, carnauba wax, and paint brushes to handle small scratches and chipped paint. It even has a solution to help you correct mistakes and remove excess paint.
Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-in1 Touch Up Paint Pen
Dupli-Color has offered high quality automotive paint for decades. This all-in-one Pen is great for small scratches or paint chips caused by rocks or gravel. You can prep, paint, and seal all with one handy paint pen. Comes with paint and clear coat.
Dupli-Color Perfect Match Automotive Paint
This aerosol paint is perfect for even coating and is dry to the touch in just 30 minutes and ready to handle in an hour. It is specially formulated to match the exact color of your original factory paint. Available in a wide range of OEM colors.
Paint2Fix Scratch and Repair Kit
These Paint2Fir touch-up kits are specifically designed to exactly match the OEM color of your vehicle and they promise a 100 percent match guarantee. Each kit comes with paint, blending solution, polish, paint brushes, gloves, and a microfiber cloth. However, the kits do not include clear coat.
Scratches Happen Exact Match Touch-Up Paint
These kits come with primer, base coat, and clear coat sealant as well as up to fourteen applicators. You can also buy this paint in aerosol cans. The Complete kit comes with everything from painter's tape to microfiber cloths.
How to Touch Up your Paint
If you have a small scratch of chip in your car's paint, you can save a lot of money by touching it up yourself rather than taking the car to a body shop. However, if the job is too big for you to handle such as rust to the body or corrosion from oxidation, or if you want to assure that your car's paint job looks absolutely perfect, there's a Lithia Auto Body shop near you.
Step 1: Your Work Area
When repairing paint, you want to make sure the area where you'll be working is clean and well lit. It is best to touch up your car in the garage rather than outside. Just as with waxing a car, do not apply touch-up paint in direct sunlight.
Step 2: Clean the Damaged Area
You will want to apply the new paint to a clean surface. Wash your car, or at least prepare the area where the damage has occurred. To remove wax from the area, spray the area to be painted with a spray glass cleaner such as Windex. Dry the area thoroughly.
Step 3: Tape off the Area to Confine it
To make sure you don't get any overspray on other parts of the car, use painter's tape to mask off the area to be painted. If the scratch or chip is large and you intend to use a spray can to repaint the area, you will likely sand the area where the new paint will be applied. Masking off the area to be painted will keep your endeavors confined to the exact area to be repaired.
Step 4: Sand the Damage
In the event you have to sand the area to be painted, use 1500 to 2500 grit sandpaper to go over the area around the chipped paint. Use confined, light strokes and sand until the paint has lost its shine. Check the area with your finger to make sure it is smooth.

Step 5: Using Paint Thinner
You will want to make sure that the new paint adheres properly to the area you are repairing. In order to prepare the sanded area, dip a cotton swab or Q-tip into automotive paint thinner. Clean out the paint chip and run the paint thinner over the area to be painted. Dry the entire area and wait for a half hour before applying the new paint.
Step 6: Apply the New Paint
Apply a base coat that matches the color of your car. Use a fine-tip brush and use the paint sparingly. You only need a little. As auto paint dries, it contracts, so let the first coat dry completely and examine it to see if you need to apply an additional coat. For deeper paint chip areas, you may need to build up the painted area so it is flush with the rest of the surface. Check to see if the surface is smooth. If not, apply another coat to the area and let it dry completely.
Step 7: Applying the Clear Coat
Check to make sure the newly painted area is smooth. Use a clean fine-tipped brush to apply the clear coat. Dab a small amount to the painted are and allow it to dry completely. Add an additional coat of clear if necessary.
Step 8: Let the Paint Cure
If you are happy with the repaired area, let the paint cure for at least two days. It needs to harden and dry completely. Remove the painter's tape from the area and let the car sit for at least 48 hours.
Step 9: Make it Shine!
Once the repaired area has fully cured, use a quality car wax to give your car the shine it deserves. It is best to polish a larger area so that the finish matches. For instance, if you are repairing paint chips on the hood, polish the entire hood. Many people like to use clay bar to prepare the area before applying polish or ceramic coating to protect the finish.

Let Lithia Help!

If all this seems a bit outside your comfort zone, let the experts at your local Lithia Auto Body, Paint and Collision Repair Center make your car look showroom new. You can locate one here