Scratches, dings, chips and other flaws in your car's paint can be unsightly. Luckily, a few flaws in the paint don't necessarily mean that you have to repaint the whole car. Some scratches and problems are easy to fix with touch-up paint. The key to getting touch-up paint to blend properly is understanding how to apply it. Here are some tips to help you get the job done right.
Color Choice is Key
In order to get the best possible finish from touch-up paint, you need to make sure that it is the right color. There are kits available that allow you to mix your own color, but it is easiest to get a perfect match if you contact your dealer. Every car manufacturer has a slightly different shade of each color, so the red from one manufacturer won't match the red from another. Talk to your dealership's service center to match the paint from your car's model and production year.
Get a Clean Look at the Damage
Wash and dry the car to clean the whole surface up. This will help you to identify the damaged areas so that you know what to fix. Some scratches may be hidden by dirt, so washing ensures that you don't miss anything.
Prepare the Scratches
Use fine sandpaper to sand the paint around the scratch. Only sand what you have to in order to knock down the edges of the scratch and create a smooth transition. Then, pre-treat any areas where the scratches and damage are deep enough to show bare metal. Apply a small amount of primer to the metal with a paintbrush. Use a small detail brush, because that will make it easiest to get the primer into tiny spaces.
Apply the Paint
Allow the primer to dry. The recommended drying time will vary depending on the type of primer you use, so read the directions on the brand you selected to make sure that you let it dry long enough. Then, apply the touch-up paint with either a similar paintbrush to the one you used for the primer or a touch up pen. If you choose the latter, you apply the paint with the tip of the pen.
You may need to apply several coats to get the coverage consistent. Once it dries, you should sand it with the same fine sandpaper you used earlier. Then, wipe the surface with a tack cloth to get rid of the sanding dust.
Apply a clear coat over the paint to create the typical shine, and then buff it with a paint-polishing compound.
Scratches in your car paint can be bothersome, particularly when you go to any length to keep the car looking its best. With the tips presented here, you can apply touch up paint and hide those scratches easily. For more extensive paint work, you should reach out to an auto body shop like By-Pass Auto Body.