If you have a chip or scratch in your car’s paint, you can usually fix it yourself with the right kit or individual auto paint repair tools. Here are some tips on how to do this.
A simple Internet search will yield thousands of sites promising paint repair kits that will always work. While there are kits out there that do work well, try to avoid sites with a lot of hype. No kit will work on every car. If the chip or scratch is very deep, more than a kit may be required. Deeper injuries to the paint can require sanding or buffing. Most kits won’t come with the tools necessary for this.
Often, if you have a small blemish that needs to be repaired, you can order a small paint pen from the auto manufacturer in the exact color of your model. These pens are designed to not clump or blot as you apply the paint. These are not meant to fix large areas. If the damage is more than an inch or so, then another method may be advisable.
If you have a chip that can’t be fixed with a pen or other kit, but no physical body damage is present, you can still fix this yourself. You’ll want to start by purchasing paint from the auto manufacturer. You will also need to purchase auto paint tape. This is designed to not pull any of the existing paint off. Wait to start this project until the temperature outside is around 70 degrees. Too hot and the paint will dry too quickly, too low and the paint may not dry in fast enough.
Tape off the area around the damage, and using alcohol, clean the damaged area so it’s free of any dirt or debris. Do not use paper towels or any other paper products. A soft, lint free cloth is best.
You’ll want to apply a thin layer of primer over the exposed metal. You can do this with a toothpick or brush. Give the primer coat at least 24 hours to dry. Next, you will need to thinly and carefully apply a layer of paint to avoid any lumps. You can use a cotton swab to clean up anything you get outside the paint area. If you’ve applied it carefully enough you won’t need to sand, and the paint will be dried and ready to go in a day.
If the scratch or chip is deeper, or if there is rust or other body damage present it would be best to have a professional body shop repair this. These kinds of repairs will require sanding and buffing, and the use of specialized equipment to get the paint to look right.
Special Paint Jobs
If you have a specialized or customized paint job on your vehicle, you may actually have to have the entire car repainted to maintain it. Custom paint jobs can rarely be repaired satisfactorily. A repair can look out of place on a custom paint job.