• How to Touch Up Car Paint

    Using touch up car paint is a very simple process and it should be used when a cars surface needs to be repaired or improved.


    • Masking tape
    • Note pad
    • Pencil
    • Paint
    • Sandpaper (various grits)
    • Nick sander
    • Grease
    • Wax remover
    • Clean/dry towels
    • 600-grit sandpaper
    • Clean buffing rags

    Step 1:  Make a List

    Go over the entire surface of your car’s exterior very carefully and inspect it. Make a note of all the scratches, nicks and small dings that will need to be repaired. Don’t forget the running boards or the top of the car. Mark these areas with small pieces of masking tape in order to easily locate them when you are ready to make the repairs. Add details to your notes describing each area to be repaired and what needs to be done.

    Step 2: Get the Paint

    Make sure you get the proper paint for your particular car. Getting the right color in the correct shade for your particular make and model of vehicle is very important. Car paint for touch up comes in various types of dispensers; from aerosol cans to bottles with brush tip applicators. Any of the more popular retailers that carry automotive supplies should have the amount you are looking for available.  

    Step 3: Preparing the Surface

    Prepare your car’s surface to accept the new paint. Wash the surface thoroughly and give it time to dry completely. Once the surface is totally dry, sand the problem areas lightly using sandpaper made especially for automotive applications. Get yourself a “Nick Sander,“ a pen-like device that holds the sandpaper and allows you to do precise sanding. You cannot get your car’s surface “too smooth”. Work your way up from 400-grit sandpaper until finishing with 2,000-grit. Once you have sanded all of the areas to be touched up, clean them with a high quality grease and wax remover. New paint will not adhere to a dirty surface. As you progress through each round of sanding using a different grit of sandpaper, repeat this cleaning process.

    Step 4: Apply the Paint

    Before applying the final color coat apply a clear coat, give the area what is known as a base coat. When you are ready to apply the color coat, find an area that is out of the way on your car’s exterior to apply a bit of color coat. During this “testing” process, be sure to apply a layer of the clear coat to the inconspicuous area as well. This will give you a good idea of what the final result will truly look like. 

    Step 5: Finish the Job

    After you have applied the finishing coat of paint (the color coat), buff it out with 600-grit sandpaper. Be sure to use a sandpaper that is designed for automotive paint surfaces. A circular motion is the most effective. Limit this to the area that has been touched up, avoiding the surrounding paint as not to damage it. To protect the newly touched up areas, apply a coat of high grade car wax, buff it out with a soft rag and you are finished.