How to Repair Auto Paint

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How to Repair Auto Paint

Scratches, chips, and other blemishes appear on a car's paint at some point or another. Not only do they ruin the shiny finish of the car, but they also lead to damage to the metal underneath. To prevent the damage from getting worse than it already is, car owners should repair the auto paint before it begins to rust. Fortunately, many auto paint touch ups are not expensive and easy to repair for people who have no experience. However, once the metal under the paint chip begins to rust, car owners may need help from someone with more experience. Car owners first need to examine the damage, choose a touch-up paint product, apply the paint, and finish the surface to restore it to its original shine.

Examine the Severity of the Paint Damage

Before beginning the process or repairing auto paint, car owners should inspect the entire exterior of the car to determine the extent of the damage. Car owners can repair some damage on their own, but severe chips require more intensive care. Car owners can easily fix fresh chips that have not yet begun to rust. Even those that are unnoticeable from a distance are repairable. However, if car owners neglect to address the chip and wait until it begins to rust, they may need the help of a more experienced technician. Fresh chips that expose primer and metal simply need a bit of touchup paint. Once rust appears, the chips require sanding to remove the rust and other damage.

Choose a Method for Repairing Auto Paint

If car owners determine that they can repair the damage to the auto paint themselves, then they need to choose a method for applying the paint next. There are three main paint applicators used for repairing auto paint. The best type depends on the type of paint on the car and the size of the chip.

Paint Applicator

Type of Auto Paint

Size of Chip



Smaller than a pencil eraser



Smaller than a dime



Large areas or chips larger than a dime

Metallic paint contains flakes that do not lie down correctly when applied with a pen or a brush. Additionally, it is difficult for car owners to apply paint evenly and smoothly to large areas. Auto paint that sprays on ensures even coating and that the paint colours match. However, for small chips, paint pens and brush on paints work just as well.

Repair the Chipped Paint

With the proper paint in hand, car owners can begin the repair process. Applying touch-up paint is not as simple as painting it on and allowing it to dry. Car owners need to take a few additional steps to ensure the finish is smooth and the chip is no longer noticeable. For best results, car owners should follow the steps of cleaning the area, applying the paint, and smoothing the finish.

Clean the Damaged Area

Even if the chip occurred earlier in the day, car owners must thoroughly clean the area in which they intend to work. They need to wash the car and then focus on removing the wax, dirt, grease, and other contaminants from the area. Not doing so results in the paint failing to adhere to the surface properly. In turn, the metal underneath could rust and sustain more damage, meaning the car owner has to redo the repair.

Apply Touch-Up Paint

With the area clean and dry, car owners begin applying the touch-up paint in layers. The number of layers needed depends on the depth of the chip. They must apply enough paint to make it even with the rest of the paint on the car. In order for the paint to adhere properly, car owners should allow the paint to cure overnight before applying the next layer. Although this takes additional time, it ensures a better repair and makes it less likely to flake or chip off over time.

Finishing Up

Lastly, car owners want to use wet sandpaper (600- to 100-grit) to remove any excess paint and make it level with the rest of the paint. Next, car owners buff the area to make it smooth and shiny again. At this point, they can apply a protective clear coat to the area. Once dry, they can clean the area. After the paint has had time to cure for 30 days, car owners can apply a good wax to the car to protect the area from further damage.

How to Buy Touch-Up Paint on eBay

You can find great deals on touch-up paint and other tools necessary for repairing auto paint on eBay. Use the search bar on any eBay page to perform a basic keyword search and find the paint products you need. Compare the listings by specifying a price and reviewing the item descriptions and photos. For additional savings, look for used items or sellers that offer free postage and packaging.

Chips and scratches in the paint are not difficult to repair, so car owners should not let them affect the appearance of their cars. With the right products and a little bit of work, car owners can restore their car's exterior to its original shine without having to pay for a new paint job.

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