How to Touch Up Car Paint

No matter how careful you are as a driver, there is a high chance that you end up with a few paintwork scratches and scuffs on your car over time. Whether you accidentally hit a hidden bollard or a careless driver damages your car in a car park, there are occasions where you will find damage that needs repairing.

If you have a paintwork scratch, scuff or scrape, then there are a couple of options. In order to get a professional repair then you can contact ChipsAway for car paint repair.  We will repair the damage and provide you with a flawless finish to your car. Not just a car paint touch-up, our repairs go beyond the surface to provide a full paint repair, giving your car the protection you need. As well as that, all our work comes with a lifetime guarantee* that you’ll be happy with it.

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That being said, if you are tempted to repair any small paintwork chips yourself, then there are tools out there that will allow you to do so to a limited degree. This car paint touch up process is the one to follow when it comes to how to touch up car paint. Along the way we will compare it to the full professional repair process so that you know the difference between the two.

Car Paint Touch Up: The Tools You Will Need

In order to touch up the paint on your car, you are going to need a few tools to hand. This is because as well as covering the scratch you are going to want to protect your car and ensure that the damage isn’t still visible once you have completed your repair. You may already have some of these supplies at home, but in order to complete a car paint touch up, you will need the following:

  • Gloves
  • Clean microfibre cloth
  • Fine sandpaper 
  • Cloth for cleaning 
  • Car cleaning solution 
  • Colour matched touch up paint
  • Applicator brush
  • Primer
  • Polish solution

Once you have those tools to hand, you will be able to start touching up the paint on your car.

How To Touch Up Car Paint

Below we’re going to explore in detail the process for touch up paint to help reduce the visual impact of scratches on your car.

1. Is the damage suitable for a touch-up?

Before starting the process of touching up your car paintwork, it is important to understand how easy the scratch will be to repair yourself, and what the outcome will be – or whether it is a better option to have a professional take a look. We don’t recommend attempting to repair any large scratches yourself; touch-ups are best kept to small areas, to reduce the chance of making the damage worse. That said, a professional repair will fill any deeper scratches and leave your car as new. If you just have a tiny blemish to repair, the next step is to:

2. Find and order car paint

Finding a precise colour match for your paintwork is absolutely vital for a smooth repair. There’s more information on finding the right colour in our blog here in order to ensure the repair is no longer visible once you have removed the damage. Once you know the paint colour (usually done through the car colour code) then you can then order a small car paint touch-up bottle, which should come with an applicator brush. You will also need some primer, to help the paint adhere to the metal.

It’s worth bearing in mind that you may not be able to get a direct match for your car just from buying generic paint, especially with older models. You may also need to buy the paint direct from the manufacturer for certain shades. This means new paint may be noticeable compared to the old paint, or because of the way that colour ages. At ChipsAway, we are able to precisely mix the paint required, to ensure a perfect match, using specific colour matching tools.  

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3. Wash the area thoroughly

Wash the damaged area, using detergent or specialist cleaning solution which will remove any layers of wax or polish.

4. Sand and prime

The next step is to prepare the areas for your car paint touch-up. Use fine sandpaper to prepare the area for painting as the paint will adhere more readily to a rougher surface. Be careful not to remove too many layers. If there is any bare metal showing, use a small amount of primer to cover any bare metal showing. Primer will also stop any rust from forming under the new paint and thus help protect your repair morning forward.

During this stage in a ChipsAway repair, we will have masked off all the surrounding areas and will carefully remove the paint altogether, to prime and repaint, giving a professional finish that blends in with the original paintwork.

5. Apply the paint

Use the applicator to gently apply a small amount of paint to the primed/sanded area in regular brushstrokes, to the affected area.  Be careful not to apply any paint over the existing paintwork and this can cause problems later on down the line. This is the element of the job which can become a labour of love, as it requires patient attention to detail.

It takes several days for the paint to fully dry, so it is important to be aware of this before you drive, as you may want to protect your car in a garage or under a cover until it dries. With a ChipsAway repair, we use special, infra-red lamps and apply the paint in thin layers, drying each layer thoroughly. This ensures the repair is no longer visible once completed.

6. Once dry, finish with products

Once the paint has dried, you can then apply polish to the paintwork to protect it and choose a suitable wax product to keep it looking good after this.

The repair job at ChipsAway is finished with a professional polish using a machine, to really get the paint glowing!

Professional Paint Repair from ChipsAway

We hope this gives you some helpful pointers if you are considering touching up your car’s paint, as well as some advice as to when it’s best to have professional work done. Of course, not all scratches are easy to repair. For larger scratches, we have technicians placed all around the country to help you out with a mobile scratch repair service. No matter where you are, our technicians can be on hand to help you get your car back to normal in no time. 

If you’d like someone from ChipsAway to assess the damage on your car for scratch or dent removal and provide a free, no-obligation quote, please complete our online form.

*Our guarantee is valid during the customer’s period of ownership of the vehicle. Alloy Wheel repairs are covered by a six-month guarantee (rather than lifetime ownership) unless otherwise stated, and are subject to the above exceptions.

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