Car Touch-Up Painting

Auto parts stores have touch-up paint in common colors along with sandpaper, brushes, and other touch-up supplies.

The Fix-It Club know how to perform many car repairs, including touch-up painting. The process is easy and most people can do it — if they follow a few basic steps. Here’s how to perform touch-up painting on your car.

Car Words

Automotive paint is typically applied in three coats at the factory. The first coat is a primer, the second is the color coat, and the third is a protective layer called the clear coat. If repairing or replacing your car’s paint, make sure you know if a protective clear coat is required. Your auto parts or auto paint store can tell you.

Here’s how to do touch up painting:

  1. Carefully smooth the edge of the scratch or blister with a sanding pen so there are no rough edges.
  2. Fill the crack up to or above the surface of surrounding paint. Large cracks will require plastic filler. Smaller cracks can be filled with primer paint or even a first coat of the finish paint.
  3. Sand the area so that the surface is even and smooth. Then apply the primer and final paint, or just the final paint depending on the size of the crack.
  4. Most modern cars use a protective clear paint called clear coat. If your car’s service manual (or auto paint store clerk) recommends clear coat, apply it last following directions on the container.

To find matching touch-up paint, remove the fuel fill cover (typically two bolts or screws) and take it with you to an auto paint supply store.

New cars oven come with a small container of touch-up paint. If yours doesn’t have one and it is painted a factory color, you may be able to purchase touch-up paint from a new car dealer. Often the paint color is identified by a code on a label inside the driver’s door jamb. If not, the parts counter can help you identify it.

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