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How do I Repair Car Paint Chips?

By J.M. Densing
Updated Feb 26, 2024
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Repairing car paint chips is a time consuming process, but it will help to preserve the appearance and value of your car. Start by buying paint that matches your car's color as closely as possible and gathering the necessary supplies. The car should be washed, and the car paint chips should be cleaned and prepared for the repair process. Once the area is clean, primer is applied in several thin coats and allowed to dry between applications. This is followed by applying numerous coats of paint until the repair is level with the rest of the car's finish. The process is finished by blending the edges of the repair and waxing and polishing the area.

In order for the repair of the car paint chips to blend in well, it's vital to get the correct color. In general, the best way to do this with a newer model vehicle is to contact the dealer for the factory matched paint shade for your car. You may need to provide the paint code, which should be located on a sticker somewhere on the vehicle, usually on the inside of a door or under the hood. With older vehicles, aftermarket paint may be available at an auto parts and supply store. Once you have the paint, you should gather other supplies for the repair process including solvent, primer, very fine sand paper, and polish. An easier alternative is to purchase a paint chip repair kit, which should contain most of the supplies you need.

Once you've gathered the necessary supplies, wash the car thoroughly, paying particular attention to the areas where the car paint chips are located. As an option, the area inside each paint chip can be gently wet-sanded to give a rough surface for the new paint to stick to. The areas to be repaired should also be cleaned lightly with a solvent to ensure that there is no residue. It's also important to make sure there is no rust; if any is found, it needs to be cleaned away before the repair is started.

If the car paint chips have exposed metal, the next step is to apply primer. About two or three very thin coats should be applied with time to dry between each coat. A recommended technique is to apply the primer with a toothpick or the paper end of a match, allowing it to flow slowly over the surface to be covered. Cover the repair area with a box and allow it to dry for at least two hours, then apply another coat using the same technique. Once the primer is dry, it's time for paint.

When applying the paint to the car paint chips, several thin coats are better than one thick one. It is recommended to apply paint with the same method used for the primer; apply as many coats as needed to make the repair slightly above the rest of the vehicle's finish. As many as eight to 12 coats may be needed; the area should be covered with a box and allowed to dry between each coat. Once the paint application is complete, it should be allowed to dry for at least a week.

The final step of the repair is to use super fine sand paper, 2000 grit, to level the surface of the repair. A tool called a Finesse Block is recommended; it won't leave scratches and will only remove the raised part of the repair. Similar to using a wood plane, it should be used wet and drawn gently across the surface going in only one direction. Once the surface is level, the area should be washed, waxed, and polished by hand


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Discussion Comments

By Rundocuri — On Feb 19, 2014

If you are attempting to use touch up car paint Talentryto, it is important to make sure you match the color as closely as possible. You should be able to find your car's color code located somewhere on the vehicle, and match it to a bottle of touch up paint at most any automotive supply store.

By Talentryto — On Feb 18, 2014

If you have very small paint chips you want to fix, car touch up paint will usually do the trick. It comes in almost every color imaginable, and has a small brush for tedious, small areas.

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