How To Fix Paint Chips On Your Car
A rock hit the fender or an unruly kid keyed your car chipped paint is the last thing a car owner wants. Well tell you how to fix paint chips on a car with the least effort. You can save the huge expenditure that the paint shop will cost you. Lets see how its done.
Before we get into removing paint chips from a car, we need to understand the makeup of a cars paint and the types of paint damage.
Putting Things Into Perspective
The first thing that youll need to do is think about the severity of your scratch, dent, or ding. The more severe, the higher the cost, which could send you running in the other direction if youre not careful. To classify your cars painting needs, here are a few things to look for.
When your car has minor paint damage, the cost to repair is very low. Classifying your paint chips as minor is simple. All youll have to do is take a look at the size and, if theyre smaller than a pencil eraser, youve got minor damage.
When chips start to spread out and get larger, you may have moderate damage on your hands. Moderate paint chip damage is large but should not extend further than the length of a few inches.
Severe damage can be large to cover and costly to repair. Large chips in your paint are generally accompanied by peeling and cracking in the paint thats surrounding them, something that can continue to make the damage larger and more severe.
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Quick Fix : Repair Pens
Paint repair pens, otherwise referred to as scratch repair pens, are clear coat pens designed to fill scratches in and prevent rusting of the metal. Similarly to the paint markers of our childhood, you use these by pressing the tip down to draw over the blemished area.
Once dry, these pens are advertised to make small scratches disappear. Clean and wax the area afterward to cement the repair job.
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What Makes Up The Paint On Your Car
The paint on your car is not like the paint on your rooms walls. It is made up of several layers. Each one of them has its function. Heres a brief explanation of the paint of a typical road car. You need to know this before learning how to repair chipped paint on your car.
- The Primer is the first layer of paint that goes on to the body panels of your car. It is light grey. It smoothens the surface of the metal and provides a base for the color coat to stick. It also acts as an anti-rust agent.
- The Color Coat is the paint of your car that you can see. There can be up to 5 coats of the color coat to make the paint last longer.
- The Clear Coat goes on top of the color coat. It protects the paint underneath and gives it a shine.
- A Ceramic Coat can be found on some cars. It is meant to make the paint hydrophobic, and dust and mud resistant.
Tips To Repair Rock Chips On Your Car
If you spend long enough driving your car, especially on the highway, youre bound to experience some rock chips in your paint. While these tiny spots of damage are unsightly, a rock chip on a metal panel can present an even bigger issue.
Your vehicles paint job is more than just cosmetic it also provides a layer of protection from the elements. If moisture gets to the metal underneath, it will result in oxidation , which can eat through the metal in that spot and spread quickly, compromising the integrity of the whole panel. Fortunately, if you address the issue early, fixing a rock chip is a relatively easy DIY that wont break the bank.
Full disclosure: the result probably wont look like a fresh paint job right from the factory floor, but if the job is done right, that wont be noticeable unless you look closely. The most important thing is stopping the rust before it starts. To fix rock chips on your car, follow the steps outlined below.
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Will My Dealership Still Fix Paint Chips Even If They Dont Have A Paint Shop On
Most dealers who would agree to fix touch-up paint have a paint shop on the premises. Thats where you will be sent for the repairs.
However, should your dealer not have one and they will direct you to a detailer for the repairs. They can pay for the repairs or ask you to cater for them.
Alternatively, the dealer can also sell you some touch-up paint if you are going to fix the chipped paint by yourself.
Repairing Scratches And Paint Chips
Repair unsightly or embarrassing scratches easily.
Nothing quite ruins an otherwise tidy paint job quite like a deep scratch or an assortment of stone chips. But can you easily fix stone chips or scratches yourself? Sure, repairing a deep scratch or an unsightly chip in your vehicles paint might sound like a lot of work, but with the right paint, a little patience, and help from this handy guide, achieving a professional result has never been so easy and affordable.
How do you get deep scratches out of car paint?
Sometimes it wont just buff out, and although in some instances you can simply hide a stone chip or a small scratch with a little touch up paint – if you want to repair the damage properly youll need to do a little bit more than that. To do the job properly, and fix a deep scratch in your car paint, you will sometimes need to respray the whole panel.
Looking to polish out light scratches? Learn how to protect your car’s paintwork and bring back that showroom shine .
How much does it cost to fix a stone chip or scratched paint?
Unfortunately, repairing even the smallest scratches and chips can cost upwards of a few hundred dollars if you take your car to a professional body shop.
With a little bit of effort though, you can fix damaged paint for less than $100, and if you put in the right amount of care and follow the steps thoroughly, your repair will be practically unnoticeable.
What you’ll need:
Before you begin
Step 1 – Prepare Paint
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It Happens To Everyone
Normal driving conditions will eventually result in chips and scratches in your cars paint, and the most commonly damaged areas are the front bumper and hood. If youre not sure how to fix those pesky car paint chips in your hood, youve come to the right place. The good news is that you only have two decisions to make. Those decisions are whether you want to repair the damage before it gets worse, and how youll have it repaired. Im here to help make those decisions as easy as possible!
Prepare For The Ultimate Touch
Use compounding agent to level out the surface. Much like feather sanding, this is the ultimate move that is going to smooth out between the damaged surface and its surrounding. Of course, you should not use the compounding agent on the damaged surface.
Learn how to spray. There is no exact way to teach you. The easiest method would be to try spraying on other surfaces to learn the techniques required to accurately spray your car.
Once more, clean the area with wax and grease remover, make sure the surface is as smooth as silk before spraying the colors on.
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The First Decision: When Should I Fix My Car Paint Chips
The first decision of whether the paint chips on your car require immediate attention depends on four things:
If you are leasing, selling, or trading in your car, then it will very likely be in your favor to have any chips or scratches repaired before doing so. You may also be one of the many car owners who cant stand to see imperfections in their cars paint. If thats you, then you already know that youll have the chips repaired. When the damage to your cars paint is significant, youll want to have it repaired as soon as possible to keep it from getting worse. You can read one of our other blog posts here for more information about when you should repair car paint chips and scratches!
Car Paint Repair With Touch
A post shared by TouchUpDirect on Oct 16, 2019 at 11:05am PDT
Deeper scratches, ones that go past the clear coat, require additional repair steps. If the chip or scratch is fairly small, you can use touch-up paint pens or brush kits, The Drive reports.
To start, youll have to check what your cars paint color code is. This is usually found on a sticker in one of your door jambs, Popular Mechanics reports. Once you have your touch-up pen or brush kit, the next step is thoroughly cleaning and de-greasing the damaged area. Then, simply apply the paint as directed, and let it dry.
There are some downsides to using touch-up paint pens for car paint repair, though. For one, many dont come with a sprayable clear coat. Youll have to purchase that separately to make sure your car paint repair is protected. Secondly, as Badells Collision explains, its really best-suited for temporary repairs, especially if you dont clear-coat it.
And, as stated previously, touch-up paint only works onrelatively small scratches. What happens if, say, you hit your bumper on abrick wall accidentally?
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How Much Does It Cost To Fix Chipped Paint On A Car
Chipped paint is one of those things thats not going to make your car undrivable but, its not pleasant to live with. Its not visible to others as much as it is to you, making you cringe each time you lay your eyes on it. Luckily, fixing a chip in your paint is not the most expensive thing and its also not uncommon.
If youre wondering how much does it cost to fix chipped paint on a car, youve come to the right place! Well take a look at prices and what you can expect when repairing a scratch or dent on your car.
Level The Paint Into The Chip Or Scratch
Dont press down when swiping the paint over the chip as this could cause the paint to be forced out of the chip. Very light pressure works best to create a level fill.
Once the paint is leveled flat across the chip, allow a couple minutes for it to dry to the touch before attempting to blend away the excess paint. If you touch the paint and it sticks to your glove or is still tacky or wet, let it dry for another minute or two.
Do not try to fill the chip above the surface level of the cars original paint. With our process, the paint needs to be leveled flat to prevent pulling the paint from the chip when performing the final blending step of the process.
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Dont Let A Paint Chip Ruin Your Day Fix It Yourself
29th Jun 2015
Paint chips can be heart breaking – especially the first tooccur to your new car, or new paint job. Not only are they unsightly, but ifthe chip exposes a metal surface, rust can begin to form. Horrors.
There are ways to protect against chips from occurring inthe first place. Car Bras will shield the nose of the car from chips, but can create issues oftheir own. Sand can become trapped between the bra and body and scuff thepaint. A poor quality bra often fits loose and can flap in the wind and therebyabrade paint. If you decide use a bra, be sure yours comes from a premiummanufacturer, has excellent fit, a soft backing, and is made from thick vinylthat wont flap in the wind. Dont leave the bra on the vehicle if it is wet.Frequently take it off and remove any dirt/grit from the painted surface andthen brush off or vacuum the backing to remove debris. Another means ofprotection are the clear vinyl films that can be adhered to the nose, as wellas the body behind the wheels and on rocker panels to protect from rocks graveland grit. I personally like that option best. However, nothing says 1989 like aCar Bra.
Step 1: Stare thepaint chip down. Talk mean to it. Say things like: How dare you and Imgonna fix you real good.
Step 5: Wash thecar with car wash and dry thoroughly.
Paint Chip Preparation Process
Prepare the chip or scratched area before applying primer or touch-up paint.
Dont jump the gun!
While paint may seem to adhere to a chip or scratch that has rust or dirt or oil, eventually the repair will fail.
Preparation is absolutely essential. It actually begins the day before you repair paint chips and scratches.
Wash your car with Dawn dish-washing detergent. It will remove any wax and silicone from the paint.
And do this the previous afternoon! Then, dry your car thoroughly and put it away for the night
Do you want the best results?
You must make sure the chip does not have loose edges. If it does, its not ready for touch-up.
Of course, youve got to clean it as well.
Use a toothpick for this. Examine the edges of that chip. If necessary, the toothpick can knock off any loose paint.
Heres another aspect you cannot skip:
Prior to applying paint, clean with Prep Spray.
Also, wipe the chip and the surrounding area well.
At this point, you are making progress!
Next, use a sanding pen to prepare the chip and feather out the edges.
Simply rotate the sanding pen over the chip.
Keep the area you sand as small as possible. Rotating the sanding pen back and forth 8 to 10 times should do it.
A K-Tool KTI Sanding Pen is great for preparing scratches and paint chips.
Use it for exposed bare metal, rust in particular.
Its easy. The edge of the sanding pen can remove any rust.
Spray it with your Prepsol again. Wipe it dry with a clean lint free towel.
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Give Your Vehicle A Thorough Wash
A pro tip you should always know is that for you to give your car a smooth repair, always wash it thoroughly.
Paint is very delicate, and if you are applying touch-up paint, any presence of dirt on the surface can lead to a poor finish. Before you get started with paint chip repair, grab some detergent and wash your car.
The Spray Paint Method
What about chips in the middle of a body panel? In this case, you may want to spray on your primer and paint. First, use the lacquer thinner or alcohol to clean and degrease the area and make sure there is no rust anywhere inside or around the chip. Now get a thin piece of cardboard , and cut a one-and-a-half-inch hole in the center.
Hold the cardboard in one hand with the hole directly over and about two inches away from the chip in your paint. Then start by spraying the primer onto one side of the cardboard and move it across the hole and over to the other side of the cardboard, where you can stop spraying. Do not start or stop the spray over the hole, because it will run and lump on the car. What you want is a fine, even mist of paint. If the cardboard you’re using is small, then mask the rest of the car with larger pieces of cardboard. Don’t use newspaper because the paint will soak right through it. Wait about an hour and do it again. All in all, you’ll spray about three to four light coats of paint. Don’t overdo it. You don’t want the paint to run or lump.
When finished, remove the masking tape and, using 800-grit sandpaper, sand off the bulk of the primer, leaving it to just fill the chip. Use some medium rubbing compound to remove any overspray from the surrounding paint.
That’s all there is to it. But, if you feel nervous, then we recommend you practice first, either on an inconspicuous part of your car, like the inside of your hood, or on a friend’s old junker.
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What Causes Chipped Paint On Cars
Weather isnt the only factor that causes chipped paint on your car. Other common causes include:
Minor Accidents. It doesnt take much to chip auto paint or leave a permanent scratch on the exterior of your vehicle. Someone opens their car door into yours, leaving a small ding and a scratch. Someone rear-ends your car at a low speed, causing no structural damage, but leaving a number of paint chips behind. Its not your fault, but the chips and scratches still need to be fixed.
The Environment. Daily exposure to the suns harsh rays, bird and tree droppings, and wind-blown dirt and dust are just some of the environmental factors that can damage the paint on your car. Many times they dont cause immediate damage. However, over time they gradually start to wear away at the paint, making it easier to chip over time.
Harsh Cleaners. Cleaning chemicals made with harsh abrasives may keep your car looking clean and shiny. But, they do more than just remove dirt. They can also remove the outer layer of your cars paint and cause paint chipping, especially when improperly applied or overused.
Vandalism. Someone keys a door or side panel, or scratches the paint when attempting to break into your car. Or they bump into your car while riding a bicycle, leaving minor scratches, and dont report the damage. Left alone, these paint chips can lead to underlying damage to the body of your car.