How To Repair Car Paint Chips

How To Repair Car Paint Chips – Pigs on your car’s paint aren’t just an eyesore. They can also expose your car’s metal to more corrosion. You may not be able to make your car’s finish look like showroom new, but with the right skills, you can improve your car and prevent additional rust from forming without an expensive trip to the body shop. Here’s how.

Duplicolor has simple paint supplies that you can buy at your local auto parts store, and many dealers can sell you paint pens that match your company color. You can also buy more connected touch accessories online. For example, the kit we tested with PaintScratch came with primer, clear, paint thinner, a bottle of paint and matching paint.

How To Repair Car Paint Chips

PaintScratch used information from the vehicle’s license plate number — the combination of letters and numbers known as the VIN — to determine the correct shade of paint, which is a common practice. These tools are more expensive and have more steps, but ultimately provide better results over time.

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You need to know your car’s color code to make sure you get the correct shade of paint, which is easy to find if your car has never been painted differently. On most vehicles built before 1983, this information can be found on a sticker on the driver’s door or door frame. To be absolutely sure of a match, the paint supplier may also need the VIN, which can be found on that plate or on the VIN plate on your dashboard.

If your car has been painted a different color throughout its life, then of course you need to find that color. Hopefully, this color is listed somewhere in the car’s records, but if not, you may want to purchase a specific color to make sure you get a good match.

Preparation is the key to good results. You will need very fine 3M Wetordry sandpaper at 1000 grit, various pieces of wood, cotton wool, fine tweezers, glue points and various paper punches. Everything except the bow came from a local craft store.

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Most off-the-shelf sanders will destroy very good paint around the chip, so we have to make our own little sanders. Use a punch to cut a small circle out of the sand paper and attach it to the wood pieces and dowels. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box at the craft store either. We found a $1.99 wood ax kit with a nice rounded tip that works well for larger chips.

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First, wash the car with warm soapy water, rinse well and let it dry. You want to make sure that the car is clean for a smooth repair.

Next, remove waxes, oils and silicones that can prevent the new paint from sticking to your car. PPG Acryli-Clean is a safe solvent for this, and is available at professional body shops and larger auto parts stores.

For very small chips, we recommend using a color pen. The small tip of the Duplicolor paint pen was easy to control and made filling in the divot a breeze. Add enough paint so that it barely rises above the surface. This allows it to shrink during drying, and any excess can be wetted with sand and then gently rubbed.

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Most of the stone chips will be on the leading edge of your shoe. To prevent the paint from coming off before it dries, the lid can be raised until the chip is horizontal to the floor to hold the paint even when wet.

If the remaining chips are larger, proceed to step 11. For medium chips, we need to use the brush applicator. Before you start brushing anything, clean out all the debris and paint the chips with your paintbrush.

Apply the primer with the applicator brush according to the instructions. It is important to read and follow the instructions, as they may differ from paint supplier. Pay attention to how long it takes for the paint to dry after each layer, be it primer, color, or clear. Working with wet paint can leave rough areas, bubbles or holes in the finish, which do little to protect or enhance the appearance of your vehicle.

After curing the primer, apply the paint. Now, the full chip in our test car didn’t look too bad from six feet away. Wet sanding, applying clear coat, wet sanding again, and then sanding the chip has improved the appearance of the repair a lot. After that, the setup looks good from about ten feet away, depending on your vision and the amount of sunlight. You need to decide how much work you want to do here.

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The rest of the process involves repairing large paint chips, which can expose the car’s stainless steel to the elements and lead to further damage. On larger chips and those that already have rust colonies growing on them, use a pick or a fine-toothed comb to remove any exposed paint.

You have to be very careful because you can easily turn a small chip into a big one if you loosen the paint before it dissolves. However, if you don’t remove the loose paint, the paint will eventually peel off and ruin the repair.

Soak CLR, Ultra One Safe Rust Remover, or similar rust remover in the chip to dissolve and remove the rust. Keep doing this until your swab comes out. Next, rinse the chip rust remover with isopropyl alcohol. If you don’t get all the rust off, the paint won’t adhere well to the car and the paint will spread under the paint.

Carefully sand the edges of the chip until it is smoother and more rounded. It doesn’t need sharp edges which will make the patch more obvious. The curved shape of the end of the wooden stick made it an ideal tool for this. Water will start the corrosion process, so keep it dry. 3M Wetordry sandpaper sticks quickly when used on dry sand, while the adhesive point makes it easy to change wheels.

Surface Damage Field Guide

Now it’s time to get out a flat piece of wood to use for a little sandpaper. Using the end of the wooden board will apply more force when sanding the chip and the surrounding area, but don’t sand too far or you will sand the clear layer and make the spot more prominent.

You want to reduce the edge of the chip so that the edge of the patch is not too noticeable. Be sure to wipe off or remove any residue from the laundry before proceeding to the next step.

Apply the primer evenly from the center outwards. You don’t want to go over the edge of the chip. If this is the case, use a cotton swab soaked with a thin nail to quickly wipe off the excess primer. Keep all your painting supplies close by on a small table. You don’t want to mess around with mistakes because the color doesn’t stay long.

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Allow the primer to dry until fully cured, which may take some time depending on temperature and humidity. Be sure to follow the instructions that come with the paint or touch-up kit, as they can advise you on how many coats you need of primer, color and clear coat, and how long each coat should be. Allow enough time to allow the primer to dry completely before covering it with paint.

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When the primer is dry, it can be wet sanded to prepare the base of the paint. Again, don’t wash away from the center of the chip or you’ll go through the surrounding clear layer. Scratching with clear coat is especially noticeable if your car has dark or metallic paint.

We recommend using a stronger, water-resistant adhesive for these wet pieces. It’s not removable, but you don’t need to change the sandpaper often when it’s wet. We prepared three pieces of wood with sandpaper circles on each side for six wet sanders.

Painting a large chip with a brush won’t give you a factory finish, but at least you can seal the metal and make it look a lot better. A steady hand and a little brush paint worked best. Take it from your local manicurist: thin, smooth layers are best when working with multiple layers.

Double and triple check that the primer is dry before you start. While testing the PaintScratch kit we made the mistake of painting too soon after the second coat. The paint solvent began to dissolve the primer and the thin gray swirls mixed in

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