Touchup Paint – How to Make Your Car Look Like New

Auto Paint

When you’re off to touch up a small scratch on your car you should know what you’re doing, else you’d paint it, but make it look worse than what it was earlier.  The job may seem easy, but if you want a perfect blend, it’s not going to be as easy as you think. Therefore, you need to make sure that you know what you’re doing.

Steps so as to touchup paint your car and make it look new

Follow these simple steps and if you do it right, your car will look brand new once again:

Buy the right paint

Check under your bonnet or glove compartment and you’d find a body number as well as paint code written. Once you know the exact color of your car, go to a local dealer or shop online so that you get a touchup paint bottle.  You may also need primer, unless the paint you buy has primer mixed in already.

See to it that the area is rust free

Whether it’s a small scratch or something huge, it would be advisable to use a bit of rust arrestor so as to prevent the spread of rust. Usually scratches lead to rust.

Wash the area around the scratch well – Make it free of dust

You should wash the area well and remove any traces of rust arrestor as well as possible dust, wax and other kinds of residues. Because if this is not done; neither the primer nor the paint would remain fixed and the paint would begin to peel off within weeks.

Apply the primer

Depending on the extent of the scratch you should use a small brush as you shouldn’t get primer on parts that aren’t damaged. If at all you do happen to get it on the paint, wipe it off ASAP.

Apply the paint

Once the primer is dried up, mix the paint in the touch up bottle. Now, apply the paint over the small area using a brush or even a toothpick if the scratch is really small. The paint on the vehicle shouldn’t be thicker than the adjoining areas else it will peel off.


Once everything is done, let the paint dry for a few days and finally you need to wax the car so as to give it a shine, this will also ensure that the paint doesn’t peel off with time.

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Car Scratch Repair – Pros and Cons of Touch-Up Paint

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Many of us are just passionate about their cars and their maintenance. A person who dearly loves his/her car can do anything to keep his/her set of wheels in perfect condition. Car geeks always take optimum care of their cars and try to keep them in pristine condition. Ask any car lover and he will tell you that the car is like your partner; if you treat it well and take good care of it, in return it will never betray you.

They try to avoid circumstances in which their cars can get damaged and a damage as small as a minor scratch is enough to give them serious heart ache. Scratches are damages of very small intensity, but nevertheless, they destroy the looks and the ‘brand new’ feeling of a car. Avoiding scratches is almost impossible and minor scratches on the body of the car are inevitable. You park the car outside the supermarket and when you return back, you realize somebody maliciously ran a key through your car body. There are many remedies and techniques to remove scratches from the car body, one of the most effective one being touch-up paint.

Touch-up paint is like a magical solution to remove scratches- just apply some spray paint on the affected area, polish it properly and the scratch is gone. But it is easier said than done. Using touch-up paint has many cons as well. If the color of the touch-up paint and the paint on the car body don’t match, then the paint job looks terrible. Thus it is very important to choose the exact color as that of your car, which is a very difficult job.

Applying the paint is a professional job and if it is done improperly, then the painted area looks patchy and it doesn’t match with the rest of the body. The quality of the paint is another important thing; if the quality of the touch-up paint is low, then there are chances of the paint fading after a certain period of time and if that happens, the touched-up area looks patchy and hideous.

Keeping all the above mentioned things in mind, it becomes clear that touch-up painting might go completely wrong as well, if not done properly by experts. If you are planning to hide your scratches with touch-up paint, made it done at an auto-shop.

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How To Use Touch Up Paint

Do you want to keep your vehicle new, shining and resale its value? Then learning touch up painting will help you to maintain the appearance of your vehicle. It is as simple and easy to learn.

It is obvious that during your car’s life, it will get scratches and dents; replacing which becomes important to avoid rusting and chipping. So touch ups become necessary.

You might require:

  • A thinner
  • Clean cloth or rags
  • Primer
  • Touch up paint
  • Automatic clear coat
  • Surface preparation

Clean the area thoroughly to be cleaned with a dish wash or a car shampoo and water. Pat the area dry. Make sure that the area is wax free, grease or oil free.

Use a sand paper to remove the rust or bad surface damage. Clear the scratches properly.

You may even use an automotive lacquer thinner to eliminate any debris or paint from damage. Dry it for 20 min.


Apply touch up primer over 2-3 coats over the bare metal; in a gap of 10 min. it will cover up the grit scratches too. You may even blend the primer too.

Use of touch up paints

Thoroughly shake the touch up paint before applying. Apply the paint onto the scratched area without letting it slat the vehicle’s original paint. Apply the paint in a single long stroke. Apply as many coats as necessary to cover the area leaving 5-20 min in between each application for letting the paint dry.

Most suppliers store the aerosol sprays that are even easier to apply. They do not form the bubbles and a short spray does it all.

Let the surface dry off for next hour after application of the last base coat before applying clear coat. Apply 2-3 layers of clear coat and again with a gap of 10-20 min in between.

Do this with a light dabbing motion.

It may appear dry outside in 2-3 hours, but actually it takes overnight to get completely done.

Use a rubbing compound to get the color evenly dispersed and gets the ultra shine. Apply it above the touch up paint. Rub it in a circular manner until the compound starts to develop the sheen, closely matching up to the car’s original paint. It usually takes up 10-15 min to get this shine.

Allow the paint to be dry for about 6 hours before washing the car. Try to finish the procedure with wax for better results.

Do not wax off the paint before a month of touch up paint.

Nowadays, touch up paint pens, car paint kit is readily available in markets easily. It is an easy process to get your car done and protects it from further damage.