At some point in the ownership of a car, you are going to get a scratch in the paint. For the most part this isn’t a big deal, but for some motorists a glaring scratch in a paint job will drive them crazy. While most minor scratches can be overlooked, there are some that have to be taken care of. Touch up paint is the choice for many. Typically low in cost, they allow the owner to touch up areas of paint that have been scratched or damaged.
Touch-up paint works by targeting the clear coat on an automobile. A cars paint job consists of the bare metal, to which color is applied. On top of that is the clear coat, which is where the majority of the nicks and scratches occur. The touch-up paint is usually a clear coat that simply fills in the nick or scratch on contact, usually drying and hardening in the sun. This simulates the original finish in every way, and is often unnoticeable. Other touch-up paints are of the two-step variety. The first step is a pigment that is spot matched to the color of the car. The second step is the resin or protective finish that blends in with the cars original finish, creating a seamless coat. The first type is most often used for superficial nicks and blemishes, while the second type is more likely to be used on deeper scratches, which reveal the metal or powder coating beneath the resin or gloss finish.
The most obvious benefit of handling the touch up on your own is the cost. Most solutions are fairly inexpensive, especially when considering the cost of having your car repainted or repaired by a professional. In most circumstances the end result is of a good enough quality one would be hard pressed to tell even where the scratch was. For most people the process is not terribly difficult, and the results are fantastic.
For some scratches and dings; however, touch-up paint will not do the trick. Often if the scratch is deep or on a curved area of the car, the touch-up paint will be noticeable. Also, some vehicles current paint job make adding a fresh coat of resin very obvious. One other issue with touch up paints is they are often ineffective at masking blemishes on cars with exotic or expensive paint jobs.
Ultimately it depends on the type of paint job your car has and your ability to perform the work yourself. For some, it’s an easy way to save a couple of hundred dollars, for others it simply will not work for their application.
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