How To Fix Chipped Car Paint

19 January 2015
 Categories: , Blog


It's inevitably going to happen no matter how careful you are—you're going to end up with chipped paint on your car. You might accidentally bump your car into a mailbox or a runaway shopping cart might smash into it. Regardless of the reason, when you have chipped paint on your car, you have two options. The first is to take it to a repair shop for auto maintenance. If the damage is extensive or if you are uncertain of your own ability to make repairs, you should definitely consider turning the problem over to a professional. However, if you only have a bit of chipped paint the following steps will help you repair it yourself.

What You Will Need

  • Shop Towels
  • Scratch Remover
  • Alcohol
  • Touch Up Paint
  • Car Wax

Step 1. Examine the damage. If the scratch or chip didn't make its way all the way through the paint job, you might be able to simply buff the problem away. Just apply a little scratch remover to a soft towel and rub the towel across the damage. Use a circular motion to rub across the entire chip. Let the scratch remover dry and examine the result. If the damage has disappeared, you're done. If not, move on to step 2.

Step 2. Find the paint code for your car. This should be on a panel on the inside of the driver side door. If your car is a Japanese model, it might be in the glove compartment.

Step 3. Go to an automotive supply store and provide them with the paint code for your car so they can find the right touch up paint for you. When you buy this paint, it usually comes in a small container that looks very much like a bottle of nail polish. It even has the same kind of brush applicator.

Step 4. Use a clean, lint-free towel dipped in a little rubbing alcohol to clean off the damaged area. Then let this completely dry before you proceed.

Step 5. It may be necessary to shake the bottle of touch up paint before you use it, but consult the manufacturer's directions to be sure. With the provided brush, apply the paint slowly and carefully to the scratched or chipped area. You need a steady hand for this. Apply only a thin layer at first so that you can keep the paint from getting clumpy. Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean up any paint you get on undamaged areas. Let the paint completely dry. This usually requires 24 hours, but again consult your manufacturer's directions for the exact time.

Step 6. Examine the repair you made. Apply another thin layer of touch up paint if it seems necessary. Once this second coat has also dried, buff it up using a little car wax.