Auto Scratch Repair – How to Repair Automotive Paint Scratches

Do It Yourself Auto Scratch Repair

Whether your car is the victim of an errant shopping cart, a deranged key scratching jerk, a rock kicked up by a truck, or some other incident, paint scratches are unfortunately inevitable. You could just skip repairing an auto scratch, but rust and ugly paint damage are probably things you want to avoid! An auto scratch repair service at an auto body shop can be very expensive, so we recommend doing it yourself with touch up paint. In this article we will show you how to fix your auto scratches with great results at the lowest cost possible.

Low Cost Auto Scratch Repair

So you just got an auto scratch and need to fix it, or you are finally getting around to auto scratch repair. But how much does it cost to fix auto paint scratches?

If you go to an auto body shop, you can expect to spend in the $300-$1,000 dollar range depending on how bad the paint scratch is. The reason auto body scratch repair is so expensive is that they typically re-paint the entire panel where the scratch is. The materials and time it takes a shop to fix a scratch really adds up quick. So is there a cheap auto scratch repair option?

DIY with Touch Up Paint for Auto Scratch Repair

Auto Scratch Repair Paint and Accessories

Touching up your scratched auto paint may seem daunting, but it is really quite simple, and will cost just a fraction of what the auto body shop charges. High quality auto scratch repair paint starts at less than $15, and can be used to repair multiple auto scratches. What other costs might you expect?

The following is a typical order for an auto scratch repair kit on our site:

1/2 oz. Paint Pen Basecoat: @ $14.95
1/2 oz. Clearcoat: @ $6.59

Your bill would be as follows:

Paint Pen Basecoat (1/2 oz.): $14.95
Clearcoat (1/2 oz.): $7.59
Shipping: $4.95
Total auto scratch repair kit cost: $27.49

Deep Auto Scratch Repair

For deep auto paint scratches, it may necessary to order a couple additional products like primer. If the scratch has gone through all the layers of your auto paint and bare metal is showing, you will need to use primer to get the touch up paint to stick.

How To Repair Auto Scratches with Touch Up Paint

Auto Scratch Repair Pen

If your car has relatively small scratches or scuffs (smaller than the size of a pencil eraser), a touch up paint pen is the easiest and cheapest product to use. It has a felt tip which when depressed releases small amounts of auto paint. It really helps to practice with the paint pen before using it on your automobile. A smooth surface like a photograph or plastic container will help you get a feel for how the auto paint flows from the pen tip. When you are ready, make sure the scratched areas are clean and primed if necessary. Apply several thin layers with the auto scratch repair pen, letting each dry before applying the next. Finish with a couple clearcoat layers and polish with rubbing compound for a glossy finish.

Spray Paint Can for Repairing a Scratched Surface

While the paint pen is easy and effective for smaller scratches, an auto scratch repair spray can is ideal for large and extensive scratches. With a spray can, you can do it like the pros and touch up whole panels at a time. Spray paint cans are a little bit more expensive, but contain significantly more auto paint and repair larger areas.

Brushing an Auto Scratch

The brush bottles are good for scratches that are a little bigger than the size of a pencil eraser, but smaller than the size of a dime. Also if there are numerous scratches, the 2 ounce size will help you touch them all up. The auto scratch repair brush is quite simple to use: get a small amount of touch up paint on the tip of the brush and gently apply thin layers.

Additional Help with Auto Scratch Repair

You can find detailed touch up paint instructions, how to videos, and tips on PaintScratch.com. Just click the preceding links for additional help.

How to Start Your Auto Scratch Repair

You may be ready to get started today, or are just curious about the process and want to learn more. Our guided ordering system is designed based on helping hundreds of thousands of customers like you touch up their auto scratches. The first step is finding the touch up paint color that matches your automotive paint, and we’ll guide you through the rest of the auto scratch repair steps.

Find Your Color Here

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Paint Chip Repair – How to Repair Car Chips

So you’ve got a paint chip on your car door, hood, roof or elsewhere and you want to fix it before it quickly becomes a rusty paint chip! Paint chip repair is easy to do yourself with an automotive touch up paint pen or brush. As long as you use touch up paint that matches your car color, and allow the layers to dry between coats, you can repair those chips inexpensively at home.

Paint Chip Repair – How To Do It Yourself

Car that needs paint chip repair.

To begin your paint chip repair, first determine how many chips there are and how large they are. Determine if your auto paint is metallic. Find your car’s color code so you can make sure to use the touch up paint that matches.

Paint Chip Repair Pen

If your car paint is non-metallic, and there are only a couple chips smaller than pencil erasers (about a quarter inch diameter), we recommend using a touch up paint pen. We have found the paint pens are the easiest to use on small car paint chip repair jobs.

Brushing Chipped Paint

If the chip(s) are larger than a pencil eraser, but smaller than a dime, use a touch up paint brush for the best chip touch up results on non-metallic paint. Car paint chip repair on areas larger than a pencil eraser or dime with a touch up pen or brush will result in an uneven auto paint job.

Paint Chip Spray Can

For a DIY car paint chip repair job on metallic paint or chips larger than a dime, you will want to use automotive spray paint. When you apply metallic car paint with a touch up pen or brush, the metallic flake in the paint will not lay down correctly. Even if there is a perfect paint match, the paint chip repair will look darker. Save yourself the trouble and use an automotive spray paint can for larger areas!

Flowchart for selecting car paint chip repair touch up paint.

Use this flowchart to select touch up paint for your paint chip repair.

Paint Chip Repair Kits

Now that you have found your color code and determined which touch up product to use, there are just a couple other items to add to your car paint chip repair kit. These items will help clean and prepare the chipped paint for touch up, seal it, and help it blend with your car’s paint.

Wax & Grease Remover for Chipped Paint

Before starting a car paint chip repair, you want to make sure the area is clean and clear of wax and grease. Clean with a gentle water and soap solution, and include grease and wax remover in your touch up paint order.

Priming an Auto Paint Chip

If the chip goes through all the layers of your auto paint, exposing the unpainted surface, auto paint primer is needed. Primer adheres to unpainted surfaces and will get the touch up paint to stick for your paint chip repair. If you need to fill deep scratches, use several coats of primer and gradually build the surface up. If you are priming a flexible surface like a plastic bumper, using spray paint, or touching up non-metallic paint, order SEM Adhesion Promoter to allow the primer to properly stick.

Clearcoat for Sealing Touched Up Chips

After applying touch up paint, use paint chip repair clearcoat to seal the repaired chip and so you can later polish the area. Apply several coats of clearcoat, allowing each to dry before applying the next.

Rubbing Compound to Polish a Repaired Chip

Car paint chip repair rubbing compound is used to polish your touched up car paint so it comes out nice and glossy like the original paint.

Automotive Lacquer Thinner

Having some automotive lacquer thinner on hand is a great idea in case any automotive paint gets on your skin, or you make a mistake. It is also good for keeping a paint pen nib (tip) clean, and can be used to thin your paint if necessary. Make sure to only order automotive lacquer thinner, as regular lacquer thinner will not work for your paint chip repair.

Applying Touch Up Paint for Car Paint Chip Repair

The directions for paint pens, brush bottles, and spray cans are different, but the same general principles apply. Find more detailed touch up paint instructions here. After cleaning, de-greasing & de-waxing, and priming an auto paint chip, you are ready to apply touch up paint. Auto paint chip repair works best when several layers of touch up paint are used. Allow each layer to dry before applying the next. Wait at least overnight before applying clearcoat over the touch up paint.

What to Expect from Your Car Paint Chip Repair

Auto paint chip repair on a car door.

Chip removed after car paint chip repair!

By ordering touch up paint that matches your car color (we guarantee our customers a color match), you can get rid of those paint chips. You will save hundreds of dollars on car paint chip repair cost by doing it yourself. By ordering our top quality touch up paint products and following the basic directions for paint chip repair, rust will not happen and your car will look great again!

Find your color now, and get your paint chip repair started. 

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Car Scratch Repair

Car Scratch Repair Tips

This article is meant to help you touch up your car scratches using automotive touch up paint.

Getting the Best Car Scratch Repair Results

Picture of a Class Blue Car for Car Scratch Repair articleIf you are reading this, you probably just got an unsightly scratch on your car’s paint. Like most people, you are probably not a scratch wizard or a bodywork specialist, but with a little guidance and good products you can do a great DIY car paint repair job.

How to Fix Minor Car Scratches

Maybe you need to fix slightly keyed car paint and are now in need of a small car scratch repair. Avoid spending hundreds of dollars at a shop for a car paint scratches removal service. You can easily fix minor car scratches with a touch up paint pen. Clean off the area using soapy water and then a wax & grease remover. Apply several coats of your paint color with the pen, letting it dry between coats. Next use clearcoat over the new paint. Finally, use rubbing compound (essentially car scratch polish) to polish the area so it is shiny. For more information about using paint pens, watch our touch up paint videos.

DIY Car Scratch Repair for Several Paint Chips

If your car has a bunch of paint chips and you want to fix it, auto paint in a bottle is the way to go. The touch up paint bottles are 2 ounces in size, and are how to take off many scratches on a car. Follow the same guidelines for the touch up paint pen, except you will be using a brush rather than a pen tip for the car scratch repair.

Repairing a Large Area of Chips and Scratches

If your car has some serious paint scratches and chips, we advise using spray paint cans of touch up paint for the job. Spray cans are 12.5 ounces and can cover a large area of damaged paint. If your car is dented, you will want to order spot putty and some light weight autobody filler. You will use these products first before applying automotive paint with a spray can.

Other Tips and Tricks for Fixing Car Paint Scratches

  • If you get paint on your skin, remove it with a paint thinner then wash thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Only use the paint pen on areas smaller than a pencil eraser.
  • Practice applying touch up paint to a smooth surface before using it on your car.
  • If something goes wrong and the paint drips on your car, use an automotive lacquer thinner to remove it and start over.
  • Make sure to wear a respirator!
  • For more thorough instructions and additional paint tips, suggestions, and tricks, see our touch up paint directions.

The Best Way to Repair Car Scratches

Do it your self car scratch repair using automotive touch up paint is absolutely the best choice. You will save several hundred dollars and your car will come out looking great as long as you use high quality car paint, follow the instructions, and are patient (remember to let the paint dry between coats!).

Ordering Paint for Car Scratch Repair

You can minimize your car paint scratch repair cost and get excellent results using our high quality automotive touch up paint. To get started,

find your touch up paint color now.

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Articles About How To Repair Scratched Car Paint

Welcome to the PaintScratch.com automotive touch up paint resource pages! These articles show you how to repair scratched paint on your vehicle. To start this series off, we’ll provide some basic information about how to apply touch up paint to your car:

  • The pints, quarts and gallons of basecoat, midcoat, clear and primer are ready to spray and do not require thinning.
  • If you get paint on your skin, remove with paint thinner and wash thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Do not try to use the paint pen on areas larger than a pencil eraser. Larger areas must be sprayed.
  • Paint can easily leak out of the paint pen if you do not use it correctly!
  • Do not try to brush areas larger than a dime. Larger areas must be sprayed.
  • Use an approved automotive paint respirator and WEAR safety goggles and gloves when handling automotive paint to protect your eyes and skin!! Please read the information below for best results.
  • When spraying, always test for paint compatibility. Paint an inconspicuous part of the vehicle, let dry and see if there is any reaction.
  • Do not spray our paint over enamel paint that is less than two years old.
  • Do not spray primer, paint or clearcoat in direct sunlight!
  • First time? Did you know you can completely remove any new paint with automotive lacquer thinner and start over without damaging the original finish?
  • Make sure you use SEM Adhesion Promoter if you are spraying a non-metal surface. Failure to do so will result in the paint peeling off within a few months!
Posted in How To Fix Paint Scratches