Paint Chip on your Car? DIY Repair Guide

Paint Chip on your Car? DIY Repair Guide

Paint Chip Repairs on your car are easier than you think. Use this guide and do it yourself (DIY).

You have paint chip on your car ? It never fails, even moments after you drive away from the auto detailer with a perfect pritine car. A Rock or some kind of Road debris will hit your car before you know it. Why spend money having it repaired when you can easily do it yourself?

I don’t recommend you trying to attempt a major body work job but the small ones you can do easily and have a professional looking job. Just follow these steps below.



First you want to check your car for the paint code so you can purchase paint to match your car perfectly. The Car Paint Code can be found in a variety of places, including the doorjamb, firewall, underside of the hood or trunk.

  1. Begin by removing any wax from the damaged area and thoroughly clean it using prep solvent with a lint-free cloth. Dishwashing liquid will also work. Make sure your workspace is well ventilated, especially if the repair is large enough to require aerosol spray.
  2. Fill any small dents (with common fillers or bondo for small fills). Sand the area smooth using 320-grit sandpaper; working up to 600-grit or higher. Follow with a primer coat and sand that using the same steps.
  3. If you are only repairing small rock chips and scratches these can be fixed using a paint pen or brush. Make sure that the area you are repairing is narrower than the width of the pen or brush so the paint blends properly.
  4. Use the flat side of the paint pen or wide side of the brush: the pointy tip of the pen will not cover enough area to make the repair invisible. Apply the paint in a single slow stroke to evenly cover the area.
  5. The current industry standard for paint requires a base coat and clear coat. Some older cars require single stage paint to match the factory color. Make sure that each layer dries completely before the next. While this may take about 10 minutes for a small repair in dry climate, a larger repair in a humid area can take significantly longer.
  6. If the area is large enough to require aerosol, mask off surrounding panels using masking film or masking tape plus plastic. Have a couple of practice cards on hand so you can practice your spraying technique before beginning the actual repair.
  7. Spray back and forth in a sweeping motion: the goal is to produce a finish thick enough to be smooth but not drip and an even thickness all the way across. For beginners, the easiest method is to overspray slightly onto the masked area. A more experienced painter can spray to the edge, leaving a blending area between the factory paint and the repair.
  8. All automotive paint requires time to cure. Do not wash the car for at least a week after completing the repair and don’t wax it for a month.


The Automotive Touchup website includes a library of how-to videos and advice on how to locate the factory paint codes. A full array of touch-up paint and touch-up kits are available on eBay.


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