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Automobile Touch Up Paint

Mamta Mule
Automobile touch-up paint has always been popular amongst all the vehicle owners. It is an easy way to repair the scratches and scrapes on the vehicles at a reasonable cost. Read on to understand the procedure of using it and other alternatives to it.
Your vehicle means a lot to you, irrespective of its cost, size, make, and how new or old it is. A small scratch over it makes you feel very bad. But, what after such a scratch? Of course, you will not prefer keeping it in the same damaged condition. Then, why not go for an automobile touch-up paint and bring back the charm of your vehicle.
Scratches and dents are inevitable, even if you drive with optimum care. Such scratches, however small they might be, tend to spoil the looks of your awesome car. Moreover, this damaged area also becomes susceptible to rust, worsening the appearance further.
Hence, it is always good to fix the problem immediately to prevent any further damage. Touch up paint is the right tonic for making your vehicle as beautiful as before in less time and cost. All you need to do is pick up a color that matches to that of your vehicle.
The process involves many other things, and it needs to be carried out very carefully to have a maximum natural effect and retain the original looks of your vehicle. The procedure involves the following:

Masking Tape

It protects the surfaces adjacent to the damaged area from the touch up process. A good-quality masking tape will stick properly, and can be peeled off easily without leaving any residue or damaging the color of your vehicle.

Masking Film/Paper

It blocks the adjacent panels from over spray. Do not use the masking film on the panel directly; this may lead to a visible tape line after its removal. Make a line with the masking tape first, and then, tape the masking film on the existing tape.

High-grit Sandpaper

This is the basic thing required to clean the damaged surface. The scratched area is much prone to rust. In such a case, use a higher-grit sandpaper and clean the rust.


It is applied directly to the bare metal to form a perfect surface to paint over. Applying a primer is a must in this process, because its bonding and filling properties make the damaged surface even and hence, suitable to be painted.

Base Coat

This is the actual paint, same as the color of the vehicle. While you purchase the color, you need to check whether it is metallic or acrylic, and what is the make and model of the vehicle you plan to paint.

Clear Coat

As the name suggests, it is a clear, transparent, and shiny paint. This protects the vehicle from UV rays and gives a classic shine to the colored surface.
The touch up paint comes in various forms. It is available as the one to be applied with a brush. It also comes in the form of an aerosol spray, in which the paint is sealed in a pressurized container and is released in a fine mist, when the button of the spray bottle is pushed. It also comes as a paint pen, which you can use directly on the surface.
Here is the procedure for repairing the scratches on your vehicle with it:

  • Find the right automotive paint for your vehicle. While applying it on your car, remember to first test the color on a hidden area. Once the color is applied on the car, you cannot change it.
  • Give your car a thorough wash and dry it off completely. If you cannot have a complete car wash, clean the scratched area with a cloth dipped in the solution of mild soap and water.
  • Take prep solvent and a soft towel. Take the needed amount of prep solvent on the towel, and use it to clean the grease, wax, oil, and other surface contaminants.
  • Sand the problem area with a high-grit sandpaper.
  • Apply 2 - 3 coats of the primer over the bare metal. Keep a gap of 5 - 10 minutes between each coat. If you want to blend the primer, use a wet sandpaper over this area after 20 minutes.
  • Apply a base coat. Apply as many coats as required to cover the damaged area. Keep a gap of 5 - 10 minutes between each coat. Remember to paint two inches widthwise and lengthwise around the damaged area. Never use a wet sandpaper or prep solvent in between coats of the touch up paint.
  • Wait for 20 minutes after the application of the last layer of the base coat is over. Then, start applying clear coat. You can apply 2 - 3 layers, but keep a gap of 10 - 20 minutes while applying each layer.
  • If this paint is not glossy enough, use a hair dryer to heat the area and have a smooth and shiny surface.


For minor scratches on the car body, you can use a scratch remover, car wax, or a polishing compound.
Scratch Remover

  • If the scratches are not very deep, they can be removed easily by just applying this remover.
  • Use a cloth terry towel and apply the scratch remover in a circular motion over the scratch.
  • The scratch will be removed after a few applications.
Car Wax

Waxing the car gives an ultimate shine to it. It forms a thin, transparent film over the car paint, which covers minor scratches, stone chips, prevents rusting of the surface, and protects it from the harsh environment.
  • First, clean the car thoroughly and dry it.
  • A quality wax with no abrasives, a soft sponge, and a clean, soft cloth towel are all that you require to wax the car.
  • It is better to park the car in a shade and start working on one section at a time.
  • Apply the wax with a sponge and wait for 5 minutes.
  • Now, use a clean and soft towel and buff the wax in circular motion.
  • Once you are done with the whole car, clean the unpainted areas of the vehicle.
  • For best results, wax the car every 3 - 4 months.
Polishing Compound

To removing fine scratches on the glass of the car:
  • Go for a polishing compound that contains the finest abrasive.
  • Take a little amount of this compound on a sponge, and apply it over the scratches in a circular motion until they become less visible.
  • Don't overdo.
  • Wash off the area properly.
  • Use wax over it as per the mentioned instructions.