How Does a Car's Paint Chip?

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  • Careful treatment and care for a car is important, as a car's paint job can chip or scratch fairly easily. Some chips or scratches are small or don't run deep, while others are larger or can really cut through and expose several layers of the car. Depending on the type of chip or scratch, the car's paint job can be repaired by utilizing varying methods.

  • Some very minor scratches to the paint job can occur through everyday and simple occurrences, but these can often be buffed out with little effort and no expense. Other paint chips require further attention, however. A medium scratch or chip is one you can feel with your finger or nail, but also one that does not make its way all the way through to the primer. These can occur in a variety of situations, anything from small stones being kicked up from the road or dropped from a trunk driving in front of the car, or hitting a pole or receiving a bump from a wayward shopping cart in a mall parking lot. To repair such nicks, just fill the nick with paint, buff around the affected area and make sure to round down the edges (use a medium rubbing compound), and then thoroughly make sure that a fitting polish has been achieved.

  • The other kind of chip or scratch that can occur is far trickier to repair and can land you in quite a bit of trouble, as it may require professional attention to resolve the issue. A deep scratch or chip can impact the car significantly, going several layers deep. It often extends through and damages beyond the color coat, on down through the primer and even sometimes through to the car's metal. These chips can occur for a variety of reasons, but generally only occur from more severe or direct collisions with obstacles. These deep scratches can only be fixed up using touch-up paint, and it's best left to a professional.

  • When a car owner is looking to fix chipped paint, he should keep in mind that black and white are the easiest colors to repair, because shade variations aren't as much of a concern and repair colors can be matched quite easily. Also, metallic paints can be an extra pain to match correctly, and as such, remain a more difficult fix. Avoid metallic finishes if at all possible if there is a known history of accidents or chips.

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