How to Properly Use Touch Up Paint


Improving the appearance of your car does not necessarily mean you need a new paint job. A finish that is chipping, scratched or thinning will improve with a proper touch-up, according to CarsDirect. When looking for touch-up paint products, you have several options. Using a paint pen will help if you need to fill tiny spots. A spray-on product will work for larger areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Cleaning rags
  • 180 to 320 grit sandpaper
  • 1000 to 1500 grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Touch-up pen
  • 3/4 inch masking tape
  • Cover paper
  • Spray-on touch-up paint
  • Spray-on clear coat


  • Wash the surface thoroughly with soap and water. Use a cleanser for cars or dish soap. Allow the car to dry before going further.

  • Apply a wax remover or prep solvent to any area you will be working on following the directions provided with the product.

  • Sand the damaged areas with 180 to 320 grit sandpaper. Use 1000 to 1500 grit wet sandpaper on the edges of areas adjacent to the touch up spots if using spray paint. This will improve blending.

  • Add a primer to areas that are bare metal. Follow the directions on the primer product for application. Allow the primer the dry thoroughly before beginning the touch-up.

Touch Up Pen

  • Shake the pen for several seconds to mix the paint.

  • Hold the pen at an angle over an inconspicuous spot on the car. Press the pen down onto the car surface to test the color match. Allow the spot of paint to dry.

  • Press the pen down onto the chip or scratch until paint covers the area and then pull the pen away. Let the paint dry and apply a second coat if necessary.

Spray Paint

  • Apply 3/4-inch masking tape and paper over the areas around the damaged surface. Cover any hardware, such as tail lights or door handles with tape.

  • Shake the spray can for several seconds and then apply the paint on an inconspicuous area to test the color match. Let the test area dry and apply a clear coat. Hold the can 12 to 14 inches away from the metal surface when spraying.

  • Spray the damaged area on the car after the test spot confirms the color match. Let the paint dry between layers. Read the application directions on the can for proper drying times.

  • Add 3 to 4 coats of clear sealant to the area. Allow 5 to 10 minutes between each application.

Tips & Warnings

  • The exact application may vary by paint manufacturer. Read the product information thoroughly before using. Some spray product may recommend a respirator when painting to avoid inhaling the paint mist. Paint pens are only suitable for very tiny chips or scratches.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

How To Travel For Free With Reward Points

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!