The Best Canned Spray Paints for an Auto Touch-Up


Cars and trucks get scratched, and body shops are expensive. While not recommended for large repairs, high-quality automotive spray paint can be used to fix minor dings and nicks with good results. The quality of the paint, performance of the spray can and close color-matching are all factors that will affect the results of your touch-up job. Choosing good paint supplies can make the difference between a good job and one that you wish you had just left alone.

Dupli-Color Spray Paints

  • The Dupli-Color line of automotive spray paints is huge and can be found in most automotive parts stores. It offers a wide range of colors and updates its line regularly to match auto manufacturers' new paint colors. The spray nozzle on Dupli-Color spray cans is above average, with a wide spray pattern that attempts to mimic the pattern of a professional paint gun. The cans are easy to use and affordable, but they don't always match certain colors exactly. However, they have dozens, if not hundreds, of colors to choose from. If you can find a can of Dupli-Color that matches your paint, this line of spray paint is not a bad choice. These paints usually cost around $4 to $8 each.

DuPont Spray Paints

  • DuPont spray paints can be found on the DIY automotive market as direct competitors to Dupli-Color. They offer similar levels of spray quality and color selection but exhibit slightly better adhesion and paint quality. These paints are also available at most auto parts stores but are slightly more expensive than Dupli-Color, running around $10 to $12 each.

Custom Mixed Spray Paint

  • While Dupli-Color and DuPont both offer a wide range of premixed colors designed to match most vehicles, your vehicle may have slightly faded paint or an odd color that doesn't match anything off the shelf. In these cases, or if you want higher-quality paint, go to an automotive paint supply store and have them custom-mix a spray can to match your vehicle. These cans usually have very high-quality spray performance, are exactly matched to the paint on your vehicle and can be loaded with higher-quality paints than you will find off the shelf. The downside to this higher quality is, of course, higher price. Custom-mixed spray cans can easily cost $20 to $30 each from an automotive paint store.

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  • "Auto Body Repair Technology, Fourth Edition"; James E. Duffy; 2003
  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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