We all have received them on our cars – rock chips, door dings, bumper scrapes, etc… They can come from a rock thrown up from a truck on the highway, or its as easy as a parking lot ding from someone in a hurry or even an errant grocery cart. Most of these are unavoidable. They can happen even if you park far away from stores and regardless of the measures you take to protect your car. Not only do they detract from your cars beauty, but they can also make your car susceptible to rust and the environment. Here’s how to fix these paint chips, nicks and deep scratches and protect your car from rust.
Its not worth going to a auto paint and body store for chips and scratches. They will charge 10 times more for repairs you can easily do yourself. The first step is to locate the chips and scratches and see how deep they are. If they don’t go all the way through the paint you can buff them out. Using a cloth terry towel apply a small amount of scratch remover or cleaner wax. Rub in a circular motion over the chip or scratch and buff when dry. If this removes the chip or scratch after a couple of applications, great, then just follow with a good wax or polish. If you see white primer or metal in the nick or scratch scratch remover or cleaner wax will not work well.
Some cars have paint that is lacquer based and others have paint that is enamel based. The following tip works wonders on cars with lacquer based paint only. Get a clean rag and apply a small amount of lacquer thinner to it. Take this and rub lightly on and around the scratch, nick or chip. The lacquer thinner will actually start to move the paint around and cover the affected spot. This even works on larger scrapes. This treatment is not recommended on cars with custom paint jobs and may not work on all cars with lacquer based paints.
For those with enamel paint or scratches and chips where the above treatment didn’t work, then you have to touch up the blemish in your paint. First, you need to get the paint code so you can correctly match the paint for your car. This is located inside your door jam or on some Hondas inside the glove box. Take this paint code to your dealer and get a small bottle of touch up paint. The touch up paint will come in a small bottle with a brush applicator. Instead of using the brush, as it will apply too broadly and make your touch up of the chip or scratch really stand out, we recommend using a toothpick for better paint placement.
First clean the area of the chip or scratch. Then follow the directions on the touch up paint bottle. Usually it is mix thoroughly for 5 minutes (metallic paints may require more agitation). Then using the toothpick place the paint directly in the chip or scratch. When done allow to dry for several days before waxing or polishing (some cars have a clear cote which you would then apply in the same fashion to the affected area). By touching up the paint you have sealed the area from the environment and greatly reduced the chances of rust setting in and affecting your sheet metal. Rust is like cancer for your car and very difficult to stop once it starts, so it is better to be proactive and prevent it with proper car care and treatment and quickly identifying and repairing paint chips, nicks and scratches. For more great free info on automotive repair, treatments and headlight cleaning and restoration, please visit the link below.