How to Apply Touch-Up Paint to Car Door Handles

Updated February 21, 2017

Car door handles take a lot of abuse. Not only are they the most touched exterior part of the car, they are also often accidentally scratched with keys, bumped by purses and briefcases and banged by boxes, bags or whatever else is in your hands as you try to open the car door. With so much use, it's no surprise that car door handles need a paint touch-up every now and then. It's a quick and easy process, requiring just a little time.

Clean the car door handle with rubbing alcohol to remove any grease, dirt or other residue that would prevent the paint from adhering.

Dry the door handle with a soft, clean rag. The handle must be completely dry before applying the paint.

Shake the paint container well. It should be shaken for at least two or three minutes to make sure the colour and components are thoroughly mixed. The paint will not look good or create a strong bond if it is not completely mixed.

Paint the chipped or damaged part of the car door handle. Brush only in one direction as you would nail polish or other thick paint.

Wait for the paint to dry completely. This will probably take one to two hours.

Apply a second coat of paint if necessary. If the repair is not concealed or if the damaged base is showing through, a second coat is necessary.

Allow the paint to dry completely before touching or using the car door handle.


Wait for a calm, clear day before applying touch-up paint to the car door handle to avoid any dirt or dust being blown onto the fresh paint.


Avoid touching the car door handle while the paint is drying. It could leave fingerprints in the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean soft rag
  • Touch-up paint
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