DIY: Car Paintwork Repair

Updated February 21, 2017

Repairing your car paintwork isn't always a hassle. There are a few ways to make it simple, effective and cheap. There are several methods when repairing any kind of paintwork on your car from scratches and chips to large dents and scrapes. Each one will restore the car to a like-new condition and prevent corrosion of the exposed metal.

Paint Pens

The paint pen is a relatively new idea on the market. It is a small vessel of paint that has a pen applicator for a tip. This paint pen is simply shaken and then pressed onto the chip or scratch. You will notice that the paint flows very slowly and in a small stream from the end of this paint-pen tip. So to apply, set the pen tip right in the centre of a scratch, press down and move the pen along the scratch. For small chips, just press down on the pen and the chip will fill with paint.

Larger Chips

For larger chips that can't be repaired with a paint pen, use the brush applicator that is included in the paint pen. Dip the brush into the paint, then wipe off excess and apply the paint to the area of the scratch. Make sure the area is cleaned with a light solvent or soap and water to remove grease and dirt beforehand. For the best application, always shake or stir the paint before use.

Dents and Scratches

Dents and large scratches that are more than a few inches long will require spray paint. This is similar to the top-coat paint that is applied to your vehicle at the factory. One way to apply this is to first sand the area lightly with 220-grit metal sandpaper. Then tape off the area to be spray painted. Cover the entire surrounding area with plastic and tape it down so it does not move. Then spray on one coat of the touch-up spray paint. Let dry and coat it again. Large repainted areas should be covered with a clear top coat to preserve the paint and create a glossy shine.

Repainting Large Sections of Your Car

If you need to repaint large sections of your car, use a primer under the new paint. This primer prepares the surface for the paint and allows for better hold. The top-coat paint will stick much better to this surface than it will to ordinary metal due to its characteristics. Any colour of primer can be used, but to be exact, find out which type of primer your manufacturer uses by visiting their website, or ask your auto dealer.


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About the Author

Steve Smith has published articles on a wide range of topics including cars, travel, lifestyle, business, golf, weddings and careers. His articles, features and news stories have appeared in newspapers, consumer magazines and on various websites. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from University of New Hampshire Durham.