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How to Use Touch Up Pens

Updated April 17, 2017

Touch up pens are used to repair the outer body paint on your vehicle's exterior. You can use it on any type of vehicle that has paint. These pens are pretty safe and easy to use. The main use of the pen is for repair on small, scratched or scraped up areas. Make your car, truck or motorcycle look brand new again without spending all that money on a new paint job. Be sure to read all of the instructions and warnings on your paint pen, in order to assure safety, and correct use of your pen.

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  1. Assess the damage. Observe everywhere that has a scratch, ding or mark. Use a piece of brightly coloured painter's tape to "mark" where the repair will go. This way you will not skip any marks and you can remove the tape once you are finished.

  2. Change into some old clothes and wash your car with a gentle cleaner or detergent designed for auto body use. Be sure to remove as much debris as possible. Use a cloth and dry the car before you move on to the next step.

  3. Read all instructions that come with your pens before you do anything else. Use the primer touch up pen first. Open the cap and press the tip down on onto a piece of cardboard. Press hard enough so that paint comes out; it may take a few times. Some pens retract into the case, but just press it as far as it will go until it stops. Do this a couple of times to get the paint flowing. You may need to shake the pen before pressing, if it is recommended.

  4. Prime all the marked areas, and allow the primer to dry before adding the coloured pen. Once it is dry, prep your colour pen by doing the same thing as the primer. Press down onto the cardboard, according to the directions. Wait until you see the paint appear, and practice a few strokes on the cardboard to get a feel for the flow of paint. Apply the paint to the marked areas now, using slow and careful strokes as you work.

  5. Be sure you have covered each scratch. Wait until the first coat of paint dries, then do another coat. See how it looks, then double check and be sure it looks good. Always wait for the coat to dry before applying another.

  6. Apply a little varnish, and seal up all the work you just did. Remove the tape and let your car dry for a day or so until you take it for a spin.

  7. Tip

    It's best to use these products on smaller paint jobs. It it not recommended to do the entire body with them. However, you could use them to do some small, custom graphic designs if you wish. Use colours that "pop" off of the initial background. You will be sure to get noticed.


    Each company may have some differences when it comes to using their product. That is why it is imperative that you read warnings and instructions for use. Most paints are highly flammable, so keep away from people who may be using blow torches or anything that may contain heat or flame.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bright tape
  • Car cleaner
  • Old clothes
  • Water
  • Cloth
  • Paint pens: 1 primer, 1 the colour of your vehicle
  • Cardboard
  • Sealing varnish

About the Author

Eve Frost

Eve Frost is a Virginia-based writer with a passion for writing creative Web content for various websites. Frost studied art and literature at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

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