APPLYING TOUCH UP PAINTDings, dents, and scratches are an unfortunate fact of life for all vehicle owners. But if the damage to your vehicle’s finish only runs skin deep, which is to say there are a few scratches in the paint, then you may choose to repair the damage yourself using a tube of touch up paint.
Choosing Your Touch Up ColorColor choice is important, and it’s a good idea not to rely on your eyes to match the touch up paint to your vehicle’s finish. The best way to match the color is to order touch up paint based on your vehicle’s factory color code. You may find the color code printed on the dash, near the VIN number, on the firewall, or on the radiator core support. It may also be printed in your owner’s manual, depending on the manufacturer. If you can’t locate a color code anywhere on your vehicle, you may be able to find it with a quick internet search.
Pep Boys sells a variety of touch up paints that match up to the color codes of many vehicles. If your local store doesn’t stock the color you need, order it online!
Preparing Your Paint's SurfaceAll paint jobs, no matter how large or small, depend on the preparation you put into the surface you intend to paint. Before you start, have a good look at the scratch.
Can you see bare metal on the bottom of the scratch? Deep scratches require more time and work to prepare for paint, while lighter scratches require very little prep work prior to the paint application. Scratches that are accompanied by dents and dings, that look more like gouges than scratches, are often best left to collision specialists to repair.
Repairing a Light ScratchA light scratch is one that doesn’t go all the way into the metal underneath. Use the following procedure to repair light scratches:
Repairing Deeper ScratchesA deep scratch reaches all the way down into the substrate (the metal, plastic, or fiberglass) under your paint. These scratches require a few extra steps to repair.
Finishing Your Touch Up JobGive the new paint a few days to cure. Avoid driving, harsh sunlight, and weather for the first 24 hours after applying touch up paint. After that, the paint should be hard enough to stand up to the rigors of daily driving.
When the paint is fully cured, usually after 2-3 days, wash and then wax your vehicle’s paint. Polish it using a buffer to bring it to a high shine.
If you have more questions, or need supplies to touch up your paint, head to your nearest Pep Boys for the products and information you need to do the job right.