Every car will eventually develop small scratches, dents, and dings. While deep gouges and cuts will need to be seen by a professional auto body shop, it is perfectly possible to fix smaller eyesores yourself. The process of painting over little scratches is not overly complicated. But there are a few key points that need to be known ahead of time to produce the best results.
Want It to Look Professional? Try Thinking Like a Pro.
Do-it-yourself jobs are often less expensive than taking the task to a professional. With that said, it would be a mistake to think like an amateur. Take the time to plan out the process. Professionals know that each automotive touch up job requires careful preparation, from the tools used to the paint chosen. To ignore the preparation to to set yourself up for failure.
Prep: How to Get Prepared For Fixing the Small Scratches.
Let’s say you need to fix a few scratches on your Chevrolet. Don’t pick up a Chevy touch up paint kit just yet. You cannot fix small scratches by picking up a bottle or auto touch up paint kit at the nearest auto body shop and expect to have this job done in an hour. There are multiple reasons for this, the first of which is the paint needs to be prepped. Prepping the area to be painted isn’t complicated. It will take a bit of time though.
It is a good idea to wash the vehicle and dry it with a lint-free towel. Next, the scratched area will need to be smoothed out with sandpaper, and a 200 grade is generally recommended. This is essential as the paint needs to be applied to a completely smooth surface. The area will further be smoothed with a rubbing compound purchased from the auto body store. All of these steps need to undertaken to get the best result.
Painting: How to Do It Right the First Time Around.
Once you’ve thoroughly prepped the area, it’s time to paint. Now is not the time to ruin your hard work by applying the wrong color paint. The tiny bottles at the store are not created for specific brands. A Chevy touch up paint kit is not the same as an Infiniti touch up paint color, which is different than a Mercedes touch up paint bottle.
The best method is to check before purchasing anything. This means going to a dealer or website to inquire about the correct Chevy touch up paint color for your vehicle. Truly, this will save you quite a bit of time and headaches. Your car has a paint code for its color. Match the paint code, and never eyeball it. Just imagine doing all of the work to prep for the paint, and then applying the wrong color.
Common Mistakes: How to Avoid Basic Missteps During the Painting Process.
So you’ve prepped the area. You’ve chosen the correct color by verifying it with the actual maker of the car. All will go smoothly, right? Not quite. You’ll want to be careful during the application of the paint. This entails using a spray bottle to apply the paint to areas larger than a quarter. Incidentally, this also helps with blending later, which is essential to having the touch up be nearly undetectable.
Next, consider where you will be doing this work. It is recommended to never paint in direct sunlight, nor in conditions that are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Remember that cars are shiny because a clear top coat has been applied. If you don’t do this step, the touch up will be very noticeable even if it is the correct color.
You absolutely can touch up small scratches on your car. However, it will take a bit of preparation. Mistakes are made when amateurs try to bypass what the professionals know. For example, even an expensive Chevy touch up paint bottle will not be enough as the application technique matters. Take the time to prep your car, find the correct paint code, and blend well. Add a clear top coat, and your vehicle will look brand new in no time.