How to Fix Paint Chips on a Car, Truck, or SUV

Road debris, rocks, and small objects can chip the paint on vehicles and can sometimes create an unpleasant appearance and also rust the vehicle, which can spread over time. A touch-up pen is great for fixing paint chips because they don’t need to be buffed out like a scratch in the clear coat. This post explains how to fix paint chips on a car, truck, or SUV with a touch-up paint pen and paint brush.

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Why Use Touch-Up Paint?

Touch-up paint is great for adding a quick touch-up to the paint if a thin layer has chipped off. Touch-up paint brushes and pens are easy to use, and each is better for certain chips depending on their size. Paint pens are better for smaller chips, and paint brushes are better for larger chips, but both can be used for either.

Touch-up paint is best for fixing paint chips, but not for scratches in the clear coat that can be buffed out.

How to Use Touch Up Paint to Fix Paint Chips on a Car, Truck, or SUV

Steps to Take Before Applying Touch Up Paint

Before applying touch up paint, follow these steps:

Steps to take before applying touch up paint

  1. Find Your Vehicle’s Color Code on the Information Sticker in the Door Jamb

    Locate the door jamb sticker with your vehicle’s information, which is usually located on the driver’s side near the door jamb.

    Find the color or color code of the vehicle listed on the sticker. On this Toyota, it’s listed as C/TR and the exact color of the paint is displayed in numbers and letters.

  2. Buy the Correct Touch Up Paint for Your Vehicle

    Once you have the color code, buy the paint that will match your vehicle’s color. If metal is in the chip, buy primer as well.

  3. Wash and Dry the Vehicle

    Wash the vehicle and make sure it’s dry so dust does not mix with the paint

  4. Sand Off Any Rust in the Paint Chip

    Sand off any rust in the chip so the area is clean

  5. Park the Vehicle in a Dry and Warm Place

    Park the vehicle in a dry and warm enough area so the paint can dry

  6. Apply Primer if Metal Is in the Chip

    If metal is visible in the chip, apply primer before applying paint

How to Use a Touch Up Paint Pen

Repairing a paint chip on a car with a touch up paint pen

Pro Tip: Paint pens are great for small chips that need very thin layers of paint.

Steps for how to use a paint pen:

  1. Shake up the paint for about one minute before applying
  2. Make sure the paint is about room temperature and isn’t excessively hot or cold
  3. Dab paint from the pen to confirm it works
  4. Then, like drawing, paint the chips on the vehicle with the paint pen. Try not to apply too much paint so it dries easier and doesn’t compound.

How To Use a Touch Up Paint Bottle and Brush

Repairing a paint chip with a touch up paint bottle and brush

Pro Tip: Paint brushes are great for chips that are a little larger and require blending over a larger area.

  1. Shake up the paint for about one minute before applying
  2. Make sure the paint is about room temperature and isn’t excessively hot or cold
  3. Apply a thin coat of paint to the area

Steps to Take After Applying the Paint

After the paint has been applied, let the paint dry, and wet polish and sand it if needed.

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Summary
How to Fix Paint Chips on a Car, Truck, or SUV with Touch Up Paint
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How to Fix Paint Chips on a Car, Truck, or SUV with Touch Up Paint
Description
Paint chips can rust and mar a vehicle's appearance. This post explains how to fix paint chips on a car, truck, or SUV properly with expert advice from real mechanics.
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1A Auto
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