Paint chips on your car may be more than a mess. When the metal of the car is exposed, it can cause rusting, which can go beneath the paint and damage all the bodies of your vehicle. Even a very small chip in your paint, that is caused by a small pebble can cause headaches if you do not repair it correctly. Luckily, most chips are repairable at home using small tools and even experience. Of course, the car won’t get back to a new finish, but in a great way, you can avoid rust from eating up the metal on your car and even repair the chip in a way that many people will never notice.

That said, in this article, we’ll take you through four main paint chip repair methods you may use to fix paint chips on your car. Each option has its simple methods, that will have the work done.

Let’s dive into the post. Also read – 9 Ways to Get Paint of Your Car

1. Touching up small chips method

Find out the severity of the chip

Chips in the paint of the car can be categorized into one of the 3 groups: large, medium, and small.

Small chips are smaller and needless work to be fixed. On the other hand, medium chips tend to be larger, however, they’re smaller than a ¼ while large chips include car chips in the paint that are very large or better still, larger than a ¼. Other predicaments that may make the chip to be more difficult to repair include flaking paint and rust.

Buy a touch-up paint pen

touch-up paint pen

Compared to scratches that you can always wet sanded out or buffed, a paint chip will demand that you put new paint to the metal of your car. The paint on your car does work than is more than just making your car look good, it is also a task to protect the metal that is under the car from the elements. As you know, when metal is left in the air for a long time, it will start to oxidize and in the long run rust. With a touch-up paint, you can be sure that rusting issues are dealt with, and with varied options present, it should be quite easy to get the one that meets your needs. Touch-up pens are made particularly for small chips and they are easy to use.

Clean the area around the chip

clean car paint

Before starting any paint, you must wash the place thoroughly. If you paint over things such as dirt can make your finish look bad and even worse, it can chip out, leaving the chip again. You must rinse the location of the car then use warm soap to wash it and water before you can rinse it once again and finally dry it well.

Use the paint pen to fill the chip

car paint chip pen

Once the car is fully dried, remove the cap of the paint pen and put the tip of the pen into the middle of the chip. Based on the type of paint pen that you’re using; you may require to hold on the pen down a bit to release the paint. You may not require to shift the pen to cover a small chip, because the pain will be given out and it should fill the space required, however moving the pen from one side to another a bit when you need more can help. Also, ensure to use sufficient paint to fill the chip fully, because when the paint dries, it will shrink a bit.

Give time for the paint to dry, wash and wax the car

wash car

Ensure that the paint dries fully before you can wash the car, we say so because you may end up damaging or scarping the new paint before it can stick. Based on the paint pen type that you use, and the paint that you use, it may only take you a few hours for the paint to dry, others on the other end may even need a full day to dry completely. After the paint is fully dry, wash the whole car and then use a fresh wax.

2. Repainting medium-sized chips method

car scratch

Remove any debris

Medium-sized chips have a size in between a dime and a ¼. Due to their increased size, it is common for debris to be stacked in the chip or even to the paint on the chip borders. Get rid of small debris using your fingers or even a pair of tweezers before you can wash the area of the car. If you try to wash it beforehand, the sponge may trap small pieces of debris and spread it all over the entire good paint, hence causing small scratches.

Clean the area around the chip

After you cleared all the debris from the areas around the chip, now wash the section of the car just as you’d do for a small chip. First off, rinse the place, then put warm soapy water using a sponge before you can rinse it once again. Make sure the car is fully dry before you can apply any paint.

To remove grease and oil, use rubbing alcohol

rubbing alcohol

After cleaning and drying the area around the chip, pour some rubbing alcohol, enamel reducer, prepsol on the rag, and use the piece of cloth to clean the area chipped once again. This will get rid of any oils and grease in the place that is difficult for the primer to create a strong bond to that metal. Most likely, you won’t be in a position to see any grease or oil but don’t require to be visible to compromise the quality of the painting process.

Apply primer to the metal

Now purchase the automotive primer from any local and trusted auto parts store. The primer comes in a tiny bottle and a brush, as compared to the paint pen that is used for minimal chips. Take the applicator brush to insert the primer to the clean, dry metal, ensuring to place a very little amount on the surrounding area. Use enough primer to ensure you cover the unpainted areas using a thin but solid coat.

Apply touch-up paint by dabbing the applicator brush

First, shake the touch-up paint very well, then just dip the tip of the applicator brush into it. Place the applicator brush in the middle of the chip and move it around slightly, enabling the paint to stick and expand on the metal. Dip the applicator brush again, and touch it into the same areas, enabling the paint to flow off the brush and settle on the car.

Allow the paint to dry & re-apply if needed

After the paint dried, check out the result. In case the paint result isn’t impressive, you’d need to get back to the above step once again, but if everything is good, now move to the next step.

Wash & wax the car

Now, wax the entire car at the same time, for the paint glossiness matches seamlessly. Waxing will also ensure your car body is protected against any elements and against sun effects that may cause fading. Apply wax also particularly on the area you apply the new paint.

3. How to fix large paint chips

large paint chips
View at red color car hood with damaged paint with cracks and peeling scratched spots

Check on the damage

A larger paint chip is usually a quarter in size or more. Repairing large paint chips can be a bit difficult because you will need to repaint a larger area and it will be more visible. If it covers a few inches in diameter or flakes into a larger chip, then you will need to repaint the whole-body components. Before you can start repainting, you should ensure that paint damage is anything you can handle without any difficulties. For touch-up paints, you can only use them when the chips in the paint are smaller compared few inches in diameter. Also, you should never paint on top of another existing paint that is chipping. This will ruin everything.

Using a dental pick or tweezers to get rid of chips or debris


During most circumstances, larger chips will accumulate more debris that you need to remove before you can start your operations. You can use tweezers or your fingers to get rid of that larger debris or blow air into the affected area. Moreover, you can use canned air to remove any debris. These larger chips can therefore result in the surrounding paint flaking off. So you should remove any flaked paints that are no longer intact to the metal because they will come out at the end. You can remove these flakes using your fingers, tweezers, or dental picks. Whenever you are removing the flakes you should be vigilant to avoid removing or the good paint using any of the above tools.

Remove any dust particles on the surface

Larger paints expose a larger area of the metal to moisture, therefore, can cause rusting. You can prevent all this by covering the exposed part with CLR or swabbing the metal. If the rust has penetrated more, this means that the entire component is ruined and you can never repair it by just painting. A body shop will help you to determine the level of the damage and recommend whether to repair the damaged part or replace the entire body component.

Therefore, if the rust has not penetrated deeply, you can only apply CLR with varied Q-tips until it is clean. When you start seeing the Q-tips coming clean, you can wipe them using alcohol to get rid of any chemicals or grease that remains. If you do not remove the rust completely, it will make your paint flake due to the rusting. Ideally, you can prevent the spread of rust to save you from expensive repairs.

Sanding the edges of the chip

sandpaper to car paint chip

You can use fine grit sand paper most especially the 2000 grit sandpaper. This helps you to round off the edges to prevent the visibility of the repair. Those hard-defined edges surrounding the chips can be easily seen rounding them off can make them appear like any other normal paint. You should never use wet sandpaper because it might cause rusting on the metal. It is advisable to use dry sandpaper and always replace it when it is clogged with paints. Ideally, you can glue sandpaper to a craft stick to easily control the angle that you sand. After sanding the area, you can wash it to remove any sediments that might have settled after sanding.

4. How to repaint large chips

repaint car

Applying a primer

After sanding, cleaning, and drying the chip, you can apply a thin layer of primer on the bare metal using an applicator brush. You should ensure that apply the appropriate amount to avoid dripping on the paint, therefore, making your final look uneven. Before doing any other thing, you should leave the primer to dry. However, it might take many hours before it fully cures.

Wet sanding the primer

wet sand a car

When the primer is dried, it will appear textured due to the bristles of the brush that you used. You can opt to use 2000 grit sandpaper and hose to wet sand the dried primer. You should lightly sand the primer after pouring some water on it. Therefore, you should be very careful to avoid sanding the surrounding paint and only sand the primer until it is flat. Before, you get to the next step, you should also allow the sanded primer to dry.

Apply touch-up paint on the primer

touch-up paint on the primer

Just like the medium-sized chip, you can use the same method to apply the touch-up paint on the primer. Use the applicator brush by dubbing it into the paint before placing it on the center of the primer to allow the paint to spread evenly. Repeat the process until the entire primer is covered fully. Depending on the touch-up paint that you opt for, you may have to apply one or multiple coats. You should ensure that the paint is dried completely before you can determine if you should apply any other cost.

Wet sanding the dried paint

When it dries completely, you can wet sand the fresh paint to remove any textures to keep it as flat as possible. You should use fine-grit sandpaper, most especially 2000 grit or anything above this. Keep the water flowing continuously as you sand to avoid any kind of damages. If you opt for dry sanding, you will scratch your paints.

Applying a clearer coat

Most touch paints usually come with a small bottle of clear coat. You should apply this clear coat on a thin layer of the paint using a fine bristled paintbrush. This clear coat will help you in the protection of the painting and maintain the best shiny surface. It will complement the surrounding paint. You should allow the clear coat to dry before doing any other thing.

Washing and waxing the whole car

When the repaired area is dried completely, you should wash and repair your car. You should even wax your wax to complement well with the painted area and make the paint less visible. You can wait for a few days before you can wax to ensure that all the repaired areas are dried off as required. This will help you to avoid damaging the new paint in any way.

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