Repairing Paint Chips On Your Vehicle's Exterior

Posted on: 1 August 2015

If you recently had an occurrence where your vehicle was tapped by another, and you sustained a few spots where the paint had become chipped down to the metal, you may have considered trying to repair the damage on your own since your insurance deductible may not cover the cost. Fixing paint chipped areas is a job you can do on your own with the proper tools and a bit of time. Here are some instructions to follow when repairing small, chipped areas on your vehicle.

Materials You Will Need

  • Sandpaper in fine, medium, and coarse-grit
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Mild detergent
  • Bucket of water
  • Paint pen in matching shade to existing paint on vehicle
  • Paint polish
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Electric drill
  • Buffing pad

Preparing The Surface

Before you start coloring in affected areas with paint, you will need to sand them down so the paint will adhere in an even consistency. Trying to fill in chipped areas without sanding first will make the paint job noticeable, as there will be bumps and grooves within the body after the paint dries. First sand the affected areas with coarse-grit sandpaper to remove larger portions of flecked paint from the surface. Afterwards switch to medium-grit sandpaper to remove finer particles. Finally sand down the areas with fine-grit sandpaper until the spots are smooth to the touch. 

Cleaning The Areas

After the vehicle has been sanded, clean the affected areas so no pieces of metal or sandpaper shavings will be mixed in with the color when you apply it. Wash down the areas using a piece of microfiber cloth dipped in a mixture of mild detergent and water. Rinse the areas and allow to dry thoroughly before starting to paint.

Applying The Color

Using a paint pen is the easiest way to touch up small chipped areas. These can be purchased at an auto parts store or at a car dealership. To find the correct shade, look in your vehicle's manual. Some vehicles will have a paint code listed on the vehicle on the driver's side door. Your vehicle identification number can also be used to match up the paint color to your vehicle. To apply, brush the coloring onto your vehicle so the paint overlaps onto the existing paint. You will need to apply five or six coats with a full day of drying in between each one. 

Finishing The Job

After the last coat has dried, sand the paint using fine-grit sandpaper. Make sure to sand down some of the existing paint, as well, as this will blend the colors together, leaving you with a smooth finish.

Dab some paint polish on a piece of lint-free cloth and rub across the painted area to shine it. Place a buffing pad on the end of an electric drill and turn it on so the pad spins. Use this to buff the area, adding some more paint polish to the area before beginning.

If your vehicle has sustained more damage than just a few paint chips, it may be best to contact a professional service such as Lombard Body & Fender Inc.