Dealing with chipped and dinged paint is an inevitable part of car ownership. Many people write off such damage, thinking that it presents no real threat--only to find themselves having to pay through the nose when rust takes over their car. If you would like to learn how to avoid this expensive scenario, read on. This article will provide three helpful tips for touching up chipping automobile paint.
Always begin with a thorough cleaning.
Repairing chipped paint is fairly simple--yet not quite as simple as some people think. You can't simply slap a fresh coat of paint on and call it good. That's because, unless you prep the damaged area carefully, that repair paint simply won't look natural. Worse still, it may not form a strong enough bond, thus making the area susceptible to rust and further damage.
Avoid these unwanted problems by cleaning the damaged area with soapy water. Allow it to dry completely, and then dab a bit of polishing compound on a clean piece of rag. Rubbing this in gentle circular motions will help to smooth out any rough edges. Be careful though; over applying this rubbing compound can wear down your clear coat, leading to a cloudy appearance. Finally, remove any leftover compound using a rag dipped in denatured alcohol.
Use a match to apply the primer.
Just as with any paint job, it's essential you use a base layer of primer to help establish a strong, long-lasting top coat. The problem here is that, while touch up paints can be purchased in small bottles with conveniently built-in application brushes, exterior primer isn't as easy to find in that format. And, because the area of chipped paint may be very small, a regular paintbrush isn't always the best application tool. Instead, fill in tiny chips using the bottom of a paper match dipped in primer. This will allow you to add just enough to fill the chip, without getting primer on the adjoining areas.
VIN plates often contain information about paint color.
Long gone are the days when red was simply red, blue simply blue. The range of automobile paint shades available today can be staggering. And unless you get the exact replacement shade, you may end up with an easily noticed repair. The good news here is that you can easily find the paint code for your specific shade by consulting your VIN plate. You can find this plate mounted either on top of the dash, or inside of the driver's side door.
For more information, contact an auto repair shop in your area.