Scratches And Chips: 3 Handy Tips For Eliminating Auto Paint Problems

Scratches and chipping paint are a common problem for many car owners. No matter how safe you drive, at some point your vehicle will likely become scratched or chipped. Whether from a minor accident or a flying rock, paint scratches and chips happen. Luckily, most scratches and chips can easily be repaired at home.

So how do you fix a scratch or chip in your auto paint? Here's three tips:

1. Buff It Out

If your vehicle has a minor scratch or chip, buffing it out is probably the best option. A vehicle buffer and an abrasive will easily remove the scratch, as long as it doesn't go through the clear coat. Simply clean the affected area, use the buffer, and wipe clean with a soft cloth. If the paint appears dull, apply wax or a protective top coat to the area. This will bring back the shine and make it look like there was never anything wrong with the paint job.

2. Color Match

For deeper scratches or chips, you'll likely need to repaint the area. Unfortunately, you cannot just use a marker in a similar color. In order to achieve professional looking results, you'll need to color match the paint to the rest of your vehicle. Luckily, you can usually find the exact color of your vehicle by looking at the manufacturer book. If the color isn't listed there, you should be able to find it on a sticker in the vehicle. The sticker should be located somewhere within the vehicle. Two good places to look include the window and under the hood.

Once you know the exact paint color, you can visit an auto repair shop to purchase a paint pen. For larger scratches, consider purchasing a small tub of paint to ensure you have enough to cover the area. If you don't know what color to purchase, an auto body repair professional can help you determine the right shade.

3. Practice

If you plan on applying the paint to your vehicle yourself, it's a good idea to do a practice run first. Apply the paint to a surface similar to your vehicle. Any smooth surface will work. While practice certainly isn't necessary, it will help you achieve a more even end result. So it's definitely a good idea to do a quick practice one before you apply the paint to your vehicle.

While a chip or scratch in your auto paint might be a little distressing, it doesn't have to be. Minor scratches and chips can easily be repaired at home by following these three tips. However, if you have a large or deep scratch, it's probably a good idea to visit a professional at an auto body repair shop.