Paint chips impact the appearance of a car and are nesting grounds for rust. Rocks, debris, and other factors cause patches of paint to chip and flake off the fenders, hood, side panels, or behind the wheels of a vehicle. Over time the chipped paint surface can develop into virulent rust spots.
Repairing paint chips is an important part of car maintenance. Chipping occurs to a varying degree of size and severity—from small cracks in the finish that reveal the primer coat—to large holes that expose the metal body of a car. The gravity of the chip will impact the method of repair; however, a step-by-step process that you can do at home is outlined below.
Step 1: Identify the specific paint color code of the vehicle.
Paint color codes are located on a tag/sticker that can be found in a number of different locations depending on the make and model of a car (glove compartment, door jam, trunk, or compartment under the hood). Use the color code to order the specific automotive paint to match your vehicle that will be applied to the chipped surfaces.
Step 2: Gather the appropriate tools.
A number of specialized tools are needed in order to effectively repair automobile paint chips:
- Automotive cleaning solvents and rust dissolvent/removers
- Primer, paint, clear coat, and rubbing compounds
- Paint application tools such as paint pens and multi-sized applicator brushes
- Sand Paper, preferably 1500-2000 grit, and a sanding block
Step 3: Clean the vehicle surface.
It is important for the entire exterior of the vehicle to be cleaned before applying new paint to the chipped areas. Dirt and dust can be washed off with warm soapy water. The surface area surrounding the paint chips can be thoroughly cleaned using automotive cleaning solvents and rust dissolvent and removers. It is essential that all rust is removed prior to applying new paint to the effected areas. In addition, the chipped areas can be lightly sanded in order to smooth the surface that will be repainted.
Step 4: Prime and paint.
Apply primer starting from the middle of the chipped surface and move outward. Allow the primer to dry—sand the area to reestablish a smooth surface—and then apply the color-matched touch up paint and corresponding clear coat.
Step 5: Sand and buff.
Sand and buff the newly painted surfaces after the clear coat has dried. Sanding and buffing can unfold in multiple phases in order to achieve an exceptionally smooth and shiny finish.
There are a number of DIY tutorials found online that describe the process of repairing automotive paint chips; however, the multiphase process requires technical skill and is time consuming. Working with an auto body repair shop is the most effective and efficient method to repair those pesky chips.
Call or stop by Mercer Auto Body today for a free evaluation! We service customers in Kennett Square, Avondale, West Grove, Landenberg, Toughkenamon, Hockessin DE, Chadds Ford, Unionville, and Concordville.