The longer you drive your car, the more likely it is that you are going to get some nicks and scrapes. Or it could simply be that your vehicle has lost some of the original shine that it once had. Taking your can into a professional to have it resprayed can end up getting expensive, but there are some touch up paint products that allow you to take care of the job yourself. However, if you want to do the job yourself, you want to do it right – and this means selecting the right paint. In this blog post, we will talk you through a few different options to help you make up your mind.
The Best Automotive Touch Up Paint
First up, we have this automotive paint which promises to be easy to use, while also offering a high-quality finish. The paint has been specially formulated to match the original factory colors of the original factory applied coating of your vehicle. Once you spray it on, it will dry quickly to get your car looking back to its best once again.
One of the most innovative features is the nozzle, which you can adjust to 360-degrees, offering a wide spray pattern and an even finish. This is the kind of product that is suitable for both little vehicle touch-up jobs and the painting of your vehicle accessories.
Formulated to exactly match factory applied coating
Spray application method – ideal for larger touch up jobs
- Weight11.5 ounces
360-degree nozzle allows for wide spray pattern
Doesn’t work as well for small scratches and nicks
While some people want their car touch-up paint to be more generalized to suit a range of vehicles, there are others that want something more specific. This one comes direct from Honda. Obviously, before you use a product such as this one, you need to ensure that your car matches precisely. Otherwise, it is not going to look as good.
Rather than spraying it on, this one is designed for brushing. So, you will have to take your time when applying it to the specific parts of your cat which need refreshing.
Specially formulated for Honda vehicles
- Weight0.8 ounces
Pen for easy application method
High-quality acrylic paint
Not as good for larger touch up jobs as it is more precise
A very highly rated product, this one is specifically designed to remove those annoying scratches and swirls on your vehicle. The patented formula is designed to be safe to use on all paint finishes. A buffer pad is included for you to apply it. However, it may not be suitable for cats which have deeper scratches that can be felt with your finger.
You can also use the product for other purposes including removing water spots and other contaminants that have gotten mixed up in your paint. While it is a professional-standard product, it is one that anyone can use at home. All car paint colors are supported. And there is also a refund guarantee if you are not satisfied for any reason.
Apply by hand or orbital
Suitable for smaller scratches and swirls
Removes water spots, oxidation and other common contaminants
- Weight8 ounces
Restores gloss and shine to your paintwork
Uses premium chemicals
Not suitable for deeper scratches that you can feel with the tip of your fingernail
Again, this is another specialized car touch-up paint for you to use on your Subaru. Everyone wants their car to look new for as long as possible, and this product helps you to accomplish this task by covering up the chips and scratches which can give your vehicle an ugly appearance. As we have stated before above, you need to make sure that your car color matches properly. Remember, with this type of product, it is important that you are specific.
Formulated for Subaru vehicles
Get an exact match to your car’s color code
- Weight1.6 ounces
Quick to use with little prep needed
Dries relatively quickly
Some complaints of the pen being difficult to use
Crafted to high standards that you would expect of a Toyota vehicle, this touch-up pen is designed for white vehicles to give them back their original shine. Tested for both performance and durability, they tick the boxes of what you would want of a product of this variety. You have a roller ball tip and a brush end to choose between, so you can select the one which is best-suited to the damage on your vehicle.
Made for Toyota vehicles
Designed for scratch and chip repair work
- BrandGenuine Toyota
- Weight0.96 ounces
High-quality paint that effectively covers up scratches
Easy application method
Not a generalized touch up product that you can use for all vehicles
Rather than paying a lot of money to fix up the scratches on your vehicle, this scratch remover pen takes care of the job of covering up the annoying bits of damage on your car. As well as being permanent, it is also water resistant, so a rain shower is not going to wash it off. There is a detailed set of instructions which gives you the step by step guide of what you need to do.
Water resistant and permanent
- Weight1.76 ounces
Convenient and easy to use
Not much paint in the bottle so not suitable for bigger touch up jobs
This touch-up paint is designed for Audi vehicles. There are a range of different colors to choose between, so you can pick the one which matches your car. A lot of positive reports detail how well this product has worked and the quality of the match.
Genuine Audi product
Contains both base coat and clear coat
- Weight2.4 ounces
Provides an exact match to your vehicle’s color
More expensive than other options
Designed for Ford automobiles, you should make sure that you choose the correct color to suit your vehicle best. The basecoat contains enough paint to fully cover up a 4ft x 4ft area. To put it into context, this should be enough to paint a door of your car. So, bear this in mind when you are working out how many tins you require.
Contains touch up paint and clear coat
- BrandERA Paints
- Weight2.24 ounces
Guaranteed to be an exact OEM color match
Only a small amount of paint contained in each tin
Best Automotive Touch Up Paint Buying Guide
What to Look for in an Automotive Touch Up Paint
All automotive touch up paints are not created equal, and if you have still not made up your mind which is the right one for you, here are a few points that are worth considering.
- Make and Model of Your Car
There are some touch up paints which are made for certain makes of car, and many which are designed to match very specific colors. While this may not be the most affordable option, it is going to be the one which replicates your paint job the most closely. If you are going to go down the specific paint route, you need to ensure that you double check to make sure that the match is exact. If your car manufacturer does not produce their own paint, you can check your GM factory color code. Your car manual should have this information inside.
- Application Method
Different touch up paints have varying application methods, so you need to choose the one which is best for you. For example, if your car has a few small scratches which are not too deep, a pen-style applicator is good for covering these up. With deeper and longer scratches, a touch-up paint with a brush helps to deal with these. Brushes also work well for chips too. And if you have a lot of area to cover, a spray may do the job best.
There are a couple of different points to consider regarding the resistance of the paint. A good-quality paint should not only be resistant to corrosion, but also UV rays. Also, you can find paint, which is able to withstand heat, which is important is you are going to be driving your car in hot conditions. And it is also worth checking for water resistance too.
- Drying Time
Check the drying time of the paint to find out how long this is going to take. This is especially important to know if you plan on applying different layers. Quick-dry paint can be set in as little as 30 minutes, so you can easily apply multiple layers if you need to. Bear in mind that you need to wait around a month before waxing your car.
Benefits of Automotive Touch Up Paint
There are plenty of different reasons why you would want to use automotive touch up paint. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the main ones.
- Save Money
One of the main reasons why you would use automotive touch up paint is because it is cheaper than taking it in for the job to be done professionally. Even the smallest of scratches are going to cost you a pretty penny to put right compared to the amount you will spend on a bottle of touch up paint.
Next up, you have the convenience factor. Not only will taking your car into the mechanic be expensive, but it will also take time when you are without your vehicle. For many of us who live busy lives, this simply isn’t acceptable. But if you have some touch up paint, it is there and ready to use whenever you need. And the smallest jobs hardly take any time at all.
- Save Time
Linked in to the point above, there is a big time commitment in taking your car into the body shop. You have to book an appointment at a convenient time and maybe leave it there for a matter of hours or days. For small scratches, this may not even seem worthwhile to do. The DIY approach is a quick and easy route to take.
- Look After Your Car Better
Since taking your car into the body shop is such a big time and monetary commitment, it is also one which you may put off altogether. But if you leave nicks, chips, and scratches to fester, rust can become a more serious problem. Take care of them when they appear with some touch up paint and you help preserve the paint job of your vehicle.
- Easy to Use
You don’t have to be a professional to use touch up paint. No matter what application method you choose, it shouldn’t prove to be too complicated and you can simply follow the instructions that you are provided. Most manufacturers design their products with ease of use firmly in mind.
Different Types of Automotive Touch Up Paint
There are a few different types of automotive touch up paint to choose between. The one that you select depends on the job that you plan on undertaking and your own personal preferences. Check out this information about your options to help you choose between them.
- Aerosol Paints
Aerosol paints are a common choice and have the natural advantage of being easy to use. After all, we all know how to spray paint out of a can! But if you are not careful, things can get messy and the job will not look as professional as you would have liked. Bear in mind that the spraying distance matters. The further away that you hold the can, the more dispersed the results will look. While these work well over bigger areas, they may not be best for the smaller and more intricate work. And they are easy to use, but don’t offer the same level of control.
- Touch Up Pens
A very popular choice, many manufacturers offer a touch up pen as part of their overall package with a new car purchase. The main advantage is that they are made to match the exact color of the vehicle, there are no worries about the paint looking ‘off’. On the downside, you are not going to be able to cover up huge areas using one. Generally, they are made for smaller chips and scratches. Anything too deep is not going to be filled in properly.
- Scratch Removers
There are also the kits that are specifically designed to remove scratches rather than covering them up with paint. Again, these are best for the smaller scratches rather than deeper ones, which require more professional attention. On the plus side, you can use them with any vehicle, and they are a handy piece of equipment to whip out when needed.
- Paint Brush Touch Up Kits
You can also get paint brushes touch up kits if you would prefer to go down this avenue. While some are finer, like a felt tip, others are designed to be more brush-like. While both can work quite well, you should bear in mind that they tend to apply in quite a thick manner, so it is tough to match it up with the rest of your paint.
Best Automotive Touch Up Paint FAQ:
Q: How much heat can automotive touch up paint take?
A: There a few rules when it comes to the correct application conditions of automotive touch up paint. The ideal temperature is around 70 degrees F. Any higher than 80 degrees F and the paint may dry too quickly, leaving behind a rough surface. Also, the humidity is best at around 50%, so double check the conditions before you apply anything.
Q: How do I remove automotive touch up paint?
A: Sometimes, you want to remove touch up paint which looks uneven or mismatched. If it has not been well applied, you may be able to pick it off just using your fingernail. Alternatively, you can try using a toothpick. This will work best if the paint has been recently applied or if it is very loose. If you are going to use one of these methods, you should make sure that you only scrape in a gentle upward motion. Too hard and you risk making the problem worse.
Another possibility is to use lacquer thinner. You should start by washing the section of your vehicle with the dried paint on it. You should be aiming to clear away any dirt and grime around the area which could spoil the final effect. Once you have finishes washing, you should then dry the area with a towel or cloth. Wait around half an hour to allow the area to dry fully. You can now apply the lacquer thinner. A Q-tip will help to soften it up. Follow the instructions of the product that you choose. Leave the thinner on for as long as directed. You can then wipe it off your vehicle.
Alternatively, you can try sanding off the dry paint. Apply some car masking tape around the area that you want to remove to avoid accidentally taking off any more paint than you had initially wanted. Now, use 150-grit sandpaper to remove the softened paint. Coarser sandpaper has a lower number, but this can end up scratching your vehicle. When you are sanding the affected area, press down firmly and sand backwards and forwards. Once you have finished, you can then get rid of the coat of paint dust that has accumulated. If the job has not been completed fully, you can then sand the door a little bit more. To smooth out any rough edges that still remain, you can use 600-grit sandpaper to buff the area. A clean towel will brush away and chips or dust still remaining.
Q: How long will touch up paint last on my vehicle?
A: Car touch up paint is not a permanent solution to your vehicle’s scratches, but it is one which you can expect to last for a couple of years. The higher quality products can last for as long as four, before you will need to reapply another coat.
Our Top Pick
Returning to our number one product on this list, it is this one from Dupli-Color. Since it comes in a spray can, you know that it is easy to use. And things have been made even more straightforward thanks to the 360-degree nozzle, which allows you plenty of control and creates a spray pattern which is both wide and even. Formulated to match the original color of your vehicle, it is a fast-drying option, so you are ready to start driving your vehicle again in no time. Its spray-on application method makes it well-suited to the larger touch up jobs which brushes and wands are not suitable for. All of these positive qualities are why we have ranked it as our number one choice of the best automotive touch up paint.