Best Car Paint Chip Repair Kits: Filling the Void Made Easy
Correct pesky paint chips with our easy-to-use paint chip repair kit top picks
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Scratches in your vehicle’s paint can be heartache enough for some car owners, but it’s even more painful to see the paint chipping off in huge chunks. Rather than spending a fortune on repainting your vehicle, check out paint chip repair kits. Affordable and nearly self-explanatory, the best car paint chip repair kits take years off your vehicle’s exterior to make it look new.
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Benefits of Car Paint Chip Repair Kit
- Improve your vehicle. You might think it takes a lot of money to make your car look like new again. Whether or not that’s true, you can still achieve a better-looking vehicle without having to spend a whole lot of money or time.
- Seal your paint and prevent rusting. Automotive manufacturers apply clear coats so that the paint underneath maintains itself in even the harshest conditions. If there is a breach in the clear coat, rust can easily creep in and begin to eat away at the metal beneath your vehicle’s paint.
- Improve the paint’s appearance before applying a clear bra. If you want to have a somewhat uniform paint job beneath the clear bra, paint chip repair kits can easily achieve the effect you desire. A clear bra is the best way to prevent rock chips and front-end damage.
- Cheap alternative to a new paint job. Maintaining your vehicle’s paint can be a difficult task, and having to repaint it every few years can get expensive fast. Rather than spending thousands on a paint job after a few defects appear, invest in paint chip repair kits.
Types of Car Paint Chip Repair Kit
Touch-Up Paint: Brush Tip
You are probably most familiar with this type of chip repair solution. Many people order their vehicle’s specific paint color from the dealership, and it comes in the form of a brush tip applicator, similar to nail polish. Brush tips are great for applying touch-up paint to larger chips but can often take a skilled hand to correct smaller chips such as in the case of road rash. Road rash simply describes the multiple small chips that can occur on front bumpers, fenders, and hoods where pebbles have worn away at the paint over time.
Touch-Up Paint: Pen Tip
More common than brush tips, pen tip touch-up paint applicators are much easier to use. A bit like a Sharpie pen, they direct flow of the touch-up paint to a precise point, which addresses the biggest challenge faced by inexperienced car owners who buy a brush tip applicator. However, pen tip applicators take longer to fill in larger paint chips. Whereas brush tip touch-up paint can last a while if properly sealed, pen tip applicators dry up much more quickly.
Car paint chip repair kits combine the entire process into one package. Simply applying the touch-up paint to a paint chip isn’t enough. The paint then has to be sealed and blended into the surrounding paint for maximum results. Car paint chip repair kits will include not only the paint itself but typically applicator tips, a sealant of some kind, and an agent to remove excess paint during the blending process. You should be able to address a paint chip from start to finish with a complete paint chip repair kit.
This Washington-based company was founded in 1996 and specializes in paint chip and scratch repair. If you are looking for a simple solution to paint chips, check out its Blob Eliminator package, which includes touch-up paint specific to your vehicle type.
Based out of Delaware, this relatively new company serves quite an array of brands when it comes to providing exact-match touch-up paint. Its Touch-up Paint Kit made for Taffeta White Honda Civics could be a great alternative to repainting your entire car.
Car Paint Chip Repair Kit Pricing
- Under $10: Though you probably won’t be able to find any paint chip repair kits for this low price, you will be able to buy applicator tips in quantity. There are paint chip-specific applicator tips out there, but you can also pick up a box of a couple of hundred cotton swabs just as easily.
- $12-$20: If you prefer to use a touch-up paint pen to fill in your paint chips, you should be able to find your vehicle’s specific color for just around $20. For this price, you’ll likely only get the touch-up paint itself, but a clear coat pen from your vehicle’s manufacturer shouldn’t be much more.
- $30-$70: Most of the automotive paint chip repair kits you’ll find will cost you around $50. More common brands such as Honda and Toyota will be priced around $40, while imports such as BMW will hover nearer the $65 mark. Quality and number of products within the kit vary according to price.
Easy To Use
When you really break it down, repairing paint chips is about filling in holes in your paint and then sealing over it to prevent further damage and rusting. The best paint chip repair kits should make the process easy to understand, without the need for experience in automotive paint. Paint chip repair kits that are easy to use will make the individual steps easily identifiable and not over-complicated.
Having a step-by-step process to follow preferably with pictures will ease many of your worries if you have never repaired paint chips before. Manufacturers should provide clear instructions to make the repair process easy to follow. It should almost feel like an expert is looking over your shoulder, coaching you on the best techniques without being too overbearing.
Paint booths require ventilation because of the toxic chemicals necessary to painting or repainting a vehicle. Repairing paint chips, however, shouldn’t mean you need to suit up. The most that are necessary for paint chip repair is an open area with air flow and some chemical-resistant gloves. Since you are acting as the agent when it comes to applying the paint, there’s no need for harsh chemicals or drastic personal safety measures.
- Close (Enough) Match: Depending on the age of your vehicle and a variety of other factors, the paint will weather differently and may vary from panel to panel. Cars that have been in the direct sunlight will fade sooner than those kept covered. Matching the brand-new paint within the paint chips to the weathered paint around it could prove tricky.
- The extent of Paint Damage: A few paint chips here and there should be pretty easy to address in the span of an afternoon, but if your vehicle’s entire hood and the bumper is pitted to the point where it looks sand-blasted, paint chip repair kits may not be the best use of your time and funds. You will probably have to repaint the panel completely, live with the damage, or come up with another solution altogether.
- Unique Paint Jobs: Repairing paint chips on a vehicle with a custom paint job gets complicated. Depending on what type of paint is used and how well you know the original painter, you may or may not be able to buy a container of touch-up paint. This is something to consider both before and after having your vehicle custom painted.
Best Car Paint Chip Repair Kit Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- As you fill in the paint chips on your vehicle, make sure you have adequate lighting. This will help you not only to make sure you are filling in the chips completely but also allow you to address all of the paint chips in one go, rather than seeing a few pops up after you are already finished.
- To understand the difference between brush tip, pen tip, and applicator tip styles, draw a crude circle on a piece of paper to mimic a paint chip. Now borrow some nail polish and attempt to fill the circle in completely. Do the same with your pen tip and applicator tip, using nail polish or another solution for the applicator tip.
- Preparing the paint chip is crucial to the final look. The best way to prepare your paint chips is to use a microfiber rag and isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol will remove any oils sitting on the surface of the paint, effectively drying out any moisture that would prevent the touch-up paint from adhering completely to the surface.
- Use car paint chip repair kits on painted surfaces only. For repairing damage to your wheels, seek out a specifically designed wheel repair kit that matches the wheels on your vehicle. Though they must be equally durable, car paints differ greatly from wheel paints.
- If you have never applied touch-up paint before, pick a spot on your vehicle that is relatively unobtrusive. The undersides of the rear bumper and/or running boards are ideal. Perfect your technique in these areas before you tackle larger panels.
- At some point, you may have to decide whether applying touch-up paint or having a uniform painted surface is more desirable. In terms of the lifetime of the paint itself, touch-up paint is more advantageous because it will protect the entire panel from rusting. However, an uninterrupted color scheme may be of higher priority.
- Before filling in scratches with touch-up paint, stop by your local detail shop or speak with the head detailer at your local dealership. Buffing may correct a lot of the scratches on your vehicle unless they are deep enough to require additional paint. Detail experts should be able to tell you which route is the best.
- After you have applied touch-up paint, wait at least 30 days before waxing or buffing the exterior of your vehicle. The paint may look as if it is set up after a few hours but it needs time to adequately adhere to the surface beneath.
Q: Do paint chip repair kits require sanding?
A: No. Most kits simply come with the materials necessary to fill in paint chips, rather than sand the paint itself. Paint scratch removal may require sanding in some cases, but you shouldn’t have to break out the sandpaper if you are just filling in paint chips.
Q: When do car paint chips require the attention of a body shop?
A: While paint chip repair kits can do a lot to fill in larger holes in your vehicle’s paint, they can’t do anything to repair damage to the metal underneath. Dents, dings, and any disfiguration of the sheet metal beneath your vehicle’s paint should be addressed first by a body shop before you even think of touch-up paint.
Q: Can I find paint chip repair kits at my local auto parts store?
A: Depending on where you are located and what’s available, you may be able to source paint chip repair kits locally. However, you are more likely to find both the correct paint and a better price online.
Q: Is it possible to achieve professional results with a paint chip repair kit, even if I have no experience?
A: Yes, it is! In fact, really all it takes is a bit of practice. As long as you are able to apply the touch-up paint and cover the chips, blending is the only hurdle left. And whether or not you are able to blend the paint completely, the panel will at least be sealed against rust.
Q: Can I use sandpaper to remove paint that's transferred onto my vehicle?
A: We don’t recommend you use sandpaper in this instance. In fact, it’s best to use a paint remover or lacquer thinner to remove the transfer paint first and then address the damage beneath afterward. Sometimes you may get lucky and find there’s no damage beneath at all.
Q: What other blemishes will paint chip repair kits fix?
A: Paint chip repair kits are designed to fill in holes in the paint, so anywhere this occurs, it can be applied. Paint chip repair kits can be used to fill in deeper scratches as well.
Q: Do I need to invest in any special tools for paint chip repair?
A: No, not necessarily. Most of the tools you’ll need are included within the paint chip repair kits, at least those we picked above. You can certainly purchase additional materials if you choose but they are not necessarily required.
Q: What are the advantages of buying OEM-specific touch-up paint versus spray paint?
A: Spray paint does not necessarily look as finished as traditional automotive paint. The differences depend on which type of appearance you prefer as the owner of the vehicle. Spray paints are typically not protected against wear, while automotive paints are covered by a clear coat.
Q: Should my car's paint scratches be addressed before applying touch-up paint?
A: If you are going to apply touch-up paint in a scratch, make sure it’s not something that can be addressed with a buffer instead. Deeper scratches require touch-up paint for complete correction but may require sanding as well depending on how deep they go.
We chose the Langka Paint Chip Repair Kit for its universal application and affordable pricing. Order your vehicle’s paint color and you are ready to repair those paint chips.
The MagicEzy Auto Scratch Repairezy won our value pick for the variety of products you receive to correct paint chips across your vehicle’s surface.