Got a deep scratch or two on your car’s paint? If you are driving an old car, it probably doesn’t bother you much, but if your car is a newer model, it likely does. The standard solution, of course, is to bring your car to the local bodyshop and have the panel professionally repainted but you know the downside to this: it’s going to cost you some good money. Ever wonder if you can DIY this sort of thing?


Well, the good news is that you certainly can DIY this sort of thing. The results probably won’t be quite as good as having the panel repainted by a professional shop but they might be darn close. One thing is for sure, though, it will be a lot cheaper.

Small Scratches

The first option for small scratches is to get a small bottle of touch-up paint. There are two types you should know about: “exact match paints” and “approximate match paints”. When you walk into an auto parts store and see the rack of small paint vials (often in clear bottles), you are looking at approximate match paints. These paints will be close in color to your car’s paint color but generally not an exact match. They may be good enough, but a better solution is to go to your local dealer and ask them for a vial of “exact match paint”. The application of either type is the same: they will have a small dipping brush (like eyelash makeup bottles) that you can use to dab on a small amount of paint into the scratch.

Larger Blemishes

For larger blemishes, like a nice large scrape from another car, its best to go with a can of spray paint instead of a little bottle of touch up paint. And, since you are going to be covering a larger area, it’s best to look for an exact matching paint. Paints that aren’t an exact match might look OK if the repair is lower on the car, say the rocker panels, but almost certainly will look lousy on the more higher, more visible areas. As we mentioned above, you can get real factory-matching paints, both in touch-up bottles and spray paints, from most car dealers

On-line Paint Suppliers

In the previous sections, we mention that when looking for exact match paints, it’s best to visit your local dealer. In some cases, it may be easier to go online, particularly for older cars. With an online company, you just contact them with the year, make, model and serial number of your car and most will supply you with an exact match paint, and at a good price too. Automotive Touchup in New Orleans is just one company that we know of. There are many others on the web.

By the way, this one retailer,, has a number of videos to help you out too. It is a very good idea to check out these resources before you touch up your car’s finish. According to these videos, the secret is in preparation. If you take the time to carefully prep the surface and then apply the paint carefully, it is said you can approach the quality of body shop paint touchups.

Article Courtesy of Kayser Used Cars


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