How to Repair Paint on a Car

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How to Repair Paint on a Car

Automotive paint provides a decorative and protective surface for any car and prevents rust and chemicals from eating away at the car body. A car's top coat is not impenetrable and scratches can mar the attractive surface. These scratches and chips of paint can worsen over time, and ultimately require major repair work. Rather than let a scratch or chipped spot get that bad, car owners can make small fixes with their own supplies at home. If owners catch problems early enough they can fix them in moments. Consumers can find paint repair supplies at automotive repair shops, retail stores, car manufacturers, online car supply websites, and sites like eBay.

Prep Work

Car owners should begin by noting areas around the car where the paint is scratched or broken. They should then wash the area around the damaged paint with a good car detergent and soft sponge. This removes dirt, salt, and any wax that can keep fresh paint from properly adhering to the car body. To keep debris from causing more scratches, pour water over the car to wash hard particles away from the car. If rust has eaten away the paint, use a piece of sandpaper to sand away rust. Rust removal gels or chemicals, such as Fertan, also help to get rid of spots. Owners can even rub a small piece of aluminium and cola flavoured soda into small rust spots to remove them.

Polishing Scratches

Users can polish away light scratches that do not penetrate past the surface layer of the car paint with a compound paste and a soft cloth. Dip the cloth in the compound paste and rub the cloth against the scratch and the area around it. Use a fine grit compound for very light scratches. Users can rub out deeper scratches with a series of compound polishes starting with a larger grit and moving to a very fine grit compound. Car owners may also be able to use sandpaper and graduate to a very fine grit compound polish. Be careful when working with the polishing compounds and sandpaper as the grit removes a thin layer of paint with each swipe.

Using Paint Pens

Owners can repair scratches that go past the surface layer of paint with a paint pen that matches the colour of the car. They have the same type of automotive paint that car manufacturers use. Another option is small bottles of touch up paint that come with a small brush applicator. These containers resemble nail polish bottles. Users should go over the scratch with a pen and allow the paint to dry. Users should go over the scratch a few more times with the pen and then cover the spot with a protective layer of wax.

Repainting Spots

If large areas of the body need repairing, then it is necessary to get out the spray paint. Start by sanding down the spot to the body of the car with a sander. Users should then wash the car surface to remove any sand or grit, and allow it to dry completely. Apply a coat of grey primer to the sanded area until completely covered. Give the primer at least 24 hours to dry. Lightly sand the primer with a 500 grit sandpaper for solid colours and an 800 grit for metallic colours. This smoothes down the edges of the paint and creates a porous surface for better adhesion of the top coat.

Then owners should apply the top coat to the car with a can of automotive spray paint. Follow instructions on the spray paint to apply a thin, even coat of paint on top of the primer. Apply paint until the primer is no longer visible. Be careful of getting too much paint on the surface at a time, as this can lead to dripping and running paint. Allow the first layer to dry and apply a second coat and repeat as necessary. When finished with the painting, coat the car with a layer of wax.

How to Buy Automotive Paint

You can save a lot of money on supplies to repair car body paint through eBay. These supplies are useful for removing rust, dirt, and old paint from the car's surface. You can also get paint and primer to put new paint on the car and repair the damage. Soap, sandpaper, and rust remover are essential for prepping the area to repair. Sandpaper and compound polish are also essential for creating a clean work area. The last part of the job is using primer and spray paint to seal the hole in the top coat. The eBay search engine, available from every page of the site, can help you find all of the necessary supplies.

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