Paint Correction For Beginners

VD March 03 2022

Repairing car paint by a professional is expensive, but with a bit of skill, you can repair minor damage to the paintwork yourself. This article explains how paint correction works.

Stone chips or small scratches - damage to the paintwork on the car not only looks unsightly, but it also harbors the risk of rust. Even very small affected areas offer a target for corrosion. And once the rust has spread, it quickly causes worse damage than was originally the case. Therefore, you should do the paint correction quickly. 

The most expensive option is probably a visit to the painter, but professional painting is often not necessary for stone chips and fine scratches. It is usually sufficient to repair the affected area. And you can easily do that yourself.

When does paintwork damage need to be touched up?

The car paint consists of different layers: under the clear coat and metallic paint there is a topcoat, the primer, and a layer of phosphate. As long as the small scratches are only in the area of ​​the clear coat, they can usually be removed by thorough polishing or with a special scratch remover. 

As soon as the metallic paint or deeper layers are reached, you can no longer get any further with the polishing machine. In addition, the risk of corrosion increases. The paint damage should be repaired and painted as soon as possible. 

Depending on the depth of the scratch, it is sufficient to sand down the area, treat it with a little spray putty and paint it. Small stone chips can be touched up with a touch-up pen and wire brush.  Deeper scratches must be touched up in more detail.

How to correct paintwork damage yourself

In the case of small damage to the car paint, the painter does not have to be visited immediately. They can often be easily repaired on your own. However, every hobbyist should be aware that he will never achieve the same result at home as a professional. But even a less professional paint repair is better than leaving the field to rust. Important: The parts to be painted must be cleaned and degreased beforehand. It is best to use a silicone remover for this. Components that are difficult to access, such as the bumper, should be removed beforehand.

Paint correction for stone chips

Touch-up sticks are suitable for touching up stone chips. They can be ordered from the manufacturer in almost all original colors. There is usually a small wire brush in the lid, which is used to sand down the stone chips. Then carefully dab the paint into the stone chippings with a brush and let the fresh paint dry. The surface becomes very smooth if the area is roughened with 1000-grit sandpaper after dabbing, then polish the area.

Paint correction for superficial scratches

Superficial scratches, for example in the recessed grips of the doors, can be easily treated with scratch remover. Polish for a few minutes and wipe off the residue with a damp cloth. Let dry for 15 minutes each. 

Paint correction for deep scratches and paint damage

Deep scratches, rust spots, and paint chips must be touched up before they can be painted. Depending on the location of the damage, it may be easier to dismantle the component beforehand. To begin with, the affected area should be taped well along the edges of the sheet metal. Be sure to pay attention to creases and gaps in the paper. 

  • Step 1: Particularly deep damage must be filled with putty. To do this, putty is mixed and carefully applied to the affected area. If the damage is filled with filler, let it dry well.
  • Step 2: Thoroughly sand down the filled areas until no more bumps can be felt. This requires a lot of patience and time. It is best to start with a slightly coarser grit and use a finer grit for the finish.
  • Step 3: Thoroughly remove the sanding residue from the area to be painted using silicone remover and tack cloths.
  • Step 4: The surface can then be sprayed with filler and painted.