Your car is suddenly starting to show signs that it’s ‘not so new’ anymore. Besides a sluggish get up, you’re beginning to notice that your paint is wearing away on your hood or above your wheel wells. Besides being unsightly, even a small scratch can also lead to rusting.
Don’t panic. There’s a simple process you can do to protect the area and hopefully make it less noticeable. Just follow these simple steps:
- Get the right paint color — A lot of manufacturers sell touch up kits for their different available paint colors. Look online or check in the parts department of a certified retailer.
- Get rid of rust — Painting an area will do little good if you’re simply covering up the rust. Buy a rust repair kit or work away the rust by hand if you trust yourself to do so.
- Sand the area and wash — Paint is going to stick best to a rough surface. Take a piece of fine, #220 grit sandpaper and lightly sand the worn area. Follow this up by washing away any rust or metal particles, as well any wax that may prevent paint from sticking.
- Apply the primer — Using a small brush or a matchstick, apply the primer to the bare area. The primer will create a surface for the paint to stick to. Let the primer completely cure and dry before moving on.
- Apply the paint — Working from the edges in, apply the paint lightly. The paint shouldn’t rise above the rest of the surface — otherwise it will be very noticeable.
- Let the paint dry, then wash and wax — After waiting several days, get your whole vehicle washed and waxed to add protection to the newly touched up area.
One of the best ways to take care of your paint is prevent problems in the first place with a little TLC. Regular washes not only make your car look good for the neighbors, but it also washes away harmful particles that conspire to eat away your paint. One of the biggest culprits here is salt, making winter one of the most important times to get a car wash.
Don’t skip on the wax either. Washing will only do temporary good if there’s no way to protect the clean surface. A layer of wax works as a barrier between your paint job and harmful elements, like salt and sunlight. If your paint job already has one foot in the grave, it’s never to late to start with a good wax.
Become the King of the Road
Be sure to check back in with us regularly for tips on how you can be a smart auto consumer in today’s world. From call buying to basic maintenance tips, we’ve got you covered.
January 5, 2013 by Jamie Rettig