The DIY Car Paint Touchup Toolbox

If you find yourself constantly having to make minor touch-ups to your car paintwork, it might be a good idea to put together a paint repair toolbox. So that you always have everything you need on hand, to tackle any repair from a small chip, to a deep scratch or gouge. Below you will find a list of products, tools and materials that should have a home in a car paintwork repair toolbox.

  • Artist’s brush – you can buy these in art supply shop. These are fine tipped brushes, that can be used to apply fresh paint very accurately. It may be useful to purchase several in different sizes.
  • Paint thinner – for cleaning the artist’s brushes, removing paint from your hands, and actually thinning down paint if needed.
  • Masking tape – this is a special type of tape that whilst having great adhesive properties, does not stick too firmly. This makes it easy to peel off after use. Masking tape is used to protect parts of the bodywork from possible paint overspill.
  • Lint free clothes – and make sure they are 100% lint free. You do not want lint sticking to paintwork and ruining the finish.
  • Preparation solvent – this is used to clean car paintwork from oil, wax, and grime.
  • Primer – you will only need to use a primer if the scratch or chip is deep enough to expose the metal underneath the original paint. Primer is used to create a layer between the metal and the paint, that the paint can stick to more effectively.
  • Touch up paint – you can purchase small bottles of color matched touch-up paint, and also touch-up pens to use on smaller scratches and chips. These are available in a massive range of car paint colors.
  • Clearcoat – for the largest scratches, you may need to apply a top layer of clearcoat once the paint has hardened. This prevents the repair being visible due to it appearing less shiny than the surrounding paintwork.
  • Wet and dry paper – buy several grades of this, from very fine for final finishing, to quite a course grade for cutting back excessive paint in between coats.
  • Sanding block – wrap the wet and dry paper around this if you need a firmer way to cut back paint or need to apply more pressure.
  • Sanding pen – this is used to sand very accurately, so as not to damage the paintwork surrounding a scratch. These last for quite some time, so there is no need to buy more than one or two of these, possibly in different grades.
  • Rubbing compound and buffing cloth – this is used as the final stage of a repair. Buffing the repair using rubbing compound helps to smooth the repair into the surrounding original paintwork and make it stand out less.

And there we have it, the basic tools and materials that you need to keep in a car paintwork repair toolkit so that you can tackle everything from the very smallest chip, up to deep gouges in paintwork that have exposed metal.