How to Use Car Touch Up Paint Kits

In a typical car touch up paint kit you’ll find a number of items: pre-cleaner, the paint itself, clearcoat, primer, and a touch up paint brush or pen (sometimes both). There may also be additional gloves, microfiber towels and more to help you with the process.

Car touch up paint kits are very handy and convenient, but putting all you need into a neat kit isn’t all it takes to get the job right. For this reason, the team at elitepaints.co.uk have prepared a simple guide on using car touch up paint kits.

Pre-Step: Practice first
Do you have an empty tin can? If so, strip the label, wash it and use it as a test piece. Any other piece of clean metal will also serve as a practice surface. Put a scratch in there and rehearse the process --- every step below --- at least once before you try it on the car. Remember to also have a clean, ventilated workspace for the job, and ensure your paint kit is well out of reach of children.

Step 1: Cleaning
The area you’re going to touch up must be free of any contaminants first, so either use the pre-cleaner in the kit, if you have it, to clean the area, or just wash the entire car while you’re at it to de-grease and de-contaminate that key region.

Step 2: Primer
Once the damage is free of dirt and grease, you need to apply the primer in very thin coats. Leave at least 20 minutes between coatings, or longer if you’re not in a hurry. The primer ensures that the paint will bind properly with the surface when you apply.

Step 3: Basecoat
Hopefully you matched the colour right when you ordered. Similar to when you applied the primer, layer the paint on in thin coats. This is why practice is best, to get a feel for the pen/brush and how it applies the paint. It will also need at least 20 minutes drying time between coats, but it’s best to follow the recommendation on your kit.

Step 4: Clearcoat
By now your layering skills should be getting stronger, which is handy because it’s time to add the final coat --- clearcoat. This coating won’t need as long to dry --- just 10-20 minutes usually --- but it requires some extra care when applying because when you cake it on too heavily, it can actually strip away the basecoat.

Final Step: Even It Out
When you use the car touch up paint kit, you may notice that while the colour is right, it doesn’t fully blend with the rest of the coat. It will look uneven. This final stage will fix that. Start with a piece of 2000-grit sandpaper and wet sand the area with a little water. Make small circular motions until you can no longer hear the scratching. At this point it is smooth, you can then get the shine back with a nice application of wax on the affected area.

DIY Car Touch Up Paint Means Savings and Convenience
Elitepaints.co.uk know the real value of these car touch up paint kits for drivers who want to save both time and money by getting these repairs done themselves. It’s not as hard as you imagine, and you’re sure to be satisfied with the results! Browse their selection at elitepaints.co.uk to learn more.


  1. Thanks for the tips :)

  2. Great idea to practice on a tin can!

  3. Useful tips, the kits are very handy

  4. Great idea, these kits will be very useful to me

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