Written byDaniel Rika
Updated August 31, 2022 at 4:27 p.m
Have you ever heard this country song about a woman who wrecks her cheating boyfriend's car? The man may deserve it, but many car enthusiasts winced at the thought of this vehicle's livery.
Luckily, whether you're a bad guy or just unlucky, there's a better way to get your car looking new again after it's suffered a paint chip or a deep scratch. In this paint damage repair kits guide, we've selected some of the best products and deals for fixing chips and scratches in your own garage.
The best auto paint chip repair kits
If you break it down, the number one question when it comes to auto paint repair is, "How quickly and how effectively can I stop thinking about painting my car?" Buffing out scratches and chips isn't particularly fun, and no product solves it the problem as well as Carfidant.
We selected it as our superior paint repair choice for its ability to fix a wide range of issues, including scratches, scuffs and swirls, so cleanly they seem like they were never there. The sponge works beautifully making it a perfect finisher for newly applied paint.
- Universal car paint restorer
- Comes with a polishing sponge
- color not included
- 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- Marke Drive
- Model Ultimate
- Weight 9.6 ounces
Makes painted chips invisible
High quality sponge
One bottle is enough for many applications
Not a complete repair kit
It may need to be reapplied after treatment
Slightly high price
This little paint pen is packed with far more features than its size and price suggest. It's four different applicators in one, including a fine pen tip, a coarse brush tip, a clear coat tip, and a whetstone tip.
It also comes with small quantities of your chosen paint and clear coat. So as long as you have alcohol to pre-clean the surface, this may be the only tool you need to make a medium-sized chip disappear.
- Pen sized paint repair tool
- Includes four attachments: pen tip, coarse tip, sharpening stone and clear coat applicator
- Comes with paint and clear coat
- Marke ACDelco
- Model Touch-Up-Stift
- Weight 1.6 ounces
Almost a complete chip repair kit in a single pen
Includes all necessary consumables except cleaning solution
The brush head leaves streaks
Clear coat sometimes runs out
Only small amounts of clear coat and paint
Langka's paint damage repair kit includes three of their professional repair products, plus a cloth, three micro-brushes and an excess paint removal card. The core products are Langka-branded pre-paint treatment, paint sealer, and Blob Eliminator, which is basically a paint thinner with a better user interface.
This kit is more expensive than some of its competitors, but still a lot less than you would pay a mechanic, especially considering that even novice users can make chip repairs look incredibly professional just by following the instructions.
- Complete repair kit for paint damage
- Contains undercoat, sealer, dab remover
- Comes with cloth and brush applicators
- Marke Rarely
- Model Complete
- Weight 8 ounces
Treatment, sealant and color remover work very well
Finished repairs look like new
Chips can be fixed quickly
Plastic cards are brittle
color not included
The brush applicator requires some skill to use
Similar to Carfidant's Scratch Remover, this treatment from popular polishing brand Turtle Wax is great for smoothing out imperfections during the chip repair process. Rather than a complete kit, this is a two piece product containing a tube of polishing wax and a microfiber cloth.
Even a small amount of Turtle Wax goes a long way in smoothing out scratches, swirls, and the edges of painted chips. It's a truly intuitive product, made all the more valuable for the lasting protective layer it forms over your resealed paint.
- tube of polishing wax
- Microfiber cloth included
- Removes swirls, scratches and other imperfections
- Marke turtle wax
- Model Repair and renew scratches
- Weight 7 ounces
Sealing protects freshly repaired paintwork
Works well on newly painted chips of medium depth
Restores the shiny finish
Not a complete chip repair kit
Can be difficult to remove
Does not remove oxidation
Color N Drive Auto Touch Up Paint
The Color N Drive touch up paint kit is one of the two most complete kits on our list. Each unit comes with color coded paint, cleaning solution, wax, paste, brushes, cloths and a sponge. Make sure you buy the color that matches your vehicle's color code.
We love these kits for how easy they make it to do a professional looking touch up job. The wealth of accessories makes all the difference and it is a good feeling to know that you are getting the job done with the most suitable tool. The color capture is also great.
- Available in three sizes
- Contains wax, paste and cleaning solution
- Tools include towels, brushes and sponges
- Comes painted in the color of your car
- Marke Color N drive
- Model touch-up paint
- Weight Variable
The most comprehensive chip repair kit available
Ideal for larger stone chips
Not all colors continuously available
Colors can take on the wrong shade when worn
Paint2Fix isn't quite as extensive a repair kit as Color N Drive's, but there are a few things that set it apart. It makes its paint in-house and its color match guarantee offers peace of mind that the color will match as long as you order the correct kit (the linked page is for a Toyota RAV4 but there are kits for many other models). Will match.
We also really like how the kit is laid out, with everything clearly labeled and easily accessible. We would have preferred it to be a little more complete and the lack of a seal is a disappointing oversight. In general, Paint2Fix's products are a solid option to avoid high fees in a workshop.
- Complete repair kit
- Includes paint, brush applicators, mixing solution, gloves and a sponge
- Three color sizes: 25ml, 40ml, 75ml
- Marke Paint2Fix
- Model touch-up paint
- Weight 1.1 pounds
Color Match Guarantee
Easy to unpack and use
Works on chips and scratches
Contains no sealant
The purpose of the mixed solution is not obvious
Best buying guide for car paint chip repair kits
Cars aren't just painted to look good. Coatings of paint serve a vital protective purpose, protecting your car from corrosion, road debris, UV light damage, warping from thermal differentials, and many other attacks from the elements. Paint also covers the dents that naturally occur when a car is factory made.
That's why it's so annoying when chips and scratches appear in your car's paintwork. Worse, having even smaller chips repaired can cost at least $150 at your local repair shop. What is the solution? Repair the paintwork yourself with the help of a paint chip repair kit.
Do you need a paint damage repair kit?
If you have never seen a car painted or factory painted then trust us. It's a lot more complicated than repainting your kitchen. Consisting of base coats, clear coats, primers and sometimes more layers, automotive refinishing needs to be done with the right chemicals to protect your vehicle while minimizing environmental damage.
Paint damage repair kits are simply the best way to deal with this complexity in your own garage. They are specially formulated to repair chips, scratches and swirls as best as possible to match your car's original factory paint finish. You also have other advantages:
- Save money.Buffs and cosmetic repairs are some of the most common ÜberCharges you'll find in a workshop. Most kits cost a third or less what you would pay a mechanic and can fix the problem in less time.
- guidance and guidance.On the one hand, you could just get paint from your dealer and work it out yourself. But using an established kit with instructions and tools provided leaves much less room for error.
- Bring your car back to normal.Let's face it, paint damage is the worst. You can't look at them without wanting them to just go away. Paint damage repair kits are the best way to achieve this.
Popular types of paint damage repair kits
All paint damage repair solutions aim to restore your paintwork to its normal condition, but they do so in different ways. A big difference is whether the kit includes paint or not. Sometimes color comes along; In other cases, the kit contains everything you need except the paint itself.
No matter what you choose, don't assume you'll get the truly colored coat you need. Luckily, you can find this at your local dealer or elsewhere without much hassle.
Have you ever used a detergent stick to remove a stain from a shirt? It's the same idea. These applicators allow you to control exactly where your touch up paint is applied. They are better suited for minor chips, scratches or damage located on a hard-to-reach part of your car's body.
Touch up pens are great for precision, but they take much longer to use for chip repair. Essentially, you're coloring with a sharpie instead of a brush. Pencils also have the advantage that the paint dries and seals faster because there is less of it.
- touch-up brush
Brushes can cover more area with paint or sealer at the expense of precision. They can look anything from cotton swabs and nail brushes to regular brushes and are much better at covering larger chips.
Brush applicators sometimes come with retailer-supplied bottles of paint, so they're a popular choice for beginners. Note that even if your bottle comes with a brush, a chip repair kit may come with a wider, more versatile selection of brush head applicators.
- Complete Kits
The most complete solutions come in larger boxes. Complete chip repair kits often come with paint, so vendors sell them as a huge range of every paint type and color an automaker might use. In other words, if you see a wall of repair kits on Amazon that all look the same, they're probably the same except for the paint color.
Common tools in complete chip repair kits are applicators, buffer sponges, cloths, undercoat, varnish sealer, excess varnish remover, cleaning solution, wax, and paste. Refer to your vehicle's OEM color code to find the right one for your paint job.
You might also like our guide toCeramic coating for cars
Features to look for in paint damage repair kits
When shopping for a paint damage repair kit, start by assessing exactly what you need. Have you done anything like this before? Does the damage appear to be superficial or does it extend to the metal? What's your budget and save more money by buying the paint separately or bundling with the kit?
Check each product against the following three criteria:
- User friendly
Clear and concise instructions are critical to usability. Repairing paint damage isn't the kind of job everyone is used to, and while it's not overly complicated, it does require precision.
Do not purchase a product that does not come with clear instructions provided by the manufacturer. If not physically included, step-by-step instructions should at least be available online. If you need to get subjective opinions on YouTube, look for another kit.
Also examine the tools themselves, which should be intuitive and convenient to use at home.
The last thing you want is a cloth that's too thin, a sponge that's falling apart, or sealant that spills everywhere when you open the bottle.
This relates to safety for oneself, others and the environment. Although automotive paints have made great strides in chemical safety over the years, it's still important to use them in a well-ventilated area, keep them out of the reach of children and pets, and dispose of them properly without just flushing them down the sink pour or toilet.
Lacquers and urethanes are the right automotive paint chemicals and will not stain. There are many different types of paint based on these two resins. So check the label to make sure the kit you're buying is from one of the two.
Auto paint repair jobs can range from buffing unsightly swirls to filling entire chipped areas with underlying metal. Each scale requires different tools. While some scratches can be covered up in minutes with a bottle of paint and a pen, others require entire sections of your car to be treated in layers.
In general, the larger the tools, the larger the area that can be treated with a repair kit. Pens and brushes are for scratches and minor chips; large sponges and cloths are for larger chips.
If your vehicle has accumulated paint damage over the years, it's possible that a repair kit won't do the trick and you just need to replace the entire fairing. Repair your paint damage before it comes to that.
Tips for Buying and Using Paint Chip Repair Kits
The first step to finding the right paint damage repair kit is to determine your car's factory paint code. These are three to six characters long and are always listed somewhere on the car. The three most common places to find them are next to the VIN in the corner of the windshield, in the glove box, or on the driver's side door jamb.
Once you have sourced your chosen kit and the correct paint, remember the correct order to apply the materials: apply pre-paint, primer, paint and clear coat. Allow the coat to dry between each coat, then soak a piece of sandpaper in soapy water and gently wet sand the coat.
- If you can't find your color code in any of the usual places, look up your car's information online.
- The pre-paint materials that come with a kit remove sand and moisture that could prevent the paint from sealing properly.
- You don't always need paint to repair a minor scratch. Sometimes polishing with wax is enough.
Frequently asked questions about the best paint damage repair kits
A frequently asked question about repairing paint damage is: What is enough for the extent of the damage? The general rule is that the deeper the chip or scratch, the more ingredients and tools you'll need to cover it up. We can't stress this enough: fix chips and scratches when you first see them, or they'll get deeper and require more work to fix. Below are other frequently asked questions.
Q: Where can I find my car's color code?
Check the glove box, driver's side door jamb and windshield. If it's not in any of those three locations, search online by model and year.
Q: In what order are layers of paint applied?
After cleaning and drying the chip, apply primer, touch up paint, and then clear coat. Allow each coat to dry and then wet sand before applying the next coat.
Q: How can I remove excess paint from the repair process?
If repairing a chip leaves stains on your car, paint thinner is the best way to remove them. We recommend applying after drying rather than trying to wipe off wet paint.
Our top pick
We selected Carfidant Scratch and Swirl Remover as our top choice for paint damage repair. While it's not a complete kit and doesn't include paint, it's by far the best performing finisher, making it an indulgent choice for riders who have never done a paint repair before. Once you find the right paint for your car, Carfidant makes your repair invisible.