It Happens to Everyone
Normal driving conditions will eventually result in chips and scratches in your car’s paint, and the most commonly damaged areas are the front bumper and hood. If you’re not sure how to fix those pesky car paint chips in your hood, you’ve come to the right place. The good news is that you only have two decisions to make. Those decisions are whether you want (or need) to repair the damage before it gets worse, and how you’ll have it repaired. I’m here to help make those decisions as easy as possible!
The First Decision: When should I fix my car paint chips?
The first decision of whether the paint chips on your car require immediate attention depends on four things:
- Are you leasing your car?
- Are you selling or trading your car?
- What are your preferences for your car’s appearance?
- And last but not least, is your car at risk for further damage?
If you are leasing, selling, or trading in your car, then it will very likely be in your favor to have any chips or scratches repaired before doing so. You may also be one of the many car owners who can’t stand to see imperfections in their car’s paint. If that’s you, then you already know that you’ll have the chips repaired. When the damage to your car’s paint is significant, you’ll want to have it repaired as soon as possible to keep it from getting worse. You can read one of our other blog posts here for more information about when you should repair car paint chips and scratches!
The Second Decision: How should I fix my car paint chips?
You have four good options when it comes to having the paint chips on your hood repaired:
- Body shop full-panel respray
- Mobile spray paint service
- Mobile touch-up service
Body Shop Respray and Mobile Spray Paint Services
A body shop or a mobile spray paint service are great options if you’re looking for near-perfection. If you want no evidence of the paint damage left behind, you’ll need one of these more thorough and expensive approaches. A body shop will charge anywhere from $250-$600 to respray an entire panel of your car. This will give you the cleanest look with the biggest price tag.
You can also have a mobile service come out to your home and respray the damaged area. They will sand down the paint chips and scratches, spray paint the area, and then condition and protect it. It will cost $250-$350 for a small, centralized area. This is a good option if the paint damage is too extreme for simple touch-up.
Another option for paint chip repair is to do it yourself. There are quite a few companies out there that sell paint touch-up kits, but I highly recommend Dr. Colorchip. I have found them to be the best car touch-up paint provider on the market over the last 15 years in business. The Wall Street Journal has also called it the “best touch-up system on the market.” The paint is designed to stick in the chip and not to the existing finish. This results in a much smoother finish (no blobs) than traditional touch-up.
Whatever you do, please avoid using paint pens! A paint pen will almost certainly make it look worse because it will leave blobs that look terrible and catch the light just as much, if not more than, the damage you’re trying to repair.
When deciding whether or not to do it yourself, you should consider the extent of the paint damage as well as your patience capacity. If there are only a few chips, you should be able to make them look a whole lot better with a few tutorial videos and a Dr. Colorchip kit under your belt. However, if the damage is widespread and you tend to get frustrated with tedious tasks, then you may want to have a professional do it for you.
Mobile Car Paint Touch-Up
Touch-up is different from the mobile spray paint option mentioned above because there is no spraying involved. This is the perfect option for when you have any amount of small rock chips or surface scratches and want to repair them quickly, prevent further damage, and spend the least amount of money.
A touch-up technician will fill in all the chips with the correct color paint, making it level with the surrounding paint. This is a permanent fix. Surface scratches are removed with light wet-sanding and buffing. Depending on the damage, the end result will usually look about 85-95% better up close, and unnoticeable from a few feet away.
How PaintCraft Fixes Car Paint Chips on a Hood
Using the Dr. Colorchip system, I will actually smear the paint on with a diaper cloth. I admit I have a little fun with this at car shows. Often, I’m working on multi-million dollar cars, and I’ll just smear paint all over the front of someone’s car without warning. I know the excess paint is going to come off, but the car owner isn’t always so sure. Sometimes it’s a good joke, sometimes not.
Once I smear the paint on, I wait until it’s dry – usually 15 minutes or less. The paint should be smooth, not tacky. Next, I have a clean section of cloth in one hand, a microfiber cloth in my other hand, and a bottle of the blending solution handy. I’ll put a few drops of solution on the cloth and start gently removing the excess paint. I make sure the cloth is very flat along the car’s surface to avoid removing paint from the chips. I continue adding a few drops of solution until I remove all the excess paint. Once every couple of minutes, I gently wipe the hood with the microfiber cloth to remove the solution and see which areas still have excess paint.
Check out this video of me fixing a BUNCH of paint chips on a hood at a dealership: