Keep Your Ride Looking Smooth

Keep Your Ride Looking Smooth

Guide To Touching Up Small Stone Chips In Your Car's Paint

by Max Day

While driving down the road, a stone may have flown up and chipped your car's paint. After discovering that the damage is small, you may have decided to try to touch up the chipped area yourself. If so, use the following guide for covering up small stone chips.

What You Will Need

Before you begin touching up your paint, gather together the following supplies.

  • 800-grit sandpaper
  • 1000-grit sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • Lint-free cloth, such as a cloth diaper or mechanic's cloth
  • One can of rust inhibitor
  • One can of touch-up paint
  • Once can of clear coat

When purchasing your touch-up paint, select one that matches your car's color code. This code can be found in the owner's manual. If you do not have the manual, you can find it either on the underside of your hood or the inside panel of your driver's side door.

If you have a bottle of linseed oil on hand, you can use it as a substitute for the can of clear coat. Once it dries, it creates a smooth protective barrier.


Once you have everything you need, follow the direction below.

  1. Attach the 800-grit sandpaper to the sanding block. Sand the area to remove any excess paint and any oxidation that may have started to form on the bare metal.
  2. Replace the 800-grit sandpaper with a 1000-grit sheet. Sand the area to create a smooth finish. The smoother you get the spot, the less noticeable it will be when the touch-up job is completed.
  3. Wipe the area with the cloth to remove any dust created by sanding. If needed, you can dampen it slightly to make removal easier.
  4. Spray the rust inhibitor directly on the bare metal. This creates a layer of protection that will prevent future oxidation on your car's body.
  5. Spray a thin layer of touch-up paint inside the chipped area and around the outer edges to blend the color of the new and existing paint.
  6. After letting the first layer of paint dry, apply a second coat and let it air dry for an hour.
  7. Apply the clear coat or linseed oil, letting it set up and dry for an hour.
  8. Use the 1000-grit sandpaper to create a smooth and shiny finish.

The above touch-up job is meant to cover up small stone chips in your paint. If you have larger areas of damage, you may want to take your vehicle to an auto body paint shop like Collision-One, Inc. They can assess the damage and recommend the needed repairs that best suit you and your car's needs.


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Keep Your Ride Looking Smooth

Making sure that your ride looks good is almost as important it is to ensure that it drives well. After all, the way your car looks says something about how well you take care of it. If there are dings in the body or chips in the paint, chances are that your vehicle's eye appeal leaves something to be desired. Luckily, there are some things you can do at home to make your car look better so that you don't have to pay an auto shop to do everything for you. Sure, you can let your service technician take care of all the heavy lifting for you, but consider using the tips and tricks found on this blog to take care of some of the minor stuff yourself.