Tips on achieving a good paint finish

Caution! Use an approved paint mask/ respirator and WEAR safety goggles and gloves when handling paint to protect your eyes and skin!!

If you are wondering if you can really apply touch up paint to your vehicle, and make it look good, the answer is yes!
It is possible to achieve a factory finish, just read the instructions below and take your time.(You may want to print this page and read it at your leisure)

Take a little time and practice using the touch up paint before you apply it to your car. This will give you a good feel for the paint and you can check the color match. Use a surface such as a metal can, a glossy sheet of paper, etc. to practice on. Use several light coats rather than one heavy coat when brushing or spraying the paint. Make sure you let the paint dry properly. If you really want an excellent repair, don't skip practicing!

Check the Match
Always check the paint match BEFORE you apply it to your vehicle. Use a metal can and brush or spray out a little color and compare it to your vehicle. If there are any problems, please let us know so we can assist you.

Quick Steps - Touch Up Bottle
1) Clean the area (soap and water or wax and grease remover)
2) Apply very thin coats of basecoat.
3) Apply Clearcoat over the basecoat.
4) Use Rubbing Compound (apply with clean soft cotton only, paper products will scratch your paint surface) to smooth and shine the area. Always test the rubbing compound on your vehicle in an inconspicuous place to check for surface compatibility and shine.
5) If this is your first time, try one small chip from start to finish before repairing other areas.

Quick Steps-Spray Cans
1) Clean the area (soap and water or wax and grease remover).
2) Scuff the area well with wet and dry sandpaper.
3) Check humidity (below 50%) and temperature (around 70F).
3) If the vehicle has existing paint on the panel to be painted, spray even wet coats of colour coat, if not, apply Primer. You can sand the paint between coats, but don't sand the final coat.
4) Let the paint dry for at least one hour and then spray the clearcoat. Spray the clearcoat beyond the basecoat to a good stopping point such as the edge of the panel.
5) Let the clearcoat dry for at least six to seven hours. Use Rubbing Compound (apply with clean soft cotton only, paper products or dirty fabrics will scratch your paint surface) to smooth and shine the area. Always test the rubbing compound on your vehicle in an inconspicuous place to check for surface compatibility and shine.. Without this step, the paint will not shine properly.
6) If this is your first time, try one small area from start to finish before repairing other areas.

Quick and Easy-Touch Up Bottles
If you are not too fussy about the repair, simply clean the area with soapy water and apply the basecoat paint to fill in the scratch or chip. Dip your brush in the paint, wipe off the excess paint, and simply dab the area. Wait at least one hour but not more than 24 hours and then apply the clearcoat. If you want a really nice repair, read on.

Make sure the temperature is at least 50 F but around 70 F is ideal.

Clean and Protect the Area
Wash the area with soap and water, then use a wax and grease remover or equivalent product (some painters have suggested tar and insect remover) before starting the project. You may wish to use masking tape (auto quality only!) all around the scratch or chipped area to prevent accidentally marring the surface.

Rust The first thing to determine is if the scratch has started to rust. We are talking about a surface scratch and not rust that is bubbling up beneath the paint, as this is too far-gone for touch-up paint! If the area is rusty, you should take a little extra effort to remove all traces of rust using 180 grit sandpaper, followed by 600 grit to make the area smooth.
If you have rust, you will need the spray can as once you have properly repaired the area, it will be too large for the touch up paint to look good.

If you have an unpainted surface, either bare metal, plastic, rubber, etc., APPLY PRIMER! Primer is made to stick to unpainted surfaces and paint is designed to stick to primer! Primer can also be used to fill small imperfections in the surface.
Also, make sure you are using the correct type of primer. Rubberized surfaces should use a rubberized primer, metal surfaces a metal primer, etc. Call us if you have any questions. Clean the area of all dust with a tack rag and apply primer to the unpainted surfaces. Make sure you let the primer dry for 30 minutes to one hour before applying the color coat.

Applying the Basecoat/ Colour Coat
The Basecoat is the actual colour you have ordered. Apply several thin coats of paint to build up the chip to the same depth as the surrounding surface. Dab at the scratch using light coats of paint. Let it dry for ten to twenty minutes between coats. Let the paint dry at least one hour and not more than 24 hours before applying the clearcoat.

Clearcoat/ Lacquer
All colours require clearcoat to make the colour shine. The colour match will still be just as good as the original paint.
Let the basecoat dry for at least one hour but not more than 24 hours. Apply several thin coats of the clearcoat, drying for ten to twenty minutes between each coat. You may sand the clearcoat to remove imperfections. Use 1200 grit wet and dry sandpaper and wet sand the area smooth using plenty of water. Let the area dry and use a good quality rubbing compound to polish the area. Make sure you use a clean soft cotton fabric such as a T-Shirt. Wait 30 days before applying automotive wax. Don't use a bath towel, wash cloth, etc.

Key Scratches
If your car has been keyed, you have two choices. Try and fix it yourself or take it to a body repair specialist. Key scratches tend to be very long and arent easy to fix. Depending on the scratch length and depth, we recommend using a spray can. This will be an expensive repair at a garage. Our advice? Try ordering the touch up paint and clearcoat and try a section of the scratch and see how it turns out. You may be pleased with the results. If not, it will have only cost a few pounds for touch up paint and some time, but you can still have the scratch repaired professionally.

Spray Cans
All spray cans are 400ml and provide excellent coverage of about 4-6 square feet so you can estimate how many cans you will need by measuring the square footage of the area you are painting. Blending the paint into adjacent panels will achieve a much nicer and less noticeable repair especially for metallic paints.
The most important thing to remember is to not spray heavy coats. Do not apply so little paint that it dries as you apply it as this creates dry spots. Spray in a dust free area.
Again, practice AWAY from your vehicle and don't be afraid of sanding off and starting afresh!

Paint Spraying-Humidity and Temperature Warning!
Make sure you do not spray in wet or humid conditions! To test the humidity, spray some of the clearcoat and see how it dries . If it dries milky, it is too humid to paint! Spray paint should be applied when the temperature is at least 50F.

Sanding Clean the area as described above then sand the area you wish to spray with 600 grit sandpaper. If you are spraying a panel such as a door, you must decide how far you are going to paint and scuff the entire area. See below for additional information.

Primer Professional automotive painters use a lot of primer. You can spray primer over unpainted surfaces, existing paint (as long as you have sanded the paint to key the surface) and over body filler. Use primer to cover small imperfections and to build up scratched areas to a smooth surface. For deeper scratches, we recommend High Build Primer (available from Us). Primer has a tendency to shrink so let it dry according to the manufacturers instructions and apply several coats to achieve a smooth surface, sanding with 600 grit to achieve a smooth finish.

Top Tip!

If the surface isn't smooth before the colour goes on it will look even worse in colour!
Patience is the key!!

Paint Spraying-Technique
Tape surrounding areas to protect against over spray.
Use a tack rag to pick up any foreign matter on the vehicle.
Spray even, overlapping coats. The painted area should be evenly wet with no dry spots. You can sand out imperfections later.
Let the paint dry for approximately 15 to 30 minutes then apply a second coat. Let the paint dry overnight and wet sand the area using 1200 wet and dry sandpaper to sand out imperfections, dust, etc.
Spray a final coat of paint over the area but do not sand it. Let the paint dry at least one hour but not more than 24 hours before applying clearcoat. For best results, metallic paints should be blended into the surrounding area.

Paint Spraying-Paint to an edge
After you have painted the repaired area, slowly feather the paint out on either side of the repaired area. Professional painters will often paint to a boundary such as the edge of a door, a panel line on your car, a moulding, etc. The idea is not to leave a paint line right in the middle of a panel...

Note on Spraying Metallic Paints
If you apply too much paint to the surface or do not wait long enough between coats, the metallic flake in the paint will become uneven. The final coat of metallic paint should be sprayed farther away from the surface to let the metallic flakes go on as evenly as possible. This distance will depend on your paint color, temperature, humidity, etc. so be sure to practice off the vehicle first!

Spraying the Clearcoat/ Lacquer
Spray the clear over the paint. Do not spray the clearcoat in the sun. Do not spray a part that has been heated by the sun. Let it cool down first, as otherwise the clearcoat will dry with a dull finish. Let the clear dry overnight. If necessary, wet sand out any imperfections with 1200 grit, then apply a final coat of clear. Use rubbing compound to smooth and shine the area.(We use Farecla G3 Compound)

Spraying the Clearcoat/ Lacquer-Technique
You would typically spray the clearcoat farther out than the paint to a boundary line on your vehicle. Again, you don't want to spray the clearcoat in the middle of a panel without going out to the edges as you will leave a noticeable clearcoat line.

Using the Rubbing Compound
The application of Rubbing compound creates the deep gloss in the clearcoat so don't skip this step! Let the clearcoat dry for at least 3 days before using the rubbing compound. Use a clean, very soft cloth like an old T shirt (for example DO NOT USE PAPER PRODUCTS as the wood fibers will scratch the paint!). Place a small quantity of rubbing compound on the vehicle and use circular strokes and apply even pressure to the vehicle. It's almost like waxing a vehicle except the rubbing compound is like an extremely fine liquid sandpaper. Buff with a clean cloth to a high gloss. (You may want to spray some paint and clearcoat on a smooth surface and practice to get the feel of it.) Sometimes lots of pressure is required to make the clear shine. The rubbing compound can also be applied by machine, but careful, it's very easy to burn the paint! You can get the same results by hand, it will just take a bit longer.
The rubbing compound is also good for removing oxidation from your finish and bringing old paint back to life. Let the paint dry for a 30 days and apply a good quality wax.

Storage Store in a cool, dry place. Do not leave the bottle in your vehicle, as heat will dry up the paint.

Allow the paint to dry thoroughly before washing/waxing.

Please contact us with any comments you have or any additional tips that worked for you!


Whilst every care has been taken to produce this guide, no responsibility can be taken for any inaccuracy or misinterpretation of information contained within, or damage to vehicles resulting from incorrectly applied paint products, or to the health of individuals applying the paint.


Automotive touch-up paint including primer and clearcoats are EXTREMELY hazardous. Keep away from children! Call a doctor IMMEDIATELY if swallowed. Keep out of direct sunlight and heat over 120F. DO NOT STORE IN CAR and avoid freezing. Contains HAZARDOUS Waste. Requires proper disposal. Use with adequate ventilation. If you experience any dizziness, discontinue product use immediately and call doctor.
The main thing here is to use the product with adequate ventilation. Use an approved paint respirator and WEAR safety goggles when handling automotive paint to protect your eyes!! This includes the primer, paint and clearcoat.

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