Reality In Auto Body – Touch Up Paint Repairs
There are often misconceptions of what touch up paint repair is and what the expected final result of a repair should be.
So, the question is…’what is a touch up paint repair?’.
The answer – touch up paint is a very small quantity of paint made to imitate the original factory paint color. It is formulated to be applied with a touch up brush onto the damaged, chipped, scratched or gouged surface for improved protection or appearance.
Touch up paint is applied over rough damaged and imperfect surfaces. It will only add color where color was absent. However, touch up paint repairs will not change the smoothness or texture of the damaged surface. Touch up paint provides mostly cosmetic value and is appropriate to use on top of primer, basecoat, or existing clear coat.
What To Expect With A Touch Up Paint Repair
Below is a list of touch up paint repair characteristics to help you understand what to expect with a touch up paint repair.
- Touch Up Paint Repairs…
- Can improve appearance & help protect the surface
- Provide only a thin cosmetic colored film covering the damaged area
- Have no filling, smoothing or leveling abilities
- Are the process of applying touch up paint inside the borders of damaged paint
- Will not make the damage look like new or put it in pre-accident condition
- Will be visible by the borders of the added paint
- Paint will shrink in thickness as it dries
- Will leave either a convex mound or a concave dip in damaged area
- Can look perfect in color in direct sunlight and totally the wrong color when light is shaded
- Will change as it dries – because paint loses most of its thickness as it dries, the touched up area often looks really good when first applied but the appearance thins out and changes as it dries
- Are best when the original touch up is complete – applying more paint in an attempt to fill a chip more is a good theory with diminishing returns and practicality (good when just enough paint is applied and bad when too much is applied)
What Not To Expect With A Touch Up Paint Repair
If you need your car to look like new when the repair is done, a touch up paint repair is not for you.
For example, bare metal, rusty metal, and bare plastic require additional surface preparation time and materials for the touchup paint to properly adhere. And, even though this type of surface preparation will make the paint adhere properly, it will not fix or smooth out any roughness, depth, or other physical imperfections.
Fixing or smoothing out physical imperfections requires traditional auto body repair techniques and refinishing. AutoColor can do these auto body repairs, however, the larger price of traditional insurance industry driven body shop repairs will be the result.
Touch Up Paint Is…
- Not magic or a miracle
- Not repair of physical damage – It is more like putting “makeup” on top of damage
- Not body filler, primer, or rust inhibitor
- Not the original paint or even the same type of paint
- Not the original factory color – it is an imitation (even if you bought it from your car dealership)
- Not a perfect repair and it will not make the damage look like new – it is a compromise
If The Repair You Need Must Look Like New – Touch Up Paint Repair Is Not A Choice
A touch up paint repair is what you do when you are unwilling to pay the cost of a traditional body shop repair.
Touch up paint repair is a compromise. The choice is usually based on your repair budget. Touch up paint repair is not equivalent to a traditional auto body repair or panel refinishing.
Touch up paint can provide basic protection from rust and corrosion as well as some cosmetic appearance value. Touch up paint repairs are only a fraction of the time and cost of a traditional auto body repair and refinishing. Additionally, touching up your own vehicle is a fraction of the cost of using a professional service like AutoColor.
The Bottom Line On Touch Up Paint Repair
If anyone tells you they can make a touchup look like new – do not believe them. It is not possible. It is possible the touch up repair can look great compared to the damaged area you started with, but a touch up repair will never look like new.
A touch up paint repair is a compromise. It is often a good compromise because the original damaged area can look great and may not be very detectable. However, it will always be detectable.
Auto Color, located in Middleton WI is equipped with the professionals and equipment to provide the highest quality auto paint touch up repairs and scratch repairs, plastic bumper repairs, and minor collision repairs.
We serve Madison WI and surrounding areas including Verona, Waunakee, Fitchburg, Sauk City, McFarland, Middleton, Monona, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie and Deforest and all of Dane County.
Contact Auto Color at 608-831-9554 or email us to help with your auto paint touch repair.