Mastering DIY Car Scratch Repair with Touch Up Pens

Mastering DIY Car Scratch Repair


Maintaining the aesthetic appeal of your car is a task every car owner takes seriously. However, scratches and paint chips are inevitable, whether it's from road debris, parking lot mishaps, or just general wear and tear. While professional auto body shops offer solutions, they can be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, with the right tools and techniques, you can master the art of DIY car scratch repair using touch up pens. In this blog, we'll walk you through the process step by step, empowering you to restore your car's finish with confidence.

Understanding Touch Up Pens:

Before delving into the repair process, it's essential to understand what touch up pens are and how they work. Touch up pens typically consist of two components: a base coat and a clear coat. The base coat matches your car's paint colour, while the clear coat provides protection and enhances the finish. These pens offer a convenient and cost-effective solution for minor paint imperfections, allowing you to achieve professional-looking results without the need for specialised equipment.

Step 1: Preparation

Preparation is key to achieving a flawless repair. Start by thoroughly cleaning the scratched area with soap and water to remove any dirt, wax, or debris. Once clean, use a mild solvent or rubbing alcohol to ensure the surface is free of grease and contaminants. Allow the area to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Assess the Damage

Carefully examine the scratch to determine its depth and extent. Minor scratches that haven't penetrated the primer layer are the most suitable candidates for touch up pen repair. Deeper scratches or those with exposed metal may require additional steps, such as sanding and priming, which are beyond the scope of this guide.

Step 3: Choose the Right Touch Up Pen

Selecting the correct touch up pen is crucial for achieving a seamless repair. Match the pen's base coat to your car's paint colour by referring to the manufacturer's colour code, which is typically located on the vehicle identification plate or inside the driver's door jamb. Many touch up pen manufacturers offer online tools or catalogues to help you find the perfect match.

Step 4: Apply the Base Coat

With the scratch properly cleaned and assessed, it's time to apply the base coat. Shake the touch up pen vigorously to ensure the paint is well mixed. Then, using steady and controlled strokes, carefully fill in the scratch with the base coat. Avoid applying too much paint in one go, as this can lead to uneven coverage and dripping. Instead, apply thin layers, allowing each coat to dry completely before adding the next.

Car Scratch Repair

 Step 5: Let it Dry

After applying the base coat, allow it to dry according to the manufacturer's instructions. This typically takes around 15-30 minutes, but drying times may vary depending on factors such as temperature and humidity. Avoid touching or disturbing the freshly painted area during this time to prevent smudging or imperfections.

Step 6: Apply the Clear Coat

Once the base coat is dry, it's time to apply the clear coat for added protection and a glossy finish. Similar to the base coat, shake the clear coat pen thoroughly before use. Then, carefully apply a thin layer of clear coat over the repaired area, extending slightly beyond the edges of the base coat to ensure a seamless blend. Allow the clear coat to dry completely before handling or washing your car.

Step 7: Final Touches

Once the clear coat has dried, inspect the repair for any imperfections or inconsistencies. If necessary, lightly sand the repaired area with fine-grit sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots. Finally, polish the repaired area with automotive polish or wax to blend the finish and restore shine.

Additional Tips:

  1. Practice on a small, inconspicuous area first to get a feel for the application process.
  2. Use masking tape to protect surrounding areas from accidental paint overspray.
  3. Work in a well-ventilated area to ensure proper drying and prevent fumes buildup.
  4. If the scratch is deep or extends beyond the clear coat, consider seeking professional help for a more comprehensive repair.
  5. Keep your touch up pens stored upright and at room temperature to maintain their effectiveness.
  6. Don't rush the drying process; allow each coat to fully cure before proceeding to the next step.
  7. Regularly inspect your car's paint for any new scratches and address them promptly to prevent rust or further damage.


Mastering DIY car scratch repair with touch up pens is a valuable skill for any car owner. With the right tools, techniques, and attention to detail, you can achieve professional-quality results and restore your car's appearance with confidence. Remember to take your time, follow the steps outlined in this blog, and don't be afraid to seek help or advice if needed. With practice, you'll become proficient at tackling minor paint imperfections and keeping your car looking its best for years to come. 

BCS Auto Paints, a trusted Australian company with extensive experience, boasts a massive selection of touch-up paints compatible with all vehicle makes and models. Their top-of-the-line products empower you to achieve professional-looking repairs at home, saving you time and money. So, roll up your sleeves, gather your supplies, and embark on the journey of mastering the art of DIY car scratch repair. Your car will thank you for it!

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