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Paint Touchup OR a Visit to a Auto Body Shop?

There is a lot of advice out there about how to touch up the paint on your car. Some of the best advice, however, defines when it’s better to get a professional paint job by an Auto body professional or to have just simple rock chips and small scratches "touched-up" by a detail professional?

The DIY trend and YouTube “how to” video craze have made many car owners think they can fix every problem on their own. Sometimes, this isn’t a great idea. In a lot of cases, car painting or paint touchup is one job that is best to have done professionally.

This article answers two important questions: Why do some try to fix their car paint at home? When is it better to have the car painted by an auto body shop or touched up by a detailing professional?


Cracked, flaking, scratched, faded paint or clear-coat failure is always unsightly. Some car owners want a quick fix to make the vehicle look better. Others don’t want to file an insurance claim for paint damage that is unrelated to a collision. Still, others think they will save money with a DIY solution.

Touch up kits are widely available online, as well as automotive and hardware stores. They can cost anywhere from $50 to $3,500 depending on the types of painting equipment included in the kit. For very small scratches, these may prove to be a quick, cost-effective way to fix the paint for a better appearance. If applied well by a professional, the scratch will no longer be visible from a distance and provide the area from further damage and rust.

Up close, however, you are likely to notice a difference in the thickness, color or finish of the paint. This is because a repair kit does not match the number of layers, quality or exact color of the paint used by the manufacturer or body shop.