At ERA Paints we’ve seen it all, if you’re using high quality automotive touch up paint then the problems that occur are usually due to product application. This is true whether you’re using ERA Paint products or someone else’s. We are proud to say that we use premium paint that has set us apart from our competitors at an early stage. This doesn’t mean every project goes smoothly. This indicates error in application or someone not following the directions properly. To help smooth this process out here are some of the most common errors we see in automotive touch up!

automotive touch up
Don’t let this happen to your car paint!

What Not To Do When Applying Automotive Touch Up Paint.

Touch Up Paint Quality

What I stated above about using quality paint is probably the most important factor, so why not discuss this first. To start, remember to not use old car paint! Car paint is much different than what you would paint your house with. If the paint is over 6 months old, do not use it! That’s why touch up paint should be mixed AFTER you order it and shouldn’t be bought off the shelf.

Now there are numerous paint companies out there. What people don’t know is that the majority uses only 3 different manufacturers to mix the paint. When you send the order in the paint is then made that day(or at least it should be). Typically each manufacture sells different grades of paint. When looking for a paint company don’t automatically assume the cheapest is the way to go. There’s an old fashioned saying – Buy nice or buy twice! This holds true for automotive touch up paint. If you buy cheap paint, it’ll fade quickly, fall off or crack/chip. This means you’ll be buying paint again and you’ll be paying double what you would have the first time. ERA Paints sells premium quality paint, and some other companies will too. But we also pride ourselves on our customer service, so we ask, please give us a chance!(shameless self plug?)

The Wrong Sandpaper Grit

Using sandpaper on a touch up job is great, but many pick up anything laying around the house. This can cause more damage to the paint which of course, we do not want. In our touch up kits we include 600 grit sandpaper, this is a very fine sandpaper and works great for touch ups. It’s great you’re using sandpaper on your project! But please remember, wash and clean the area afterwards! If you don’t do this then you’ll be applying paint to loose particles over the sanded area making it very hard for the paint to stick.

Touching Up in Inappropriate Weather

Something many people are unaware of when touching up a vehicle for the first time is that they don’t wait for the right weather conditions. It can’t be to hot or to cold. Your paint’s behavior will change based on the weather. If it’s too hot or too cold the paint can bubble, discolor itself, blotch and more. The best conditions will be on a dry day around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.  

Not Adding Enough Coats or Adding Paint to Thick 

This one isn’t always to obvious for first timers. Automotive touch up paint might seem more simple than completely painting a new car and in most ways it is. But the process is still the same most of the time. You want to sand away any rust spots, clean the area, apply primer, apply the base coat and finally add clear coat to give it a nice shine. What most don’t understand is that taking a little extra time and being patient can help you get the best look and results. If you can, ALWAYS apply multiple thin base coats allowing each coat to dry before applying another. Just 2-3 coats will work just fine. Make sure you level out the automotive touch up paint with the rest of the vehicle.

To Quick to Wax Your Vehicle

This one is a bit more rare, since come on, how many of you guys actually wax your car!? While you should wax your car, many don’t, and that’s okay. If you do plan on waxing your car to give it that extra boost in appeal remember to wait at least 25-30 days after applying new paint. This is because the paint can absorb the chemicals in the wax and can cause issues with the paint drying, rippling or thinning out. 


TLDR; Remember your car paint is complex and specialized made to withstand the elements in the long term while maintaining a great look. Take the time to learn how to apply it properly so you don’t have to do it again. I hope this helps you guys and remember to use ERA Paints for premium paint and accessories! 

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