Black Car with Door Dings and Paint Chips

If you own a vehicle you know how annoying rock chips are, here you will learn how to repair rock chips and similar damage.  If you’re like most first timers to DIY automotive paint repair than you might not be sure what you need. ERA Paints has a system in place to make this process simple, easy and inexpensive. Doing these projects yourself can save you thousands of dollars in paint repair!

Here are the steps to starting and completing your project!

  1. Find Your Paint Code
  2. Choose Your Product
  3. Find Your Quantity of Paint Needed
  4. How To Video/Guide
  5. Make It Happen! You can do this!

If you’ve got this far it means you’ve determined the type of scratch your car has. What were looking at is a very common paint rash scratch type. Luckily for you this is very easy to repair and we provide the perfect kit to make this happen. Still not confident you have the right selection? Have a special case and don’t see something that looks similar to your scratch? Take a picture of your damaged area and send it to us at or give us a call! We’d be happy to help!

Let’s start –

1. Find Your Paint Code

What were going to do first is find your paint code! All you need to do is determine what kind of car you have! Easy right? Find your make/manufacturer and then visit this page to find the video that shows you how to locate your paint code. If you’d rather not go out and find the paint code, just use our tool “Select Your Paint Code” above. Please note the color swatches are never going to be a perfect match, just an approximation to make the selection process easier. We ALWAYS recommend finding the paint code on your vehicle. It’s very easy and makes the process precise.

[Paint Code Chart w/ Image map]

2. Choose Your Product

Does your scratch look more like this? Type 1


For this type of scratch, we recommend an automotive spray kit. This is because these scratch areas tend to be large in width and length. Or because your hood or other panels are covered in rock chip type scratches. Typically most scratch repairs can get by with one can of basecoat, clearcoat, and primer. Sometimes you will need more, but we will get to that on step 3!

Or like this? Type 2


For this type of scratch, we recommend an automotive touch up kit. This is because the rock chip type scratch is small/thin enough, or few enough that you do not need a large amount of paint. You can lightly touch this up with a dabber!

What kit should I buy?

Another very common question is what kit should I buy? At ERA Paints we offer several different options. But this isn’t because we think you should go without certain products. We include these kits with different items because some people may have primer or clearcoat already at home and simply don’t need them. Some DIY’ers may try and skip over primer or clearcoat but this ALWAYS leads to bad results. Our recommendation is that if you need this guide, you should purchase the full kit to properly complete the project. But if not, please view our SHOP page to see more options!

If you chose Type 1 you will need an automotive spray kit.

The two kits above are our basic and pro prep kits. The difference is that pro offers body putty with a putty applicator and a spray can trigger while the basic kit is missing these 3 items. The spray can trigger is extra, but recommended to make the process of spraying steadier and easier.

Special Note: If you want your touch up paint to shine, you NEED to get clearcoat and wax it 30 days after the project is completed!

When do I need auto body putty?

Great question! Auto body putty should be used on areas that you have dents and dings, deep scratches, scratches that can’t be sanded out, and scratches that went past the clearcoat.


Another way to understand when you need auto body putty, is when you rub your thumb or nail over the scratched area and it feels rough.

To put this simply!

If your scratch looks like any of these images in Type 1 YOU WILL NEED BODY PUTTY FOR BEST RESULTS!

Don’t worry, applying body putty can actually be quite fun. You’ll be proud of your work.

If you chose Type 2, you will need an automotive touch up kit.

The three kits above are all prep kits. We always recommend going with Primer, Basecoat and Clearcoat. But if you’re looking to save money or you already have some of these we have other options as well. If the scratch is light and small sometimes you can get away with the basecoat only! But no matter what you choose, you’ll always want to clean the surface with wax and grease remover!

Special Note: If you want your touch up paint to shine, you NEED to get clearcoat and wax it 30 days after the project is completed!

At this point in the project it’s really how much money you want to spend and how good you’d like the end result to be!

  • Left Includes: Primer, Basecoat, Clearcoat
  • Middle Includes: Basecoat, Clearcoat
  • Right Includes: Basecoat

3. Find Your Quantity

Next question you’re probably wondering is how much do you need to buy?

Touch Up Paint Kits: Lucky you! You will most likely not need to buy more than what we offer in the 3 kits above. If you have a special case and have those types of scratches ALL over your car or have multiple vehicles then you’ll probably want to add another bottle. If you need one more bottle of basecoat to cover the scratches then you’ll most likely need the same amount primer and clearcoat. Find those here!

Automotive Spray Paint Kits: Automotive Spray Paint Kits can be a different story, and most don’t know how much they need so were here to help! Let’s use pictures to determine the size of your project.

[GALLERY INSERT] (Showing how many cans needed per pic)

[Quantity Diagram]

If you need more primer, basecoat, or clearcoat you can easily add more to your cart!

4. How to Guide/Video

Now, we want to tell you and show you to complete your project! Auto body repair shops can charge on average $1000-$1800 for average repair jobs. This sounds bad, and it is. But what we can say is, automotive paint touch up isn’t really that hard as long as you know what you’re doing. If you’re following the proper steps then you can make your car look like it came out of a professional auto body shop!

Automotive Spray Kit Written Guide:

Automotive Spray Kit Video Guide:

Touch Up Kit Written Guide:

Touch Up Kit Video Guide:

5. Make It Happen! You Can Do This!

Most people don’t know what they can achieve before you actually go out and do it! Whether you’ve been wanting to improve the look of your favorite car, prep it for selling, or prevent rust we know that doing it yourself will save you A LOT of time and money. You’ll also be proud of the work you’ve accomplished. We hope this guide really helped you. We know it sets you up for success! Now go be productive!

Again, if you have questions or thoughts please don’t hesitate to contact us!!

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