Paint Chip Touch-up — /DRIVE CLEAN

Paint Chip Touch-up — /DRIVE CLEAN

up, guys? I’m Larry from And one of the most common
questions I receive is how to properly touch up your
car’s paint. In this episode, we’ll discuss
how to resolve chip damage caused by dings and rocks. In addition to resolving the
unsightly chip marks, touch-up primarily protects the paint
from future corrosion. That’s all coming up today on
this episode of “DRIVE CLEAN.” [MUSIC PLAYING] LARRY KOSILLA: Detailing cars is
a very visual skill that I learned by watching talented
artists in their respective fields. Our industry has several methods
for touching up cars. Some techniques work better
than others, and some professionals and weekend
warriors are more precise and patient than others when it
comes to the application. As you can see on the hood of
my car, the previous owner should be commended for taking
time to touch up the rock chips, but the result wasn’t necessarily visually beautiful. Today I’m going to walk you
through the methods I’m most comfortable using. The process typically takes a
couple of days from start to finish, so patience
is required. It involves four steps– assessing, prepping, application
and leveling. But before we get started,
here’s what you need– touch-up sticks, 2000 grit
sandpaper, Carnauba wax, rubbing alcohol, microfiber
towel, heat gun, No. 2 pencils, Crazy Glue, color
coat and clear coat, touch-up paint and hole punch. Step one is assessing the
damage to determine the severity of the impact. Does it need touch-up, or will
wet sanding be enough? Proper touch-up is a long and
sometimes tedious process. And if the impact can be
repaired by simply wet sanding, I would avoid using
touch-up if at all possible. Since these two areas are
missing clear-coat paint and bare metal is exposed, touch-up
is our only option. First I circle the area with a
paint pen to help find the small chip quickly and to show
you the viewers at home where we’re working. Next, it’s important to clean
out the jagged and loose edges of the existing chip
for two reasons. The first one is you don’t
want to put touch-up over unsecure paint, because
it’ll simply fall off, defeating the purpose. It’s much like scraping flaky
paint off an old house before the painting process begins. The second is that by scuffing
up the bottom of the chip, the touch-up that you will soon
apply will have better adhesion because it’s not a
smooth, slippery surface. To do this, you’ll need a pencil
with an unused eraser, one 2000 grit sandpaper,
and a hole punch. Cut out one piece of sandpaper
and remove it from the hole punch reservoir. This tiny perfect circle sits
atop the pencil’s eraser with a drop of Crazy Glue. Be sure to affix the
sandpaper with the gritty side facing outwards. The purpose of this trick is to
only scuff up the chip and not the surrounding area, if
possible, because we only want touch-up within the
chip itself. The number one reason why
touch-up has a tendency to look bad is because it overflows
into the surrounding areas that don’t actually need
it, causing an uneven or bumpy texture that is obvious
to the eye. However, the pencil trick
focuses the repair precisely where it’s needed most. The next step is a technique
I’ve used for years to help corral the touch-up paint into
the scratch and to avoid the non-chipped areas. First, add a light layer of
Carnauba wax over the entire area, including the chip. Next, use rubbing alcohol on a
touch-up stick to clean out or remove the wax from the chip. You may need to do this several
times to ensure no waxes remain on the exposed
bare metal. The reason we do this is because
any waxed surface will not allow touch-ups to stick
to it, which helps us avoid the number one cause of bad
touch-up jobs, and that, of course, is having touch-up
in the wrong area. It also helps with the cleanup
process, because misplaced drips can be wiped
away easily. Now that the chip is clean and
ready to accept the touch-up, we need to mix the paint and
clear-coat prior to the application. Add an even amount of color
and clear-coat. Then mix in a small cup until
it becomes slightly thicker, or more viscous than water, but
less viscous than syrup. This can be very tricky, because
there’s usually an optimal 10 to 20-minute window
of time before the paint becomes too clumpy. Now, traditionally, color-coat
was added, dried, then clear-coat was added
on top afterwards. But from a practical standpoint,
this is not as effective if your goal is to
have it look good as well. I prefer to mix the color-coat
and the clear-coat together prior to adding it to the chip,
because it’s a healthy balance between protection,
looks, and ease of application. To apply this new mixture of
paint and clear, I remove the fibers from the touch-up stick
so that it’s bare plastic. You can use a razor blade or
simply bite off the end. Next, dip the touch-up stick
into the paint so that there’s a small collection
at the very tip. Your goal is to allow the paint
to flow into the chip and to fill up the
cavity slowly. The most common misconception
is that a painting motion is needed. It’s best to actually dab and
push the paint around to help it settle into the chip. To speed up the drying process,
use a heat gun on low for two to three minutes. Keep touching the panel to make
sure it doesn’t get too hot during this process. As the touch-up dries, it will
shrink, so additional layers of paint will most
likely be needed. This will take time, a
steady hand, and a good deal of patience. Next, wet sand the area with
2500 grit to blend the surrounding paint, and notice if
it needs additional layers of touch-up. Use even pressure with a foam
or rubber sanding block. This process will help expose
anything you may have missed during the original touch up. To remove the wet sand marks,
I’m using a microfiber cutting pad, leveling fluid, and a
3-inch Rupes polisher. Our goal is to see if we filled
in the chip or if it needs additional layers. Now, as expected, more touch-up
is needed to build up the layers within the chip until
it’s perfectly flat. Repeat this process until you’re
completely satisfied. The touch-up process can take
one hour or one week, depending on your tools,
skills, and level of perfection required for
you to be satisfied. The very last step, of course,
is to wax your car for additional protection. But always keep in the back of
your mind that touch-up is designed to help prevent
premature corrosion and with a bit of patience can make it
look much better, too. The small chips on the front
of my car have been filled, leveled and polished, all for
significantly less money than if I had repainted it, and
I’m feeling pretty good. For a PDF download of our
step-by-step tips on how to touch up your paint, be sure
to visit Well, that’s if for me, guys. Thanks again for watching
another episode of “DRIVE CLEAN” right here on
the DRIVE network. -Like this, and rip this
thing off, right? OK, good. See how it came off? -Yeah, that’s great. [INAUDIBLE] put it in your mouth
and bite it off. -I have to put it in my
mouth and bite it off? -All right, hang on. Any second. -There you go. -If you ask me. -There, bro, now you got it. -Can you hold it up
just real quick? -Now you’re bad ass.


  • Matthew Robinson says:

    black sharpie

  • Marcos Figueroa says:

    have seen better videos than this

  • jrg alv says:

    After going through the process and applying compound, I found out after a short trip, that now the areas where compound were applied are covered by dozens of small chips – even there was not apparent out of normal conditions. Could it be that the compounding was too abrasive and left the paint exposed to the environment? Is there any product that I can apply to protect the paint?

  • heydude76 says:

    Yep just as I thought……. I'm gonna pay the pro's to do my rock chip repair

  • Proton Gaming says:

    Wow, those little microscopic chips while my car had a complete
    sized hand of faded paint and rust.

  • Lee Raines says:

    This is good advice unless you work in a production shop

  • Ian Ocampo says:

    hate long intros..

  • Mikethebutcher says:

    What steps can be taken to repair the cracking paint on the roof of my truck?? Heavy sun damaged paint. It in 3 spots near the front of the truck. Some large paint chips are gone. Thanks. And yes I know could take it to a paint shop. I'd rather try it myself.

  • Jason Bennett says:

    Didnt even show final result. How am i to know how good i should expect it to look if done correctly?

  • José says:

    Larry! Didn't you learn today Rupes correctly? You still say "roops" hehe!
    Thanks again for the great instruction as always Larry. I plan on tackling this project on my Ranger very soon…

  • Rexin Oridle says:

    Who doesn't love Larry?

  • Don Petrus says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! Someone at my work's employee parking scratched my paint bare, didn't leave a note either.
    Is the leveling fluid you mention at 6:50 compound?

  • Jeff says:


  • Mike Lapres says:

    He used a half sheet of paper after the pencil method why do that just do it again to sand over the new paint layer and then could probably skip using the expensive buffer. Then he didn't reapply the wax to repeat the process of filling the chip, basically because you can't…so why do it in the first place? You're not likely to get it filled in one drop.

  • Scott Dillon says:

    Hi Larry, I had watched this video a few years ago and just watched it again….great video. I tease my kids about watching re-runs of Friends episodes….I guess I should not do that 🙂 I just checked the price of those dabbers…just about $40 on Amazon. I have yet to try the wet sanding, just freaks me out the idea of introducing swirls/scratches when I try so hard to keep them away but am getting close to giving it a try 🙂

  • Luke Miller says:

    Hey Larry, what variable speed polisher power tool do you suggest?

  • c230benzito says:

    Why didnt you show the final results, would have liked to see it!

  • MERICA #1 says:

    See this is how mechanics take ur money “patients “

  • Ryan Kovacs says:

    I found it pretty hilarious that he had to specify the sandpaper out. Like, you're sanding… you can't sand without the sand lol. That's like telling somebody to make sure they're using the right side of a shovel. There's only one way to do it lol

  • Albert M says:

    What is your opinion of the product DrColorChip?

  • Steve Dhillon says:

    Great Video Larry. I have a quick question. Looking at getting a used car where the owner used the WRONG color touch up paint. Yes, the wrong color. I am wondering if using the process here you have used is the best way to go. Note, that there about 40 small rock chips to do this to. Thanks so much.

  • bb65346 says:

    dr colorchip would eliminate all this crap..

  • Lew James says:

    This is for people that live where they have a climate change phenomenon known as "winter". Frozen water falls from the sky and it is hard to drive for months at a time. Hence, you would have lots of free time to do all this. We in the southwest simply drive armed. If someone else throws a rock at our car, however slight, we shoot them. This puts a stop to bad driving.

  • Michael Lauser says:

    That is some amazing attention to detail!

  • Chris Y'Boy says:

    Hey it was GREAT to see the finished article in such detail. Oh wait, you didn't show us that.

  • Joe Humeas says:

    What did you use as paint leveler?

  • xrmte says:

    how much paint and clear do you mix together?

  • Black Sheep says:

    What can I do about poor touch-ups done by the previous owner?
    I have around 20-30 spots on the hood where you can tell they haven't come level to the surrounding paint and there's one or two other spots where they used only color and didn't finish the job.

  • Black Sheep says:

    Is there a reason rubbing alcohol was used over isopropyl?
    Personally I'd prefer to use a more pure chemical unless there's some benefit to rubbing alcohol I'm missing?

  • Citybikeman says:

    I am not sure if he mentioned it or not but this method will only work on solid colors. Try this with a silver and it will look even worse.


    Dr. Colorchip…… is the only answer….

  • Vincent Chen says:

    They make the process so complicated just trying say: “leave that to the professional”. But guess what, they will never do touch up like that if you sent your cars to them.

  • Rob Jay says:

    So many experts! Let's see all your detailing & 'chip fixing videos, Your closeups etc. Larry knows his stuff.

  • L. G. Almighty says:

    I used this quality German wet and dry sandpaper. Great price and quality

  • casey johnson says:

    Just watched this video and the one on ammonyc auto blog which one is a better solution for a rock chip?

  • KG says:

    no shot of the results? weak.

  • Marco Troxler says:

    you could fix 10000 stone chips like these with all this paint

  • The Bishop says:

    Can this be done by hand? rather than with a sander??

  • hbg pa says:

    Great vid

  • snaggle Toe says:

    WTF! NO RESULTS? Yeah, I like to watch golf, then look away when they put.

  • aivosha says:

    what is the point of mixing the color and clear coat again ? Is it to make it more runny ? Is it to save time ? anybody got the point ?

  • Voitek L says:

    Where do you recommend to get the touchup paint from ?

  • Doug S says:

    God i wish I had you for a few hours right now man lol.

    That sounded gay hahahah

  • ARGuck says:

    What is the temporary pen he uses to circle the chipped areas? He calls it a paint pen/marker but I search for those and of course get permanent paint pen and touch-up markers.

  • R Keyes says:

    Great video explanation!

  • Kratedigga1 says:

    Hi Should I repair my stone chips before OR after polishing the enture car with and electric polisher and polishing compounds ? Thanks

  • Kratedigga1 says:

    Also , How much clear coat should I mix into the touch up paint? Thanks

  • guyfroml says:

    Great video. Thanks!

  • hilsil says:

    he did not show the "after" image…hmmm

  • DirkNader says:

    I wonder what brand of paint pen he is using to mark or circle the paint chips to zone in on his area?

  • ph00l1sh says:

    This might be a stupid question, but what kind of pen are you using to circle the defects you are working on? I have googled to death and can’t find anything specific for automotive paint application

  • jaeson bang says:

    Thank you. Great stuff.

  • Charles Bae says:

    Guys is it possible to buff out the wet sand manually? Without power tools? I live in the city and have to always do things without power tools. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

  • Mark Mc says:

    Very enjyable to watch and to listen. Nice style of tutorial. Thanks for the info!

  • Miguel Noriega says:

    Has anyone tried this ? Where did you order the touch up paint from

  • Abbi Spangler says:

    In the supplies listed why did you have one line say “color coat and clear coat” and another line that says “touch up paint”? Isn’t the color coat made of the touch up paint?

  • Verge Cryptocurrency says:

    I used a hammer instead.

  • remasha remashawingate40 says:

    My boyfriend cut a peice of metal near my car and my window is full of metal. How can you remove it

  • gothicman03 says:

    I just use a toothpick instead of those dabbers. Works just as well.

  • Stephen Kelliher says:

    Awesome video! thanks for specifying the products you used and including estimated cost. Subscribed!

  • Nick Fallcon says:

    Where do you get that marker???

  • Mike Bour says:

    Larry, what is the brand of paint market your using? I'd like to do something like that to fix my rock chips.

  • drums911 says:

    Great video as usual. Where would I find the touch up sticks or would round tooth picks be just as good?

  • robin williams says:


  • R Dixon says:

    can you get ride of wet sand marks by hand without the buffer?

  • 李家瑋 says:

    just bought a dr. color chip kit after watching this

  • A G says:

    Was disappointed you didn't show a final up close shot. We know it's not going to be perfect, just need to see the levels of improvement with each application.

  • splash says:

    What do you do if the chip already has a light surface rust colour to the metal under the paint?

  • dphotos says:

    If bare metal I like using a small dab of primer first, then paint then the clear coat using 2000 wet sand paper wraped around a Scotch Bright Sponge after sanding I use Meguires M105 then HD Speed with a DA from Harbor Freight with the correct color pads but I changed out the backing plate with a Lake Country backing plate and used Lake Country foam pads. I like the idea of using sandpaper with CA glue on a pencil eraser

  • Jason Rohr says:

    Always loved watching your videos, this technique is very clever and I am extremely happy with the results doing this on my own black Vette. Thanks!

  • Pitur says:

    Guten morgen meine freunde. Die wax ist not the besten idea. Du need to remove it well before painting. Die wax ist nicht good fur die paint adhesiveness.

  • James Bradley says:

    Excellent 😎👍🏻

  • Rok Markovinovic says:

    Will this pencil trick work if theres a bit of rust inside the chip?

  • Eat Sleep Shift says:

    Repeat until you get arthritis

  • Julio Enriello says:

    Where is the final result?

  • A Ü says:

    2-3 minutes with heatgun on low… but how low…?

  • AdamGImagery says:

    load of crap… no before and after at end, and the long scratch you did on the jeep in other video shaking my head, your more irritating than a paint chip. 1.8m subscribers 😀

  • 04dram04 says:

    You should level your touch up by sliding a razor blade across it, the same way you do a bondo spreader. Will make it perfectly level

  • 04dram04 says:

    This is not good method. Do this instead.

  • Anthony Green says:

    Hi ,
    Could you tell me the best way to get rust out from a stone chip.

  • NOS Nitr2ous says:

    Wow that's brilliant! I have very small chips and unleveled scratches this would be perfect on using the Dr. Colorchip system I bought. Thank you😁

  • Lars says:

    AWESOME!!! Wish i watched it earlier 😀

  • Christian Valverde says:

    That pencil idea is genius. Fucking brilliant.

  • Bad Company says:

    Absolute best vid on this issue!! Wish I had seen it earlier

  • nyrugger4life says:

    What is the brand of paint marker? or whats a good one?

  • Walter Talbot says:

    Before buy all materials , if you only need fix the hood , ask around , a local shop in my area , paint my wife rav 4 hood for 200 $ , i also got a 3m pre cut clear bra for the hood for 80$.. looks brand new now .

  • GHN1013 says:

    I stopped watching at 1:45 when I saw the long list of things I need to get to do this touch-up.

  • C00ltronix says:

    You sand the damage, then apply wax, then un-wax the damage spot. Makes sense. But why not just mask the damage spot with masking tape before you do the wax? I mean, since you have that hole punch already, and it hard to see whether you really removed all the wax.
    But I have one real question, a tricky one (at least for me) – what if the paint isn't shiny and sort of silky matte? (like my new bike)

  • Curious_Sam says:

    What brand of clear coat would you recommend?

  • rikiship62 says:

    Hey Larry, that marking pen you use, is that just liquid chalk?

  • G-zuz says:

    Wouldn't it be better to just deal with the paint chips rather than having to wax the area every 3 seconds?

  • First Last says:

    Thanks for sharing this! So if I need to buff the entire hood, I should probably do all of the touch up work first, then follow through with my buffing of the entire hood, yes?

  • FREEDOM33 says:


  • StarbuckSagi says:

    Jesus… what an indulgent video, lol.

    Intense POV shots…gently caresses car…He should submit it to the Sundance Film Festival , lol!😂

    It’s just a touch up video…

  • pofrani says:

    What's a levelling fluid?

  • mediatect says:

    Swallows the microfiber end of the touch-up stick at 5:45

  • Peter Swinbank says:

    I guess nobody is there now? Anyway, a great and inspirational video and excellent photography. Just one question, how do you keep the tiny mixture of base coat and clear coat fresh? Surely you don't need to mix a fresh batch each time? Thanks. Peter

  • Peter Swinbank says:

    Oops! I've just seen Matthew Taft post "He fails to mention that if using metallic paint you SHOULD NOT mix base and clear coat prior to application; … " Scary. Thanks for that advice. Peter

  • Travis Terrell says:

    What is the "leveler" product he uses?

  • yzchenwei says:

    A load of bullshit.

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