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The most common damage your car will suffer is chipped paint. Often you will be looking for automotive touch up paint in the first 2-weeks of buying your new car. Let’s face it; the road is a very harsh environment and having factory car touch up paint available to you will be your car’s first line of defense against rust. So, you should consider touching up those chips as the fundamental step in proactive car paint repair, and maintenance.
Of course, since the paint on your car is really several layers of different coating types, knowing the level of damage done will help you to make an effective repair. For example: is the chipped area still the same color as your undamaged paint? Then it’s quite possible that only the clearcoat has been chipped off. If so, then the best repair would be to replace the clearcoat with a factory compatible product just as quickly as possible. Why? What’s the hurry? Clearcoats are nonpermeable acrylic-urethane spray films, formulated to be resistant to water, UV, oils, and other environmental factors, while the basecoat (the colored part of your paint) is not. So, water, waxes, and oils can permeate the colored basecoat exposed in the chip and begin to undermine the area around the chip. Also, since all the paint layers below the clearcoat are permeable, oxides (rust) can begin to form under the chip well before you can see any evidence of this happening.
The above scenario applies to any vehicle paint applied over metal parts. For painted parts that are plastic, like bumper covers and mirror bodies, there is no rust to worry about, but touching those chips up will help to stabilize the paint surrounding the chip.
One last thing. The brushes that come in factory touch up bottles are meant for painting fingernails, not for repairing paint chips. Finding an experienced touchup technician will go a long way in making your paint chip repairs the most reliable, and best looking. And for those of us that have cars with some years on them, a paint tech can mix the touchup paint for your car right on the spot. So, even if your factory bottle is long gone, you can still get a quality repair by finding your local Colors On Parade paint tech.