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How do I remove a chip from my car?

Tips on removing stone chips from paint work.

Finding stone chips in your paint work is always annoying.

This article will show you how to make near invisible stone chip repairs.

The more loose stones on the road surface the more likely you are to pick up a stone chip. Fast roads and higher speeds result in deeper and bigger stone chips.

Stones tend to be thrown up behind vehicles, so lots of stone chips may be a sign that you drive too close to the vehicle in front!

A protective film can be applied to resist stone chips, but what can be done about existing stone chips? Stone chips lead to pitted paint work that looks unsightly and can easily start to rust.

Invisible repairs to stone chips take time and patience.

Take your time — a good invisible stone chip repair requires more patience than skill!

Step 1: Clean out the area using a solvent cleaner such as IPA or similar. This is especially important if the chip has gone through to the metalwork below. If it is not treated then rust will start to take hold.

The new paint will not adhere unless all residue, dust grime and film are removed. If the chip goes down to the bare metal you need to clean thoroughly with a small wire brush, a fiberglass tipped pen or even a sharp metal knife. Take care not to make the damage deeper.

If rust has started to form, scrape away all of the rust and include an area around the rust spot to ensure that no small traces of rust remain. Coat the exposed area with a rust inhibitor such as Curite or Kurust. This transforms rust into a stable surface to paint on and inhibits rust formation.

Step 2: Paint selection. Car manufacturers spray panels with an undercoat, a main coat (sometimes several layers) and, in the case of some metallic or special finishes, a top coat of clear lacquer. A successful stone chip repair needs to replicate these layers.

The thinner the paint the better. Many touch up paints are too thick, this makes it much harder to get a smooth finish. I have found that the ‘nail varnish’ style touch up pots work the best.

Step 3: Base coat. Choose a lighter colored base coat for light top coats but any color for darker paints. Apply a thin layer of the base coat. Then wipe away any excess base coat from the surrounding area. Take care not to smudge it. Leave it for at least an hour to dry.

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Step 4: Main coat. Build up the main coat with 3-8 very thin layers. Leave for at least an hour between coats (thin coats will generally dry in this time). Carefully wipe away any excess paint from the surrounding area. When you have finished, the new paint should be very slightly higher than the surrounding paint work.

Step 5: Finishing the surface. Wait at least 3-4 hours after applying the last coat of main coat before finishing. Smooth the surface with a fine grit wet and dry paper. Start with a fine grade and switch to the finest grade to finish.

Use the paper wet with a sanding block. The chip is only small, so use a small piece of sand paper and a tiny sanding block such as the end of a carpenters pencil or similar. This should take the layers of new paint down the the level of the surrounding paint work.

Step 6: Blending. Use a rubbing or cutting paste and gradually rub over the area. Blend in the new paint with the faded paint on the car using a gentle circular motion.

Step 7: Top coat. If you have metallic paint then add the final top lacquer coat. Again smooth with a fine grit wet and dry paper with a mini sanding block. Repeat the blending in with a rubbing or cutting paste.

Long Scratches

Long scratches can be repaired in a similar way to stone chips but take a lot more patience. It’s essential that the new paint is carefully applied only where the damage is.

Instead of a brush you should can use a single bristle held at an acute angle to the surface. The scratch will guide the bristle along in the right direction.

Many small stone chips and minor scratches, especially those on light paint, can be removed with cutting paste. Gently run your fingernail over the chip or scratch, if you can feel the mark then it is probably too deep to be polished out, but otherwise you can use a polish and you should get good results.

Tip: When using cutting paste work gently and repeat a few times. Each rub removes a few microns depth of paint and eventually you will rub through the paint. Never use an electric buffer with cutting paste unless you want large white circles left where the paint has been removed!

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One Response to “How to repair stone chips.”

Robin says:

That’s good but what’s the solutiong that is used to wipe the excess paint away from the chip/painted area?


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How to Repair Car Paint Chips in 6 Steps

We’ve all been there. One day, you’re cruising down the highway in a flawless vehicle. The next thing you know, your car’s pristine paint has an unsightly chip. Stone chips are caused by gravel, rocks, and road debris your wheels kick up. They leave small, localized dents that can damage your auto paint and lower your car’s resale value.

So, what’s a driver to do? Should you try to remove the stone chip yourself or let a professional handle the job?

The technicians at Elite Window Tinting are here to give you some guidance. Here’s everything you need to know about fixing stone chips on your car.

When Should I Fix My Car Paint Chips?

The simple answer is always. You should always repair any paint chips in your car. The sooner the better. While the chips might look like straightforward cosmetic imperfections, they can lead to costly damage, including rust.

Thankfully, Milwaukee drivers don’t have to worry about accelerated corrosion caused by the ocean. However, fixing chipped auto paint is important to boost your car’s resale value, keep it looking fresh, and prevent other damages. If you lease a car, you’ll also want to repair the chips before returning it to the dealership.

How Much Does a Stone Chip Repair Cost?

The next question you might be asking is, “How much do stone chips cost to repair?” If you take your car to a professional, you’re probably looking at $50 to $60 in repair costs. The price heavily depends on the time and difficulty of the repairs.

The best part about taking your car to a professional is the peace of mind knowing the chip was properly repaired. But if you’re looking to save some money, you might want to consider taking the DIY repair route.

A car paint chip repair kit can cost anywhere between $20 and $40. Don’t get tempted into buying the cheapest kit you can find. This will limit the quality of the repair.

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If you decide to attempt a DIY paint chip repair, be sure to get a multi-part kit that includes everything you need, from sealant to paint.

How to Fix Stone Paint Chips on Your Car

Repairing a stone paint chip requires patience, attention to detail, and a steady hand. Here’s how to fix a stone chip in six simple steps.

  1. Thoroughly clean the area you’re going to repair with soap and water. Rub the area down with alcohol to remove any grease and buildup. Let the area dry.
  2. Sand down the raised edges surrounding the paint chip. Be mindful of rubbing too hard. This can damage your car’s clear coat.
  3. Apply primer to the chip. Your kit includes either a paint pen or brush.
  4. Next, apply the paint. However, don’t just paint it on in thick globs. Be sure to apply thin layers to mirror your car’s original paint. Allow the paint to dry before applying the next layer. Don’t let it leak onto any surrounding areas that aren’t damaged.
  5. After the paint has dried, gently sand it to level it evenly with the surrounding paint using wet sandpaper. Wrap the sandpaper around the eraser-end of a pencil for smaller chips. Take your time!
  6. Lastly, apply the top coat to seal the repairs. Allow it to dry completely.

Protect Your Car from Paint Chips

If you want to avoid the hassle of stone paint chips, consider installing paint protection film (PPF) on your car. This creates a long-lasting barrier of protection against chips, scratches, swirl marks, and other damages.

To learn more about PPF, contact the XPEL Certified Installers at Elite Window Tinting today. We can be reached at (503) 744-7999. We look forward to hearing from you!

Owner/Founder at Elite Window Tint

Kenley started tinting in Kennewick, Washington in 2002.In 2005 he moved to Milwaukie and joined the Elite team, quickly distinguishing himself as a great innovator of creative solutions to the numerous challenges in applying film.He refined and developed his craft over the years, eventually taking the helm as owner in 2012.Kenley’s amicable and easygoing demeanor makes him very popular, and he takes great pride in delivering great customer service.

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