Honda Touch Up Paint InformationEveryone gets scratches, dings, chips and scrapes on their car. It always happens a lot sooner than we want for new cars. But even for older cars a new scratch can result in a major groan.
The problem is unavoidable. While driving rocks and other debris and thrown up from other passing vehicles.
In parking lots, narrow parking spaces used to fit more shoppers results in doors banging cars. Or a runaway shopping cart hits you.
Cars are expensive. Not only do chips and scratches reduce the value of your investment, they diminish the beauty of your car. Even worse, they create an opportunity for rust to develop and ultimately create a larger and more expensive problem. Rust, once it starts, can be difficult to control and can cause severe damage to your car.
For smaller areas you can do the touch up yourself. Body shops can be very expensive, and a quick fix and job well done can give you a lot of personal pride.
Here is how you can touch up your Honda, protect it from rust, and repair those ugly scratches and paint chips.
Finding Your Paint Code
To get the right color of paint for your car you need to know the following:
1. The year of your car.
2. The model (example: Accord) of your car.
3. The make (example: Honda) of your car.
4. The paint code.
All Honda cars for several decades have a paint code imprinted on the car. OEM paint manufacturers use the paint code to formulate the correct color of paint.
Touching up the paint of your car is not, unless the repair is an obscure place, something where you only want to be "close" to the right color. You want to get the same color as your car.
Open the driver side door of your Honda. Along the inside door jamb you will find a label with facts and data about your car. One of the pieces of information on the label is your paint code.
Here is a picture of a sample label:
Unfortunately, as you can see it is not always clear that a paint color is being referenced. If you have a sticker referencing "Ext Color" then your job is easier. That stands for Exterior Color and the following code is your paint code.
If you, then you need to look at the bottom and middle of the label to find the code.
Keep in mind the picture above is simply a sample.
Your paint code can be letters, numbers, or a combination. Sometimes there is a dash and sometimes there is not.
Recent Paint Codes
Here is a comprehensive, but not necessarily complete list of paint codes used by Honda during 2012: 711780
As you can see, the list is long and many codes have similar numbers. You can use this list and compare it against the sticker on your door jamb to make sure you are looking at the value for the paint code.
Where to Get Touch Up Paint
The best place to get Honda touch up paint is from Microfinish Automotivetouchup. Microfinish is an OEM paint manufacturer. It is one of the few companies with specialized equipment necessary to make paint specially made for vehicles. The company offers a paint match guarantee, and is the "go to" company for many body shops.
Another popular, vehicle paint manufacturer is Bio Pac PaintScratch. They have good information on their website and you should not have any problems with their paint. Their guarantee is not as strong as the Microfinish paint guarantee, their paint comes from another company, and their pricing is not as competitive.
What about paint from auto dealers? Many people are more comfortable buying their paint from the local Honda dealer.
The problem with dealer paint is it is not fresh. Professional body shops will tell you that fresh paint will make your repair job simpler and is easier to use. Old paint can go bad and tends to separate into components.
Another issue is closely related paint codes. A dealer is not going to have a warehouse of thousands of different paints ready for every different paint code and Honda year. A dealer is also not equipped to create fresh paint for you that exactly matches your car.
Sometimes, you will get a color that is sold for a group of different paint codes because it is close. For example: "red" is sold for five different color codes and five different shades of red. You do not want "close". You want exact if you care about how your car looks.
There are three main quantities of paint sold, depending on how large an area needs to be fixed.
The small areas there are touch up paint pens. This is only appropriate if the width of the area to be painted is smaller than a dime.
Larger areas will require bottles or cans of paint and you will want a brush.
Finally, there is spray paint.
Additionally, as with other paint jobs there are different layers of paint to be applied.
The bottom layer is called primer. This acts like glue and helps ensure the paint adheres to the metal on your car. The process is the primer is made to adhere to metal or plastic. Paint is made to adhere to primer. If you do not use primer guess what happens to the paint? Then you need to repaint starting from scratch.
The second layer is the actual paint. The lingo is calling it basecoat.
The third layer is clearcoat. This final layer helps protect the paint and it gives paint the shine and luster seen with vehicle paint. It helps provide the exact color match you are looking for.
Depending on what needs to be repaired, you may also need a rust remover, sand paper, and wax and grease removers. The area to be painted should be clean and smooth before painting. This requires the removal of rust, dirt, grease, etc.
How to Use Touch Up Paint
When you are painting the temperature should ideally be between 40 and 80 degrees. It is best if you can paint in a shaded area instead of in direct sunlight.
Clean the Area to be Painted
The first step is make sure the touch up area is clean and smooth. You do not want to permanently paint dirt into your car, or leave a rusted area that can grow larger under the paint.
The most common cleanup is getting any dirt, wax, and grease off your car. These will inevitably get on your car from every day driving.
The preferred product is a wax and grease remover. Household detergents are sometimes used, but they can damage the clearcoat on your car.
If the area has rust then use sandpaper and a rust remove to get rid of rust. The sandpaper helps get the area smooth and ready for painting.
Prime the Area
Use several light coats of primer, letting the area dry between each coat. This will be about 10 to 20 minutes of drying time. Do not go heavy and try to cover up the scratch with one thick coat. That is not the purpose for using primer. Four coats is probably sufficient.
After applying the primer lightly use sandpaper to smooth the area. You want a smooth surface when painting. Sandpaper with grit rating of about 220 should be used, followed by #600 wet/dry sandpaper.
In addition to preparing the area to receive the paint, primer also seals the area against rust. Make sure your primer covers the entire area where metal or plastic is exposed.
If you get primer on your original paint quickly wipe it off.
If necessary, use small brushes, even matchsticks or toothpicks to apply the primer and ensure the exposed metal is covered so rust cannot develop.
Now the fun part - applying the basecoat. Again, use several thin coats instead of one thick coat, and allow the paint to dry between each coat.
If your car is not new the paint color may have faded. If you work with Microfinish they can help you get a custom paint color if you are concerned about the faded color not matching the OEM paint code.
Make sure the basecoat is dry before applying clearcoat. This should be longer than the 10 to 20 minutes previously used between coats of paint. It is recommended that you let your car dry overnight.
As with primer and basecoat, apply the clear coat in multiple thin coats, and allow each coat to dry before starting another.
If the painted area needs to be smoothed after applying the clearcoat, you can do this carefully using #1000 wet/dry sandpaper. The thickness of paint in the repaired area should be smooth with surrounding paint. You do not want it to be higher, or create a bubble, which is easily worn off with regular driving.
It is recommended that you wait at least a week before waxing your car after it has been painted.
Paint Pen Tips
If you are using a paint pen you need to get the paint to start flowing before it will be useful. To do this vigorously shake the pen, and tap the pen on a hard surface.
Do not do this on your car. That is, do not jab your paint pen into the side of your car to try and get the paint flowing. Once the paint is starting to come out of the pen you do not need to continuously press down hard. This will cause too much paint to come out too fast.
If you get excess paint on the tip, or nib of the paint pen, wipe it off before painting your car.
You may want to do a test run on another object before trying to apply the paint to your car.
If you do not allow one coat to dry before applying a second coat, the second coat may wipe off the underlying layer. If that is happening leave more drying time between coats.
Paint is considered a toxic and flammable substance by the United States Department of Transportation. As a result there are limitations on how car paint can be shipped. You need to be aware of this if you want an immediate repair and do not understand why it takes time to receive your paint.
Generally, paint can only be shipped via ground transportation. Not air. Not only does this slow delivery if you need paint right away, but if you are in Alaska or Hawaii the transportation time may be long.
This is a safety issue for airlines and there is not much you can do about it. The practical result is that overnight delivery may not be possible.
Since paint is flammable and toxic, there are basic safety considerations when painting your first.
Always paint in a well ventilated place. The best place is outside. If you are in your garage have an open door. If it is cold - still have an open door.
Do not use or store paint near an open flame. That may seem obvious, but it needs to be said. They are already plenty of pictures on the Internet of people doing stupid things to injure themselves.
Do not inhale, ingest, or breathe paint fumes, and do not let paint touch your skin. If you get paint on your skin wash it off.
If you have a lot of painting to do, get equipment to prevent breathing paint fumes. This may require a ventilator mask. Remember, the damage done to your body may not be immediately apparent, but it is real.