auto touch up paint kit

So you want to repair a scratch on your car. You've got your auto touch up paint kit picked out and you think you're ready to go, but you're missing one thing: the right paint color. White may be the number one car color in the U.S., but what if your car isn't white? What now?

Fortunately, we're here to help. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know to find an exact match for your auto paint color.

Automotive Paint: The Basics

Before you start looking at your touch up paint options, it's important to understand a few basic facts about the makeup of automotive paints. Vehicle touch up paint -- or any automotive paint, for that matter -- is made up of three key components: resin, pigment, and solvent. Let's take a look at how these three elements affect auto paint.

  • Resin: This element determines, first and foremost, the durability of your car's paint. The more resin, the most durable your car's paint. Of course, if you're considering an auto touch up paint kit, something else was more durable than the resin in your car's paint.
  • Pigment: Pigment determines the exact color and finish of the paint. It most often comes in a powder and is mixed into the paint.
  • Solvent: Without solvent, there would be little control over paint viscosity. If your paint is too thick, it may lump up and give you a rough finish. Too thin and you'll get uneven coverage.

So why is all of this important? Because without this knowledge, you could end up choosing a paint color for a different car model that has a different chemical makeup than the one you actually need.

How to Find Your Exact Match

Now that you have a bit of background, you'll be able to confidently apply your auto touch up paint kit coating. Of course, you'll still need one vital piece of information: the car's color code. Fortunately, this isn't difficult to find. This information can be found in any one of several places in your vehicle. You're most likely to come across it in the driver's side door jamb, on the inside of your trunk lid or car hood, or in the glove box with your car manual. Once you find the perfect auto touch up paint kit and have your color in hand, there's nothing stopping you from painting that scratch out of existence.

If you're not totally confident in your paint matching skills or you can't find the information you're looking for, that's fine. Most autobody shops now use a machine called a spectrophotometer, which electronically measures color. Technology has made this process easier than ever!

And of course, if you have questions about applying your auto touch up paint, don't hesitate to contact our experts at Scratch Wizard.