Getting a scratch on your car can be devastating. There is nothing worse than finding that your car has been scraped or damaged by something in a parking lot or by the side of the street. What is more, when your car does get damaged it is only natural to want it fixed and fixed at a reasonable rate. This is where car touch up paint pens start to build their reputation, as they are often seen to provide a solution to minor scratches in a quick and simple way. The question though is what their restrictions are – are car paint touch up pens a miracle cure, or do they have limitations?
The Different Layers of Car Paint
In order to understand just how effective car paint touch up pens are, we first need to visit the make-up and composition of car paint.
Car paint is generally made up of four layers. Firstly, on the very top, we have clearcoat. Clearcoat is a protective layer that is usually made out of a thin layer of sealant over the surface of the car. It is often the case that stains and oxidation can affect the clear coat; however, it is ultimately there to provide a thin layer of protection against external elements.
Next we have the paint layer. This is the primary colour coat of the car, and it is often the case that scratches will go down as deep as the paint layer of the car. Damage to the car’s colour coat can lead to larger issues later on down the line if not treated properly.
The final two layers are the base coat, or primer, and metal body below. The primer allows for the colour coat to bond to the car, whilst also providing an additional layer of protection to the car body underneath.
Within the body of the car, there are three different types of paintwork scratch – clear coat scratch, paintwork scratch, and deep paint scratch – depending on how deep the damage goes into the body of the car. How deep the scratch is will determine how effective a car paint touch up pen is.
Different Types of Car Paint Touch Up Pens
When looking at car paint pens, there are generally two different types available on the market. The first is the cheap, off the shelf, paint repair pen. These tend to come in broad colours (red, black, white, green etc.).
Secondly, it is possible to get manufacturer or mixed paint pens. These pens are usually more expensive, but they are also colour matched to a specific car colour code. This means that the match is far more exact than with a cheap, off the shelf, paint pen as it has been specifically matched to your style of car.
As professional car body repair experts, it is important to note that we can never recommend the cheap, off the shelf, paint pens – and for good reason. The cheaper product uses a generic colouration that isn’t matched to your specific colour code. Rather than Vauxhall Colour Code 20A | Aruba Blue (as an example), you will end up with a generic blue, that can be incredibly obvious once it has been applied. Rather than matching the shade of the car, it will show up as a different colour splodge within the paint work.
How Effective are Car Touch Up Paint Pens?
So, assuming you managed to get your hands on a manufacturer or mixed paint pen, then what? How effective are they?
Car paint pens are exactly that. They are touch up pens for cars that can help lessen the visual impact of damage on your car – and they can do that quite well – that being said, they are not perfect. Car paint pens will lessen the visual impact of a scratch on the surface of the car; however, they do not fully repair the damage.
If there is a scratch or scrape in the very clearcoat or paint layers of your car, then it is possible that a paint pen can reduce the impact of the scratch. That being said, it is not a flawless finish. If there are any ridges or scrapes in the paintwork, then a paint pen will cover it; however, it will not remove the damage. Likewise, if the scrape goes all the way down to the metal then paint pens are no longer an option as they are not suitable to be used directly on the bare metal of the car without primer.
Generally speaking, if you have a simple mark on the body of your car, then a car touch up paint pen (especially a manufacturers or mixed paint pen) can cover marks – however, it won’t provide either a consistent or guaranteed finish. Without additional layers of clearcoat, just applying paint can leave the car body open to the elements, and this can lead to larger problems (like rust) over time.
Professional Car Scratch Repair
Although paint pens can help improve the visual impact of scratches on your car, a home repair, using a paint pen, will not compare to a professional car scratch repair. As well as being fully guaranteed, our repair are designed to ensure that the damage is not visible once the repair has been completed. What is more, using SMART repair techniques we don’t need to remove an entire panel in order to repair it. Instead, we can just repair the specific area, requiring far less time to complete the repair and often coming in cheaper than your car insurance premium.
You can find out more about our car scratch repair services here. Alternatively, if you have any questions at all, you can call us today on 1800 937 226.