How to Blend Paint a Car

How to blend when painting a car


Learning how to blend new paint with old is a crucial part of the touch up paint process and the easiest way to guarantee that you get the most out of your DIY car paint kit. Thankfully, learning how to blend paint isn’t a complicated process and can even be done by people who have no automotive experience.


What is blending?

Figuring out how to blend car paint is the art of making the lines between your vehicles paint and your OEM car touch up paint vanish. You take your car spray paint and apply it to the existing paintwork to give the illusion of them blending into one.


Blending your automotive touch up paint gives the same kind of great finish that you would expect when visiting a professional body shop. Learning how to blend spray can paint will provide you with that ideal color match and is a process that we recommend absolutely everyone follows.


We outline the best practices to ensure maximal blending below. But we also have a fantastic YouTube video on how to blend paint on a car panel, which highlights the entire process step-by-step. Check it out here.


Why is blending your touch up car paint important?


Purchasing a car paint repair kit has several benefits. Not only are they significantly cheaper than going to a professional, but you also save yourself a lot of time and can work around your own schedule. However, you shouldn’t have to compromise on a great finish, and this is where blending comes in.


Getting instructions on how to blend paint automotive means that you are more likely to get an original factory finish on the work you do at home. On top of that, even with the perfectly matched OEM touch up paint we provide, color differences can still occur because of the environment you paint in, so blending is crucial to minimizing the disparities.


Overall, you don’t want to apply auto touch up paint to your vehicle to ruin your beautiful car’s look. That is why blending is essential.


When to blend car paint


Many of our customers ask how to blend spray paint and assume there is a magical step or product that does the work. However, blending paint is a technique that needs to be applied while you are spraying on your OEM touch up paint.


You should constantly be blending the entire time you are applying your OEM touch up paint on your vehicle. You can find an outline of these steps here, but we will outline tips and tricks on how to blend paint auto body below.


How to blend paint on a car with a spray can


The steps below only apply to use our spray can repair kits as the scratch or scrape when using a paint pot will be too small to blend. As we said previously, these steps need to be applied throughout the entire process as they are a technique rather than a task in their own right.


Before painting, you must ensure you have sanded and smoother the area down. The damage should be completely smooth and even, without this, blending is very difficult. Aim to complete the work out of direct sunlight as it can cause the paint to dry unevenly, which may leave a patchier finish. Below are the steps on how to blend spray paint:



  1. Shake your paint can for 1-2 minutes to mix the color properly
  2. Depress the spray tip to give it a test run and get an idea of the pattern
  3. Start with the edges of the damaged areas first then work in. Your first coat should try and cover the primer, then taper as you go.
  4. As you spray, track the panel’s contours, you are spraying to ensure even coverage and uniformness.
  5. You should wait 5 minutes between layers. When the paint has an even mat look, it’s time for the next coat.
  6. Aim for three to four coats overall and always aim for an even application with relatively wet coats.
  7. After the first few coats, start to extend the spread of each coat by 3 to 4 inches to help it blend with the surrounding paint.
  8. The final coat should fade out and not be heavy.
  9. Wait 20 minutes before applying the clear coat and aim for 2 to 3 coats.
  10. With a clear coat application, it is vital to keep your movement consistent to prevent it from running.


Please check out our YouTube video on how to blend urethane paint for more information on the entire process. It gives step by step examples of the above.


Let the paint dry completely before you check for the final color match as it can look lighter or darker prior to being completely dry. Discovering how to blend paint on your car will leave you with a superior finish that will make your car shine like it just rolled off the factory floor.


What are you waiting for? Get your car paint repair kit today, and get your vehicle shining again.




We pride ourselves on quality products, competitive prices and outstanding customer satisfaction.


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How To Apply Clearcoat


What’s the hardest coat to apply, primer, basecoat, or clearcoat?

If you guessed clearcoat, you would be right! Most people think it’s very easy, but if you don’t apply it correctly you can expect early peeling or even orange peel! Let us show you how to apply clearcoat properly!

How To Apply Clearcoat

First of all, why do you need clearcoat?

Maintaining the exterior of your vehicle is extremely important to extend the life of your cars paint. Without this extra layer of protection you’re opening up your basecoat to all the elements that can peel the paint away or wear it down. This can lead to rust and other damage you really don’t want to see on your car!

Clearcoat also helps create that shiny look you want on your car! Without clearcoat the paint rarely matches up perfectly when doing touch up paint, if the rest of your car has clearcoat how could you expect your touch up paint to match without it?

Assess the area and the basecoat

If you’re using clearcoat you’re either redoing the clearcoat and hopefully the basecoat looks fine. If not, the basecoat is probably in really bad shape. Make sure to redo the primer, basecoat and clearcoat at the same time. If you don’t your touch up is going to look poor in the end result.

If you’re redoing the clearcoat a lone, never go over the existing clearcoat and expect a good result. To quickly remove the old clearcoat you’ll want to take very fine sandpaper around 2000 grit. Soak the 2000 grit sandpaper in water for an hour. This will be considered a wet sanding. Lightly but firmly sand the damaged clearcoat until the peeling clearcoat is gone, be careful to not damage the base coat. Make sure to wash the area so no bits get stuck onto the car when you reapply clearcoat.

Special Note: Make sure the can of clearcoat is the right temperature! We recommend getting the can to a temperature of 80 degrees. Doing this prevents orange peel months down the road. Take the can of clearcoat and submerge it in water around 75-78 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 20 minutes before spraying!


Touch up paint/clearcoat is all about preparation. Part of that is practicing applying the clearcoat! We send a test card with each order, if you’d like to practice more use a large piece of cardboard to practice on! Get a feel for how it sprays and comes out of the aerosol can!

Cover the area around the peeling clearcoat

Use masking tape, newspaper, or another item to cover the surrounding area. This is fairly straight forward, but we’ve heard some stories…. so please make sure you do this!


You’ll need to plan for several coats. If you’re spraying a large area, you may need multiple cans of clearcoat. When doing a regular touch up repair you always use more clearcoat than basecoat or primer. You’ll usually want to plan for 2-3 coats.

Apply the first coat lightly, this will help prevent cracks in the clearcoat. The next 2 coats should be full coats and look wet to the eye!

Keep your distance! But not too far! Keep the can of paint 6-8 inches from the surface. Like spraying anything, if you’re to close it’ll cause drips. If you’re too far it won’t lay on evenly.

Avoid windy, hot, or days with a lot of moisture. Do not paint on an overly foggy day, or a rainy day. Do not spray on a hot day! 72 degrees Fahrenheit is the premium temperature. Don’t spray in direct sunlight. Even if it’s 68 degrees outside, the sun will heat your car panels up much higher than that!

Use our spray can trigger in our kit! It barely costs a thing and isn’t there just to increase price! It really does help, it helps control the spray and the trigger. They’re also reusable so you can keep it around and use it on other projects!

You’ve done it!

Great job! Your final coat should look like a shiny polished finished! But remember, you need to wax your car 30 days after to really bring out the shine and color!

Did you mess up?

Hey, sometimes we mess up. That’s okay, let us tell you how you can fix these common mistakes!

  • Your paint looks dull or lacking shine. This is most likely because you did not wax, polish or buff your car! Doing one of these will surely help and we always recommend a good wax 30 days after finishing your project.
  • If the finish looks coarse or has lines through it, we recommend wet sanding the area as we mentioned above. Also if you have drips in the clearcoat. Use 1000-2000 grit sandpaper, we always recommend 2000 grit when wet sanding. Soak the sandpaper in water for 30 minutes and keep adding water as you go. Lightly sand the area. Remember, the goal is to only get rid of the clearcoat, not to damage the basecoat! Becareful and have patience. Once the clearcoat is off, reapply!


Quick Steps to How To Apply Clearcoat:

  1. Assess the area, remove existing clearcoat with wet 2000 grit sandpaper making sure to only remove the clearcoat. Taking special care to not damage the basecoat.
  2. Make sure the can is close to a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Practice and prep, clean the area after wet sanding. Practice spraying clearcoat on cardboard to get used to spraying.
  4. Use masking tape and something like newspaper to cover the surrounding area.
  5. Add 2-3 layer of clearcoat. First layer lightly, the next two add heavy so it looks wet!
  6. Keep the can 6-8 inches away from the panel you’re spraying
  7. Environment: Avoid windy, hot, or high moisture days.
  8. Use a spray can trigger.

Still not sure how to apply clearcoat or have general questions? Call us, or email us and we’d be happy to help you out!

Watch our How To Guides on YouTube!

Average Car Paint Touch up Cost

We all have owned a favorite vehicle where we spend countless hours each year maintaining the appearance inside and out. When we see a car scratch or chip in the paint it can immediately effect the overall appearance of an otherwise great looking car. Another big issue is that car scratches or chips can bring other issues, like rust or corrosion if not treated quickly. The big question most people have is, how much does car paint touch up cost and is it worth pursuing? 

Professional Auto Body Shops

Many car owners resort to professional auto body shops. If your car has great big dents and scrapes from all over from an accident or some other catastrophic event, then going to an auto body shop is a great option. Another option is the local dealer ship for your make of car. The great thing about a dealership is that they can order the paint themselves and find it with the vin number on your car. Although any professional auto body shop can get their hands on the correct paint in a very short amount of time or create it themselves.

The price at an auto body shop can of course vary depending on the scope of work. The more damage the higher the price. Going to a professional shop be it a dealership or auto body shop can raise the price of paint alone substantially. In addition to the paint, you’ll be paying for labor which will increase the average car touch up cost. The average cost for a professional dealer or auto body shop can charge anywhere from $800-$1200 in 2019. For small jobs it could be anywhere from $500-$800, anything less is not worth their time in labor. 

Average Car Paint Touch Up Cost For DIY

ERA Paints and other touch up repair companies will always advise you to do the job yourself. Why? Because touch up repair is very inexpensive when you do it yourself. Especially when you use a great company like ERA Paints(shameless self plug). We offer premium quality touch up paint and accessories with guides on how to do the job right the first time. Our touch up kits range anywhere from  $15-$30. The thing about diy touch up repair is that people normally think it’s very difficult when it’s not. We have all kinds of guides and videos on how to do this properly. 

The whole process doesn’t take much time, it does require some patience and maybe a little practice. If we can save you $500 or more than we definitely think it’s worth it in the long run.

Have you heard about Exterior Ceramic Coating for Cars?

Ceramic Coatings

Ceramic coatings are alternatives to waxes, and if correctly applied can be more durable and make your auto’s exterior shine. A Ceramic Coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s paint. Therefore, it does not wash away or break down and does not require repeated application every few months. It is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to the exterior of a vehicle. Furthermore, it’s a lot more expensive than waxing a car, and you’ll want to have a deep polish/clean done prior to applying a ceramic (you’ll want to get rid of as many issues on your exterior as possible as ceramic coatings are long lasting). Make sure to touch up areas where you may have lost some paint and wash your car extremely well.
A Ceramic Coating adds additional protection to your car’s exterior and helps keep it looking like-new with comparatively minimal maintenance. The coating achieves this by making your vehicle more resilient and easier to clean.
ceramic coating
Ceramic Coatings probably aren’t for the DIYers. If you want this done to your auto, be sure to find a auto detail company who has some experience doing ceramics.
If you are looking to do-it-yourself, here are some great videos!

Cleaning Your Vehicle Without Washing It

You have a hot date or an important appointment and you rush outside, only to find that your car looks like a hazmat zone. Luckily, you still have five minutes to do something about it. But where do you start?
Take a tip from used-car salesmen and give your car “curb appeal” — a good overall first impression. When you can’t make use of a car wash, even little things can make a world of difference.

Vehicle Care:

The folks at Meguiar’s Inc. know a lot about making cars look good. The company’s core market is enthusiasts who lavish attention on their cars. But Mike Pennington, Meguiar’s director of training and consumer relations, was willing to talk about the gray area between a few swipes with a car duster and a full-on Saturday morning “bucket wash.”
“We don’t want to tell people not to wash their car anymore,” he says. “But if you are willing to put a little time into it, you’ll be surprised at how good your car can look.”


Over at Turtle Wax Inc., Michael Schultz, senior vice president of research and development, says car finishes are more durable and the chemistry of waxes and car-care products has changed. This means that for minor indiscretions — think fingerprints, bird droppings and light dust — you can use a spray detailer to sharpen up the look of your car.
But one expert, who used to prepare cars for photo shoots, sounded a note of caution: Be careful of too obviously cleaning just one section of the car. It might draw attention to how dirty the rest of it is.

How to keep your car looking good:

Here are six tricks you can use to keep up the good looks of your car between car washes. Think of it as triage for a dirty car.

Triage Tip 1:

Clean horizontal surfaces with a spray detailer. You don’t have to clean the whole car, just the obvious surfaces that catch dew or light rain and leave water marks. The eyesore areas are the hood, trunk and rear bumper.
Schultz recommends cleaning these surfaces in sections, using a spray detailer and microfiber towel, which is finely woven and makes better contact with the car’s surface. For example, divide the hood in quarters and clean the four sections individually. He estimates you could even clean the entire car this way with spray detailer and only four towels.
Many car enthusiasts worry about scratching or putting swirl marks in the car’s finish. The spray detailer is designed to avoid this by lubricating the dirt so it can be wiped up with a towel. But Schultz stresses the importance of flipping the towel often so you don’t grind dirt into the clear coat — the transparent finish covering the car’s paint.

Triage Tip 2:

A clean windshield is (almost) a clean car. Glass is easy to clean and it sparkles like a jewel once you remove the haze and grime. Visibility is a huge safety factor, but a clean windshield also just makes you feel better about your car. When you’re finished with the outside of the windshield, clean the driver-side window and side mirror, too. And for bonus points, clean the inside of the windshield and rearview mirror.
Keep a bottle of glass cleaner in your trunk, along with a roll of paper towels or the aforementioned microfiber towels. A foam spray cleaner also works well. For the really lazy folks, there’s a squeegee. In addition to cleaning, a squeegee works well in the morning when there is dew all over the windshield. Squeegee off the morning moisture and your glass won’t be left with those horrible drying marks.

Triagec Tip 3:

Take out the trash. It’s a car, not a dumpster. Pull up next to a trash can somewhere and throw away papers, food or other junk that dates from the second Bush administration. Better yet, put a small trash bag in your car and empty it often, Pennington suggests.
While you’re shoveling out your car, you might find a couple bucks’ worth of change. Use it to buy a car deodorizer. Pennington says car interiors can absorb smells, but there are new products that actually absorb dreaded foul odors rather than just mask them. We’ve tested a few and they seem to work.

Triage Tip 4:

Shake out the floor mats. When time is tight and you don’t have a vacuum, you can simply grab your floor mats and shake off all the gravel, loose dirt, sand or — heaven forbid — used ketchup packets. The mat on the driver side probably is secured, so you’ll have to work it off the anchors first. But the other floor mats are unattached and you can simply whisk them out for a quick flapping.

Triage Tip 5:

Clean the wheels and tires. Pennington says that having dirty wheels on a clean car is like wearing old shoes with a new suit. So it makes sense to make the “shoes” look as sharp as possible.
The absolutely laziest way to go is just to use a cotton rag to wipe off the flat center section of your rims. (There’s too much dirt on the rims for one of your microfiber towels to handle.) If time allows, work the rag into the spokes or crevices. You also can use a brush for the hard-to-reach areas.
As tires degrade, the rubber takes on a brownish hue that makes them look dull, Schultz says. So after you’re finished cleaning the wheels, apply tire black with a sponge. Easier still, just use a spray product to get a quick shine.

Triage Tip 6:

Clean anything you touch or look at. When you’re in the car, you spend a lot of time looking at the gauges, the dashboard and the center console. So take that microfiber towel you used on the car’s exterior and quickly clean off a few strategic areas inside the car. The plastic covering for the gauges is a must. Then, wipe the dust off the dashboard and sweep the fingerprints from the center console. Our experts recommend keeping car cleaning wipes in the glove compartment for quick interior touch-ups.
Now that you’re finished, here’s one more suggestion to make your life easier: Be very careful where you park. Sprinklers can undo all your hard work. And if you leave your car under the wrong tree, you might return to find it looking like a rock in the Galapagos Islands.
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