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Touch-up kits?

My beloved 2002 Beetle has a fairly nasty scratch on the driver’s side. I’m reluctant to use to touch-up kit that came with the car, since the paint is old and gooey. I can’t seem to find a similar kit on the VW website, is my only option to go to a dealer? How much should I be prepared to pay?

I think the last one I bought at a dealer was about $12. Very affordable, although morethan if it had been available as an aftermarket kit.

By frugal in teh application. Don’t use more than you need to. No touch up paint will ever match the original pain exactly.

That’s what I’m worried about. The scratch is pretty big. In order to get rid of it, am I looking at a huge bill from a dealership or a car shop?

My first new car, back in '72, got “keyed” down the side before it even had the paper tempoary plates off of it. I cringed, got my stomach to settle, bought a tube of touch up paint, filled the gouge, and learned to ignore it. It never rusted, which was ironic because the car itself became legendary for poor quality, it was a Vega.

Yeah, a body shop would cost $$. And the truth is that it’s near impossible to match a 6 year old paint job anyway. They’d sand, prime, do a spectral scan on the paint and create a custom match, vacuum your wallet, and you’d still know.

The real difference is that with touch up paint the guy you hope to sell it to in the future will look at it and think “big scratch”, whereas if you go to the body shop the guy will see the respray, think “must have been in an accident” and walk away.

You can have the repair done for several hundreds of dollars; or, you can do it yourself.
If you want to do the paint repair yourself, you should be willing to put some effort into it. Anyone can just push a spray can button. Preparation of the surface is 95% of the effort. The less effort, the worse the finish looks.
You can use the dealer’s little bottle of touch-up paint. Clean the surface with a wax remover…available from an auto parts store. Use a small camel hair brush to fill only the scratch…not more. Apply three to four light coats.
Another way is to get a 12 ounce spray can of color, a 12 ounce can of clear coat, and the fine grit sand paper (400 to 600 grit) to get a very close color match repair. With the kit, you Clean, Sand, Color spray (2-3 coats), Clear coat. These kits are available form the Web at: If you are willing to do the work, you can get a great finish.