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Touch up paint

My 99 Tacoma has some nicks and scratches. I’ve used the little touch up bottle that Toyota gave me and now it looks like my truck has chicken pox. Anyone ever spray painted there car or truck? What paint is the best to use? Do I need a paint gun or can I just get some cans from pep boys? Thanks for your help.

Don’t use spray cans. It will look tackier than the “chicken pox” you currently have. If you have any large high schools or vocational technical schools in your area you may be able to get the truck painted there. You could also try an Earl Schieb or Maaco paint job. They look so-so if you do your own prep work.

Actually, you can do a marginally adequate job with spray cans, but Maaco’s cheapest paint job will likely be better and be a lot less work.

You might check an auto supply store. They may stock spray cans of touch up paint for your car. There are a couple of brands. I think Dupli-Color is one of them. If the color match is acceptable, you can use them to cover up your patches. The cans actually work pretty well on white cars if your standards are as low as mine. I suspect that they get progressively worse on darker colors that have weathered.

Agree; the Toyota touch up kits are for very small scratches only. In the past I’ve had a paint store make up a half pint of rhe factory color, and used a fine artist’s brush to touch up the scratches and small chips.

If the base coat is OK, I agree that a MAACO job that does not require any priming or body work is a great deal. I had a 1988 Caprice, a large car, done for $900 or so and the coat was still in tact and shiny after 8 years when I sold the car.

I use spray cans only in limited circumstances - primarily when the area I’d paint is limited in scope and has a natural “break” line in it.

For example, our old 87 Camry had a metal piece above the grill in front of the actual hood. It got chipped something fierce. I could mask off that 2" strip for the whole width of the body and spray just that piece. The results really were pretty good in that case. The paint naturally wasn’t a dead-on perfect match for the faded color of the rest of the car, but it was close enough the average person never noticed.

The other case I’ve used it is for a small piece of rust on a wheel fender that had not yet spread off the hem. I could patch the hem up and spray, and the bend line between the hem and the large surface of the quarter panel helped mask the spray job so you didn’t notice too much.