You Survived Winter, But Did Your Car? Here’s What To Do If The Winter Weather Chipped Your Paint

We’re in the final stages of an unusually harsh winter here in Houston, Texas. While you survived the winter, your vehicle may not have been so lucky. The severe conditions of this winter may have left your car with unsightly chips in the paint. At Santa Ana Body Shop, we know you always want your car to look its best, so we’ve laid out some easy steps for a DIY solution to your car’s chipped paint:

What You’ll Need:

Fixing small chips by yourself is relatively inexpensive and does not require an extensive list of materials. Here’s what you’ll need for your DIY chip fix:

  • Polishing compound
  • Auto body touch-up paint
  • Automotive paint primer
  • Two soft cotton cloths
  • Automotive soap
  • Paper match

Step 1: Clean the Paint Chips

If the harsh winter conditions left chips in your car’s paint, it is important to address these chips before they rust and are better handled by a professional body shop. You’ll want to begin by cleaning the chips. To do this, simply wet one of your soft cloths, apply automotive soap to the cloth, and gently wipe the chip. Once this is completed, dry the wet area with your second soft cloth and rub a small dab of automotive polish over the chip to soften any jagged edges. Take care not to rub too much, as this can damage the clearcoat of the area surrounding the chip.

Step 2: Apply Automotive Paint Primer

Carefully apply an automotive primer to the chip with the butt end of a paper match. Just a small spot will do. You’ll need to cover the entire area within the chip and just barely touch the edges of the paint surrounding the area. Once finished, park your car is in a covered area or garage for at least 30 minutes while the automotive primer dries.

Step 3: Paint the Chip

The final stage of your DIY chip fix is to paint the chip. Before applying any paint, always test the color on a scrap piece of paper to ensure it blends seamlessly. Apply one coat, wait for about an hour, then apply a second coat. Allow the paint to cure for 3-5 days, and then gently rub the treated area with your polishing compound to blend the edges.


While small chips in your car’s paint can be frustrating, they can be easily repaired at home. However, if the chips have begun to rust, you’ll need the help of a professional auto body shop, rather than this DIY method. For help with all of your auto body needs, give Santa Ana Body Shop a call at our West 34th St location at (713) 956-0524 or our Jones Road location at (281) 916-2001. We are a leading name in auto body and collision repairs in Houston, Texas.

Written by Santa Ana Body Shop