Touching up minor paint damage

The paintwork is an important part of the vehicle's corrosion protection and therefore needs to be checked regularly. The most common types of paint damage are minor stone chips, scratches and damage to e.g. the edges of fenders, doors and bumpers.

To help prevent corrosion, paint damage should be rectified immediately.


Make sure the surface is clean and dry before performing any touch-ups to the paint. The surface temperature should be at least  15 °C  (59 °F).

Materials that might be needed

  • Primer ‒ special adhesive primer is available in a spray can for e.g. plastic-covered bumpers.
  • Base coat and clear coat ‒ available in spray cans or as a touch-up pen/stick1.
  • Masking tape.
  • Fine-grain sandpaper.

Applying touch-up paint to a damaged surface

P5-1507-Repairing stone chips

If the damage has not reached all the way down to the metal, then touch-up paint can be applied immediately after the surface has been cleaned.

Place a strip of masking tape over the damaged surface. Pull the tape off so that any loose flakes of paint adhere to it.

If the damage goes down to the bare metal, you may need to use primer first. If the paint damage is on a plastic surface, an adhesive primer should be used for better results. Spray the primer into the lid of the spray can and brush on thinly.

Light sanding with a very fine-grained sandpaper or similar may be required before painting (e.g. if there are uneven edges). Clean the area carefully and let it dry.
Thoroughly mix the primer and apply it with a small brush, toothpick or similar. When the primer is dry, apply one or more coats of paint and then a clear coat, letting the paint dry between each application.

If there is a longer scratch, follow the same procedure as above, but first mask off the surrounding area to protect the undamaged paint.

Touch-up pens/sticks and spray paint are available at Volvo retailers.


If the stone chip has not gone down to the bare metal and an undamaged coat of paint remains, apply base coat and clear coat immediately after cleaning the surface.
  1. 1 Follow the instructions on the packaging for the touch-up pen/stick carefully.

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