How To Repair Stone Chips

Stone chips on your car’s bonnet, front bumper, roof, wing mirrors and wings can be very frustrating and they are also unavoidable in most cases. Luckily repairing the defect is fairly straightforward and in this article, we walk you through the entire process.

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How To Repair Stone Chips
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Whether a stone or other road debris hit your car whilst driving, the impact it makes with your paintwork is enough to cause damage. There is very little you can do to avoid your car being hit and this is what makes it very frustrating.

Although you may be tempted to leave the chip due to its small size, if left untreated, it can result in corrosion that can spread. Therefore, we highly recommend that you take action early on and repair the stone chip(s) as soon as possible.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost to repair a stone chip by a professional can be anywhere between £30 to £50 per chip and its often referred to as a SMART repair. However, if you only have a few isolated stone chips on your car, repairing it yourself is relatively straightforward (as shown below) and it can cost at little at £10 for the paint.

What You’ll Need

In terms of what’s required to repair a stone chip, you’ll need your car washing equipment, clay bar, panel wipes, cutting compound, cloth and the paint (brush or pen).

With regards to the paint, you can either get it straight from the dealership or have a touch up paint mixed up to match your paint based upon your car’s registration.

The dealership option is the most expensive route to take but most dealerships will have the colour you require readily available off the shelf. As you can see in the photo, we opted for the dealership paint due to it being located a few minutes away from our house.

how to repair stone chips on metallic paint

How To Repair Stone Chips

  1. Thoroughly wash your car with shampoo and ensure its completely dry before continuing.
  2. Use a clay bar over the main area (i.e. bonnet) to remove any bonded contaminants.
  3. Apply a cutting compound to the area to remove a thin layer of the top coat around the chip.
  4. Wipe over the area with a panel wipe as preparation before the painting begins.
  5. Apply the paint to the stone chip in thin layers.
  6. Remove any paint that’s spilled over the chip with a microfibre cloth before it has time to dry.
  7. Apply a top coat or lacquer to seal the stone chip for a longer lasting finish (optional).
repairing stone chips

Before & After Results

Although we were never going to achieve a “like new” finish due to the size and depth of the defect, our stone chip repair certainly made a big difference to the overall finish of the front end.

Before Repair
After Repair

After the repair, we avoided washing the car with a pressure washer for a few weeks for peace of mind.

When Not To Repair The Chip

It’s important to note that there are some scenarios where repairing the stone chip may not be advisable using the above method. For example, if the bonnet or front bumper is covered in lots of chips, the finish would look better if you resprayed it completely and it may even cost less to respray it too. Another example is if the stone chip has rust spots because the paint will struggle to adhere to the metal. Therefore, you’ll need to treat the rust before painting the stone chip.

How To Prevent Stone Chips

Although stones and road debris hitting your car on the road is unavoidable in most cases, there are ways to prevent it causing as much damage. The most popular method among those with premium cars is to apply a PPF (paint protection film). PPF is similar to a standard car vinyl wrap in terms of its application but it’s a transparent wrap that’s also self-healing.

Another method that’s popular among van drivers is to install a bonnet bra, which effectively acts as a barrier to protect and deflect away any stones from hitting the paintwork.

Conclusion

Although stone chips are very frustrating, they are easy and cheap to repair yourself. Whether you drive a Ferrari 458 or Dacia Sandero, the process of repairing stone chips is the exact same.

If you require further information about the repair or anything to do with stone chips, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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