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Is Motorcycle Touch Up Paint the Same as Car Touch Up Paint?

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Few things are as disheartening as finding a scratch on your motorcycle. But should that day come, know you have tools at your disposal to take care of it right away.

When shopping for motorcycle paint, it’s important to know where to look. For example, is motorcycle touch up paint the same thing as car touch up paint? The short answer is no. So, what’s the difference?

In this article, we discuss the similarities and differences between motorcycle and car touch up paints. Once those are established, we walk you through how to touch up paint on your motorcycle, so you can get rid of those scratches as soon as possible!

Motorcycle vs Car Touch Up Paint

Motorcycle Paint Vs. Car Paint

Is motorcycle touch up paint the same as car touch up paint?

The paint you choose for your motorcycle is more than just a cosmetic quick fix. Touch up paint for your motorcycle serves as a protective barrier between the elements, dirt, and grime and your motorcycle’s body. Your touch up paint prevents damage from heat, cold, precipitation, and other factors that can take a toll on your bike.

Motorcycle touch up paint not only repairs damage, but it acts as a seal to prevent further damage in the same spot. Car touch up paint yields the same results.

That’s because car touch up paint and motorcycle touch up paint are, in essence, the same product. Both types of touch up paint repair and protect. So what’s the difference in the two?

The significant difference between motorcycle touch up paint and car touch up paint is marketing. Motorcycle touch up paints are created specifically for motorcycle paint colors, while car touch up paints are created for car paint shades. Chemically, the products are the same. One is simply marketed for cars, and one is marketed for motorcycles.

Matching Touch Up Paint for Your Motorcycle

Utilizing a quality motorcycle touch up paint makes all the difference in the final presentation. And selecting a touch up paint that matches your motorcycle’s current shade is, of course, a non-negotiable. So how can you make sure you’re getting a touch up paint that won’t cause more of an eyesore than your current scratch or ding?

Matching touch up paint for your motorcycle is simple. If you’re ordering touch up paint online, businesses will have you enter in your motorcycle’s year, brand, and model. From there, you can choose the color that matches your bike.

If you want to go the extra step, you can even contact your bike dealer or motorcycle body shop. They’ll help you make sure you’re purchasing the correct shade of touch up paint, and you can ask for tips to ensure your do-it-yourself job goes smoothly.

How to Touch Up Your Motorcycle

Once you’ve found the correct shade of touch up paint for your motorcycle, the real work begins. But don’t worry! With diligent preparation and a little practice, you can touch up your bike so that it looks like new. Below are the steps to apply touch up paint to your motorcycle.

  1. Test the Paint

Before you begin touching up the scratch on your bike, test your touch up paint in an inconspicuous area. The wheel arch is a great place for touch up paint tests because it’s not noticeable, and if the paint doesn’t match, you haven’t created another problem for yourself!  Let the paint thoroughly dry, then take it out in sunlight to test how well it matches.

  1. Clean the Area

Before you begin any kind of paint work on your motorcycle, you need to clean the damaged area. Using specialized motorcycle or automotive soap, clean your bike and ensure you’ve removed all debris, grease, or any other reside from your bike.

Dry your bike with a microfiber towel. This ensures your bike is dry, and the microfiber won’t leave any scratches or swirls.

  1. Sand or Apply Rubbing Compound

How you approach this step depends on the severity of the damage. If you’ve got a small scratch that needs attention, you can apply a rubbing compound to your motorcycle. A rubbing compound is an abrasive putty that you rub onto your bike. Rubbing compounds have a moderate grit that levels paint scratches to ensure a smooth finish once you’ve applied your touch up paint.

Another option for more severe scratches or damage is to sand down the damaged area. Using motorcycle-specific sandpaper, sand down the damaged paint until you achieve a smooth surface for painting.

After using the rubbing compound or sandpaper, wash the area once again. This removes any debris that could potentially ruin your touch up paint job.

  1. Apply the Touch Up Paint

Now for the exciting part. Depending on how severe the damage is, you might choose a touch up pen, a touch up brush, or even an aerosol spray to get the job done. Regardless of which method you use, carefully read the instructions on the product packaging.

Before you apply the paint, remove any distractions or factors that could affect the paint. For example, do the touch up job in a well-ventilated, enclosed area. This reduces the risk of dirt, dust, or even leaves blowing into your wet paint.

Once you’ve completed the application, allow the paint to completely cure. Leave it to dry overnight, if possible.

  1. Sand It Down

Finally, sand down the repainted area once again with a 2,000-grit sandpaper. By doing so, you smooth out any paint bumps, and you won’t be able to tell there was ever a touch up in the first place! Finish by applying motorcycle polish, and you’re ready to ride.


While motorcycle touch up paint and car touch up paint are essentially the same products, you’ll find the touch up paint you’re looking for through a company that sells paint specifically for motorcycles.


Touching up motorcycle paint at home is simple if you have the right products and have done your prep work and research. Now that you know how to find the right touch up paint for your motorcycle, get to it!

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