Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • The best car paint pens available in 2024 are from top brands including Dupli-Color, Dr. ColorChip, Ford manufacturer’s pen, PaintScratch, and TouchUpDirect.
  • On average, a car paint pen will cost around $30 with some combo kits being upwards of $50 if you want a pen that can be used multiple times.
  • Aside from considering color matching, you’ll want to account for included items in your purchase such as blending and cleaning solutions to make the repair job easier.
Best
Car Paint Pen
Dupli-Color

An all-in-one paint pen that closely matches factory paint color.

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Easiest To Use
Dr. ColorChip

An affordable, simple-to-use paint restoration system with pen.

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Best For Quick Fixes
Manufacturer’s Pen (Ford)

A paint pen from the manufacturer designed for minor paint fixes.

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Best Color Match
PaintScratch

A three-stage paint pen system that closely matches tri-coat paint.

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Best Multistage Paint Pen
TouchUpDirect

A three-stage paint pen system that works well and is simple to apply.

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While most automakers sell car paint pens for their vehicles, they aren’t always the best car paint pens for the job. We tested several car scratch fillers – including the manufacturer’s brand – on a white 2018 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

A car paint pen helps remove minor scratches, dings, nicks, and chips. You can purchase some paint pens as part of a system that includes a buffing rag and degreasing solution. Other auto paint pens include a single applicator with the desired paint color.

 


 

Car Paint Pens Reviews

Five of the best car paint pens as tested and reviewed by our auto product team.

Keep in mind that we tested these pens on one vehicle – a 2018 Ford Fusion with a white pearl tri-coat paint job. While these paint pens did a reasonable job matching our vehicle’s exterior, some brands may be better for specific colors and manufacturers. Test any paint pen and compare it with your own vehicle’s paint before applying it. Each paint pen was scored on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0 stars.

What Is The Best Car Paint Pen?

We named the Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-In-One, Dr. ColorChip Automotive Touch-Up Paint System, Ford manufacturer’s pen, PaintScratch Paint Pen, and TouchUpDirect Pen Kit as the best-rated car paint pens on the market in 2024.

Brand/ModelCostOverall RatingAward
Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-In-One$254.5Best Car Paint Pen
Dr. ColorChip Automotive Touch-Up Paint System$554.3Easiest to Use
Manufacturer’s Pen (Ford)$154.0Best for Quick Fixes
PaintScratch Paint Pen$553.7Best Color Match
TouchUpDirect Pen Kit$553.5Best Multistage Paint Pen

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Painting Pen For Car Ratings: Our Testing Process

After looking at factors such as product size, color options, customer ratings, and prices, our product testing team ordered the car paint pens that best met these standards. A team member tested each product on a 2018 Ford Fusion, taking note of how well the paint pen matched our vehicle’s original paint color, how easily it could be applied, and how good the final finish looked. Each paint pen was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria.

Learn more about how we tested painting pens for cars here.

1. Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-In-One: Best Car Paint Pen

The Dupli-Color car paint pens.

  • Cost: $25
  • Amazon review score: 4.3 out of 5.0 based on over 21,000 ratings
  • Size: 0.25 fluid ounces
  • Abrasive tip
  • Prime-and-paint formula
  • Clear-coat applicator
  • Pen-tip and brush-tip applicators

Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-In-One Review

The Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-In-1 has just about everything you need to refurbish a scratch. This compact pen includes an abrasive tip, a one-coat prime-and-paint formula, and a clear-coat applicator. It’s easy to use and is sold in a broad range of colors for most makes and models.

You can see how the Dupli-Color performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application4.0
Available Colors4.5
Efficacy5.0
Overall Rating4.5

This paint pen offers colors for the following car manufacturers: Ford, Chrysler, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and Volkswagen. There are also a few universal color options if your car is not included in the list above. Below are the pros and cons of the Dupli-Color:

Pros Abrasive tip Multiple color options for most car manufacturer brands Good color match
Cons Separate purchase of cleaning formulas

Dupli-Color Scratch Fix: Our Experience

We found the Dupli-Color simple to use. You’ll need to buy a degreaser or cleaning formula separately to prepare the scratch area, but beyond that, this handy pen has everything you need.

The paint takes a little while to dry, but the Dupli-Color delivered the best results among the paint pens we tested and came the closest to reproducing the factory paint color.

Dupli-Color All-In-One: What Customers Are Saying

Numerous reviewers say the color matches well. They also noted that the application is a bit thick, so you may need to sand it. We found the application to be thick as well, though it thinned out after a few days.

“Didn’t like it [at first]. A couple weeks later, I noticed the clear coat and color blended up, and the thickness was reduced significantly. … I changed this from a 1–2 star [review] to a 4–5 star.”

– HDA via Amazon

While most commenters say the paint matches almost perfectly, the Dupli-Color brand may not get all colors right. Some reviewers had trouble with white colors (though they almost perfectly matched our test car’s pearl white paint).

“Oxford white [has] gotta be one of the most popular [Ford colors] being used for fleet vehicles. But this white isn’t even close. It’s a creamy off-white. Generic white off the shelf would be closer.”

– Vin via Amazon

It’s essential to test the color of the paint pen on a small, less noticeable area of your vehicle to ensure the color matches before applying it somewhere prominent.

2. Dr. ColorChip Automotive Touch-Up Paint System: Easiest To Use

The Dr. ColorChip car paint pens.

  • Cost: $55
  • Amazon review score: N/A
  • Size: 4.0 fl. oz.
  • Blending solution
  • Three paintbrushes
  • Gloves and blending cloth

Dr. ColorChip Automotive Touch-Up Paint System Review

The Dr. ColorChip Automotive Touch-Up Paint System includes everything you need to restore automotive paint. While not a single paint pen, it performs the same function and does it well. This product is terrific for beginners since the included blending solution leaves more room for errors.
You can see how the Dr. ColorChip performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application5.0
Available Colors4.0
Efficacy4.0
Overall Rating4.3

This paint pen includes the most amount of paint product in our review. As an added bonus with your purchase, you’ll receive a blending solution, gloves, a towel, paintbrushes, and a blending cloth. Below are the pros and cons of the Dr. ColorChip:

Pros Easy to use More product included (1.0 fl. oz.) Blending solution
Cons Not an exact match

Dr. ColorChip Paint System: Our Experience

We found the Dr. ColorChip paint repair system to be the easiest to use of all the car paint pens we tested. However, our vehicle has a three-stage paint job, and the Dr. ColorChip system is a one-stage system that does not perfectly replicate the color of our Ford Fusion Hybrid. Nevertheless, the Dr. ColorChip kit came close to being a perfect match and even outperformed some of the three-stage paint pens we tested.

Our favorite feature of the Dr. ColorChip paint kit is the blending solution, which helped even out the paint and was simple to use.

Dr. ColorChip Touch-Up: What Customers Are Saying

Amazon reviews for Dr. ColorChip are divided among paint colors. As such, no overall assessment of Dr. ColorChip is available. Since there are hundreds of colors – all listed as separate products – determining an average is difficult.

Some Dr. ColorChip users speak both positively and negatively about the product. As with any car paint pen, your results will depend on the color of the paint on your car. If you have a three-stage point coat like our test vehicle, be aware that no Dr. ColorChip paint will provide an exact match.

“It sorta worked. At least it covered up some of the scratch. As soon as you tried to clean off the excess paint, it would all come off again. Took at least eight tries before I just gave up.”

– Jeffrey Asis via Amazon

“Don’t expect perfection. This filled the chip in the paint and made it less noticeable, but it is far from a perfect fix. It was easy to use.”

– Lynn E. via Amazon

3. Manufacturer’s Pen (Ford): Best For Quick Fixes

The Manufacturer’s Pen Ford car paint pen.

  • Cost: $15
  • Amazon review score: 4.2 out of 5.0 based on over 500 ratings
  • Size: 0.25 fl. oz.
  • Abrasive head
  • Touch-up coat
  • Clear-coat finish
  • Available in all manufacturers’ colors

Manufacturer’s Pen (Ford) Review

Several auto manufacturers offer their own brands of paint pens for car scratch repair. The quality of these OEM pens will vary from one manufacturer to another, so this review can only speak for the Ford Motorcraft brand.

You can see how the Ford performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application3.0
Available Colors5.0
Efficacy4.0
Overall Rating4.0

This paint pen comes with both a basecoat and topcoat to get the glossy finish you’d expect in a paint chip repair project. The abrasive head is designed to make application both intentional and easy. Below are the pros and cons of the Ford:

Pros Abrasive head Basecoat and topcoat included Multiple color options
Cons Ford-specific Thicker paint can cause globs

Manufacturer’s Pen: Our Experience

We didn’t find the Ford Motorcraft paint pen very easy to apply. Because it doesn’t include a brush, the paint is difficult to spread evenly. You may want to purchase a separate brush for application so it doesn’t glob in thick layers through the pen tip.

Despite the globbing, the color is a strong match, which makes sense given the brand comes through the automaker. The Ford Motorcraft pen did not match like the DupliColor but was the second-closest of the pens we tested. The paint takes about 30 minutes to dry, which is average.

Ford Paint Pen: What Customers Are Saying

As with Dr. ColorChip, Amazon reviews of the Ford Motorcraft paint pen vary considerably and largely depend on the color of the paint. We did find numerous reviews for the color we tested.

Comments about the paint’s matching abilities are somewhat mixed. Many users believe the final product is nearly perfect, while others are less enthusiastic. Results may vary depending on how well you apply the product.

“It worked great for me. Any pearlized paint is hard to duplicate. … The secret to matching your pearl white paint for this particular pen is the second step top coat; it contains the pearl part of the paint. For me, it took three coats of the (topcoat) pearl over top of the base white allowing each coat to dry at least 30 minutes between coats.”

– Gpz2 via Amazon

“This all-in-one-package could not have been easier once you figure out which end does what! It’s a Ford part, so it’s obviously a perfect match for color.”

– Jonathan Baker via Amazon

4. PaintScratch Paint Pen: Best Color Match

The PaintScratch car paint pens.

  • Cost: $55
  • Amazon review score: 4.0 out of 5.0 based on a handful of reviews
  • Size: 0.5 fl. oz.
  • Three pens: (base layer, paint layer, gloss layer)
  • Cutting cream

PaintScratch Paint Pen Review

PaintScratch car paint pens include a pen for each coat (base layer, paint layer, gloss layer), and the system includes cutting cream that helps prepare scratches for touch-up paint. Kits come in a wide variety of colors for most makes and models.

You can see how the PaintScratch performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application3.5
Available Colors4.0
Efficacy3.5
Overall Rating3.7

This paint pen comes with 41 different color options, making it a great option for exotic car colors. With three different pens included in the kit, you’ll get a complete finish to hide any scratches or chips. Below are the pros and cons of the PaintScratch:

Pros Multiple color options Three different paint pens Cutting cream included
Cons Brushes are not included Longer painting process

PaintScratch: Our Experience

As with the Ford Motorcraft paint pen, PaintScratch paint pens don’t include any brush heads, potentially making it challenging to spread the paint evenly. While the procedure is straightforward, you may want a brush to apply the color over a scratch.

The PaintScratch is an actual three-stage paint pen (others in this review are two- or one-stage pens) and matched our vehicle’s paint reasonably well despite not being on par with DupliColor. We also like that the PaintScratch came with a degreaser (cutting cream), which you need before applying any paint pen.

It takes quite a bit of time to apply the PaintScratch pen, as you’ll need to wait a while between each layer and the coats have longer drying times.

PaintScratch Car Paint Pen: What Customers Are Saying

Similar to the reviews of other paint pens, PaintScratch reviews on Amazon are divided among different paint colors and aren’t consolidated in a single listing. Therefore, it’s challenging to determine an average score since you’ll find hundreds of PaintScratch colors.

Reviews indicate that PaintScratch paints tend to match quite well for most customers. Some customer complaints mention the paint not drying well in humid climates and the paint pen tip being challenging to use.

“The color matched like advertised. [The] only problem is that I live in Florida, and the humidity made it so the paint couldn’t dry properly.”

– Nick via Amazon

“Paint match to vehicle is spot-on. Tip on paint pen is unusual and after a few uses is falling apart.”

– Brandon via Amazon

5. TouchUpDirect Pen Kit: Best Multistage Paint Pen

The TouchUpDirect car paint pens.

  • Cost: $55
  • Amazon review score: 4.3 out of 5.0 stars based on over 150 ratings
  • Size: 0.35 fl. oz.
  • Three pens: primer, base layer, and clear coat
  • Degreaser

TouchUpDirect Pen Kit Review

TouchUpDirect offers multistage car paint pens designed to match your vehicle’s paint job as closely as possible. Kits from TouchUpDirect include a test card to guarantee you have the pen that matches your vehicle.

You can see how the TouchUpDirect performed in each of our testing categories below:

Review CategoryScore (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Ease of Application4.0
Available Colors3.5
Efficacy3.0
Overall Rating3.5

The TouchUpDirect gives a nice metallic finish while matching your car’s manufacturer finish. We purchased the combo pack, but here are multiple different packages you can purchase including an aerosol spray and brush package. Below are the pros and cons of TouchUpDirect:

Pros Three different paint pens Wax form for easy application
Cons Mixed reviews regarding color match

TouchUpDirect Car Paint Pen Kit: Our Experience

While the TouchUpDirect paint system was easy to use and apply, it did not match our car’s paint job very well. However, some customers say the TouchUpDirect did match their vehicles, so our issue may have been with our particular color.

The paint applies relatively smoothly and more easily than other paint pens that match our color better. Had the color of the TouchUpDirect paint system matched, we would have put this product higher on our list. Again, results may vary by color, and you should test any car paint pen on a small area before applying it broadly across your vehicle.

TouchUpDirect Kit: What Customers Are Saying

Amazon reviews for TouchUpDirect paint pens are divided across the available paint colors and not focused on a single product. Many reviewers say TouchUpDirect pens were an excellent match for their car paint, which is why we recommend this product despite the poor match for our vehicle. Other users had experiences like ours, where the match was not particularly close.

“Arrived very quickly. Matched paint perfectly. I’m glad I purchased it, as it was a perfect match.”
– Amy D. via Amazon

“Color did not match at all.”

– Tracy A Hughes via Amazon

Buying Guide

The first step to finding the right car paint pen is determining the color you will need. Most vehicles have a paint color code – an alphanumeric string of characters that refers to the paint’s exact tone and shade. This code’s location will depend on your vehicle’s make and model. Typical places to find this code are:

  • Inside the glove box
  • In the wheel well
  • In the driver’s-side doorjamb
  • Under the driver’s seat
  • On the passenger’s sun visor

Once you’ve determined your color code, you can begin searching for the correct car paint pen. Bear in mind that some vehicles have multistage paint, which means you’ll need a multistage paint pen to achieve the exact color of your factory paint. You might consider a primer as well as a clear coat. Some paint pens, including a few we recommend, have a built-in primer, base coat, and clear coat.

Before applying any car paint pen, clean the area thoroughly with a grease remover. We also recommend sanding the area to prepare it for paint. You’ll then apply primer, body color, and clear coat in that order.

We suggest purchasing a lacquer thinner to help wipe mistakes away. Dr. ColorChip includes a lacquer thinner with its products.

Compare Painting Pens For Cars

Brand/ModelSizeItem FormFinish Type
Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-In-One0.25 fluid ouncesAerosolFactory-matched
Dr. ColorChip Automotive Touch-Up Paint System4.0 fl. oz.AerosolGloss
Manufacturer’s Pen (Ford)0.25 fl. oz.AerosolGloss
PaintScratch Paint Pen0.5 fl. oz.CremeMetallic
TouchUpDirect Pen Kit0.35 fl. oz.WaxMetallic

 


 

Best Car Paint Pens: Bottom Line

In this article, along with sharing helpful purchasing tips for those interested in purchasing a painting pens for cars, we reviewed the top car paint pens in 2024:

  1. Best Car Paint Pen: Dupli-Color Scratch Fix All-In-One
  2. Easiest to Use: Dr. ColorChip Automotive Touch-Up Paint System
  3. Best for Quick Fixes: Manufacturer’s Pen (Ford)
  4. Best Color Match: PaintScratch Paint Pen
  5. Best Multistage Paint Pen: TouchUpDirect Pen Kit

 


 

Painting Pens For Cars: FAQ

 


 

Full Car Paint Pen Testing Methodology

Using the 2018 Ford Fusion, our team tested each car paint pen in this review. As mentioned, the Fusion has a three-stage color finish and white, tri-coat pearl paint. Some paint pens are single-stage formulas, which will never match three-stage paint perfectly. We used each car paint pen according to the directions on the package and applied these pens to the vehicle’s rear fender, where some of the paint was chipped.

We took notes on both the process and the results, scoring each car paint pen based on its ease of use and how well it matched the surrounding paint job. After applying the paint pens and letting the affected areas dry, we washed the vehicle several times to see how well the paint stayed in place. We also monitored the area to see that the color held up for over a month.

Each paint pen was scored on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0 stars based on ease of application, available colors, and efficacy.

Ease of Application

Our ease of application score is based on how simple or difficult it is to use each paint pen. Some paint pains only require a single application, while most have multiple steps. Some paint pens are more difficult to apply precisely than other applicator tips.

We gave the highest ease of application ratings to paint pens requiring the fewest steps to apply.

Available Colors

Some paint pens come in more colors than others, and the best car paint pens try to exactly match your factory paint job. Paint pens that offer the most colors score best in this category.

Efficacy

Our efficacy score is based on how well the paint pens we tested matched the OEM paint on our test vehicle. We also considered the longevity of the pen’s cover-up. Paint pens most similar to factory paint scored best in this category.

How We Score Products

Star ratings help us to honestly evaluate and differentiate between the top products. By awarding each paint pen with a numerical score, we can better determine the best paint pens on the market. Based on the paint pens in this review, we calculated an average score of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.

5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating is a high score for any product in our review. If the paint pen was easy to apply, left a nice finish, and provided us with the essential tools to get the repair job done, you’ll see a 5.0-star rating.

4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating is an above-average score. If the application was manageable but could have been simpler with the addition of a brush that wasn‘t included in our purchase you’d see a 4.0-star rating.

3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating is an average rating. For example, if a paint pen in our review could have been a better color match but wasn’t too far off, you’d see a 3.0-star score.

2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating is a below-average rating. If the color match was off from our car despite ordering the most applicable color, we would give the paint pen 2.0 stars.

1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating is the lowest score we give in our reviews. If the paint pen was defective in some way, very difficult to apply, or had any other issue that affected the finished look, we would give the paint pen 1.0 stars.

Why Trust Motor1.com

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.