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.
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.
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.