Keep your Harley paint looking new with Color Matched Touch Up Paint Pens
As the industry leader in color matched parts, it only makes sense that we’d have color matched touch up paint pens to help you keep your bike looking good. Getting any kind of nick or scratch on your pride and joy will drive you crazy. It’s bound to happen no matter how much you ride your Harley or how careful you are. So what do you do? Get yourself a color matched paint pen.
However, there’s a lot more to touching up a nick on your Harley motorcycle than just grabbing a touch up paint pen and letting your inner Van Gogh go. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your touch up doesn’t go touch down.
It’s touch up paint. Not “make it new” paint.
Let’s be clear with touch up paint. No matter if you use an Advanblack touch up paint pen or get it directly from Harley, the results are not going to be perfect, especially if you have an older bike that’s been in the sun. But the point of a touch up paint pen is as much about protecting your bike as it is getting rid of unsightly nicks and scratches.
Some nicks and scratches are superficial and are the easiest to deal with. Others can go all the way to the ABS plastic or to the metal. In this case, a touch up paint pen is a must-have, as it’s more of a repair job than a cosmetic procedure. If you have a gash that goes deep, you risk more paint flaking off or worse – rust. So don’t put off getting a touch up paint pen in the right color.
Get the right color.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure and get the right color. There are currently over 100 Harley Davidson colors that we stock. You might be thinking “my bike is black, so I need to get black.” Not so fast. Advanblack has 13 different black colors ranging from Black Pearl and Black Quartz to Thunder Black Pearl and Black Tempest. Do you remember which black you own? Why not be sure.
All you need is your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Call your local Harley Dealer or Harley Customer Care, give them the VIN number and they will get you the right paint code for your bike. Again, we have just about any color you can come up with, but we also suggest getting a Vivid Black because so many trim elements on bikes are Vivid Black.
How to use a touch up paint pen
Advanblack touch up paint pens are designed with a ballpoint, just like a ballpoint pen. Other products come only with a tiny brush, which we also include, but the ballpoint gives you more accuracy when applying paint to a small area.
Before you get started, the first thing is to assess what kind of scratch or nick you have. If it’s all the way down to the metal or ABS, you’ll absolutely be using the brush, followed by wet sanding, and finish with a polish. Let’s start with a superficial scratch, which is easier to deal with.
First, clean the area of the nick/scratch well with rubbing alcohol REALLY well. Now here’s a tip you won’t get anywhere else. Get yourself a fine tip screwdriver and gently scrape the nick. You want to remove any dirt, old wax or polish, or anything that won’t allow your touch up paint to adhere to the surface. After you get it super clean with the screwdriver, clean it one more time with rubbing alcohol.
The next step is to shake that pen like crazy. You’ll hear a metal ball in there, like a can of spray paint. Don’t skimp on this part. Shake it for at least a minute and get the paint mixed up well, especially if it’s a bit chilly.
Once the paint is mixed up nicely, take the pen and dab it on some paper. You’ll get a sense of how it feels and how much paint comes out with each dab. If it’s not coming out well, you can unscrew the cap and let some air in, which helps, like getting air in a bottle of ketchup.
Then slowly dab the paint pen in the scratch in little bitty dots (yes, kind of like Van Gogh did!). If it’s more of a round shaped nick, start on the edges and work your way to the center. Don’t overdo it. The first coat of paint will probably not match. You have primer below the paint surface. Just keep dabbing until it’s filled in and it looks like you want it to look. Again, this will never be 100% perfect as if the scratch wasn’t there. But at the very least, you’re protecting the paint job and your bike from further damage.
Now if the scratch is down to the ABS or metal, you’ll most likely have to use the brush, wet sand, and polish. It’s not hard, but you have to be extra careful so you don’t make things worse. Depending on the severity of the scratch, you can choose to use the ballpoint or the brush. Start with one coat and put another on until the color is as good as it’s going to get. Be sure and don’t drag the paint with the ballpoint. This can introduce tiny air bubbles.
Once you’re done with the paint pen, be sure and clean the tip with paint thinner on a rag. You’ll be happy you did this the next time you need to use the paint pen.
The next step in repairing a deeper scratch is to use wet sandpaper with a super fine grit, like 2,000. Gently go over the scratch you just filled in in a circular motion, not back and forth. Once it’s smooth, dry it off and polish it with a dual-action polish. We recommend “The Last Coat”, which is a compound glaze. It removes light scratches and then breaks down to a polish. It protects the metal, as well as any other damage you could get on a cracked, painted edge.
You can also do a wet sand and polish on a lighter scratch. But if you’re uncomfortable with the wet sanding, it’s all good. At least you’re protecting your bike from rust and from more paint flaking off.
What about clear coat?
Some aftermarket paint companies sell you the paint with a clear coat that also “needs” to be applied. Clear coat isn’t necessary for most touch up projects and can also make the repair job stand out. Again, we prefer a compound glaze, which you will only use on deeper gashes that go down to the metal or ABS.
We recommend you get one of our touch up paint pens and experiment with a small nick that’s not in plain sight. You’ll be amazed at how good you get with it in no time. For some hands-on training, watch Steve the service technician apply Amber Whiskey from a touch up paint pen to a couple of nicks on his own bike.
Get your touch up paint pen today!