Friday, May 17, 2024

How To Fix Scratches On Car Paint

Don't Miss

Editor’s Pick: Meguiar’s Scratchx 20

How to Repair a DEEP SCRATCH in Car Paint (DIY)

Meguiars ScratchX 2.0 is specifically designed to be a fine scratch and blemish remover. It features an exclusive micro-abrasive system that safely removes scratches, blemishes, and swirls on all paint finishes, restoring clarity and a brilliant high gloss shine. Meguiars claims ScratchX 2.0 permanently removes defects rather than simply hiding them and is clear coat safe. You can use this product either by hand or dual action polisher.

Like other similar products, dont expect the ScratchX 2.0 to work miracles on deep scratches. Although many users on Amazon have reported great results on blemishes, scuffs, and scratches on the clear, others have gotten little to no results on deep scratches.

  • Pros/Affordable, designed to remove scratches, blemishes, and swirls
  • Cons/Don’t expect it to fix deep scratches
  • How To Identify The Type Of Scratch On A Cars Paint


    To follow on from one of my older posts How to Remove Swirl marks from your paintwork, I thought it would be a good idea to do a post to teach you how to identify the type of scratch on a cars paint. One of the main reasons that people want to machine polish a car, is because of some sort of damage, whether it be some light swirling or something more serious.

    There is a common misconception that all scratches on a cars paintwork can be buffed out. This is absolutely not the case.

    Conversely, some people assume they need a paint re-spray or repair on scratches that could indeed be buffed out with a machine polisher and a compound.

    As a detailer, whether it be at an amateur or a professional level, it is important to know what can be done to correct the paintwork in any given situation.

    In my own experience, I have been able to help family members and friends with issues regarding their paintwork, and they have been extremely grateful for it.

    Other times, the defects were too severe to be corrected by compounding/polishing.

    Before we look at the different types of paint scratches that can arise, lets first look at some of the main causes of these issues in the first place.

    Base Coat / Color Coat Scratch

    Color coat scratches are where the damage has penetrated completely through the clear coat and the color coat has been hit.

    In this case, the actual color has been removed from the cars paintwork.

    How do you identify a color coat scratch?

    As above, I usually use the fingernail test and if my nail snags in the scratch, it generally has gone too deep for the scratch to be completely buffed out with a machine polisher.

    How to Repair a color coat scratch?

    You can use a machine polisher to improve the appearance of the scratch and make it less visible, however, you will likely not be able to remove it completely.

    A full repair of the scratch is likely to be a more advanced fix and maybe better left to a professional, however, it can still be attempted at home with the use of a touch-up pen. If you are a bit OCD like me, I would suggest getting a professional opinion on how it should be handled, to get it looking 100%.

    Read Also: What Car Did Columbo Drive

    Apply A Premiere Before Painting

    When it comes to painting the impacted area, you need at least to have a couple of premier coats and allowing them to set about 10 minutes each time so he can dry out.

    It is recommended that you choose a premier color very close to your vehicle’s final product paint color so it doesn’t look odd once you’re done your job.

    Best For Deep Scratches: Chemical Guys Vss Scratch & Swirl Remover

    How to Perform Car Paint Scratch Removal With Home ...

    This is the only car scratch remover that advertises its ability to treat both moderate and deep scratches in the paint. This means you should be able to remove everything from a small ding to a deep key scratch with this product.

    This car scratch remover comes in a 16.0-ounce bottle, which is double or more the size of the other products in this review. This allows you to treat all of the scratches around your car and save the rest for future scratches.

    Read Also: Car Registration Fee In Texas

    How To Remove Barely There Car Scratches

    Its no secret that car paint scratches easily. Ever set a grocery bag on your roof, hood or trunk lid and then slide it off? You know the result: Instant scratches.

    But dont freak out. You might be able to remove these minor paint scratches yourself in less than an hour and for less than $30. To see if your scratches qualify for this DIY repair, run your fingernail across the scratch. If your nail glides across the scratch without catching in it, its a minor scratch that will polish out. But if the scratch catches your fingernail, its a job for a body shop.

    If your scratch qualifies, pick up 3,000-grit sandpaper, rubbing and polishing compound, and polishing pads. Youll also need a portable drill or dual action polisher unit. You can buy most of the components off-the-shelf at any auto parts store. Or you can buy a complete scratch removal kit.

    You may have heard about the toothpaste method for removing scratches. This only works for really shallow scratches. Toothpaste is just as abrasive as 3,000-grit sandpaper and works as a polishing compound. If you dont have the necessary tools and materials, this is a great option to remove small scratches.

    Tools Youll Need

    Preparing The Paint For Repair

    Materials Needed

    • Bucket of soap and water
    • Clean cloth or towel
    • Sandpaper
    • Toothpaste

    Step 1: Wash the car: You should always begin any repair to your vehicles body by washing the affected area.

    A clean workspace will ensure that dirt and dust dont cause any further abrasions to your vehicle’s exterior.

    Step 2: Sand the affected area. After washing the affected area, you will want to sand the area surrounding the scratch.

    Sanding makes the affected area smooth, allowing for a consistent look when new paint is applied.

    If the scratch covers a large area youll want to use sandpaper. If the scratch is small, you may be able to use toothpaste

    • Note: You may not need to sand scratches that have affected the clear coat only. Because it is only the top-most layer of your vehicles exterior, it is the easiest to repair. If you are sure the scratch has only affected the clear coat, skip to Part 3.

    Step 3: Apply some toothpaste. For small scratches or chips, you may be able to sand the affected area using your common household toothpaste. While this may sound strange, toothpaste has the same abrasive properties as a fine sandpaper.

    Dabbing a small amount of toothpaste onto a cotton swab or clean cloth and rubbing it in a circular motion on the affected area with smooth the scratch and ready it for new paint.

    Step 4: Sand the scratch. For scratches that take up a larger area, youll want to use sandpaper.

    Read Also: How To Remove Cigarette Burns From Car

    How To Remove Scratches From Black Car Paint

    Teenagers have a lot of stereotypes about whats cool or not: comic books, video games, and anime have gone from being nerdish to being lit, wearing wireless AirPods while walking is sick, and a denim jacket tells everyone youre a total Chad.

    Thankfully, were a lot more sophisticated as adults. We would never say, for instance, that black is the manliest, sexiest hue that you can have on your car, and all the other colors are for girly girls.

    That would be silly.

    Reverse is the newest car detailing product that easily removes scratches and swirls by hand. This car scratch remover and car paint scratch repair compound will bring your paint back to new. It’s also a water spot remover and swirl remover. Make paint correction easy with this all in one formula.

    • Repair car scratches, swirl marks and water spots.
    • Will also remove oxidation, spider marks and paint imperfections.
    • Works by hand, no fancy tools needed.

    Detailer Pro Tip: The Fingernail Test


    Your cars exterior typically has four layers. First is the bare metal itself, which is either made up of carbon steel or aluminum. Unless someone took a sledgehammer to it, this layer will typically remain unscathed by normal wear-and-tear. Next is a bonding agent called a primer that sits on top of the metal and functions as a sort of glue that keeps the alloy and the paint stuck together. Above the primer is the base coat, which is the actual paint itself that gives your car its unique color. Finally, higher than the base coat is the clear coat, which acts as a water-resistant shield and is responsible for giving your car that glossy look.

    Every time your car is scratched, it means that one or more of these layers have been damaged. If only the clear coat is affected, you can fix this yourself. However, if the scratch goes deeper into the base coat and beyond, youll have a bigger mess on your hands and might need the help of a professional detailer.

    In order to tell how deep the scratch is, use the fingernail test. Simply drag your fingernail across the length of the scratch. If your nail catches, this means the scratch has gone past the clear coat. If your fingernail encounters no resistance, it means the scratch is only surface-deep and can be easily fixed.

    Read Also: How Many Cans Of Freon Does My Car Need

    Spray Primer And Then Paint Onto The Sanded Area


    Mask off the area with paper and masking tape to prevent spreading paint/primer to any other area. Spray automotive primer onto the area and let it dry. Next, spray the area with your cars matching paint. It can be difficult to find the correct paint shade, but your manufacturers specs will give you the code that matches your paint. Lay a heavy amount of paint onto the area and let dry.

    How To Best Apply Touch

    When can you actually begin the touch-up itself?

    Once the damaged areas are fully cleaned and prepared.

    But wait!

    I cannot stress enough that you must use primer before color touch-up if a chip has exposed bare metal.

    If you need to do this, listen up:

    Mix thoroughly. Use a clean toothpick or a small brush to apply the primer.

    There is an easy method for this.

    Dip only the tip of a plastic toothpick into your primer. Use capillary action to pull it off the toothpick into the chip.

    Next, touch the tip of the toothpick to the center of the chip. Let the paint flow off of the toothpick into the nick.

    You will be amazed how well the capillary action works but, if you prefer, you can use a #2 artists brush.

    Just dont allow the primer to overflow the sides of the chip!

    IMPORTANT NOTE: The detailing industry has pretty much perfected paint touch-up pens.

    So, you may want to go the touch-up pen route instead.

    Its up to you!

    High-quality paint touch-up pens work like a toothpick, transferring paint by capillary action.

    Also Check: What Kind Of Commission Do Car Salesmen Make

    Factors That Impact The Cost Of Scratch Repair

    Its difficult to estimate the cost of scratch repair on your vehicle. Each vehicle and scratch is different.

    However, factors that impact the cost of scratch repair include:

    • Whether or not panels need to be replaced. For serious scratches and damages, you may need to replace panels. This can add hundreds to your scratch repair costs.
    • The number of affected panels. Sometimes, even a small scratch will extend across multiple panels, which can increase repair costs.
    • The make and model of the vehicle. Generally, higher-end cars have more expensive scratch repair costs than average cars.
    • Repair and labor costs in your area. If you live in an area with a higher cost of living, then youll pay more for scratch repair.
    • Whether or not youre making an insurance claim. Generally, repair shops charge more to insurers than they would to a customer paying out of pocket.

    Toothpaste Scratch Removal: Fact Or Fiction

    How to remove scratches from car

    Surprisingly enough, toothpaste actually works well in repairing scratches. This is because it contains microscopic abrasive elements that essentially act as a sandpaper on your car, buffing away any imperfections. Please note that this only works on light abrasions that affect the clear coatanything deeper than that will need a replacement paint job. For best results, use a whitening toothpaste, since these are a lot grittier than regular toothpaste. Apply it onto a microfiber towel and wipe away the damage.

    Don’t Miss: Who Invented The Golf Cart

    Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Ultra

    Like 3M, Meguiars is a trusted brand among car care enthusiasts and the company actually has a few products that can be used to remove scratches. The most popular one is the Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound, which can remove 1200 grit or finer sanding marks. It features an exclusive, super-micro abrasive technology that leaves a best-in-class finish.

    The Ultra-Cut Compound is great for removing scratches, defects, acid rain, and severe swirls/holograms from your paint. Its formulated for use by hand, dual action polisher, or a rotary buffer. The product contains no fillers and is a VOC compliant formula that is safe to use on all paint finishes, including scratch-resistant and conventional clear coats.

    The Meguiars Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound also works great to get rid of blemishes and scratches in your clear coat prior to applying polish or wax on your car.

  • Pros/Trusted brand in car care, easy to use, affordable
  • Cons/Dries fast, so it can be hard to remove
  • Apply Base And Acrylic Clear Coat

    Apply at least three layers of the base coat. In between spraying, leave to dry for 5 minutes. Spray wide around the damaged area to make sure the paint blends in with its surrounding. Leave about an hour for nice dry paint.

    Apply an acrylic clear coat to protect the paint from chemical substances and small scratches. It also gives that glossy effect on your car. Of course, if you dont want it to gloss, you dont need to use this. As usual, spray the surrounding as well to blend the color. Leave for a minimum of four hours.

    Also Check: Car Soap Alternative

    Apply The Toothpaste At Least Twice

    It is recommended that you repeat the process at least two times to ensure you have two layers of toothpaste covering these scratches. You might even need another application of toothpaste if the scratches still show.

    Keep in mind that after applying the toothpaste more than three times, it might indicate that this is not working effectively for you, and you must try another product.

    How to fix scratches on a car using scratch removal?

    If the toothpaste would not help you get rid of the scratches, you might need to try designated products for removing scratches. These products are referred to as scratch removals, and you can find them at any auto repair shop or buy them online on Amazon.

    Here’s all you need to do to get rid of the scratches using scratch removals:

    How To Repair Deep Scratches And Chips In Car Paint

    How to Fix Chipped Scratched Car Paint

    Vehicle scratches can occur more frequently than you may think, whether its from a careless driver, loose pebbles chipping away at your paint or even a rogue keying here and there. If not dealt with quickly, deep scratches and chips exposing your cars bare metal can rust within a few days and cause serious headaches. Thankfully, Holts has the solution.

    Step by step guide:

    Whatever the shade or hue, Holts Paint Match Pro matches to your car paint, just use our handy tool to pick the right colour. Its simple to use and repairs can be done there and then on your driveway. A lot of people worry about the expense of fixing scratches like this, but Paint Match Pro means avoiding costly trips to the body shop. Follow these steps to repair the scratch, and get your car looking spot on once more.

    Read Also: Where Is Synchrony Car Care Accepted

    Types Of Car Scratches And Repairs Explained

    Car scratches are really frustrating for a car enthusiast like us. I mean nobody who loves his/her car can tolerate it and it does look really dull in our car. Before we discuss how to get it fixed, we need to understand everything about the types of scratch that our car gets. Each type has different treatment so without wasting any time lets understand each and everything about it.

    Suggested: Car Coating | Teflon Vs Ceramic | Explained

    Best Kit: Carfidant Ultimate Scratch & Swirl Remover

    This is one of two car scratch remover kits in this review. It comes with a bottle of liquid and a buffer pad. The application process is easy and only requires putting some liquid on the pad and buffing it into the scratch.

    In addition to removing the scratches on any paint finish or color, it also restores the paint, making the paint job look shiny and new again.

    Recommended Reading: Car Care One Gas Locations

    Fixing Minor Scratches On A Car

    Fixing minor scratches on a car can be a common occurrence. Whether youve got a new driver in the family or someone is careless in the parking lot, scratches happen to the best of us. Common or not, they still create quite the eyesore on your once polished paint job. If youve got a deep scratch on your hands, we recommend bringing it in for a new paint job. However, if it is a relatively small scratch, its easy enough to fix at home. Here are some directions for how to fix scratches on a car.

    More articles

    Popular Articles