Fix Paint Scratches On Car Yourself – Paint repair options range from simple colored waxes and As-Seen-On-TV miracle pens to multi-level treatments that match the exact color of your car. As someone who knows how to wire, I went with the latter and tested the Automotive Touchup kit on the 1993 Ford Bronco with a postmark. It costs about $50 depending on what supplies you need, compared to $5,000 for a professional repaint. This collection of aerosol cans and sandpaper is as close as you can get to a meeting at the paint booth. Here’s how it works, and is it worth it.

Unless the car you are repairing is over 20 years old or has not been custom painted, it is almost certain that the car is clear coated catalyzed enamel. paint. Artificially hardened with non-toxic chemicals, it is durable within hours of factory use.

Fix Paint Scratches On Car Yourself

Fix Paint Scratches On Car Yourself

On the other hand, the paint you are applying, whether it is primer, color or clear, is a lacquer. Lacquers dry as the solvent evaporates, leaving the solids behind. Although they may feel hard and sandy within a few minutes, they will continue to shrink for a while. Allow lacquers to dry at least overnight until they shrink before adding another coat. If you need several coats to build the paint film to full thickness for a repair, one coat a day is best. Of course, be safe. The amount of solutions used is small, but they work in a well-ventilated area. Be sure to dampen the area with solvent before you begin.

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The factory paint code should be somewhere on your car, perhaps on a sticker or metal plaque under the hood or in the door sill. This will help a lot in finding the right touchup.

If you can’t match the color in the touchup paint display at the auto parts store, your next, albeit expensive, step is the parts counter at the car dealership, at least if you have a car that is less than 10 to 15 years old.

If you’re really stumped, a paint dealer can self-assess paint for you; Include a sample, such as the gas cap or mirror. I’ve also found great matches from and their motorcycle affiliate,, where you can mail order touchup pens and bottles, aerosol cans or quarts or larger paint cans .

Small scratches, ones that don’t go through the clear coat into the paint, or low gloss or orange peel areas can often be polished with compound. Yes, this will remove some of the clear coat, so polish the smallest area necessary or you’ll have to recoat some of that top layer of protection. Clean the panel thoroughly after you’re done to remove the scratchy finish.

Car Scratch Repairs

You need to get matching paint. This same technique can be used to repair primer coat scratches by first brushing in a layer of primer, then sanding the overcoat until it covers just the bottom of the scratch. Don’t skip that step: you’ll end up with bad tuning and/or rust.

As with any real touch kit, there are many ingredients. The box for my black Bronco (color code M1724A) includes prep solvent, rubbing material, sandpaper of various grits, rubber gloves, tack rag to pick up dust, pretaped plastic to prevent overspray ( like blue painter’s tape for your car), and cans of primer, base coat, and clear coat.

It all suggests a lot of work, which turns out to be correct. I watch one of the Automotive Touchup how-to videos and print out the instructions. I take everything out, then pick out the faintest scratches and rust spot on the hood. I wipe them down with the solvent and rag, then tape around the edge to protect my Eddie Bauer fender badge.

Fix Paint Scratches On Car Yourself

It feels really wrong to go into your fender with a 180-grit sandpaper, but that’s what you have to do. You make the track much, much worse before you make it better. I get huge, horrible white blotches on Bronco’s fender, door, hood and rear quarter panel. But it’s cathartic, in a way, to grind it down to bare metal in the name of making your car beautiful again.

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On to the sprays. First is the sand primer with a black color. It fills in the sandpaper scores with something resembling the original black, giving me instant confidence.

I add three coats to the metal as a whole, waiting five to ten minutes for each one to dry before applying the next one. This is a running theme of touch work: Spend two minutes painting and then ten minutes waiting to do another two minutes of painting.

In this way, one could, hypothetically, use several founders’ IPAs throughout the day at work.

Primer gives way to base coat, which means more aerosol cans. Each application seals in the color and protective layers below. Between sprays, you sand with ever finer paper.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Scratch On A Car?

In the end, you wet sand with 1, 500-grit, which feels slower than a sheet of construction paper. Each time, you get closer to a factory gloss finish. The final clear coat finishes off your work with a glossy finish.

The clear coat dries overnight, and I hit my handiwork with the rubbing cement to bring out the shine. And it’s clear, which brings me to an unexpected dilemma: The touch-up job looks better than the original paint.

Inevitably, nine coats of new paint looks better than decades-old factory black. For the work as a whole, I say, success. Indeed, too much success. The instructions say that an all-over wax will help it blend. Last step: Give hell with the orbital buffer and hope it merges.

Fix Paint Scratches On Car Yourself

Of course, if you’re not going to prep and paint an entire part of your car, you can try a scratch removal product like Meguiar’s ScratchX 2.0.

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Check out two sections of a Ford tailgate scraped in detail. The right side was treated with Scratch X, the left is how the whole thing looked before. It cannot deal with the deeper chips and scratches, but the light material is eliminated and returned to a glossy black.

To repair a deep scratch without resorting to a full repaint, you can also try a paint pen. This corner of my Bronco looks like it was hit by an angle grinder, so I bought a Dupli-Color Paint pen to try to improve the situation.

The paint pen comes with an abrasive tip so you can rough up the surface to accept paint. Depending on your car, you may be able to match your exact paint code. But I figured with 26-year-old paint, it wasn’t really a match at all, so I went with Universal Black.

My brushwork may leave something to be desired (you can either use a pen tip for finer scratches, or a brush for large gouges) but this section looks 100 percent better than it was before. Give it a couple of coats and some wax and it will definitely improve the look – and protect the metal.

How To Touch Up Car Paint Damage Like A Pro

Senior editor and columnist. He is now based in North Carolina but still remembers how to turn right. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and once drove 206 mph. These facts are mutually exclusive.

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Fix Paint Scratches On Car Yourself

The 8 Best Dash Cams for Your Next Road Trip The Best Remote Control Car Deals for Prime Day 2023 – inevitable. At one point or another, you’re going to be the victim of a stray tree branch, ill-judged park job, or some other mysterious incident that leaves unwanted scratches on your vehicle. Although they usually do not compromise your safety, they are annoying and unpleasant to look at. has compiled a list of tips to try if you’re determined to rid your vehicle of its beauty spots. If your vehicle has suffered a dent rather than a scratch, you can refer to another blog post for tips on those as well. If you are concerned that the scratches are too large and could affect your driving or safety, it is essential that you make an appointment with a mobile mechanic to inspect your vehicle. Even if it’s fine, it’s always a good idea to get an expert’s opinion. Our mechanics will be able to tell you exactly what is wrong and what is the best thing you can do for your vehicle.

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If you are sure that the scratches are not affecting the functionality of your vehicle, follow these tips to help you get rid of them. Keep in mind that these are just suggestions and won’t work the same for every dash on every vehicle, but we wish you the best of luck and hope your car looks great with new in no time!

If all else fails, the best thing you could do for your car is

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