How To Repair Deep Scratches On Car Paint – Want to fix deep scratches on your car? Maybe you need paintless dent repair? How much does it cost to repair deep scratches on a car and what methods do body shops use to repair deep scratches and dents?
There are several options for how body shops repair scratches and dents. One will surely fit into your budget.
How To Repair Deep Scratches On Car Paint
The need for car paint repair is inevitable. All cars will get scratches, chips and scrapes, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave them there. Deep scratches reduce the protection of the car that the paint provides. This makes the metal prone to possible corrosion.
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The most common paint used in automotive factories today is clear coat catalytic enamel. However, the touch-up will be paint, regardless of whether it is applied at the dealership, by yourself, or by a body shop.
Unlike enamel, all lacquer-based paints, whether clear, colored or primed, shrink as they dry. So while this repair can be done at home with some research and minimal expense, a dealership or reputable body shop can give you a professional result.
Dealerships can charge anywhere from $50 to $300 for as little as 2 ounces of VIN-matched paint, and another $500 or more to fix a major scratch. Even a small scratch is usually worth at least $150-$200. A body shop can often do the job for less than a dealership.
Body shops use three different types of scratch paint repair. The following methods can repair deep scratches on your car’s bumper, depending on your car, as well as other areas of your car.
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This is the least expensive option in the workshop, but it has its drawbacks. The body shop will start by using your VIN number to match the exact color. But color matching does not guarantee a perfect match of finish and feel of the repair compared to the rest of the car.
But if you’re most concerned about money and a scratch in a non-visible area, this might be the right solution for you.
This is a quick and inexpensive solution. It is often preferred when working with flat colors. This is a method often used by dealerships to repair used car defects.
Both airbrushing and touch-up paint are considered short-term (approximately 2 years) and can flake off over time. But then again, you can’t beat the price.
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A complete repair of metal or pearl trim is often necessary. This is the most permanent fix. This is a more complex and expensive process that involves many layers of sanding, priming, filling, wet sanding and finally painting, and is done for the entire panel at once.
A cheaper alternative to many coats is to use a combination base/clear coat in the shop. A combo base/clear coat can cost between $600 and $700. You can also cut costs by doing some or all of the work yourself if you’re willing to invest some time.
Paintless dent repair (PDR) is an inexpensive and quick method used when the factory paint is not damaged. Dents and dents can usually be repaired in about an hour, and the cost is usually only half that of a paint job. PDR has many advantages, but cannot be performed in some cases where the scratches are very deep or when the paint is cracked.
The location of the dent can also be a factor in whether PDR will work. Repairs can range from less than $75 to several hundred dollars.
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In this article, you will find out how much it costs to repair deep scratches and dents on a car. The answer? It can be just as expensive or cost-effective depending on your wallet and aesthetic preferences. Whether you’re trying to repair deep scratches on your car’s bumper or repair deep scratches on other areas of your vehicle, your body shop should have an option for you. Deep scratches that leave exposed sheet metal and possibly even creases or dents can be difficult to repair. But worse can happen if you just let the scratch fester, because moisture and oxidation will seep under the paint and cause all kinds of trouble. The best thing to do is take a deep breath and start repairing the damage – and the good news is that anyone with the right tools and a little patience can learn how to make it look like it never happened, or at least keep it from deteriorating.
1) Clean – The first step in fixing any paint scratch is to thoroughly clean it and the area around it. Wash the surface with mild soap and water, rinse well and dry with a lint-free cloth. You must get rid of all traces of the old wax because it will prevent the new paint from adhering properly. Automotive paint shops sell special cleaners designed to remove all traces of wax, grease, silicone and other sealants from the paint – buy them and use them!
2) Rust – Use wet or dry 320 grit sandpaper to remove all traces of rust, then use a chemical rust remover (follow directions on container). Reapply wax/silicone remover.
3) Sand the Edge – Sand the repair area with medium 320 grit sandpaper, but not so hard that it goes through the paint. All you have to do is rub the top layer and start rubbing the edges of the scratch. In order for the new paint to hold properly, you need to give the old paint a sufficiently rough “tooth”, and so that scratches are not visible, the edges should be smooth.
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4) Sand the area – Then sand the entire area with 400 grit sandpaper using a hose or bucket of water to get the paper clean. After sanding, the finish should be almost as smooth as the original painted surface, but without the shine.
5) Touch – The area should blend (very gradually) into the surrounding paint. If you feel a ridge when running your hand over the area, sand a little more with 400 grit until smooth.
6) Primer – Apply a light coat of primer to the area, then allow it to dry before applying another light coat. Very light coats will avoid streaking or sagging, but you should let the first coat dry before applying the second.
7) Damp Sand – Allow the primer to COMPLETELY dry (check the instructions, but usually at least an hour), then get out a hose or bucket and sand the primer with wet 400 or 600 grit sandpaper. Work the area very lightly with the paper. The idea is to get a smooth primer. When you sand the primer completely, just spray another light coat, let it dry and sand some more. If you leave the primer rough, or have a crack where it meets the existing paint, it will still remain after you spray paint over it.
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8) Clean again – Wait until the primed area is completely dry, then wipe it with a tack cloth to make sure there is no dust left on the surface. The key to great coloring is thorough preparation.
9) Paint – Spray a light “fog” coat of paint over the repaired area. The paint coating should be so thin that you can still see the repaired area. This mist coating is only intended as an adhesive base for subsequent paint coats.
10) Second coat – Spray on the second coat. Make sure it’s heavy enough to cover the repair, but not so heavy that the paint runs or sags. Several thin coats are better than one thick one. Allow each layer to dry to the touch before applying the next.
11) Clearcoat – Most cars use a two part basecoat/clearcoat paint system. After the color coat is dry, it is common to apply several thin coats of clear coat to protect it and give it more shine. If you want a near-OEM finish and strength, use 2K clear coat with an activator button on the can – it cures like an epoxy in hours.
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12) Sand – Allow the paint and varnish to dry for a few days (a week is best), then very gently use a very fine sanding compound to blend the new paint into the existing finish. If done correctly and followed by a thorough cleaning of the old paint and a new coat of wax applied to the entire area, you won’t be able to tell where the repair was made. Home » Blog » Help and Tips » How to Repair Deep Scratches and Chips on Car Paint (If the Primer is Open)
Many things can cause your car’s paint to get scratched, whether it’s from a careless driver, loose pebbles that have chipped off your paint, or even a fake key here and there. If not addressed quickly, deep scratches and chips that expose your car’s bare metal can rust for days and cause serious headaches. Fortunately, Holts has a solution.
Our guide to repairing car paint scratches and chips can help you complete a professional repair with just a little help
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