Remove Scratches From Car Paint – Paint repair options range from simple colored waxes and as-seen-on-TV miracle pens to multistage treatments that match your car’s exact color. As someone capable with a wrench, I went with the latter and tested the automotive touchup’s kit on my pockmarked 1993 Ford Bronco. It costs about $50, depending on the supplies you need, compared to $5,000 for a professional all-over repainting. This collection of aerosol cans and sandpaper is as close as you can get to an appointment at the paint booth. Here’s how it works and whether it’s worth it.

If the car you’re repairing is over 20 years old or wasn’t custom-painted, the paint is clear-coated catalytic enamel. Artificially hardened with toxic chemicals, it stabilizes within hours of factory application.

Remove Scratches From Car Paint

Remove Scratches From Car Paint

On the other hand, the paint you apply is a primer, paint or clear, lacquer. Lacquers dry because the solvent evaporates, leaving solids behind. While they harden and can be sanded in minutes, they will continue to shrink for a while. Allow the lacquers to dry at least overnight so they can shrink before you add another coat. If you need multiple coats to build up the paint film to full thickness for the repair, one coat per day is fine. Of course, be safe. The amount of solvents used is small, but work in a well-ventilated area. Make sure to degrease the area with solvent before starting. Exqst Car Scratch Repair Paste Auto Body Compound With Polishing Grinding Paste Car Paint Scratch Repair Paste Car Maintenance And Refurbishment Care Paste

There should be a factory-paint code somewhere on your car, perhaps on a sticker or under a metal plate or on the doorsill. This helps a lot in finding the right touchup.

If you can’t match the color in the touch-up paints display at the auto parts store, your next step is the parts counter at a car dealer, albeit an expensive one, at least if you have a car less than 10 to 15 years old.

If you’re really stumped, an auto paint dealer can custom-mix you a pint; Take a sample like a gas cap or a mirror. I’ve gotten great matches from and their motorcycle counterpart,, where you can mail-order touchup pens and bottles, aerosol cans or quarts, or large cans of matching paint.

Minor scratches, areas that don’t go through clear coat paint, or areas with a low gloss or orange peel texture can usually be simply polished with compound. Yes, it will remove some of the clear coat, so polish the minimum area needed or you will need to respray some of the protective top coat. Clean the panel thoroughly when you are done to remove the abrasive compound.

How Do Body Shops Fix Deep Car Scratches?

You should get some matching color. A similar method can be used to repair primer-coat scratches by first brushing on the primer layer, then sanding the overlap until only the underside of the scratch is covered. Don’t skip that step: you’ll have poor adhesion and/or corrosion.

As with any serious touch-up kit, there’s a lot of stuff. For my black Bronco (color code M1724A) the box contains prep solvent, rubbing compound, sandpaper of various grits, rubber gloves, tack rag to pick up dust, pre-taped plastic (like blue painters tape for your car) to prevent messy overspray. and cans of primer, base coat and clear coat.

It all implies a lot of work, which turns out to be exactly what it is. I watch one of Automotive TouchUp’s how-to videos and print out the instructions. I bring everything out, then pick out the nastiest scratches and rust spot on the hood. I wipe them down with solvent and a rag, then tape the perimeter to protect my cherished Eddie Bauer fender badge.

Remove Scratches From Car Paint

It is very wrong to tend to your fender with a folded piece of 180-grit, but this is what you need to do. You make a scratch worse before it gets better. I get large, hideous white spots on the Bronco’s fenders, doors, hood, and rear quarter-panel. But grinding your car down to bare metal in the name of making it beautiful again is cathartic in a way.

Scratches On The Paintwork Of Your Car? Get Rid Of Them Easily

On sprays. The first is a black-colored sandable primer. It fills the sandpaper scores with something resembling the original black, instantly reassuring me.

I add three coats to the metal overall, waiting five to ten minutes for each to dry before applying the next. This is the running theme of touch-up work: spend two minutes painting and then wait ten minutes to paint another two minutes.

In this way, a person could, hypothetically, drink several founders’ IPAs all day during the occupation.

Primer leads to base coat, which means more aerosol cans. Each application seals in the pigment and protective layers below. Between sprays, you always sand with fine paper.

Car Paint Scratch Removal Professional Repair Liquid Waxing Universal Cars Paint Polish & Paint Restorer With Sponge Auto Supply

In the end, you’re wet-sanding with 1,500-grit, which is smoother than a sheet of construction paper. At each interval, you get closer to the factory finish shine. A final clear coat finalizes your work with a shiny shell.

The clear coat dries overnight, and I hit my craft with rubbing compound to bring out the shine. And it shines, which brings me to an unexpected dilemma: the touch-up job looks better than the original color.

Inevitably, the nine coats of new paint look better than the decades-old factory black. For overall work, I say, success. In fact, very successful. The instructions say that whole wax helps with blending. Final step: Give it the hell with the orbital buffer and hope it mixes.

Remove Scratches From Car Paint

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

How To Remove Deep Scratches From Your Car

Check out the two sections of the completely scratched Ford tailgate. The right side was treated with Scratch X, the left is how the whole thing looked before. It can’t fix deep chips and scratches, but the light stuff is eliminated and the glossy black is returned.

To repair a deep scratch without a full repaint, you can also try a paint pen. This corner of my Bronco looked like it had been buffed with 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 the paint. Depending on your car, you may be able to match your exact color code. But I came up with a 26-year-old color that somehow didn’t exactly match itself, so I went with universal black.

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

Best Car Scratch Removers For 2022

Senior Editor and Columnist. He now resides in North Carolina but still remembers how to turn right. He owns a 2009 GEM e4 and once drove 206 mph. Those facts are mutually exclusive.

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Remove Scratches From Car Paint

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Scratches Vs Scuffs

Whether it’s a brand new car or one that has seen a lot of miles in its lifetime, no one likes scratches on their ride. But what does one do about these small scratches and dings that appear seemingly out of nowhere? And how to remove scratches from this car?

Car scratches can happen for a variety of reasons. From poor parking to unintentional scratches from things placed on the hood or otherwise – these things happen and we need to know how to fix them.

Pour water over the surface of the scratch and rinse the car thoroughly. If you are using a hose, make sure the speed is not set too high.

Use car washing soap or liquid detergent to wash the scratch and scrub it with a microfiber cloth or soft sponge. Do not use any type of powdered detergent as it can cause more scratches when you clean it.

How To Remove Scratches On Car

This solution works best for superficial scratches that have barely scraped off the clear coat of paint. Often, dirt accumulates in these surface-level scratches, making them look worse than they are. So regular, gentle washing with liquid detergent and a microfiber cloth should do the trick temporarily.

Depending on the size of the scratch, add toothpaste to the microfiber cloth and scrub the scratch in circular motions. Make sure the toothpaste is a smooth paste (without small particles in it) to avoid further scratches during the cleaning process.

Wash off excess

Remove Scratches From Car Paint

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