4 Easy Steps to Fix Car Scratches

November 5, 2013

Learning to fix car scratches yourself can actually be more convenient than taking your car to a detailer every time your car gets the tiniest scratch.

Band-Aid Car Fix

There is an easy way to fix car scratches that many car owners probably aren't aware of. This simple step-by-step guide uses a progressive repair system to leave an invisible repair on your vehicle paintwork without having to spend a fortune at the local car body shop. The tools and materials you'll need are:

  • Bucket and water
  • P2000 abrasive paper
  • Rubber block
  • Cutting compound
  • Machine glaze
  • Touch-Up paint
  • Touch-Up clearcoat
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Polishing mop

The Average Cost for Repairing a Car Paint Scratch >>

The following four steps are all you need to fix most car scratches:

Sand the Scratch
Fill a bucket with tepid water and locate the scratch on your vehicle. A visual check should tell you how bad the scratch is. In many instances, the abrasion will only cut through the first layers of protective clearcoat. This is very easy to rectify. Wrap a length of P2000 abrasive paper around the rubber block and dip it into the water so the scratch can be wet sanded.

Gently rub around the scratch using the block to work into the contours of the car panel. Let the paper do the work and don't press to hard. After a few seconds, wipe the panel dry with a piece of cloth. If the scratch isn't too deep, it should have been rubbed out of the first layers of paintwork and all that will remain is a dull area in the same color of your vehicle.

Touch Up the Paint
Sometimes, a scratch can run below the surface of the paint and reach through to the metal panel on your car. If this is the case, wet sand the area around the scratch gently to create an adhesive surface and dry thoroughly. Using a fine paintbrush, dab a small quantity of touch-up paint into the scratch and allow do dry. Wet sand any surplus paint until only the scratch has been filled with paint. This color will still be sat below the surface of the scratch so once it is dry, apply a coat of touch-up clearcoat into the scratch and once again, leave it to dry thoroughly.

Once the clearcoat is dry, use the P2000 paper and block to sand the material down until it is level with the surface of the car panel. Irrespective of whether you have had to use touch-up materials or the scratch came out by wet sanding, you are now ready to proceed.

Make sure the surface of the car panel is clean and dry before applying a small amount of cutting compound in the center of the repaired area. Using the polishing mop, rest the mop head on the compound and start the machine. Use a steady motion and keep the mop moving to prevent it from burning through the paint. Wipe the area clean periodically to check that the cutting compound has brought the sanded area back to a shine. Continue adding small amounts of compound and continue polishing until a good sheen is achieved.

In the same way as you applied cutting compound, apply a small amount of machine glaze over the repaired area. Once again, use the polishing mop to buff the machine glaze until the paint on your car panel comes up to a classic showroom shine.

How to Use a Car Paint Pen for a Professional Fix >>