How to Get Rid of Scratches on Car?

If you are reading this article now, then chances are your car got a scratch recently. It is a well-known fact that others don’t care for your car like you do. And you can’t blame pets and kids, who are also greatly responsible for scratches on cars. May it be your careless parking, bicycle handlebar of your neighbor’s kid, or a grandma’s supermarket trolley, you get annoyed and worried whenever there is even a slight scratch on your car’s paint. No matter how carefully you take care of it, scratches are bound to happen.

stages of a scratch

If the scratches or chips are small, most of those can be retouched easily. If you retouch it carefully, it is most likely to be completely invisible. However, before you start with gathering your tools for touchup, it is vital that you understand what’s in front of you. If the scratch looks white and thin, then possibly it has not gone past the clear coat. On the other hand, if the metal or body color shows, the scratch has gone deeper. Without regard to the type of scratch you’re dealing with, one most important aspect to look for before touching up your car’s paint is the temperature in your garage or wherever you’re doing the job. If the temperature is not right, the paint won’t properly stick or dry. Try to maintain the temperature between 60 and 85 F.

car with scratches

Here is a step by step guide of how to get rid of scratches on car:

Step 1: Wash your car thoroughly. Make sure it is completely clear of dust in order to clearly see the depth of the scratch.

Step 2: Feel the scratch with your finger. If the scratch feels smooth, then it’s just a minor scratch. But, if your finger nail gets caught in the scratch, it has penetrated via the clear coat and the scratch is deep. If the scratch is minor, it can be fixed easily:

  • In the case of minor scratches, there is absolutely no need for you to spend hefty sums of money in workshops for their scratch removal service. All you need is a touchup paint pen. Use soap and water to clean the area, finishing it off with a degreaser. Use the touchup paint pen to apply multiple coats on the damaged area. Remember to give some time for each coat to dry. Once the paint is dry, apply clear coat. In the end, use a car scratch polish, or any other rubbing compound, to make the area glossy.

If you are dealing with a major scratch, following are the steps you should follow.

Car scratches

Step 3: In the case of a deep scratch, you should first start by smoothening the area. This can be done using a rubbing compound like a cheese cloth. In order to not destroy the paint, it is recommended that you do this process by hand. Use circular motions to apply the rubbing compound on the scratch. Make sure you apply only little pressure and allow the rubbing compound to do its job. Once this is done, use a fresh/clean cloth to wipe away the applied rubbing compound. The scratched area may look a little dull at this point; don’t worry about it, we’re not fully done yet. This next step is very important: wash the area completely and make sure that all the rubbing compound is cleared from the scratch.

Step 4: This is the most difficult part of the entire process. In most cases, the scratch on your car will not be in a straight line. In this step, take a masking tape and slowly tape the scratch’s outline. You can do this starting from the bottom or vice versa. Take your time and cover the entire scratch with the tape. If there are multiple scratches in the same area, one touching another, getting rid of them will probably take weeks as you can only work on one scratch at a time. Once the scratch is taped off, protect the remaining area by taping newspapers over them. This makes it easy for you to spray or apply the touchup paint.

Step 5: Clean the scratched section one last time using an alcohol pad. This is extremely vital to make the paint stick properly.

Car Scratches

Step 6: It is now time to apply the paint. You can use either a paint spray can or a paint brush for this purpose. Whatever you choose, apply only even layers of paint. Even if your first application hasn’t covered the scratch fully, leave up to 10 minutes gap between each application. You can apply three to four coats, leaving enough time for the paint to dry after each coat. If the scratch is so deep exposing metal, apply a single coat of primer before applying paint.

Step 7: Now apply the clear coat by following the same procedure as in Step 6. You can apply up to three coats (even and thin) with 10 minutes of drying time in between.

Step 8: As soon as you apply the final coat of clear coat, start removing the tape carefully.

Avoid touching the area and leave it to rest for 7 complete days. After 7 days, move to step 9.

Step 9: Use the rubbing compound again as already mentioned. Follow the exact same process, complete it, and move on to the following step.

Step 10: Time for applying polishing compound (not polish). Use the same process as with the rubbing compound and apply the polishing compound on the scratched area.

Step 11: Use a paint scratch remover kit (any brand you prefer) and follow their instructions correctly.

Step 12: After you use a scratch remover as per their instructions, apply polish over the area. As always, follow the instructions specified on your polish.

Step 13: Apply wax following the same procedures as with the polish.

The deep scratches on your car will no longer be visible.

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