Scratch Repair on a Vehicle

How to Perform Scratch Repair on a Vehicle

Scratches are minor imperfections which will affect the appearance of a car, but it is also possible to get rid of them with minimal effort as long as they are not too deep. However, the technique used will differ depending on the type of paint on the car. If it still has the same paintjob out of the factory, it is most likely that the paint is a catalyzed enamel with a clear coat. This is not the case with a custom paintjob or even if just the car is really old.

The first step would be to determine what kind of color it is. This is done by finding the paint code which should be located on a sticker somewhere under the hood of the vehicle or in the doorsill. If not, it can also be found in the vehicle's manual. This code is all an auto paint shop will need in order to replicate the color.

If the scratch is really shallow and does not go through the top clear coat, it is possible to remove it by simply using polish. This is done with an abrasive compound and extra caution is required in order to polish as small an area as possible since this process will remove portions of the clear coat. If it is done too much, it becomes noticeable and the area will need to be sprayed again.

In case the scratch is deeper and goes through the base coat, you will have to use paint. First the area must be cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt and dust. A solvent should also be used in order to remove any wax or oils before applying the paint to the damaged area. Since this paint is a lacquer, it will take some time for it to cure so leave it overnight.

The next day you can use wet-and-dry sandpaper together with a sponge in order to remove the leftover paint standing on the surface. Compound is used afterwards in order to take the gloss out of the damaged area which makes it easier to contain. Now you can finally add paint again in order to deal with the scratch. It is possible to add more than one layer in order to fill in the scratch completely, but time should be allowed to pass between layer applications so that the paint cures. Lastly, another round of compounding should bring out the shiny gloss out of the paint.