With most minor scratches and minor scratches in a car’s paint job, the owner has the opportunity to improve the appearance without the expense of a professional body shop. Of course, you will have to purchase the correct supplies to do the job correctly. Basically, the purchase of some special car compound and primer paint will get you started.

As with any paint-related task, it is essential to clean the area to be worked on. A standard but mild soap specifically for washing cars should be fine. A gentle sanding around the edges of the scratch is also necessary. After completing this process, be sure to completely clean the area again.

Painting any area on a car body, or the entire body, requires some detailed “masking.” This means that you should use this type of tape along with a few sheets of newspaper to make sure that you don’t affect any area except the scratch site. At this point, you can put the compound on the scratched spot with a putty knife. But be sure to use a plastic, rather flexible knife to avoid further damage!

After the compound is fully dried, give the area a light sanding and make sure that all the dust and debris is removed carefully. Then it’s time to use your spray primer, applying a light coat from the correct distance. Follow paint-manufacturer instructions carefully to get the smoothest surface.

Other body/repair experts suggest using specially designed “touch up” paint and some rubbing compound to achieve similar results on scratches that are of medium depth. In this process, you may apply some touch up paint first, make sure the excess is removed carefully, then rub or buff the area smooth. This may not be a perfect solution to a scratch problem but it will cover and protect scratched areas.

Some of the other methods include using a good rubbing compound and a high-quality wax will help with some of the minor scratches. The compound is applied with a very mild abrasive cloth or material. Most experts suggest that the novice experiment with some of the methods by practicing on a part of the car that won’t be seen on a regular basis. These experienced body-repair people also urge car owners to only try scratch repair on older cars because a poor job on a newer car can significantly affect the vehicle’s value.

Once the area is covered and seems satisfactory to the eye, it is important to use a good wax and buffing to properly protect the scratched area. Tip: It is always crucial to make sure all the rough spots and rust are removed before applying any paint or rubbing compound.

As you read about making scratch repairs on your own and decide which materials and equipment you need, make sure you talk to a professional in the parts department or auto supply store. They should be able to find a touch-up paint that will exactly match the original vehicle color.


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Lucas Beaumont
Generalist. Wikipedia contributor. Elementary school teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

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