How to Fix a Scratch on a Car


Sooner or later every car will get a scratch or two, it is just part of the life cycle of a vehicle. If the scratch isn't too deep there are ways to get rid of the scratch. Small scratches can be fixed with touch-up paint. Larger ones may require the use of paint sprayers and professional help.



Things You'll Need

  • Primer Paints
  • Touch-up Paints
  • Sandpaper
  • Putty Knives
  • Body Compounds
  • Masking Tape
  • Old Newspapers
    • 1

      Determine whether your car's paint is enameled; if it isn't, proceed (see Warning).

    • 2

      Obtain body compound and primer paint. Primer is usually in spray-can form, comes in several colors and is generally labeled for automobile use. It's best to pick a light primer color that your touch-up paint will cover easily in one coat.

    • 3

      Wash the scratch and surrounding area with a mild laundry detergent. This removes any wax or coatings that would otherwise affect the new paint you'll apply.

    • 4

      Sand along the scratch with fine-grained sandpaper, being sure to sand away any rust that has accumulated.

    • 5

      Blow away all dust from the sanding, or use a soft brush.

    • 6

      Use masking tape and newspaper to isolate the scratch, leaving about a half-inch of working room around the scratch.

    • 7

      Using a putty knife, apply body compound to a scratch that's deep into the metal. The knife should be made of plastic to avoid adding more scratches.

    • 8

      Let the body compound harden according to label instructions.

    • 9

      Sand the body compound flat.

    • 10

      Blow or brush away all dust.

    • 11

      Spray a small amount of primer paint to the scratch. Let the area dry overnight.

    • 12

      Identify the touch-up paint color you need by first checking your vehicle identification number (VIN), which is stamped into a small metal plate located on the dashboard on the driver's side.

    • 13

      Provide this number to an auto parts store or an online site selling small bottles of touch-up paint. The VIN describes your car right down to its particular shade of paint, so matching your color is a breeze.

    • 14

      Use the touch-up's applicator brush to paint the area.

    • 15

      Let dry overnight.

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