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.
- Primer Paints
- Touch-up Paints
- Putty Knives
- Body Compounds
- Masking Tape
- Old Newspapers
Determine whether your car's paint is enameled; if it isn't, proceed (see Warning).
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.
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.
Sand along the scratch with fine-grained sandpaper, being sure to sand away any rust that has accumulated.
Blow away all dust from the sanding, or use a soft brush.
Use masking tape and newspaper to isolate the scratch, leaving about a half-inch of working room around the scratch.
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.
Let the body compound harden according to label instructions.
Sand the body compound flat.
Blow or brush away all dust.
Spray a small amount of primer paint to the scratch. Let the area dry overnight.
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.
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.
Use the touch-up's applicator brush to paint the area.
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