Depending on the type of scratch you have, you will need to use a different car paint repair method. Scratches can go through 4 layers: clear coat, paint, primer, and metal. Most scratches go only into the clear coat without damaging the paint layer. Sometimes, it looks like you have a scratch, but really it could be just a mark. To make it easier for you, I put together step-by-step tutorials with detailed instructions, photos and product recommendations for each type of scratch.
First thing you need to do, before repairing any type of scratch, is to wash your car. The goal is to get rid of all the grease and wax around scratched area without removing wax from the rest of your car. Use dishwashing soap or auto detergent designed to remove waxes, oils and sealers around the scratch. You want to start your car paint repair with a clean and dry area free from any contaminants. After washing, dry completely.
Next, follow one of these tutorials below:
|How to Remove Residue Marks|
Some scratches are really just residue marks. If an object that is softer than the car’s paint, like bumper of another car, rubber bumper of a shopping cart or wooden post, rubes against the car’s body, it will deposit a material on top of the paint surface without going through the clear coat. Residue mark is the easiest thing to remove.
|How to Repair Clearcoat Scratches|
Most scratches only damage the clear coat leaving the paint layer unscathed. If an object harder than the car’s paint brushes against the clear coat, it will leave a scratch. These kind of scratches can be caused by bushes, keys and fingernails around the door handle, by drive-through car wash and etc. Clear coat scratches are easy to remove.
|How to Repair Minor Paint Scratches and Chips|
These are chips and scratches that went through the clear coat and the paint but didn’t damage the primer. The fact that primer is intact is important, because once the metal is exposed to air, rust can set in. These kind of chips and scratches can be caused by road debris, branches, little stones, or by negligence of others. To repair them, you will need to do some paint touch up and sanding. It will take you slightly longer than fixing clear coat scratches, but is still relatively easy to do.
|How to Repair Deep Paint Scratches|
Deep scratches and chips can penetrate not only the paint, but also the primer. Some of them might even go into the metal. Repair these scratches as soon as possible to avoid permanent rust damage. This is a medium difficulty repair.