There are two things every driver wishes of his or her car:
That the inside will always smell like new, and that the outside will always look like new.
Of course, these both can be fleeting wishes, but we hope these tips for proper scratch repair will, at the very least, keep your vehicle presentable for as long as possible.
If the scratch on your vehicle is of the smaller variety, you can probably take care of it on your own. Larger ones will require the use of paint sprayers teamed with professional help.
For the do-it-yourself scratch repairs, first determine if your car has an enameled based paint, as some of the paint jobs on newer models won’t blend well with lacquer-based primer paint. You can always consult your local auto parts store or the dealership where you bought your car before you begin work. They can both help determine your car’s exact color. Remember to bring your VIN number with you!
Now, put automobile-specific primer paint in a lighter color and body compound that will go on easily in one coat. This can usually be found in spray-can form.
Wash the scratch and surrounding area with a mild laundry detergent. Then sand along the scratch with fine-grained sandpaper, taking care to brush away any dust that may accumulate. Try to use the softest brush you can find.
Next, use masking tape and newspaper to isolate the scratched area, leaving about a half-inch working space around the scratch.
Using a puffy knife (stay far, far away from any metal ones!), apply your body compound to any deep scratches. After the compound hardens, sand the compound flat and brush away all the excess dust. Spray a small amount of your primer to the scratch and let it dry overnight. Apply the touch-up paint to the scratched area with the applicator brush that comes with the paint, and again let dry overnight.
Presto! Your car should be as good as new. Remember, if a scratch or scrape is left alone for a long time with no attention given to it, the area can start to rust, which can be impossible to curtail once it has started. And again, if the scratch is severe, take it to your local dealership or auto body shop to ensure you don’t cause more harm than good to your vehicle!