Frequently, minor scratches on the clear coat layer of automobile paint materialize after time and general wear and tear. Although the scratches may be minor, they can negatively impact the overall exterior appearance of a vehicle. The process of removing minor automobile paint scratches from the surface of a car is outlined in the step-by-step guide below.
Step One: Diagnose the Severity of the Scratch
Run your finger along the crease of the scratch in order to identify how many layers of coating have been pervaded by the abrasion. Is the scratch fine or deep? Has it grazed the clear coat or penetrated to the steel shell? If your fingernail catches in the scratch, the scratch reaches beyond the clear coat and will not buff out; come see us at Mercer Auto Body for a free consultation and estimate to repair the scratch. If your fingernail does not catch on the scratch the scrape is mild and has not reached the steel shell, and can be repaired by following the steps below.
Step Two: Gather the Proper Tools
The tools needed to repair minor paint scratches include:
- 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper
- Rubbing compound
- Orbital buffer or a cordless drill and disc/buffer pads
- Microfiber cloths
- Access to water/hose
Step Three: Prepare the Vehicle’s Surface
Wash the surface of the vehicle and pay special attention to the affected areas. Spray the paint scratches with water from a close distance with high pressure in order to remove any dust or debris.
Lightly sand the scratches with 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Apply light pressure until the clear coat paint surrounding the scratch is smooth. Tip: Sand in the same direction as the scratch.
After sanding, thoroughly wipe the area with a clean dry microfiber cloth.
Step Four: Apply Rubbing Compound
Apply rubbing compound to the affected areas and lightly spread using a buffer pad. Rubbing compound is an abrasive dissolvent that is used to both remove paint and smooth the surface of the vehicle. Tip: Act quickly—don’t allow the rubbing compound dry before taking step five.
Step Five: Buff and Polish
Set the orbital buffer’s speed to low and polish the rubbing compound and surrounding areas for approximately 10 seconds. Subsequently, set the buffer’s speed at approximately 200 RPM and buff until the dull overtone of the rubbing compound subsides. Tip: This could take up to 5 minutes.
Step Six: Wash and Wax
Wash the surface of the vehicle a second time in order to rinse away dust and leftover rubbing compound. Wax the affected area with a high quality carnauba wax and wash for a third and final time.
Repairing paint scratches can be time consuming and labor intensive. Mercer Auto Body offers an extensive variety of automotive paintwork services to include high-quality repairs to surface scratches. The team at Mercer works closely with our customers to ensure that each repair aligns with your particular needs. Call or visit Mercer today for a free consultation.
Mercer Auto Body services customers in Kennett Square, Avondale, West Grove, Landenberg, Toughkenamon, Hockessin DE, Chadds Ford, Unionville, and Concordville.