Cars/Motorcycles, Repairs

How to remove scratches on a car

best way to remove scratches on a car

What is the best way to remove scratches on a car? Our step-bystep guide takes you through the process of what to do to fix the damage.

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Scratches on the car are of course very annoying. However, there are often simple solutions to remove minor paint damage even at home without much effort. First you can test whether the scratch can be removed with normal car polish. Superficial damage can be polished out of the paint quickly and easily without much work.

However, if the paint scratch is deeper, you usually cannot avoid a partial paint job. With the right materials, you can do it yourself. Here we explain what is needed and how it works.

You need these things:

  • 1 can of car paint (the correct color is best found with the original paint name of the manufacturer)
  • 1 can of clear lacquer
  • 1 can of primer (suitable for the respective surface, for plastic parts it is also recommended to use a special plastic primer)
  • 1 clean cloth
  • fine sandpaper
  • cleanser
  • Cloths
  • Masking tape
  • newspaper

Steps to remove scratches on a car

1) You can feel deep scratches with your finger. Before you start priming, you should carefully sand the area until it is smooth again. Use caution and use very fine sandpaper or a suitable sponge. For plastic components in particular, it is advisable to moisten the sanding paper with water so that the temperatures during grinding are lower. This makes it easier and more thorough to work.

2) Mask the area to be painted thoroughly so that no paint can get on the surrounding areas. Find suitable edges and use the masking tape to attach parts of a newspaper that covers the adjacent areas.

3) Thoroughly clean the area to be painted. It is important that the surface is completely free of dirt and grease, otherwise the primer and paint cannot adhere properly. For a proper painting result, it is therefore absolutely necessary to clean the area before and between the individual work steps.

4) Read the instructions for use on the spray can before using it. Usually the aerosol can has to be shaken for some time. In addition, certain temperature ranges are often prescribed for use. Then take a piece of the newspaper and spray on it gently to get a feel for the paint job. Then work on the car can begin.

Hold the can about 20-30 cm away from the car and move it evenly from left to right when spraying. It is better to apply a little less color and repeat the process after drying. If you apply too much color at once, unsightly noses will appear in the paint, which will have to be sanded out later. Less is more here!

Drying the individual layers of paint is very important for the end result. Make sure that the applied varnish has dried completely before continuing with the work.

5) As with point 4 with the primer, the paint spray is now also used. Ideally, several layers of the lacquer are applied. It is therefore not a problem if primer is still visible in places during the first pass.

6) Once the color varnish has dried, the clear varnish comes last. For a uniformly glossy surface, it is also important to spray several layers one after the other. The clear coat later protects the basecoat from fading and superficial damage.

The scratch should no longer be visible. It is important that there are a few things to consider when applying fresh paint. What exactly? You can also find out on our blog!

If you prefer to leave the work to professionals, you should compare several offers beforehand. 

gerhardt-richter Gerhardt Richter is a writer and a trainer at trade technical colleges, specializing in carpentry, plumbing, mechanics and construction.