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How to Repair Deep Scratches in Car Paint

How to Repair Deep Scratches in Car Paint

24th Apr 2020

drying wet car with cloth

Repair Deep Body Scratches in Car Paint

Does your car suffer from deep body scratches? Scratches, unfortunately, are nearly impossible to avoid. Even if you regularly wash and wax your car, debris from the road may rub through the paint while manifesting as a scratch. While you can often polish out shallow scratches, though, deep scratches require a little more work to fix. So, what's the best way to repair a deep scratch in your car's paint?

Is Bare Metal Showing?

Scratches are most problematic if they result in bare metal showing. If a scratch penetrates all the way through the paint, it may leave your car's metal body exposed to the elements. Most cars, of course, use steel for their body. While steel is strong, it doesn't hold up very well in moisture and humidity. With a deep scratch, the exposed metal part of your car's body may rust. And if you don't take action fast to stop it, the rust will spread to other parts of your car's body.

Sand It Down

With a deep scratch that exposes your car's metal body, you'll need to sand it down with low-grit sandpaper. Doing so will help to smooth out the scratch so that it's level and easier to fill (see below). You can use either a powered sander or a handheld sanding block. Just remember to use a low-grit sandpaper, such as 80 grit, to achieve a proper surface for repair.

Add Body Filler

After sanding down the deep scratch, as well as cleaning all dust from the area, you can add body filler to it. Consisting of a two-part resin and activator, it's designed to "fill" dents and scratches in automotive bodies. Just mix the body filler together, after which you can spread it as a layer over the scratch.

Apply Primer

Now that the scratch has been filled, you can prep it for painting. You'll typically want to apply primer over the filled scratch so that the paint will adhere to it. Without primer, the paint may bubble or otherwise fail to stick to your car's body.

Apply Paint

With the primer applied, it's time to paint over the deep scratch. Don't use just any paint. Rather, look inside your car's door jamb to find the color code of its paint. Using this code, you can order paint in the exact same color.

Apply Clear Coat

The final step to repairing a deep scratch is to apply clear coat. Clear coat is a transparent layer of liquid that's designed to protect the underlying paint from ultraviolet (UV) light while also giving it a glossy and mirror-like finish.