Car Scratch Repair – Pros and Cons of Touch-Up Paint


While a scratch may not be a big deal at all if you have an older car, it is if you recently purchased, say, a vintage sports car. In this case a scratch can be one of the most frustrating and upsetting things you can imagine. Although you made a promise to yourself that you would take excellent car of your brand new car, a visit to the department store may have resulted in your discovering a door ding or worse still you may have parked it on the street only to come back to find your car has been maliciously keyed by someone.

Sooner or later your car will get a scratch, and over time it will face many scratches, but while this is almost an inevitable fact of life and car ownership, it’s also possible that you can fix the problem yourself without going to a repair facility. After sharing your story with family and friends, colleagues and acquaintances, you may have received a rather higher percentage of people recommending the use of touch-up paint. There is actually a good reason for this type of advice. Touch-up paint does indeed provide an excellent solution. And while there are many possible solutions on how to get rid of a car scratch, it is one of the better ones.

Some of the Problems of Touch Up Paint

You will, of course, also be cautioned against the possibility of applying the wrong color; in which case, you will have made a bad situation worse. And there is also the danger of applying the paint inexpertly, so that, although it is the right color, it does not blend in with the rest of the paint. So, before you rush off to get a can of touch-up paint that perfectly matches your car, first try and see if it is necessary. You, do this, of course, by carefully examining the scratch.

Different Types of Car Scratches and Their Solutions

A car has a number of layers of paint. First, there is the steel, then a primer, followed by the color, and then the clearcoat. By understanding these layers, you will better understand the anatomy of a scratch.

Although any scratch may elicit the same level of frustration in you, not all scratches are the same. For the sake of convenience, they can be classified into three groups: mild, medium, and deep.

Mild scratches may look bad, but they are not really scratches. Marks would be a better description. Suppose your car was not assaulted by another car door or by a vandal, but by the rubber bumper on a shopping cart. Since this rubber bumper was softer than the paint protecting your car it could not tear into it, so instead it deposited a film of rubber across the paint. So what you have is a smear that left a mark on your car. So, find a lacquer thinner or an acetone, dab some on a soft cloth, and rub off the mark. If the mark does not disappear completely, then try rubbing it with a polishing compound.

Medium scratches look bad, too. But, in this case, the surface has only damaged the clearcoat, or only damaged the clear coat and the color. This leaves the primer and the steel unaffected. This is good news, because this scratch can be removed with three simple steps: first sand, then buff, and lastly wax.

Finally, if the scratch is deep, goes past the clearcoat, color, and primer to reach the steel itself your car has a deep scratch and it’s time to pursue your original plan and get some touch-up paint.

Precautions to Take When Using Touch Up Paint

Before using touch up paint, make sure that it is an exact match to the color of your car and make sure that you learn exactly how to apply it. If you take these precautions, you will be successful with your application of touch up paint.

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