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How to repair a scratch on car bodywork

Scratches, chips and imperfections on a car’s bodywork are unsightly and annoying but they can be pretty easily removed as long as you don’t leave it to get worse. Our guide will show you how to repair a scratch on a car bodywork in a few easy steps.
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Step 1

Before you reach for the touch-up paint, you should make sure you understand what you’re dealing with. If the scratch is white and thin, it probably hasn’t penetrated through to the clear coat so it can be polished out. If it’s the same colour as the body or you can see metal through, you’ve got a tougher job ahead and the following steps will help you restore the bodywork,

Step 2

Most cars will have a factory-paint code listed somewhere, probably on the doorsill or on a plaque under the bonnet. This will help you identify the correct touch-up paint to use. You should be able to get the paint from a car parts retailer like Halfords. If not, you’ll have to visit a dealership’s parts section.

Step 3

When you’ve got the touch-up paint, use a solvent to degrease the area before you start. Use the touch-up pen to apply the paint into the scratch. Don’t worry about overlapping with the non-scratched paintwork.

Step 4

Allow the paint to cure overnight. Once that’s done, use fine sandpaper wrapped around a wooden block to gently polish the surface. When this is done to your satisfaction, use a compound to chase the gloss back into the damaged area. Don't wax your car for at least 30 days to allow the solvents to escape.

Other scratches

If your scratch is just a minor blemish, you may not need to buy touch-up paint. In this scenario, all you have to do is clean the surface to remove dust, mask nearby trim and then apply a small amount of polish in a circular motion onto the affected area. You can use a white cloth or a pad. Whatever you use to apply the polish, make sure it’s clean. When you’ve polished the area, buff it dry. Always go slowly and keep checking the scratch to see if it’s still visible.

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