How to repair keyed car paint

It happens all the time. Your shiny, new car is keyed whether you have accidentally brushed a metallic point on its surface or someone deliberately made a huge scratch on the panel. But, is it worth to bring it to the garage for costly repair or is it more prudent and economical to fix the damage yourself? We look at the steps involved on how to repair keyed car paint.

Easy tips

  • Find out if the scratch is superficial or deep

To do this, simply run your fingernail along the scratch or perpendicular to it and check if it is deeply gouged or just on the surface. You can also use contrasting colours to see the extent of the damage. Shoe polish is a good material to check how deep or light the scratches are. If you have a light-coloured car, use a black shoe polish and for dark-painted panels, use a white one. Smear a coating of shoe polish on the surface to estimate the surface area that needs to be treated.

  • Buy a wet/dry sandpaper

For light scratches that do not touch the primer, the best thing to do is to get a wet/dry sandpaper from auto repair shops. Attach the sanding paper on a wooden block for a good grip. Sand the surface very carefully where the scuff marks are. The aim is to get at the level of the painted surface. Immerse or rinse sanding paper in a pail or bowl of cold water frequently. You might also want to add detergent in the water to cut through the scratch easily.

  • Use a rubbing compound

Move softly up and down the length of the keyed area using rubbing compound on a fabric to polish it. You can also use a polishing wheel or an oscillating polisher to refine the results.

  • Top off with a coat of car wax

Restore shine and give protection to the damaged area with a coating of car wax.

  • Use auto scratch pen

Other light scratches can also be fixed with an auto scratch repair pen. However, if you don't know how to repair keyed car paint, it is wise to practice on a surface before fixing your car.

  • Fix keyed area with a brush

Another method of fixing keyed car paint is to use a brush. This method is ideal for small areas in many areas of the panel. The brush tip is dipped in paint and lightly applied on the affected areas in thin layers.

Learning how to repair keyed car paint can save you tons of money. Clearly, if you don’t have the patience or the steady hand to do this type of work, you’re better off taking your ride to the garage for professional repairs. However, if the scratches are just minimal, try your hand on these simple methods and see the difference it makes on your car and pockets.

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