Friday, 11 January 2013

Is it easy to repair a car paint scratch ?


The simple answer is Yes, if the paint scratch is not too deep and hasn't penetrated the clearcoat. How do I know ?.. that is the most common response I get to that statement.
You can do a simple check to gauge how deep the paint scratch is by  running your finger over the scratch and seeing if your fingernail catches as it crosses the damage area.
If it does it will be difficult to completely remove the scratch without rubbing the paintwork down and re-spraying the damaged area. If it doesn't that's good news as you will more than likely be able to remove the scratch or reduce so it's barely visible. Be aware that dark colours show up marks and scrapes far more than a lighter colour ie metallic silver and other lighter metallic shades.

Follow these few simple steps and see how you get on (if you ever need to):

1. Clean the area thouroughly using clean water or a light solvent.
2  Using T-Cut or a similar cutting compound (slightly wet the cloth) gently rub around the    scratched area. 
3. Use another clean cloth to buff up the area
4. Check to see if the scratch is still present
5. Repeat all steps until scratch is not visible.

Simple !!  Well it can be, but make sure you read on.

The golden rule is not to go too far too soon, as it is very easy to remove the clearcoat (the stuff that gives the shiny look to your car) and go down to the basecoat (the actual paint). If you do this you will not be able to buff the paintwork back up and will have a permanent dull patch on your car. The only way to rectify that would be to re-apply the clearcoat which is not an easy task if you haven't been trained . Also be extremely careful on any sharp edges such a door edges, swage lines etc as it is very easy to do what I have mentioned above in these particular areas.



If the scratch is deeper and there are more than one you can "touch in" the scratch, but in most cases the paint will not match in very well and will look darker. This is because the paint is put on thicker than if you use a spray gun thus altering the shade. However don't be put off because if the scratch has gone through to the metal doing nothing is not an option, by leaving, corossion can set in that's not a good Idea!! The only way to get a perfect result is to rub down the damaged area and re-spray.

Hopefully this has not sounded like" teaching a granny to suck eggs" but it may save calling out a repair technician for what is a relatively easy job if tackled in the right way
Deeper scratches can be removed, but  it may look simple until it all starts to go wrong. I have been called out to many a DIY job where the customer has bought a paint kit from a motoring outlet only to find the whole thing ending up a right mess. It's best to call a professional technician if in doubt. I've shown an example of how trying to paint in deep scratches with a touch up kit can end up looking...the customer was far happier with the results after I had removed the touch up paint, then repaired and re-sprayed the paint scratches correctly.

If you have any comments or would like to discuss any aspect of this blog please contact me at paul@scratchnscuffsaway.co.uk

Thanks

Paul