Car scratches generally fall into one of two categories: The ones you can treat yourself, and the ones you should let a professional fix.
When You Can Treat Car Scratches Yourself
Run your fingernail across the scratch. If it feels smooth, it’s likely just a surface scratch that you can fix yourself. But if your fingernail catches or you feel the texture of the edges of the scratch, it may have penetrated the paint layer and is usually best repaired by a professional.
Using a Car Scratch Repair Kit
One way to treat car scratches yourself is with a scratch repair kit. These typically include a glue-like substance that is pushed out of a pen or applied to a cloth. A car scratch repair kit can be purchased in person or online from auto repair shops and major retailers. There are many different products on the market so bear in mind that results can vary.
A scratch repair kit is best used when only the clear coat surface of the vehicle’s body has been damaged, which means no actual paint has come off the car.
Touching Up Paint
If the scratch has penetrated deep enough to remove some paint, you may need to bypass the repair kits and do some touch-up work.
Start by locating the factory-paint code on the sticker in the driver side door sill or under the hood. Use this code to purchase a small amount of paint from an auto parts store or online.
Wash and dry the damaged area and then wipe it down with some rubbing alcohol. If the scratch is close to any trim or plastic work, protect and cover it with some painter’s tape.
Using a fine brush, apply a small amount of primer into the scratch and allow it to dry. Then apply a small amount of paint over the coat of primer. You may have to apply multiple of these thin coats of paint to completely conceal the scratch. Be sure to allow your work to dry between each additional layer. Covering the new, finished paint with a small amount of wax will help protect your work.
Seek Professional Help for Deeper Scratches
If you have a deeper scratch or chip, particularly one that exposes the underlying metal, we recommend having it professionally repaired to prevent rust and corrosion. The team at W&L Collision Center specializes in scratch repair and can have your car looking factory fresh again in no time. Request an estimate online or schedule your service at our Northumberland, PA location today.