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How to: Repair deep scratches on your car, the cheap and quick way


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#1 chconline

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 11:42 AM

For quite a while, there has been a very deep (Down to the metal) scratch mark on my driver's side door and the rear left door on my car. Being a black car and all, it is really ugly to look at, especially on the side I have to see at every day -- it really bothers me :P I know there are tons of scratches on my car thanks to all the sand they use here in Calgary (And my unhealthy tailgating habits), so I'm going to get my car detailed this summer. That said, detailing doesn't fix deep scratches, so I decided to get those nasty stuff out of the way first.

I would imagine this result to work MUCH better on lighter colored cars, as black is terrible to maintain. But here's what I got:

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Sorry I don't have a pic of the scratch before I applied some touchup paint. Generally speaking, it's down to the metal -- you can see the grey. Not good. So I painted it over with a good amount of touchup paint; good enough so that the entire scratch is filled. Don't worry if the paint is applied in a very ugly fashion -- It is OK to have excess; too little and this technique won't work.

Wait a day or so for the paint to dry, and then proceed.

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Next, I wet sanded the surface. I used some 3M 2000 grit sandpaper (It's like 3 bucks at Canadian Tire), and a sanding block (Which happens to be an eraser for me). Cut a little piece out, spray the surface with water, dip the sandpaper in water, and sand. Switch sandpaper at your discretion.

Wipe down the surface frequently to see how much progress you are making.

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Once everything is level, wipe it dry. Now, you will need to polish the surface. I used the 3M scratch removal kit, which is really designed for light scratches, but at this point you've already addressed the deep scratches, so same thing. Follow the instructions in the 3M kit on how to buff things out and polish the surface, wipe it down, and...

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Success! You can still kind of see the scratch close up (Excuse the water marks on my car, I just washed my car last night, and I drove the car this morning, so it's not completely clean), but it's heck a lot better than it was before. That's not to mention most people won't notice it from a few feet away :P Again, if you have a lighter colored car, the results will probably be much better.

For about $30 -- and you can fix a lot more scratches later on -- and half an hour of work (Each subsequent scratch probably takes 10 minutes to fix), I think it is well worth it. (Y)
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#2 Jyro

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:54 PM

Looks nice, that is pretty awesome considering how little it cost you!

#3 Big Bang

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 04:53 PM

(Y) The scratch is almost Invisible.
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#4 ajschwab2004

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:07 AM

Very nice!
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#5 TL6MT

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:46 PM

Haha - this is why you don't own black cars.

Good job on the repair. Just a quick tip using rotary tools to polish isn't as good. (I have a polisher at home)

#6 Big Bang

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 12:05 PM

Very nice!

woah man I never see you around. Weird.
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#7 chconline

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 01:21 PM

Yeah, it's been a while. Welcome back :P

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#8 chconline

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 02:18 PM

Just a bump. So Thursday night, I came home and parked too close to my garage door, as I was really tired and I wasn't paying attention. Well, I was the last one home on Thursday night and the last one out on Friday morning, so the garage door scraped against my rear bumper 4 times before I found out on Friday morning :no:

 

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It's a serious scratch. My 2013 Accord is in Modern Steel Metallic, which, as its name suggests, is metallic paint. This makes it a real pain in the butt to work with, considering you are not allowed to sand it. Any sanding will destroy the paint, so it leaves out an entire option for me.

 

Also, this is a really deep scratch and not something you can buff out. You can see entire chunks of paint were removed from the center.

 

To start, Honda OEM paint does not match at all, so I used some aftermarket custom matched paint I stocked up on a few months ago. It was pretty expensive, but it was a 100% match, which was very impressive. Next, I painted over all the scratches (Don't worry about excess paint), and let it dry for about 10 minutes. I buffed it out using my polisher with an Lake Country Orange Pad combined with Poorboy's Master Cut Compound. The first round repaired 90% of the scratches. I repeated this procedure 2 more times, and all the scratches were nicely filled.

 

There were some pretty stubborn scratches that won't level out, mainly because the scratch was so deep, and I am missing a clear coat. Therefore, I painted a layer of clear coat over the scratches. Clear coat is really hard to work with, because once it is dry, you can't really buff any excess off. Therefore, I applied a coat, and about 5 minutes later, I got my polisher ready and worked as fast as I could.

 

After that, I did 2 more stages of polish (Poorboy's SSR2 and Paint Sealant) to finish off the job.

 

The results, before/after:

 

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The fix is almost perfect, unless you specifically look at where the damage is.


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#9 performance_1

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:34 PM

looks like a perfect fix

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#10 TL6MT

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 09:48 PM

I have to say that's some real skills - it will cost you if you take it to a body shop.

#11 chconline

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Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:22 AM

A body shop will probably do a much better job. But yeah, with small amounts of dirt on it, and from 3 feet away, you definitely won't notice it :P


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#12 Big Bang

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 10:47 AM

I'd PAY for that Repair. Honestly.
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