How to repair deep scratches on your car, the cheap and quick way | Lounge

By: Jonathan Kwan
January 26, 2012

From the archives: This article has originally appeared on our forums.

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. 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:

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.

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.

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...

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. 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.