If you want to learn how to fix a scratch on your car, you’ll have several methods at your disposal.
Most of them involve some serious work like sanding, applying fillers, or else and demand some serious knowledge about bodywork.
Without this knowledge, you might end up making things worse and having to seek professional help at the end of the day.
In order to avoid that, we’ll show you a way to fix a car scratch that is both simple and cheap.
The results are not spectacular, but it’s definitely worth the try especially when you have minor scratches, chipped paint or curb rashes on your car.
If you’re not in the mood for reading, you can watch a video tutorial at the end of the article or on our YouTube channel.
WHAT WILL YOU NEED TO FIX A CAR SCRATCH?
Most of the items you probably already have around the household.
- Can of spray paint
Choose the same color as your car. To find the exact match, search for the color code of your car and ask the shop to provide you with the same or similar paint.
The alternative is to buy a small quantity of paint at the paint store. A good option as they make it the exact same as on your car while with spray paints, there might be some difference.
On the other hand, canned sprays are more widespread making them easier to find and buy.
- Smaller paintbrush
I would recommend the one artists use for painting or kids use at school. A medium-sized brush would be best.
- Small cup
The cup is supposed to be filled with paint. You can also use the cap from the spray paint
- Paper towels
These are used for cleaning up the surface that you’re going to paint. You can, of course, use a cloth but paper towels have a better effect
- Surface cleaner
The best recommendation is to use glass cleaner. It has a certain percentage of alcohol in it that will de-grease the surface but won’t damage it.
Avoid using aggressive substances that may damage the surrounding paint and leave a huge stain.
- Protective mask and gloves
These are desirable because of the spray paint and because you’ll save your hands from stains. But, if you’re careful while working, you may not need these.
HOW TO FIX A SCRATCH ON YOUR CAR?
Before we start, I must mention that this method is applicable only to smaller damages on the paint job (like the mentioned chipped paint, curb rashes, or scratches).
So, make a good assessment before you start of how bad the damage is. This way you can avoid making a mess and causing even a bigger problem.
1. CLEAN THE SURFACE YOU WANT TO PAINT
Use the glass cleaner and spray a couple of short bursts onto the surface you’re going to paint.
Then use the paper towel to rub and dry the surface.
Repeat until the surface is squeaky clean.
2. SPRAY SOME PAINT INTO A CUP OR INSIDE THE LID OF THE SPRAY PAINT
Spray into the cup until liquid forms inside. A couple of bursts should be enough, the amount needed depends on how big the damaged surface is.
You can also use the lid from the spray paint, this way you don’t have to get the clean cup dirty.
3. USE THE PAINTBRUSH AND DAB SOME PAINT ONTO THE SURFACE
Now, this part is very important if you want to learn how to fix a scratch on your car.
Don’t use the brush like you’re going to paint a canvas with it. If you do, you might cause a mess on the surrounding paint job.
Rather than moving the brush from left to right or up and down, dab the paint in.
Hold the brush like you would hold a dart.
Furthermore, dip only the tip of the brush into the paint. This way, you’ll cause fewer drips.
Dab the paint onto the damaged surface until it’s completely covered.
If you want, you can protect the surrounding surfaces with some paper and tape to avoid causing a mess.
But if you use the brush and paint this way, there probably won’t be any need.
4. CLEAN ANY DRIPPING PAINT
Do this immediately after painting so the drippings don’t dry on the surrounding surface.
If they do, you might need more aggressive cleaners to take it off and this is risky for the car paint job.
Just use the paper towel and wipe it off as soon as you’re finished.
5. REPEAT PAINTING IF NEEDED
Once the paint has dried, you can see the final effect. In case you’ve missed a spot or you’re not satisfied, you can repeat the whole procedure.
Usually, if the surface is smaller and not that damaged (the filler and bodywork are intact), one time is enough.
Also, it would be good to wait for the paint to dry out completely because then you can see the final effect best.
This is one way of fixing a scratch on your car. Yes, it won’t offer any miraculous results but it will offer protection for some time on the exposed bodywork.
Also, it will help with aesthetics making the scratches less visible. This is very helpful when you want to, for instance, sell a car.
Look at all of this more as a simple, cost-effective first-aid measure rather than a final solution.
Perhaps the next best thing is to use a paint pen. It’s the same principle of fixing but has a better and more precise effect.
If you have more severe damages on the body panels, then you should maybe consider visiting a professional car body shop and letting them make the repair.
Yes, it costs more and takes more time, but nothing can beat professional and well-done bodywork.
But if you just want to fix a couple of small damages at home, in a DIY manner, and for a small amount of money, then this way of fixing a scratch on your car is perfect.
Written by: Sibin Spasojevic
Former car technician, life-long car and DIY enthusiast, author for Despairrepair.com
HOW TO FIX A SCRATCH ON YOUR CAR? YOUTUBE VIDEO