If your car has a noticeable scratch that does not go through all layers of paint to the metal, you can remove it by using sand paper, compound and wax. If you have never done body work before, you may want to seek out professional help. However, if you are an adventurous do it yourself-er with a bit of experience detailing your car, this blog will take you through the process step by step.
The first step is to tape off the area surrounding the scratches so that the finish blends evenly. If you focus the repair too narrowly on the scratch it might be noticeable to the naked eye. Several inches surrounding the scratch should be a large enough work area so that the finish blends evenly.
After you tape off the area you can begin sanding. At Barry’s Auto Body, we begin by dry sanding the scratch using products from the Eagle line of sand paper such as Buflex a 3,000 grit sand paper and Tolex, a 1,500 grit sandpaper.
Dry sanding is preferred to wet sanding because it makes less of a mess and the new products work just as well. The sand papers we recommend contain a lubricant.
Begin with the Tolex which is a coarse 1,500 grit sand paper. Use muscle when sanding and you should see the scratch begin to disappear. Remember to sand the entire area surrounding the scratch.
Once you have sanded the scratch enough so that the finish feels even to your fingertips, sand the area again with the less coarse sand paper which is the Buflex 3,000 sand paper. This step will provide a smoother finish than the first step.
The next step is to use an orbital sander with the Buflex sand paper attached to its head. This step will further smooth the finish until it feels silken to the touch.
The next step is to apply a light compound using an orbital polisher with a foam pad head. The compound will smooth out any marks left from the sand paper.
After the compound application is complete, we recommend applying an environmentally friendly polish using an orbital polisher. We use Presta products which are water based. This step will leave a smooth, glass like finish to the touch.
The final step is to use a microfiber cloth to clean up the polish residue. This step is extremely important for dark color cars.
For scratches that go through the paint down to the metal, it will be necessary to use touch up paint. Applying touch up paint requires experience and know how so we recommend that you come see us at Barry’s Auto Body. We will get your finish back to new condition in no time.