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The best tips for auto scratch removal involve using the proper solutions, tools, and methods for the specific type of scratch. Automobile paint scratches vary by size, type, and depth. Some scratches are simple surface scratches that barely affect the car's clear coat. Other scratches are deeper and may make it all the way down through the car's paint and into the sheet metal.
Light surface scratches can generally be buffed out with a polishing compound and a machine-operated automotive buffer or a hand polish cloth. One must exercise caution when using a machine-operated buffer for scratch removal. If used improperly, the buffer could wear down the surrounding paint area and remove its luster. For this reason, it's best to consult a professional detail shop for light surface scratches, unless one is able to buff the surface scratches out by hand.
There are two options for scratch removal when dealing with deeper scratches. The first option is to sand down the area and repaint it. This usually requires the assistance of a professional experienced in auto scratch removal and automotive painting. A professional will ensure the paint is applied evenly so it matches the surrounding area.
The other option for dealing with deeper scratches is using automotive touch-up paint, which is available at many automotive stores. Touch-up paint should be specifically designed for the brand of car, and the paint code on the bottle should be matched up with the code on the car's driver side door jamb. If the paint codes do not match, the spot touched up will be a different shade from the rest of the car. The area should be clean before applying the touch-up paint, the paint should be gently brushed one layer at a time over the scratch, and the area should be allowed to dry before another layer is applied.
The touched-up may have to be buffed after the touch-up paint is applied. A hand buffing towel may be used, or a professional may be consulted for use of a machine-operated buffer. Buffing the area will aid in scratch removal by blending the paint with the surrounding area.