Today, I’m going to show you how to remove scratches from your car’s paint. Now there are a few types of scratches and in this video we’re going to fix the most common scratch, the clear coat scratch. There are many ways you get clear coat scratches just like this.
Maybe someone was walking up and rubbing against your car and a zipper or something grabbed the paint. Maybe someone cleaned your car, or you cleaned your car, and by mistake you had some grit or something on here and you rubbed a nice scratch into the paint.
Heck, even the other day my friend said their dog jumped up onto the side of their car because they were so excited to see them. And left a couple of nice size scratches on the side of their door. So we all know there’s tons of ways to get scratches on your car.
We’ll I’m gonna show you how to remove scratches so it goes from this To this! Using 5 simple steps you could do it at home.
- The first step is to wash down the area with soapy water and a towel.
- The second step is to mask the area so you know where the scratch is at.
- The third step is to sand the sratch with 3000 grit and then 5000 grit sandpaper
- And then the final step is to buff it with wax
And the best part is, that this can all be done at home and it will cost you only a couple of bucks. As always, all of the products that I’m using in this video are listed in the description.
If you are having a hard time finding 3000 grit and 5000 grit sandpaper, just check the description for the link. Before we get started, fixing scratches can be intimidating so I wanna explain what well be doing when we remove a scratch.
Now the paint on your car has three main layers. The first coat is a primer that goes over the bare metal of the car. The second coat is the base coat which is the paint gives your car it’s color.
And the third coat, we have a clear coat which protects the paint and gives it it’s glossy shine. This is the thickest paint layer. At one to two mills (millimeters) which is one to two-thousands of an inch To give you an idea, that’s about how thick a Zip-Lock bag or a garage bag is.
And the final layer really isn’t a paint layer but I wanted to include it because it is important. And its a protection layer called the “Wax layer” which helps fill in small imperfections. It also helps to protect against light scratches and water marks.
Now the reason you can see a scratch in the clear coat is because when light hits the scratch it stands out. On scratch free paint, when light hits the paint it reflects back in a constant pattern. But when there is a scratch the light reflects back differently and it catches your eye.
So what we are going to do is to smooth out that scratch so light doesn’t catch it anymore. So it goes from this. To this. Or from this. To this. And im going to show one more. This. To this. Since this process works on clear coat scratches, how do you know if your scratch is a clear coat scratch.
Well it is actually pretty simple. One of the easiest ways is to just get some soapy water and spray it down. And if it disappears with soapy water then its a clear coat scratch Once it dries it will come back just like that.
This happens because the scratch fills with water and the reflection matches the rest of the paint. Now with what I’m about to show you in this video you cant use it to fix deep scratches.
Like this one. Right here. You can see, unlike the clear coat scratch, when you get this wet it doesn’t disappear. So we know this is completely through the clear coat. Plus if you look closely. You can actually see the grey primer in the scratch.
A scratch this deep you need to fill with paint and add your own clear coat on top, but that’s for another video. So this method wont work on deep scratches like that. But that’s ok because with this car we have plenty of scratches all over the body that we could fix.
Like that one We have this one right here We have another one out in the front right here. And now that you guys know all about scratches I’m going to show you the five simple steps on how to remove a scratch.
And to show you how well this process works and how confident I am in this fix I’m going to create my own scratch So if your a car guy I suggest you look away. And this is a pretty deep scratch. Its like a worst case scenario so if we could get this out you could get the scratches out on your vehicle. So lets begin.
Alright step one. We wanna get our soapy water and we wanna get a clean microfiber towel If your microfiber towel still has a tag on it, make sure your rip that tag off. Because this tag could actually scratch the paint and we are trying to remove scratches not create scratches. Now we wanna clean the area that we are working on with soapy water to remove all the dirt and debris So we aren’t rubbing that dirt into the paint and causing more scratches.
This is also a good time to check to see if your scratch disappears to verify that it is a clear coat scratch. And in this case it does so we are good. Next we are going to mask off our scratch. And place the tape about a half of inch on each side because its gonna be hard to see the scratch once we start fixing it.
And now I’m just ripping off the ends of the tape So that the end of the scratch is at the end of the tape on this side and on that side Now we know exactly were the scratch is. So we have a nice area to work on. One thing to note is that we are going to move the tape up and down to create a bigger area for each step.
So we are going to work the first step in this area. And the next step we are going to get it bigger and bigger So that we are feathering in all our work so the paint blends nice and smooth So its not like there is a strong tape line here or anything.
It will be blended in nicely and you’ll see what I’m talking about in a second. The next step is to sand the scratch down If the scratch is deep and it catches your fingernail
Then you should start with the 3000 grit But if the scratch isn’t that deep and it really doesn’t grab your fingernail that much you can skip right to the 5000 grit. But I know our scratch is pretty deep.
I can feel it with my fingernail so we are going to start with our 3000 grit And what we are going to do is we wanna sand perpendicular to the scratch. So the scratch is going this way. We wanna sand up and down So against the grain of the scratch
Now a really helpful tip when sanding Grab a kitchen sponge and wrap the sponge with your sandpaper. This will prevent uneven pressure when pushing down with your sandpaper. If you are just your fingers you are going to have a pressure point where each of your fingers is at when we use a sponge that pressure is distributed across the whole sponge so the pressure on the sandpaper will be a lot more even and your sanding job will come out a lot better.
Alright now you just need to spray down the area don’t be afraid to get it soaking wet. Also spray down your sand paper. And now we are going to start sanding along this whole line perpendicular to this whole scratch so with this 3000 grit you want to push down with medium pressure Every manufacture uses a different clearcoat some clear coats are harder than others.
In general, I like to sand the scratch for about 15 seconds. And then check to see if your scratch is still there by wiping down the area with your towel Here you can still see the scratch so when you continue to sanding until the scratch is almost gone So get your surface wet again and keep sanding.
And every once and a while stop, wipe the area and check to see if your scratch is still there. If it is gone you are done with the 3000 grit If it is still there continue working until it is gone.
This may take a few tries but be patient you don’t want to burn through that clear coat. Now I need a little bit more pressures so going to remove the sponge and use the spongy-ness of the sandpaper Since this is a really deep scratch And for those whole don’t know the higher the grit number, the finer and less abrasive the sandpaper
So 3000 grit is more coarse than 5000 grit. And you can see I need to work on this area right here but if you look right here But if you look over here, most of that scratch is gone. so im just going to focus right here
Alright, that looks great I can not see the scratch anymore and that is exactly what we want but now we have this haze right here so lets move our tape up and down about another inch or two and what we want to do is get our 5000 grit sandpaper and work in this area
but also go up a little bit out into this area to feather in that work and I just want to make it clear. The goal is to make this tight because you don’t want to on this whole body panel and sand down this whole body panel Two reasons.
One you want to make the job easier for yourself. Smaller area, less work Two. Once you take clear coat off, you cant put it back on so we only want to remove clear coat in a little area Ok, so we are done with our 3000 grit Now we are going to move up to our 5000 grit.
Make sure you use the sponge again and spray lots of soapy water And spray the sandpaper too. Now we are following the same exact process as with our 3000 grit except now with the 5000 grit we are going in circular motion to cut down the scratches in all directions Plus we are moving up outside the area that we just worked in to blend in the scratches into the surrounding paint
Now lets spray down the area and clean it off to inspect our work. And this is coming out beautifully. We can take the tape off because now we can see the area that we are working in and the scratch is completely gone there is no mark at all where that scratch used to be I cant see anything. Prefect!
So now we have this area right here. That we need to polish so it looks like the rest of our paint, nice and shinny so lets move to the next step If your scratch is still there keep going with the 5000 grit until you don’t see the scratch anymore
At this point you don’t want to see any scratch If you see any of the scratch You’re going to be able to see it when you’re done so make sure you remove it completely Alright! We are on our fourth step We are almost done. In this step we want to use a really fine polish. If the polish says it will remove fine scratches and swirl-marks
That means you can use it. polish has grit in it so think of this between 5,000 and 10,000 grit Before we polish, clean the surface to remove all of the dirt. Make sure it is clean because we don’t want to rub any of the dirt into the paint and create new scratches.
And now we want to get a clean part of our microfiber towel that we have not used yet and put our polish right on the towel Now you just rub this polish in, in a circle motion We want to focus our polishing in this hazy area but we also want to feather it out into the surrounding paint.
You want a medium to heavy pressure on that microfiber towel because this is a really fine polish. So more pressure then when you were using your sandpaper. Now you could still see a slight haze here so we are going to do one more coat of polish.
When polishing, you want to attach the scratches at all angles. so polish in a circular motion and work that polish in there good. Now you want to get a clean part on your microfiber towel. And just lightly buff the surface to remove any of the polish.
HOOOLLLYYY SMOKES look at this. Now THAT is a reflection That is looking good, I cant see where that scratch was at all. That hazy spot is completely gone And now there is one last step and that is to grab your paste wax.
I suggest using a paste wax because it works better than a liquid wax in this situation. And this is going to be step five where we put down our protective layer. Not only does the wax fill in any microscopic scratches, it also protects your clear coat.
So this is a super important step. And this is as simple as wax on Then give it a minute to haze up And wax off JUST. LIKE. THAT. And check it out, this is looking great. I do not see the scratch at all, it was right about here. And if we look here.
You can see anything That scratch is completely gone the only thing you can see is this gorgeous reflection right here. This paint work is looking real good. And the best part about this is. The scratch is gone but you at home could do this.
I didn’t use any special tools or anything. It is water, sandpaper, polish, wax. That simple. And then you get results like this! And if this doesn’t motivate you then I don’t know what will. Check out this before. And after. Scratches happen no matter how hard you try to avoid them and now there is no reason to get upset because now you know how to remove them.
Hopefully this video was helpful and if you are not subscribed, consider subscribing for more automotive videos just like this. And as always the products and tools I used in this video are linked in the description so you can easily find them
And the top tip for this video is you can see here where I completely sanded through the clear coat. so you wanna make sure if your scratch is too deep you don’t want to sand too far. So even if the scratch is still there your might have to stop.
Otherwise you’ll burn right through the clear coat just like this. And then you’ll have to spray clear coat over here and sand it down and feather it in and all that extra work so just be mindful with your clearcoat because too much sanding will do that.