Different Types of Scratches & How to Fix Them with Automotive Touch Up Paint

Posted by Cristina Loayza on

Did you just notice a scratch on your car paint that is hampering its beauty? Well, this can be the most frustrating situation for any car owner. Nobody who loves his/her car tolerates this. After all, scratches on your car can potentially expose your paint or the metal beneath, which may result in rusting. The good news here is these scratches can be handled with touch up paint for car scratches, depending upon the type of scratch.

But before proceeding further, it is very important to understand the type of car scratch, depending upon which you can decide which approach to follow to fix it and use the right automotive touch-up paint.

Each type of scratch requires a different type of treatment, so here is a detailed review of the different types of scratches and how to fix them like a pro.

The 3 main types of car scratches are:

  • Clear coat scratches
  • Base coat (paint) scratches
  • Primer coat scratches

As we already mentioned that not all automotive scratches are the same and hence it is important to analyze the type of car scratch before you proceed to fix it.

Clear Coat Scratches

The car paint has multiple layers known as primer, paint, and lacquer (also known as a clear coat). As the name suggests, clear coat scratch is something that happens when there is damage on the clear coat, which is also a transparent layer aimed to protect your car paint from harmful heat, UV rays, and other external factors. This coat also gives your car paint a glossy and shiny finish. There are many reasons for clear coat scratch:

  • Improper washing methods
  • Road grime
  • Lightest accidents with cars
  • Trees and grass on the road
  • Touching paint with hands

Fixing Clear Coat Scratches

You can’t use just any automotive touch up paint to deal with this type of scratch, but the good news here is that they’re the easiest one to fix.

The first step here you want to take is to remove a bit of clear coat from the particular part and the nearby region and smoother the whole area so that the coat being applied doesn’t look odd.

Make sure to not use any harsh sandpaper to remove the clear coat. This must be done using a smooth fabric so that it doesn’t harm the layer beneath it. There are three options to fix clear coat scratched on your car.

  • Hand polish - Use this method only when you’re going to remove a few scratches as it takes a lot of time.
  • Machine polish - You can use DA or rotary machine polisher, but make sure to have good knowledge of using a machine polish method.
  • Wet sanding with sandpaper - Use sandpaper with a grade of 2000 or 3000 to remove this layer without damaging the paint of the car.

Now you want to apply wax or sealant on the affected area as this will hide those tiniest clear coat scratches.

Base Coat (Paint) Scratches

This is another common type of car paint scratch, which happens when the thinnest layer of paint is harmed. Base coat of your car paint can be black, white, red, or any other color, even pearl. It is very important to pick the right type of touch up paint for car scratches when dealing with base coat scratches. Here are common reasons for base coat scratches:

  • Car accidents
  • Hitting the wall with car doors
  • Road rocks

Fixing Base Coat Scratches

Fixing base coat paint scratches can be done with automotive touch up paint, but some steps must be taken properly to avoid any kind of hassle. The repaint job for this type of scratches includes the following steps. 

  • Wet sanding
  • Spraying paint (base) coat
  • Spraying clear coat
  • Polishing­­­­ 

In case the scratch is minor, this can be repaired with a little bit of wet sanding and polishing followed by an automotive touch up paint. But it is important to remember that this will not fix the paint scratch,

In case the scratch is minor, this can be repaired with a little bit of wet sanding and polishing followed by an automotive touch up paint. But it is important to remember that this will not fix the paint scratch, but only level out the paint around it, so the scratch isn’t visible.

Once you are done fixing this with touch up paint for car scratches, make sure to apply some paint protection for better protection of the paint.

Primer Scratches

As you know that primer is the deepest layer of paint, which appears right on the metal or plastic, protecting it from rusting and can also be used to smoothen the surface. Primer scratch appears when the damage is done to this layer of the paint and you start to see the metal beneath.

So if you start to see the metal or plastic of the car’s body, this is a primer scratch for sure. Here are some reasons for primer scratches:

  • Car accidents
  • Hitting the wall or other car
  • Scratching the vehicle with some harsh object or metal

Fixing Primer Scratches

There are various types of automotive touch up paints available that can be used to fix this type of car paint damage. But it is very important to follow the right steps. Here are the common steps that can be taken to fix primer car paint scratches. 

Step 1 - dry sanding and wet sanding
Step 2 - applying body filler if needed
Step 3 - wet sanding again
Step 4 - applying primer coat
Step 5 - wet sanding
Step 6 - spraying paint coat
Step 7 - spraying clear coat

While these steps are very easy, one must have some good knowledge of the process and if you are not a professional, then it is suggested to get the help of a specialist as they know the right methods and can help you pick the right touch up paint for car scratches to fix primer damage.

Final words

Keeping your vehicle looking shining is just as important as keeping it cleans from the inside. Following the right methods for paint correction and using the best automotive touch up paint play a very important role in the whole process. A professional’s support is always suggested when you are new to the field.

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