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How to cover scratches on your car

Updated April 17, 2017

Small scratches on cars are a common occurrence. It is possible to repair the scratch yourself and avoid the expense of taking your car to the bodyworks garage. Repairing a scratch may be as easy as applying a rubbing compound to it. Other scratches may require a touch-up paint job. In either case, the process is relatively simple and straightforward. Once you have learnt the process, annoying scratches can easily be taken care of.

Determine the severity of the scratch. A minor scratch caused by a key is a quick fix. Apply some rubbing compound to a rag and slowly buff it over the scratch until it blends in with the surrounding area. Apply a glaze or polish over the area to get rid of the haze from the compound. If the scratch is more severe, proceed to the following steps.

Wash the area around the scratch. It is necessary to remove the wax and coating that will interfere with the new paint. Use a mild detergent and sponge. Once the area has been washed, sand the area with fine-grain sandpaper. This will make the paint adhere better. Brush away the dust.

Write down the vehicle identification number. The identification number is located on a small metal plate on the driver's side of the dashboard. It contains all of the information about your car, including the particular paint used.

Purchase the appropriate paint. Take the identification number to a local auto supply shop. They will provide the correct paint for your car based on the identification number.

Cover the area around the scratch with paper. Use masking tape to hold the paper in place. Cut a hole in the centre of the paper that allows access to the scratch.

Spray the area with touch-up paint. Allow it to dry overnight. Remove the paper and you are good to go.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags
  • Spray touch-up paint
  • Paper
  • Masking tape
  • Polish
  • Rubbing compound
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About the Author

Robert Russell began writing online professionally in 2010. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and is currently working on a book project exploring the relationship between art, entertainment and culture. He is the guitar player for the nationally touring cajun/zydeco band Creole Stomp. Russell travels with his laptop and writes many of his articles on the road between gigs.