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How to Fix Rock Chips & Scratches in My Vehicle's Paint

Updated February 21, 2017

Unfortunately, rock chips are a normal consequence of driving on public roads. Small stones damage the clear coat and create scratches that can ruin an otherwise great paint job. Fixing rock chips and scratches in your vehicle's paint will require doing some detail work. The detail work involves using a three-stage polishing process that will restore your vehicle's paint job to a high-gloss, smooth finish.

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  1. Wash the vehicle with soap and water using a sponge.

  2. Dry the vehicle using a lint-free towel.

  3. Apply a liberal amount of the Stage 1 cutting cream to the paint-chipped area. Then work the polish into the paint's surface with an orbital buffer until the surface of the paint becomes dull and the scratches and swirls disappear.

  4. Repeat Step 3 with the Stage 2 and Stage 3 polishes. The Stage 2 polish is a mild abrasive and will further smooth out the paint. The Stage 3 polish will give your paint a deep "wet" look and should remove most, if not all, of the remaining scratches.

  5. Wipe the paint surface down with a clean, lint-free towel.

  6. Apply touchup paint to any area where the scratches or chips have cut into the clear coat and where bare metal is showing. Unfortunately, there is no way to permanently fix these kinds of damages, but you can apply touchup paint to cover the exposed metal to prevent it from rusting.

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Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Water
  • Sponge
  • Lint-free towels
  • Stage 1 polish (cutting cream)
  • Stage 2 polish (mild abrasive)
  • Stage 3 polish (smoothing polish)
  • Orbital buffer
  • Buffer pads
  • Touchup paint

About the Author

eHow Contributor

This article was created by a professional writer and edited by experienced copy editors, both qualified members of the Demand Media Studios community. All articles go through an editorial process that includes subject matter guidelines, plagiarism review, fact-checking, and other steps in an effort to provide reliable information.

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