Tips for Removing Vehicle Exterior Scratches

May 14th, 2020 by

Without getting too existential, the world is truly an unforgiving place. Around every corner there’s always something that can jump out at you and just scratch up your whole day. You may be thinking that we’re talking about life, but we’re actually talking about your vehicle and its paint! Driving around just about anywhere, especially around the Clermont area (I4, right?), has its hazards and you could wind up with a few new scratches and dings in your paint by the time you pull back into your driveway. While we offer various forms of vehicle paint repairs, we know it can get pricey when you factor in the labor and parts necessary to get the job done.

Luckily, if you’re a fan of DIY car care, we’ve got the perfect project for you. At Toyota of Clermont we’re going to walk you through how to repair simple vehicle paint scratches so your vehicle paint can get back to looking shiny and new again!

Clermont Toyota vehicle paint repair

Fixing Scratches in Your Vehicle’s Paint

Before you dive into the buffing, sanding, and polishing that goes along with vehicle paint repair, there are a few things you should do first. One, you should begin by assessing the type of scratch you’re working with. Your Clermont vehicle’s paint is created and achieves its shine by using several layers of products including the: base body panel, primer, body coat of paint, and clear coat. Scratches, depending on how deep they are, can penetrate all the way down to the body panel. Before you get started, check to see which type of scratch you’re working with. A clear coat scratch fades when wet but reappears when dry, a body coat scratch doesn’t fade but appears white, and a primer or body panel scratch looks black or gray.

You should also make sure you have the right tools on hand including: sand paper, fine scratch polish, several clean and debris free microfiber cloths, a power polisher, and soapy water.


Step 1) Clean the Area and Tape it Off

Before you start sanding the area where you have a vehicle paint issues. This will keep you from sanding or polishing dirt and other debris into the scratch on your Clermont Toyota. Use plenty of soapy water and a microfiber cloth to wipe the area clean. After it’s been cleaned then use painter’s tape to cordon off the area so you know where you need to work.

Step 2) Start Sanding

Sanding out a scratch is one of the most essential steps of the process, but you need to be careful when you do it. You should use either 3000 or 5000 fine grit sandpaper to prevent additional scratches from forming on your car’s paint. Pro tip, wrap a dish sponge with the sandpaper to start sanding to avoid pressure points caused by your fingers. Apply soapy water and start sanding with a medium amount of pressure and the 3000 grit sandpaper. Sand until the scratch is no longer visible and the sanded area has a hazy look.

3) Apply Polish and Wax

If the scratch is no longer visible then you’re ready for the next step! You’re going to follow up the sanding on the scratch with some additional sanding in the surrounding area to feather the hazing. Use the 5000 grit paper to do this. After that’s finished, grab another microfiber cloth and apply polish to the hazy area. The polish will finely sand the area and start to restore the reflective shine of your clearcoat. Once the hazy area has cleared up then it’s time to start using wax. Apply a solid clay-bar wax to the area and your vehicle paint’s shine should return with the scratch gone!

If you need additional help taking care of minor scratches or need auto body work on more major scratches, Toyota of Clermont is here to help! We have a great selection of products to help you get the job done and we can refer you to our sister store, Toyota of Orlando, for major body work. Reach out to us online or by calling (352) 404 7000 today!