Scratches in your car’s paint can be frustrating. They’re annoying to look at and they can be expensive to repair. Not only that, but they can open up your paint for future rust problems if they are left untreated.

So here are some steps to cosmetically repair a deep scratch in your car’s paint.

Here’s what you’ll need to start this project:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Blue shop towels
  • Touch up paint
  • Small touch up brush
  • Foam block
  • Filler putty
  • Squeegee
  • Paint leveler

To start, clean out the scratch with rubbing alcohol to remove any leftover wax, especially if the gouge occurred after a recent wax or sealant session. Because we are dealing with deep scratches in this blog, a simple touch up would not be effective or efficient when filling in the scratch.

Since deep scratches create an almost “crater” you will need to use filler putty to help level out the scratch. Squeeze the putty next to the scratch and use the squeegee to spread the putty into the scratch. Allow the glaze to dry for 2-3 minutes.

Next, wrap a shop towel around a foam-sanding block and apply liquid paint leveler. The leveler will remove the putty surrounding the scratch, but leave the excess putty within the scratch.

Gently wipe the towel across the putty to remove small sections at a time. Use a light pressure as the goal is to leave this scratch full of putty. It may take you a few minutes to get this done properly. Once it is finished the scratch should look like a thin red line the length of the original damage.

Next, use touch-up paint from your dealership or specialized online retailers and a very find brush. Apply the paint to the putty by dabbing, not brushing or wiping. Cover the area with a thin light coat and allow to dry overnight.

If more touch up is required, add one more thin coat or simply apply clear coat on top of the dried touch up paint. The main purpose of touch up, especially for deep scratches, is to protect the paint from future corrosion, however if done correctly, the byproduct of this process cosmetically make the scratch less obvious and annoying to look at.

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