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Scratch Removal  - Submitted by: LakotasRose
   Ok...here's the fix. It's not the same as having the panel repainted, but it will effectively "remove" the scratch to 99% of the original appearance if the surrounding paint is in good shape, and a matching touchup paint is available. He'll need matching touch up paint, 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper, 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper, mini sanding blocks, bucket, rags, patience, a lot of elbow grease, and courage.

With wet 1500 grit paper, carefully sand any raised the edge of the scratch down to surface level. Use light pressure on the paper and be careful ONLY to sand the edge of the scratch...not the surrounding paint. A "mini" sanding block made out of a toothbrush handle is helpful.

Thoroughly wash the scratch free of sanding debris and dry. Overfill the scratch with multiple coats of touchup paint allowing each coat to dry at least 30 minutes before applying the next layer. It may take 10-20 applications, but be careful not to let air bubbles or dust dry into the paint between coats. Continue applying one layer on top of another until when dry...the surface of the scratch is slightly raised above the surface of the car. Allow the paint to dry at LEAST overnight before continuing.

After the touchup paint has dried at least overnight, use wet 1500, then 2000 grit paper and a mini sanding block to sand the filled scratch down to the level of the surrounding paint surface. Sand area around the paint to better blend the surfaces, but BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO SAND TOO HEAVILY. If the car is clear coated, it's easy to sand through the clear into the color coat, then the whole panel needs to be re-cleared. If it's NOT clear coated...be even MORE careful not to sand through the color coat!

When the surfaces are smoothed and no ridged or bump can be felt, using an electric or pneumatic polisher and FINE cut polishing compound (Meguire's #2), carefully compound the sanded area, then polish and wax.

Tips:

  1. DON'T RUSH!!!  Take your time at all stages!  If you get too aggressive or impatient, you'll wind up having to get the body panel repainted.
  2. When sanding, keep the paper and the surface wet. Not "damp"....WET! Rinse the surface and the paper frequently with clean water.
  3. When sanding, use light to moderate pressure and take your time. If you apply too much pressure you could wind up in worse shape than when you  started.
  4. Use a 1 inch section of a square toothbrush handle as a sanding block for the detail sanding the filled scratch. Try to sand JUST on the fill. When the surfaces are flush, then you can use your hand and gentle...even pressure to blend the sanded area into the rest of the paint.
  5. DON'T RUSH!!!  TAKE YOUR TIME AT ALL STAGES!!!  If you do this, and follow these steps...the scratch will be 99% gone.
Zaino - Getting started
Zaino - When to apply after a new paint job
Zaino - Which to start with after a new paint job
Restoration


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