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How To Repair Car Paint Scratches

Walking out to my newly-purchased Lexus LS 400 one morning, it wasn't until I was feet away that I realized someone had run a knife-edge across two of the door, one of them deeply.  However, it had been machine polished until the Astral Black paint reflected deeply and as good as it would have done in the showroom when sold initially. The long paint scratch on my LS 400 came just one day after it had been polished, and it was done to a car I had immense pride in. If you've ever had this done to your vehicle - and especially one you love - this sort of unwarranted, nasty attack feels entirely personal, and it will make you feel nauseous and immensely angry for a while. The same goes for when a supermarket cart has scraped your car, or perhaps someone has caught your bodywork as they pull out of a parking spot and then driven off.  Whatever the scenario, once the initial shock and annoyance pass, it's time to get something done about the damage. Here are your options for repairing paint scratches and how to do the job.

Cost vs practicality: Weighing up the damage

If your car's paintwork has been really deeply scratched, you may need to have that panel resprayed. That can be a costly job, and if money is tight or your car isn't worth much, to begin with, that's probably not an option.   So, the next stage is to look at having the scratch repaired by a company specializing in paint chips and scratches. This again can be costly, and it's likely going to cost £80 - £100 depending on the company, and even then, you likely won't receive perfect results. Another option is to ask a high-end detailer for a quote on how much it will be to machine polish the area in the hope it will polish out. 

Should you want to tackle a particularly nasty scratch yourself, which may be more involved and mean sanding back the damage and going from there, there are a whole bunch of useful YouTube videos on how to do this. Finally (and hopefully), the scratch may be light enough to use a machine polisher and a Chipex car paint touch up system. More often than not, it's a case of 'reduce' over ' complete repair' if it's a deep cut into the paint, but the Chipex kit does do an outstanding job of blending the damage into the rest of the panel, making it far less noticeable than it would be using, say, a traditional touch-up kit.

How to repair a paint scratch yourself

Machine polishing: Firstly, let's get that nasty gouge reduced. For this, you will need access to a machine polisher, a couple of good quality polishing compounds.  Tip: if you have not used a machine polisher before, ask someone with experience to do the job for you. Machine polishing can easily damage paintwork if misused! If you feel competent to use a machine polisher, great, but be wary and take a good look at the scratch first. If they've used a sharp instrument such as a knife-edge, the scratch should be a clean, narrow 'V' in the paint, with no rough edges. Suppose they've used a key; it almost always worse, as the scratch will be wide, with rough edges. If it has rough edges, be wary of the paint pulling or flaking as you machine polish the area. You may want to start by hand-polishing to smooth out the rough areas. Hopefully, after a few passes with the polisher, the mark will have significantly diminished enough to be barely visible. If this isn't the case, then it's time to try a Chipex paint repair system.

Repairing/reducing a paint scratch using a Chipex paint repair system

Chipex are an international company, so please click here to go to choose your country's website. They give a 100% color match guarantee, are trusted by thousands of previous users, and are even the official suppliers to the Morgan Motor Company.  You can always use it again numerous times in the future then. Firstly, you'll need to choose your paint. To do this, go to the Chipex front page and use the sector to either input your paint color code. Click here to find out how to find the color code on your car. If you can't do that, use the drop-down menus to find your vehicle make, model, and paint name. Failing that, contact the friendly guys at Chipex, and they'll be happy to help. Once you've got the Chipex repair kit, it's a straightforward and easy-to-use process that is surprisingly quick to do. Hopefully, using one of the cheaper above-methods that ugly paint scratch will be either completely invisible or so well hidden that it's not noticeable, and you can get your car looking great once more!

Written by Chris Davies - an award-winning motoring journalist writing for CarProductsTested.com

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