How to Repair a Car Scratch

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How to Repair a Car Scratch

A scratch in the paint can mar the appearance of any car, no matter its age or original price, but luckily, fixing it does not have to mean taking the car to an expensive body shop. While not every scratch is fixable at home, many car scratches are repairable with just a little skill and the right tools and supplies. It is also important for car owners to consider that different materials require different supplies, but buyers can find anything they need for metal, fibreglass, or just paint, on eBay. Repairing a car scratch is usually relatively simple, although time consuming, but anyone without the proper tools must purchase them first.

Repairing Car Marks vs. Repairing Car Scratches

People often mistake marks for scratches but marks are much easier to fix. Marks are level with or above the surface and scratches are beneath it. If the mark does not buff out, then acetone or an adhesive remover are a good secondary tactic. After removing the mark, car owners can clean the spot and buff it with car wax to even out the area.

Scratches vary in depth, length, and severity, and fixing them depends on how deep the scratch is. For example, a light scratch that barely goes through the topcoat may be easy to fix by simply sanding the spot even and re-applying the topcoat. On the other hand, a scratch that gouges into the side of the vehicle is an entirely different matter. In addition, fixing metal and fixing fibreglass or plastic each require different materials.

Buying Supplies for Fixing Car Scratches

Most cars have an average of four layers of paint and any of these can scratch. The topcoat, or the thin clear layer over the paint, is the easiest to fix. From there, the layers include colour, primer, and the car body, which can vary in material depending on the car's age and manufacturer. Basic supplies that one may need vary according to the depth of the scratch.


Required For

Touch-up paint

Scratched paint

Clear c oat

All scratches


Deep scratches

Fine sandpaper

All scratches


All scratches


All scratches

Cleaning supplies

All scratches

Masking or painting tape

Deep scratches

If a scratch is deep enough to catch a fingernail or nail in, then it is better for owners to take the car to a professional. However, people who would rather do the repairs themselves can go ahead and repair this sort of deep scratch. This requires special attention, as it is important to sand the layers smooth, and then apply primer, paint, and then the clear coat on top.

Fixing Car Scratches

Fixing scratches is a multi-step process that starts at the first layer of the paint. The first step is always to wash the car or the area just around the scratch. This is because dirt, loose paint, and other particles can set in the paint and ruin the finish. Sometimes it is also a good idea for car owners to use a rubbing compound or acetone over the area after cleaning.

Painting and Adding Topcoat to a Vehicle

Using spray paint is generally best because it is easier to apply evenly and smoothly. This allows the paint to retain the same metallic shine present on the rest of the vehicle instead of the flat look that most brush-on paints offer. Owners should follow the instructions on the can for primer, topcoat, and paint. It is a good idea to tape and use newspaper around the scratch in order to prevent paint drips and spray on the rest of the vehicle.

Tips for Painting a Car

Usually, warm weather is ideal for drying paint because it takes longer to dry and often does not retain a shine. Cold paint can also lump and bump, and go on thicker than it would when warmer, so it is usually best to wait for better weather or paint inside of a heated garage.

How to Buy Painting Supplies on eBay

Buying supplies to repair scratched paint on a car is not always easy, but there are plenty of choices on eBay. In fact, the site is one of the best places to look for deals and sales on everything from paint to sandpaper, so anyone looking to save money can visit the site and search for what they need. Buyers should pay attention to the cost and estimated length of shipping, as this does vary from seller to seller. Buying supplies and fixing a scratched car at home can be hard work, but it is a great way to save money for the budget-conscious car owners.

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