How Polishing A Scratch Out Works
One of my favorite sayings “it will just buff out….right?”. It’s often spoken in prayer form as the customer knows if it doesn’t the price has likely tripled. So to know if it will buff you need to know how deep it is. Generally if your fingernail can catch it, it will not buff out.
To remove a scratch 100% the scratch must not penetrate all the way through the clearcoat. Here is an example of a scratch that is removable:
Since the scratch does not go all the way through the clearcoat it is possible to level out that area and polish it to a shine. The whole area would be sanded with some fine paper until you are left with this:
Now, it\’s great to know that your scratch is gone, but now your missing a good portion of your clear. If too much is removed then you run the risk of paint failures such as fading and chipping. So having said that, it\’s not always the best route if the scratch is fairly deep anyhow. A great idea for deep scratches is to touch it up with some catalyzed 2K clearcoat prior to sanding. If the scratch is through the clear it will not provide a 100% fix but it can definitely take some of the eye sore away. Here is an example of a non-polishable scratch:
Since the scratch has altered the basecoat it can no longer be removed 100%. On some colors you can get a pretty good partial fix by first touching up the scratch like this:
Then sanding and polishing as normal. Depending on the color it can yield different results. Solid colors you can typically get looking near perfect while some metallics can leave something to the imagination. The scratches depth plays a part in what results you can get with a partial fix but can be a great alternative for keeping the costs low and ideal on a used car touch-up.
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