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Old 01-06-2013, 02:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Removing scratches from paint.

What is the best way that fellow forum members have found to remove scratches from their vehicle? Just a buff and polish? Wash, clay bar, buff polish, touch up paint what? I've got a few very minute scratches on my vehicle that I would like to get rid of and was wondering the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to get rid of it. Most if not all are surface scratches and do not appear to be very deep.

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Old 01-06-2013, 02:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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my routine;

first wash. use a dirt grid in your bucket and a good quality sponge, always. in this wash i usually go at the trims and holes with a toothbrush to get the grime out of any gaps etc. also do wheel arches.

dry off with a chami or towel.

clay bar treatment with lots of lube if your not polishing the car!
claybar = removal of contaminants like salt and brake dust.
it doesnt remove scratches.


optionally, use a rougher grade polish either by hand or machine (for deeper marks)

after the rough, use you light grade polish by hand or machine (for swirls and light marks)
or use only the light grade polish for light paint damage

second wash, include your wheels. and dry off with chami or towel again.

wax and sealant is applied now. do 3 coats of wax as the clay bar/polishing strips ALL wax off.
last, apply a good sealant.

done :)
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neelie View Post
my routine;

first wash. use a dirt grid in your bucket and a good quality sponge, always. in this wash i usually go at the trims and holes with a toothbrush to get the grime out of any gaps etc. also do wheel arches.

dry off with a chami or towel.

clay bar treatment with lots of lube if your not polishing the car!
claybar = removal of contaminants like salt and brake dust.
it doesnt remove scratches.


optionally, use a rougher grade polish either by hand or machine (for deeper marks)

after the rough, use you light grade polish by hand or machine (for swirls and light marks)
or use only the light grade polish for light paint damage

second wash, include your wheels. and dry off with chami or towel again.

wax and sealant is applied now. do 3 coats of wax as the clay bar/polishing strips ALL wax off.
last, apply a good sealant.

done :)
I'm to lazy to do all that. I'd just as soon leave it scratched. If I did decide to do all that which polish do you recommend that works best removing scratches?

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Last edited by 2010subieforester; 01-06-2013 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I use Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0 for scratches...

If you need to polish your car, get a dual action polisher.

I think Meguar's professional line M105/M205 is best combo

or

You can do over counter products Meguiar's Ultimate Compound/Meguar's Ultimate Polish. You can get these from any retailer....
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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take it to a detailer and have them do a cut and buff and/or a wet/color sand
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
take it to a detailer and have them do a cut and buff and/or a wet/color sand
Good idea. My dad has a buffer I may try it myself.

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Old 01-08-2013, 01:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Lets say you want to remove (actually erase) a scratch...
clean the area, mask surroundings,
check the scratch depth... then I go from less to more abrassive materials

normal car wax
scratch and fix (melguiars)
metal polish
polishing compound
rubbing compound
2000 grit wet sandpaper
1500 grit wet sandpaper
1000 grit wet sandpaper

If you need any coarser material, you will need to repaint the area.
On my daily driven, mall parked DGM Forester, I only went as far as 1500 for a scratched door panel.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRFB25 View Post
Lets say you want to remove (actually erase) a scratch...
clean the area, mask surroundings,
check the scratch depth... then I go from less to more abrassive materials

normal car wax
scratch and fix (melguiars)
metal polish
polishing compound
rubbing compound
2000 grit wet sandpaper
1500 grit wet sandpaper
1000 grit wet sandpaper

If you need any coarser material, you will need to repaint the area.
On my daily driven, mall parked DGM Forester, I only went as far as 1500 for a scratched door panel.
I'll keep that in mind

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Old 01-08-2013, 07:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Meguiar Scratch X 2.0

for those people that use claybar.. buffing wheels, rubbing compounds..
say goodbye to your clear coat.
Just keep it clean.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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^ that scratch x 2.0 stuff doesn't work very well

if you don't believe me, try it on a black car

if you know what you are doing, you won't get past the clear coat with a cut and buff (or wet sand) and that is the only way you are going to erase a mildly deep scratch
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Meguiar Scratch X 2.0

for those people that use claybar.. buffing wheels, rubbing compounds..
say goodbye to your clear coat.
Just keep it clean.
While clay is abrasive in itself, it is not when used as directed and with appropriate lubrication which is usually provided in retail kits. Clay is intended to help remove above-surface contamination. ….not embedded material, etc. in the finish. As for buffers/polishers and “rubbing compounds”, how much they will remove in regard to your paint depends on a number of factors including the machine being used, pads, particular product (not all “compounds” are the same), pressure, the characteristics of the paint, # of passes, etc. Believe me, using a DA or even a rotary does not mean you will instantly compromise your paint. I machine polished my ’03 WRX at least 8+ times (and clayed about 16 times) before finally getting rid of it in 2010 (8 years later). The paint still looked great.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philistine View Post
^ that scratch x 2.0 stuff doesn't work very well

if you don't believe me, try it on a black car

if you know what you are doing, you won't get past the clear coat with a cut and buff (or wet sand) and that is the only way you are going to erase a mildly deep scratch
Scratch-X 2.0 actually works quite decently IMO/IME especially for a consumer grade product. Even the earlier version with diminishing abrasives worked quite well by hand (again, IMO/IME). I used it quite often for spot removal of paint transfer, abrasions, etc. The newer 2.0 version is based on the same SMAT (super micro abrasive technology; non-diminishing abrasive) formulation found in their very popular M105 & M205 polishes sold under their Professional line. ….Scratch-X 2.0 is just a tad more aggressive than M205.

The following is just one example of a 50/50 shot of Scratch-X (v1) applied by hand on black:


http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...m-at-Meguiar-s!

As for removal of scratches, I have removed some rather deep ones simply using a compound (like M105) and an aggressive pad with my Flex 3401VRG on relatively hard GM clear. With RIDS (random isolated deep scratches) I don’t like to get too aggressive with them during full corrections. I prefer to settle for an improved result rather than removing more material on something that will already be quite difficult to spot unless I point it out to someone (after I hunt for it myself). To be honest, I’m just not that anal as I once was on my own vehicles after realizing the extra effort and removal of additional clear coat was not really worth it.

OP, correcting blemishes by hand on modern clear coat finishes can be very tedious to say the least. ….not to mention the results can be disappointing if you are not realistic about the limitations/effort doing it this way. My recommendation would be to do a test spot first….

Choose a panel (like the hood) and mask off a ~1’x1’ area using apinters tape. This will be your test section to determine how well your product(s) perform and will allow you to hone your technique. Adequate lighting is very helpful in measuring your progress. If you don’t have lighting that will provide that, try pulling the vehicle out under the sun periodically to view your results. Once you are comfortable with the outcome on the test panel, you will now have a better idea of what wil be involved in correcting the rest of the vehicle. …..you can then decide if you want to adjust your process and/or expectations before moving on. This will help save you from dissapointment and aggrevation in the long run.

The following is a compliation of links to articles, forum discussions, videos, etc. on various detialing subjects that you may find helpful. It is divided up into sections to make it easier to locate your topic of interest. I haven’t maintained it in quite a while so some of the links may now be dead (but there should be plenty that still work):

Detailing Library
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There is no quick and easy way to do this properly. After 7 years of city living, car washes, semi annual detailing, my paint needed a thorough rehab. I washed twice, clay barred, then set about polishing with a random orbital. Turned out to be a multi-day adventure. I used 3 Griots polishes, started with aggressive and worked my way down to the finest and then applied two coats of sealer.

It took a looooooooooong time and a lot of work. The before picture here is after washing and clay bar. The after picture is before I applied the sealer.

Every time I would take it to a pro, it would look great for a month and then I was right back where I started, because their wax would wash off. You have to actually get the scratches out by polishing which could take many applications of aggressive to fine product.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Meguiar's Scratch X 2.0
x2, that stuff is awesome. You can also use Maguiar's #9 professional swirl remover. It may be a bit pricey, but that stuff is top notch.

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Old 02-06-2013, 08:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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x2, that stuff is awesome. You can also use Maguiar's #9 professional swirl remover. It may be a bit pricey, but that stuff is top notch.

+1 on the Meguiars #9 Professional Swirl Remover. That with the Porter Cable 7424XP Dual Action polisher does wonders.
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