A surface scratch or isolated chip in paint can usually be eliminated.
- First try polishing compound.
- Fold a soft cloth into a pad. Dip the pad into water, wring it out, and scoop a small dab of compound onto the cloth. Then, rub the scratch using straight back-and-forth strokes. Do not press.
- After four or five passes over the damaged spot, wipe the area with a soft, dry rag. If the scratch is still visible, repeat the procedure once more. Further treatment with polishing compound is not recommended, because too much paint will be removed. Instead, touch up the scratch as described below.
To get rid of an isolated chip or stubborn scratch, use a touch-up paint that matches the color of the paint on your car, as follows:
- If the spot has started to rust, scrape rust off with the tip of a pocketknife.
- To make the repair using touch-up paint that comes in a jar, shake the jar to mix the paint; then, unscrew the cap. A small brush should be attached to the cap. If not, buy a natural-bristle artist’s brush of suitable size from an art supply store. Dab a small amount of touch-up paint onto the chip or scratch. Use several fine strokes to blend the paint with the finish of the car.
- If using touch-up paint that comes in a spray can, do not spray the paint directly from the can onto the damaged area. Doing so will probably result in overspray onto adjacent surfaces, entailing messy cleanup. Instead, shake the can to mix the paint and spray some into the cap of the can. Let the paint thicken. Then, dip a small wooden stick, such as the nonsulfur end of a kitchen match, into the paint and apply it to the chip.