You regularly wash and wax your car. You take care of it, for it to look its best, and keep the paint in great shape. After some time, however, you notice scratches that effectively spoil your car’s appearance and shine…
How to avoid this? Where do the scratches and paint defects come from? How can you get rid of scratches yourself and in a simple way when they appear? You will find out below.
Where does paint damage come from?
Damage to the paint coating occurs as we use the vehicle for several reasons. Of course, mechanical damage is the main one. Scratches around the door handle from the car key? Traces on the roof from tree branches? A scratch from the curb or a parking post? These are the most common, though not the only occasions for scratches on the paint to appear.
Another reason is incorrect washing, drying and wiping of the car – an ordeal for the paint. This can cause so-called swirls, or scratches in the shape of circles, which reflect the movements of our hands. Winter may also contribute to the formation of scratches, as during this season we use brushes to remove snow from the bodywork.
Mechanical damage is one thing. Another important issue is oxidation. This is nothing else than car paint becoming oxidized under the effect of the sun or water, which will be especially visible on old or neglected paint.
To avoid this, it is advisable to treat the paint with specialized cosmetics and regularly protect it, for example with wax. Removing scratches at least twice a year is equally important, as the damaged paint structure will contribute to the rapid deterioration of its condition.
When does manual removal of scratches make sense?
To be able to assess whether the attempt to manually remove scratches is justified, we need to know the structure of the paint. It consists of several layers, the most important of which are: primer, base coat and clear coat.
Clear coat, the protective and outermost layer of the paint structure, is the most vulnerable to damage and scratches. At the same time it will be easier for us to eliminate imperfections from it.
So when do we begin to hand-polish? When we notice superficial scratches on the clear coat, which are best seen when we look at the car under the sun or other strong light source. If the scratches are not too deep, then manual removal is possible.
In other cases, when deep scratches or abrasions appear on our vehicle, it is best to give the car over to a specialist. Such damage to the paint must be removed mechanically, and requires appropriate skill.
Hand polishing is safe for the paint, because our hands are not strong enough to be able to damage the paint. We can either use a paste or a lotion – the choice will depend on the condition of the paint we are going to polish.
The lotion is more aggressive and it will be much easier for us to get rid of the superficial damage from the paint with it. Importantly, the lotion removes scratches permanently, instead of just masking them.
How to manually polish the car?
Before we start polishing, we have to prepare the car properly. The car must be thoroughly washed and if possible treated with clay to get rid of any impurities from the surface of the paint. Polishing must be carried out in a shady place, on a cool paint – avoid the sun and do not polish a car when it’s hot.
The condition of the paint will be best assessed after thorough washing, as we look at the car body under the sun. We can also use the light of a powerful flashlight. When polishing, we focus on a small, selected area, where we noticed scratches on the paint.
We apply a small amount of polishing lotion using an applicator and polish the small surface with a sponge. In order to obtain the best possible effect, it is best to use circular and simple hand movements interchangeably. After polishing is completed, we gently remove excess lotion with a microfiber cloth.
If the effect of our work on a given area of paint does not satisfy us, the whole process should be repeated. If this also does not bring the desired result, it is recommended to replace the lotion with a more abrasive and stronger paste.
Having removed scratches and paint defects, it is worth protecting the surface with Carnauba hard wax. Getting rid of scratches and using wax protection will cause the paint to shine and deepen its color.