As you walk up to your car, you notice something. There's a scratch running from one door to the next. Actually, it's more than a scratch. Clearly someone hit your parked car while you were away. And they didn't even leave a note.
What now? You could just leave your car as is. It might seem like the scratch isn't anything major or you might think that you can live with your car's minor imperfection. And then there are all of the so-called DIY fixes you've read about online. You want to save a few dollars. So you consider fixing your car yourself.
Is it wise, or even cost-effective to fix your car's scratched paint without the help of a pro? In general, the answer to this question is no. Auto body shop professionals know more about cars, paint and application techniques than you do. And that makes the pro the expert. But, you're still tempted by the fast fixes that your see out there. Before you do more damage to your car, take a look at what won't work and why you need to hire a professional who is an expert in auto paint repairs.
Does Toothpaste Work?
Your friend's brother's father-in-law swears by toothpaste. Not just to clean his teeth, but to remove paint scratches. And now you're wondering, "Can it really work?" Wouldn't that be a money-saver? Instead of spending hundreds of dollars at the auto body shop, you could just buy a two-dollar tube of toothpaste.
If toothpaste was a real fix that worked for everyone and every car, no one would ever visit a professional collision center for a scratch or paint repair. Toothpaste is a mild abrasive. That means it can scrub and buff out surface stains on your teeth. When it comes to your car's paint, it might slightly buff away some of the jagged edge of a scratch. But it won't remove it.
Toothpaste might help to remove very small amounts of someone else's paint from your car. But it might also remove some of your paint. And this is the opposite of what you're going for. A scratched area is missing paint and toothpaste won't fill it in. Trying this supposed painting hack may give you a minty-smelling car, but it won't remove or cover-up scratches in the paint.
Will Any Paint Work?
You have a spray paint that kind of looks similar to that cherry red finish that your car has. It would seem convenient to just touch up that small scratch with a spritz of it, right? Probably not.
Unless you have access to the manufacturer's coatings or you're an expert in auto paint, chances are visually matching the color from a swatch on the outside of a can just won't do. The picture on the spray paint may look cherry red, but when it dries on your car, it may not have the exact same tone or sheen as the rest of the paint. This turns your scratch or scuff mark into a noticeable patch of discoloration.
Along with causing discoloration, improper painting technique can result in marks, drips or other permanent imperfections. When it comes down to it, leave the spray coating to the professionals.
Will a Permanent Marker Work?
There's a thin scratch along your car and you've got a permanent marker to fix it with. Again, not a good idea. Just like with the spray paint (or some touch-up paints) a red isn't always a red. The same goes for other colors too.
Filling in a scratch with a marker may cover the metal mark, but it won't fix the problem. It's more likely that it will make a mess and create an even larger problem for you. Put the markers down, and let the pros fix your scratches with real auto paint.
Does your car have a scratch that's in need of a repair? Cambron Body Shop can help.