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How to Fix a Scratch on Your Car

Fix those little scratches before they become big rust marks.


  • Step 1: Match paint to VIN Write down your car’s VIN number (located on your car’s registration and your car’s title) and take it to an auto shop so they can locate the precise paint color to match your vehicle.
  • Step 2: Get primer Ask the salesperson if your car’s paint is enamel-based and, if so, what kind of primer to use.
  • TIP: Buy paint in a spray can for easier application.
  • Step 3: Wash and dry Wash the scratched area with car-wash liquid and dry with a clean cotton cloth.
  • Step 4: Sand scratch Sand the area with very fine sandpaper.
  • Step 5: Brush away sanding dust Brush away the sanding dust with a small, soft paintbrush.
  • Step 6: Re-sand Re-sand to smooth out any bumps.
  • Step 7: Spray primer Spray primer onto the scratch and allow it to dry overnight.
  • Step 8: Spray paint Spray the area with touch-up paint or use the small paintbrush to apply a small amount of paint. Let it dry. If only all car repairs could be so easy!
  • FACT: From March to April 2008, a Vancouver man went on a car-keying spree, allegedly causing over a half million dollars worth of damage to about 1,000 cars.

You Will Need

  • Your caru2019s VIN number
  • Car-wash liquid
  • Clean cotton cloth
  • 1
  • 500- to 2
  • 000-grit sandpaper
  • A small paintbrush
  • Primer
  • Touch-up paint

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