Car Repair Tips for Minor Paint and Body Damage

image of a white car

Paint scratches, door dings, bumper scrapes, chips and other car imperfections are inevitable in our daily vehicle use. It can get frustrating as well as expensive to perform this type of auto repair. But sometimes, you can remedy them on your own easily without having to go to the repair shop and spend hundreds of dollars.

How to Fix Minor Paint and Body Damage

If this is your first time to attempt a fix in your car, it may feel quite daunting, and that is understandable because we are talking an actual car here, not a plastic toy one. You’ve shed your blood and sweat for it, and you want to take care of it to maximize its lifespan and good looks as much as possible.

But if you are determined, patient, and want to keep your savings for some other stuff, then there is no reason to be afraid to try and fix some basic and minor imperfections on your car in your own driveway. Here are some of the tips and tricks for your car’s minor paint and body damage.

Use Toothpaste to Remove Scratches & Scuffs

Toothpaste is a lighter, gentler, and softer form of sandpaper. It acts like a sanding tool and catches on any imperfections that exist and softly sands them away. It can wear away the uneven surface problems and polish it clean. This works best if the scratches and scuff marks haven’t fully penetrated the clear coat of your car’s paint. Whitening toothpaste works best because of its rough and grittier texture. It can make a significant difference on your vehicle since they contain small, barely discernible abrasives. Just use a damp, soft cloth and a smear of toothpaste to rub away small marks in a circular motion until they disappear.

Use Sandpaper if You Have Bigger Scratch

A 400-grit sandpaper should be a good starting point and work your way up to 800-grit if needed. Try to work on a small area first to avoid increasing the amount of work you need to do. Use small, circular strokes to rub the sandpaper around the affected area. Wipe occasionally with a clean cloth to remove any residue.

Select a Primer and Paint

Paint blemishes, if left unrepaired, may not only affect its looks but can also rust, corrode and spread. Determine the depth of your scratch. If the scratch has gone through the primer, you should first add a few coats of new primer using a brush or pen. Make sure to let it dry overnight. If you need to touch up a portion of your paint, an auto parts store surely sells a wide range of touch up paints that should match yours fairly well. Look for your paint code in the owner’s manual of your vehicle or on the paint code sticker located either on the doorsill or under the hood of your car. Once it dried up, you can apply a new layer of clear coat and then wax it to cover the dull appearance.

The Bottom Line

Even if you are as careful as possible, you can’t always expect things to go their way. Sooner or later, there will be random shopping carts hitting your bumper, flying footballs wrongly thrown in your direction and out-of-nowhere light posts. No matter how frustrating it can get, the brighter perspective is that you can always try to fix it minimal car flaws yourself with the right amount of patience, determination and of course, touch-up paints!