How To Repair Deep Key Scratches

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It can be really upsetting to find out that someone keyed your car. It's important to take care of key scratches on your car's surface quickly. If you don't fill them in quickly, they could rust and damage the overall value of your vehicle. Thankfully, deep paint scratches can be repaired easily.


In order to repair key scratches on your own, you're going to need a few things. First, you're going to need nonreduced urethane paint. Many touch-up paints have been reduced. You can still use these paints, but you will need to apply many more coats of paint to the scratched area. Once you have your paint, you will also need a microfiber cloth, a glove and a solvent to remove excess paint.

You'll want to find a nice shady area to work on painting your car. Applying your paint in the shade will ensure that your paint doesn't dry too quickly. If your paint dries too quickly, it may harden and show bubbles or imperfections.

Applying The First Layer

First, before any paint hits the scratches, you want to thoroughly wipe away any dirt with a cloth. After the scratches are clean, you'll want to apply the paint to the scratch using a glove. Using your gloved finger, dip it into the urethane paint. Apply the paint to the scratch by using a vertical smudging motion. It's OK to color slightly outside of the lines.

Layering The Paint

If you have a deep key scratch on your car, one layer of paint probably isn't going to cut it. You'll have to layer the paint in. In order to do this, you'll have to remove the excess paint outside of the key scratch. To remove excess paint, dip the microfiber cloth in a little bit of solvent. The microfiber cloth should be damp but not dripping with solvent. When you go to remove the excess paint, be careful not to run your cloth over the scratch you're trying to fill. The goal of this process is to remove the excess paint before applying the next coat, so you get a nice, smooth finish.

Apply additional layers of paint as you did with the first layer. When the deepest part of the scratch is filled in, you're ready to finish your cleanup work. With the solvent dipped microfiber cloth, gently buff out any of the excess paint. In order to achieve a perfectly smooth finish, you'll have to pass the cloth over the scratched area. When you pass the cloth over the scratch, apply the lightest pressure possible, as using too much pressure can remove the paint from the scratch. 

For more information, or if you would like professional assistance, contact an auto body shop in your area.