Sand, rub and buff the finish
1 of 2
Photo 1: Sand the scratch
Wet the scratch and sandpaper and
lightly sand until the finish looks dull and the
scratch is no longer obvious. Then clean
the surface with a microfiber towel.
2 of 2
Photo 2: Apply compound
Squirt rubbing compound onto the
polishing pad and spread it around with the
pad. Then run the polisher or drill at 1,200
rpm until you get a light haze. Follow up with
polishing compound to restore the shine.
It's no secret that car paint scratches easily. All you have to do is set a grocery bag on your
roof, hood or trunk lid and then slide it off. Result? Instant scratches. But don't freak out.
You might be able to remove these minor paint scratches yourself in less than an hour and for less
than $30. To see if your scratches qualify for this DIY repair, run your fingernail across the
scratch. If your nail glides across the scratch without catching in it, it's a minor scratch
that’ll polish out. But if the scratch catches your fingernail, it's a job for a body shop.
If your scratch qualifies, pick up 3,000-grit sandpaper, rubbing and polishing compound,
and polishing pads. You'll also need a portable drill or dual action (DA) polisher unit. You can
buy most of the components off-the-shelf at any auto parts store. Or, you can buy a complete
scratch removal kit (one choice is the 3M Scratch Removal System No. 39071 available through our affiliation with
amazon.com). Here's the procedure.