Polishing and respraying are the two solutions to paint damage.
But how do you know which one your paintwork needs?
If you’re a first time car-owner, don’t fret.
This article has you covered!
Polishing is the way to go for light scratches.
Those minor scratches you see on the photo above can be removed by polishing.
From the image, the damage is most likely superficial and only affected the clear coat.
(The clear coat is the topmost layer of your paint.)
Do not be conned into respraying your car just because of some minor scratches like these!
In fact, with a bit of elbow grease, you can even do the job yourself.
Getting rid of those nasty marks
Wash your vehicle and use a clay bar + lubricant to remove contaminants from the surface.
Then, apply the polish to a microfibre cloth and work it into the paint.
Use the gentlest polish first, and avoid using a compound unless the polish doesn’t work.
After the scratches have been removed, wipe off the excess polish.
Remember to apply a car wax or sealant when you’re done.
This will protect the finish you have achieved.
A respray is required for more severe damage.
If the scratches on your car are like the ones in the above photo, you’ll need a respray.
This is because the scratches are so deep that they leave the bare metal exposed.
Left unprotected long enough, your car is at risk of rusting.
Once you see bare metal, or plastic in the case of bumpers or mouldings, immediately go for a respray.
There is no point polishing the car anymore.
Polishing can remove light scratches by removing a thin layer of clear coat.
But if there’s no clear coat or paint left, then there’s nothing to polish!
Don’t attempt to respray the car yourself.
Unless you’re a professional, this is a task you shouldn’t undertake.
Respraying a car involves many steps and cannot be properly done at home.
Apart from wet sanding, the removal of the existing paint means you have to ensure it is rust-proofed, too.
If your car is old, the colour of the resprayed area/s must match the shade of the rest of the car.
A professional outfit or your authorised dealer can ensure this.