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How to Cheaply Remove Scratches from Car Paint

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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How to Cheaply Remove Scratches from Car Paint

We are getting ready to sell one of our cars for-sale-by-owner, and when we detailed it, we realized we have a few very noticeable scratches in the paint. Is there any cheap DIY way to remove these scratches? We want to get the most we can for the car obviously, but we don't want to spend much getting it spruced up. Any suggestions?
A. L.

Purchase a Touch-Up Kit

I buy little paint touch-up kits and work with them. It is not perfect, but with a little work and patience, it will make a noticeable difference. Your paint code is located in your car on a small plate. The place you purchase your paint can help you find it.

When Your Car Is a Standard Color

If your car is a standard color (white, black, silver, red), touch it up with nail polish. Use a toothpick instead of the applicator brush along the scratches. Dollar stores have bottles of nail polish in a multitude of colors.

You'll Need the VIN

Goto a dealership for the make of your car with the VIN. Get touch up paint specifically for the color of your car. You can also get this online. The VIN is important because you want precise color. Wash and dry the car and apply only to the scratch areas in several light coats. Don't buy this paint off the rack from auto repair places. The color match will be off.

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Rubbing Compound Does the Trick

I have had great success using rubbing compound to remove scratches in car's paint. This can be purchased at Walmart or auto parts stores. It is in the wax section and runs a couple of dollars for a can. Just take a small amount and rub it on in a circular motion. Do not rub too hard or you will make it worse. This moves the paint next to the scratch into the scratch, effectively removing it. If the scratches are very light, I have used toothpaste. After a coat of wax when you are done, your car will look like new!

Expert Advice

I got this tip from a local car repair shop. Spray scratches with WD-40® and wait. Then rub off with a soft cloth. You will barely be able to the scratches when you are done!

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