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Scratch Removal

The paintwork is prone to scratches, here is how to remove them from painted surfaces and non painted plastic panels.

Modification Details

Thanks to HoagieKat for the following information.

Machine Polishing A Scratch

There are several types of polishing machine you can get on the market, these are in order of preference.
  • 240v Multi-speed Random Orbital
  • 240v Multi-speed Rotary
  • 240v Halfords Rotary
  • 12v Halfords Rotary

    You'll only be able to properly remove a scratch using the top two!

    You'll also need some polishing pads for the same machine you purchase,
    I recommend getting two pads, a fine polishing pad, and a fast cut pad, if you
    ask at a local car paint store, they should point you in the right direction.

    The tool I'll be using is a Makita Multi-Speed Rotary, it can go from 250rpm up
    to about 5000rpm, it has a 3M velcro backing pad, and we'll be using 3M fine
    polishing pads. The polishes are 3M Fast Cut and 3M Fine Grade, you can also
    use Menzerna or Meguiars ScratchX can work out well when machine polishing.

    1. Wash the car thoroughly.

    2. Assess the situation of the scratch, how deep is it, and how happy will you be leaving some evidence there? If you can feel the scratch with your fingernail, it's too deep to polish out, the best you'll be able to do it hide it a bit.

    3. If the scratch is fairly deep looking, you need to start off with the fast cut pad and a fast cut compound, be very careful, you can go through the paint very quickly!

    4. Spread the compound over your pad in an X pattern as shown.

    5. Dab the pad all over the area of the scratch until it's covered.

    6. If using a rotary polisher, you'll use about 1/3rd the area of the pad, holding it as flat as you can to the surface, this is to prevent skidding, start off at a fairly high
    speed, around 2.5 (1000 rpm) is about right for a fast cut, and make your way fairly
    slowly over the area in straight lines until the polish has broken down, you can
    tell when the polish has broken down as it'll go clear insted of white.

    7. Use a microfibre cloth, wipe off the polish, check if you need to make any more passes.

    8. When happy, use the polishing pad and the fine cut compound and repeat steps 4 to 7.

    9. Slow the machine down to around speed 1 (600rpm)
    and make a final few passes over the area in straight lines.

    10. Wipe off the remaining polish using a microfibre cloth.

    11. You can now protect the area you've polished using a wax
    or sealant. It's important to do this as it protects the paint.

    Now when it rains, you'll get some lovely beading like this.

    Move on to the next scratch and repeat.

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