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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a pretty good sized scratch on my truck the other day on the lower part of the front fender. I've filled it with a little touch-up paint to keep it from rusting until I can really work on it.

From what I've found online I have two options. 1.) Fill the scratch with a spot putty and then cover that with touch-up paint. 2.) Fill with touch-up paint and let dry, wet sand with 2500 grit and then compound/polish to remove scratches. By using 2500 grit the scratches should be fine enough that Meguiar's Ultimate Compound and Polish should remove them fairly easily, right? I'd tape off the scratch so I don't sand more of the body panel than I need to.

The scratch is about an inch long.
 

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Any pics of the scratch?

How deep is it, through the clear? If not, you can skip the touch up paint, because that will stick out no matter how well you try to match it. I used true GM paint from a dealer shop, and I can see where those marks were, and I did a full truck wet sanding down to 800 grit.

Good to start with 2500, and I would recco the M105/205 over the Ultimate line. Both are good, but the M series is a little better, especially when dealing with this level of repair. In your case for a smaller area, i would tape off as you say, 2500 the scratch, and then maybe 3000 the surrounding area, and then the polish stages.

Also, highly recommend Meguiars Unigrit sandpaper. I first used 3M, and it left uneven lines. I used a 2" thick sponge as my backing "plate", as it gave me a good firm even pressure all across the sanding surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No pictures of the scratch at the moment. It is through the clear and paint and into the panel. You can see the light gray primer (truck is graystone metallic so it stands out even more).
 

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In that case, then yes, include the paint. It won't awful looking and I'm a bit anal about it, as I did the entire truck and wanted perfection. My wife says she can't really notice them, but maybe she's just being nice..lol

Anyway, get it sanded first to remove any contamination. You can wrap a little piece of sand paper around a q-tip and lightly push it back on forth in the scratch, then dry it off. Wipe it with IPA to remove any oils or other junk, then let dry. Apply the paint in thin, light coats with curing time in between each. Maybe an hour or so, depends on what paint you get. But you could get a few coats on, then sand it after 24 hours. Apply a clear in the same manner, very lightly and evenly, then sand it in to blend. Polish and polish and polish...and hope it all blends in perfectly.
 

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I used a mix of Meguiars and Menzerna and 3M for my project. The finer scratches that low you won't notice much. You could also use a 3000 grit and a 5000 grit to really get it smoothed out. 5000 grit felt soft like a foam, but it did help.
 

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Here is the easiest way you can tell if you can fix the scratch yourself in your garage with stuff picked up from autozone..

Run your finger over the scratch.. if your finger nail catches the scratch, the scratch is most likely well into the clear and into the base coat. No amount of wet sanding, buffing or touch up paint matching will ever fix it.

If the scratch does not catch your finger, your absolutely best way to fix it is with a variable highspeed buffer with 3Ms perfect finish cutting compound #1 and a wool pad.

Only wet sand if there is light oxidation in the clear, and even then, the clear may be thin, and you could bust into the base. If you bust into the base, you'll run into bigger issues, and a bigger clear coat failure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The scratch is all the way through the clear and base coat and into the primer, possibly to the panel itself so just buffing isn't going to work. I'm most likely going to have fill with paint, wet sand then compound/polish. Not sure how it happened but the best way to describe it is when a car gets keyed. The positive is the scratch is only about an inch long.

Thoughts on the 3M/Bondo spot putty to fill the scratch and then paint over and buff?
 

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Mossyoakglock said:
The scratch is all the way through the clear and base coat and into the primer, possibly to the panel itself so just buffing isn't going to work. I'm most likely going to have fill with paint, wet sand then compound/polish. Not sure how it happened but the best way to describe it is when a car gets keyed. The positive is the scratch is only about an inch long.

Thoughts on the 3M/Bondo spot putty to fill the scratch and then paint over and buff?
It will never match, and wet sanding it will thin the clear all around the scratch making a higher chance of clear coat failure. When you lay down the spot putty, you are going to have to sand it flush with the excising clear doing so will thin the clear. Unless you are shooting more clear, do not sand. In your case, and it'll still be noticeable is to use a product called Dr. Color Chip. It'll fill the hole and there is a method to smoothing it out with out damaging the clear. Unless you plan to reshoot the whole panel, that is the route I would go. I've used it in the past. It sucks, but I wish i had better info for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I tried the Dr. ColorChip on a few small nicks and it didn't work at all.

I've been using a squeegee and GM Touch-up paint and putting a new coat on it ever night and it is looking better each day. I'll just keep doing this until it's level and then polish and leave it at that.
 
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