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new 12/04/2010

Scratch on new car

Need some suggestions on my new 2010 Taurus Red Candy Metallic. My wife
Rubbed the front bumper on the support post in my attached garage. Went
down to the black of the bumper how can I easily fix this? Not that big
just enough to aggravate me.


Jeffrey P. Ward

Actually it is good that the scratch is on the bumper, at least it won't rust! :)

Start by taking a mild cleaner/polish/glaze (they come in all of those names by different companies) and lightly rub with a thick sponge by hand, working in all directions, on the scratches and then out a few inches. See if some of the more minor scratches will come out to your satisfaction.

You will need these supplies, I would recommend you go to an auto body supply store and ask for their help. 3M products are usually a good bet:

the glaze mentioned, you want a final glaze, nothing that says the word "compound". going to a more aggressive compound won't help any with the deeper scratches and will just create a mess. You can take out minor scratches with very mild glaze/polish, you will just have to work a little longer.

You will want a cleaner, adhesive/silicone/wax remover. A pint or quart is plenty

See what they have in a primer and color coat and clearcoat that is meant for soft plastic surfaces with a flex additive. You may have to buy a small can of each if they don't offer touch-up sticks. The paint may be quite expensive for such a small can, but still will be a LOT less than having the entire bumper repainted.

Also pick up some 1500 or 2000 grit wet sandpaper.

A small block of wood that you can make smaller (have wood working tools?)

After working with the glaze to get out any small scratches that didn't go through the clearcoat, decide if you have some that went through the clearcoat, but NOT through the color coat. when working with the glaze, you do NOT want to remove clearcoat, just smooth it out.

Before going to the next step, completely clean the area in and around the scratches with the cleaner/solvent and dry.

When putting in the paint/primer etc, try to keep it within the scratch except for the final clearcoat layer.

For applying paint, you can use a sharp toothpick, or a paper match cut to a point, or a very small paintbrush, with possibly most of the hairs cut off leaving just a very tiny brush. You may want to visit an artist supply store for that fine a brush.

For scratches that are just in clearcoat that won't come out with some rubbing, then just lay in some clearcoat to fill the scratch, to just above the surface of the surrounding paint.

For those with clearcoat gone but color coat left, lay in some clearcoat to fill the scratch. Again, just above the surrounding paint (for clearcoat only, you can go slightly beyond the scratch itself to insure that the clearcoat has bonded with all the rough edges, but the closer you keep it to just the scratch, the less work later)

For those to the plastic, use some of the primer to cover the scratched area, two coats is fine. Then lay in 2-4 coats of the color, finally fill with clear till just above the surface of the surrounding paint.

Remember to give the paint a full day to dry between layers if you can. At least several hours, ask the body supply people how long it should cure before coating again, and how long before sanding.

Before you sand, decide if the surface is flat or curved. If flat, make a small flat sided piece of wood, maybe a bit of 2 X 4 cut into a 3/4" or so square. Cut it long enough so you can comfortably grab it.

Fold some of the sandpaper around it so you have a flat surface of sandpaper.

Keep water running on the surface, maybe have someone dribble water while you work.

LIGHTLY work the sandpaper over just the added clearcoat. As soon as you see that you are down to the level of the surrounding paint, STOP.

Now go back to work with your glaze working just on the scratch some, then keep widening the work area a bit at a time till you get a shine on the area you sanded. Then work the glaze in a bigger area, and finally the entire bumper lightly.

It is likely that the area just around the scratches will now be smoother and shinier than the rest of the bumper, but if you have worked the area lightly as recommended and worked the surrounding area some, chances are nobody else will notice.

No matter what you do, or what you buy, chances are you will still see the bigger scratches. Only a complete sanding to a smooth surface and complete repaint will remove them completely, but I find that if you repaint the bumper, you risk it not matching and it may chip/peel much worse than the original paint.

At least if you spend 30-40 on supplies and try this, you may be happy with the results. If not, you can still get the bumper repainted.

I almost never have the patience to do it this way, but if you do, it can turn out pretty well.

If you get paint messed outside the scratch, don't hesitate to have a cloth with some of the solvent/cleaner handy to remove excess.

Sometimes, you can lay in color coat with a thick brush, and then tightly fold a thin cloth across a finger and with some solvent on the cloth, wipe off the excess paint. I use this method to fill chips sometimes, and it works well. Try some different methods and you will get the hang of this, if the scratch/chip is very big though, this won't work so well, you will wind up removing the paint from the scratch, and the final clearcoat has to be laid in without touching at all.

Hope this helps. let me know how it goes.

How do you like the new SHO?

Don Mallinson
DC CarCare
SHO Club


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