icon-account icon-glass

How to Recognize the Type of Scratches on Your Car's Paint?

Posted by CleanTools on

How to Recognize the Type of Scratches on Your Car's Paint?

A car's paint job can be greatly impacted by surface scratches, which can make the paint look dull and possibly necessitate repainting. Scratch removal is more difficult than using a machine buff or simple wax, though. Many drivers are let down by newly noticeable scratches a few months after they think their paint is flawless because of recent detailing. While it is not possible to completely erase all scratches, it is possible to lessen their visual impact.

What are the Causes of Paintwork Scratches?

Improper Wash & Dry Techniques

One of the most common ways to scratch the paint on your vehicle is by not using the proper washing and drying techniques. This includes scratches caused by automatic car washes. They may be convenient, but there is no guarantee the company is using properly maintained brushes, which may cause debris to scratch your car.

Accidents and Car Park Dings

Accidents, such as strikes or parking lot accidents, can cause significant damage and scratches. The extent of the damage can vary greatly, making it difficult to determine if the damage can be remedied solely through detailing. If the damage cannot be repaired, it may be necessary to seek professional body repair services.

Intentional Damage

Intentional damage such as scratches on a car door, often referred to as "keying," occurs when someone intentionally vandalizes a vehicle, resulting in scrapes or scratches on the paintwork, with the severity of these scratches varying.

Road Debris and Stone Chips

Road debris, such as sticks and loose gravel, can damage car paint, posing daily dangers to automobile paint jobs. It's advisable to avoid damaging your new car while traveling across the country. Instead, consider using a service to transfer your freshly painted car, ensuring its paint job remains intact.

What Are the Different Layers on a Car's Paintwork?


The purpose of applying a primer to bare metal panels is to even out the surface and prepare it for the next layer of paint.

Color Coat or Base Coat

A color coat, or base coat, is a basic semi-gloss paint finish. It may have a costly flake or pearlescence found on luxury car models.

Clear Coat

The clear coat is a top layer of paint applied over a colored base coat. It enhances the paint's durability, gloss, and UV resistance.

Coating Layer or Waxing

Any form of coating or wax that you have used to protect the paint of your car from the elements.

Types of Scratches on a Car and How To Fix

Clear Coat Scratch

How To Identify a Clear Coat Scratch

Scratches on the clear coat surface, caused by everyday wear and tear like dusting and washing, appear as swirls, whirls, straight lines, and sometimes white lines.

How To Fix Clear Coat Scratches

Gentle washing and waxing are effective in repairing scratches on cars. Buffing the wax and clearing dirt with a soft cloth can help remove the scratches from clear coat damage.

Base Coat or Color Coat Scratch

How To Identify a Base Coat or Color Coat Scratch

Paint scratches on the surface of an automobile are very annoying and often result from contact with hard objects, abrasive surfaces, or keys.

How To Fix Base Coat or Color Coat Scratches

Paint scratches must be repaired by professionals. Professionals in car painting wash, clear away debris, and sand with a particular grit. The car is given a clear coat to make sure it looks brand new after one to two days of drying.

Primer Coat Scratch or Damage

How To Identify a Primer Coat Scratch or Damage

Accidents and severe abrasions can leave primer scratches that reveal metal layers, making them prone to rust. Since replacing the part or panel is the sole way to remove rust, prompt care is essential.

How To Fix Primer Coat Scratches or Damages

A primer scratch is a process best left for the professionals. The extent and damaged region of the car determine how long it takes.


  1. Sandpaper the bigger area.
  2. Repair any dents.
  3. Apply a primer and allow it to dry.
  4. Paint, and then apply a clear coat to cure a priming scratch.

Keep Your Car Looking Pristine

We know how you love to take care of your car—because you love it. That’s why CleanTools loves taking care of you with our wide array of detailing tools and products. So go ahead and fix up those surface scratches, or clean and detail your vehicle with the help of CleanTools.


Explore Our Detailing Products

Older Post Newer Post