How Do You Repair Clear Coat on a Vehicle?


Quick Answer

Repairing minor scratches, abrasions or other imperfections in a vehicle's clear coat only requires a clear coat repair kit and some sandpaper. Manufacturers such as 3M, PlastiDip and Mirka produce at-home kits for repairing minor clear coat damage.

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Full Answer

All automotive clear coat repair kits work by sanding the scratched area flush with the surrounding area of clear coat, making the scratch less obvious. After sanding, the repaired area is then buffed and polished to the same sheen as the rest of the vehicle's clear coat. Using a buffing or polishing attachment for a handheld drill or small orbital sander makes the process much quicker and less labor-intensive, but these tools are not required to make the repair.

A scratch that only penetrates into the top part of the clear coat usually responds well to at-home repair kits. Scratches deeper in the clear coat are usually less noticeable after a repair, but completely removing them is unlikely. Unfortunately, making at-home repairs to scratches that penetrate all the way to the vehicle's paint work is not possible. For clear coats with serious, extensive or deep scratches, repair usually is not an option. For such serious scratches, the only way to restore the vehicle's original appearance is through a professional re-spray.

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