How to Repair Scatches in Truck Paint

a red truck
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-50
What You'll Need
P1500 Wet-and-Dry paper
Absorbent paper
Bucket of water
Rubber sanding block
Car leather
Polishing compound
Machine polisher
Lint-Free cloth
Wax polish

Everyday wear and tear can play havoc with truck paint and before too long, body panels can become littered with scratches and abrasions. Although some scratches will be too deep to carry out an invisible repair, they can be significantly reduced while smaller scratches in your truck paint can be eliminated completely.

Step 1 – Clean the Panel

Before work commences, take a wet sponge and wipe the damaged truck panel so that any dirt or grit sitting on the surface is completely removed. Dry the panel with clean absorbent paper. This reduces the chances of catching grit in your wet-and-dry paper which could add further scratches to the panel at a later stage.

The panel should be also be thoroughly cleaned so that all the scratches in the truck paint are visible.

Step 2 – Flatting Out the Scratches

Most scratches will be formed across the surface of the clear protective coating on your truck. All of these should be easy to remove. However, any scratches that have penetrated through the clear coat onto the color can only be minimized.

Wrap a sheet of P1500 wet-and-dry paper around a rubber sanding block and dip it into the bucket of water. The water acts as a lubricant while the scratches are being removed and also stops the abrasive paper from clogging.

Place the wet-and-dry paper over the scratch and begin to rub lightly in a circular motion. Stop after every few seconds and dry the area with clean absorbent paper to see if the scratch is still visible. Do not apply too much pressure when rubbing out scratches. It is better if you allow the block and paper to do the work for you. By only applying very light pressure and checking regularly, you should be able to avoid rubbing through the clear coat. Continue until all scratches have been removed.

Step 3 – Polishing

Clean the panel with a wet car leather to remove all traces of flatting waste and dry the panel with a clean sheet of absorbent paper. The truck paint is now ready to be bought back to a showroom shine!

Apply a pea-sized amount of polishing compound to the center of the truck panel and place the mop head of the machine polisher on top of it before turning on. Make sure the machine polisher is set at a comfortable speed that gives you complete control over the polishing process. Continue working the mop head over the entire panel, adding small amounts of polishing compound as necessary, until the entire panel is buffed up to perfect shine. The panel should be wiped over with a clean piece of lint-free cloth to remove any traces of polishing compound.

Step 4 – Waxing

Further scratches to your truck paint can be avoided by adding a protective coating of wax polish onto the repaired panel. Wax polish should be applied by hand using a small quantity poured onto a piece of clean lint-free cloth. Work in the polish using a large circular motion and remove any residue with another clean piece of lint-free cloth for a perfect finish!