How to Remove Deep Scratches From Car

It is often said that any scratch that doesn’t damage the metal is treatable at home. This is true, but it is also true that the effort involved multiplies as the depth and gravity of the scratch grows. That said, taking deeply scratched surfaces to the repair store isn’t a better option since they too would have to put in additional effort and for this, would charge you extra. If you are willing to invest a little extra time to make up for your or someone else’s lack of caution on the road, we’ve outlined a simple answer for anyone wondering how to remove deep scratches from car.


Anatomy of the Scratch

Deep scratches tend to remove all layers of paint and protective film. This creates a very shallow but tangible canyon, which can create an uneven finish if one were to simply use compound and glaze. Over time, such an uneven surface attracts even more scratches, which become progressively more difficult to handle.

If, on the other hand, you choose to ignore it completely, you run the risk of rusting the area. This can cause surrounding paint to flake off, producing an unsightly mess. Therefore, the need is to cover the area quickly and in such a manner that the scratched area and the surrounding area don’t have any difference in terms of depth.

Products Required


–To repair a scratched surface, you would require –

a. Repair paint/touch-up paint – Most manufacturers sell tubes of paint that can be used to repair sections where fading or damage has occurred. Alternatively, you could get the right mix of colours from specialized online retailers, for a little extra.

b. Artists’ brush – Given that most scratches are hair-thin, it is unwise to use standard paint brushes for repair. Instead, you should probably dip into an atelier to get hold of an old artist’s narrow brush.

c. Putty – Most damage repair methods involve using putty to level out the surface. While “automobile putty” is a thing that exists, any type of putty that can be applied on metal surfaces and then be painted over will work just fine.

d. Sponge – Block sponges that are not prone to damage on contact with oils or chemicals should work well.

e. Thick tissues – Paper tissues or cloth towels that can be used to wipe compound off your car should be great.

f. Paint leveller - A compound (usually some form of alcohol) that is used to remove excess paint from a surface. This is generally available at paint shops.

g. Alcohol – Heavier alcohols like isopropyl should be used to clean up the area before and after the repair have been carried out.

h. Spray bottle – Used for spraying alcohol to the car surface.

i. Squeegee – This is used to remove excess materials from the scratch area.

j. Protective gloves and headgear – Wear goggles and gloves at all times.

Repair Procedure

The steps involved in repairing deep scratches are –

1 - Note the angle and location of the scratch. While most scratches will be linear and would occur on the sides of the car, you may just end up with one that is circular in shape and sits proud on the bonnet. In case of scratches on vertical surfaces, make sure that you do not apply any materials (described below) in excess amount as this would flow downwards and create difficulties.

2 - Clean out the area with alcohol or any other cleaning compound.

3 - Wipe the liquid and grime away with a sponge. Ideally, you should use one side of a sponge for this purpose and the other side for later steps.

4 - Squeeze out a little putty onto the surface of the car, such that it is placed at the point where the scratch begins. This can be the top or bottom end of the scratch for a level surface, but always the top end for a vertical one.

5 - Take a squeegee or leveller and gently press it against the blob of putty. Push it gently onto the scratch, such that you create a big smear of putty on the scratch. Do not worry about the putty covering the surrounding area. Be careful not to continue spreading it beyond the end point of the scratch as this would later cause difficulty in recognizing the extent of the scratch.

6 - Let the putty sit in the scratched area for about a minute, so as to ensure that any effects of gravity are accounted for before you move onto the next step.

7 - Take a foam block and pour paint leveller onto it. If the foam block is not immune to organic compounds (for instance if it is made of rubber), you can consider wrapping a paper towel around it.

8 - Quickly apply the soaked surface onto the putty and proceed with diagonal motions. Initially the actions will spread the putty even further, but will also remove the excess putty gradually.

9 - Once the putty has been removed, you should notice a thin red line instead of the white (or grey) one that existed at the beginning of our article.

10 - Take a fine brush and begin applying paint to the red line. This should be done by “poking” the putty gently, and not through linear strokes. The reason why strokes should not be used is because these would cause the brush to pull away the putty and all the work we’ve done so far to achieve a level surface would be undone.

11 - Leave the paint to dry out, or apply another coat. Remember that the coat would seem to protrude out a little bit from the remaining surface due to the putty underneath. This is perfectly normal and no levelling should be attempted at this stage.

12 - Leave the paint to dry out overnight.

13 - If you wish to be doubly careful, apply some alcohol to the area after the paint has fully dried. This will remove any dust that may have settled into the putty-paint mix.


Car manufacturers argue that the primary purpose behind this technique is to ensure that the area does not rust and does not attract further damage. As far as the average car owner is concerned though, the appearance of the area is equally important and for this reason, we’ve listed out additional steps like adding paint, so that the area appears unblemished to the average eye. Whatever be your motivation, the above technique should be able to take care of even the deepest of surface scratches and ensure that your car doesn’t stand out for the wrong reasons.

May be will help you: How to Remove Scratches from Car

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