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toober 10-02-2013 02:55 AM

Scratches - Touch Up - Paint or Clear Coat?
In my web searches I have not come across this answer. So the truck has scratches from debadging. Naive me decided to use one of the letters to help remove the adhesive because they were more rigid. Don't do that. Now I know. The credit card worked just fine with more patience (and Turtle label remover). Floss and fishing line just kept breaking on me. Back to the topic.....

So on one side the truck has scratches the fingernail can feel. The scratches look white on the mineral gray paint. A light scratch remover like Meguiars Scratch-X 2.0 did not work. So I guess it's deeper than what that product is for. So do I need touch up paint, or touch up clear coat, or both? And how does this compare/work with rubbing compound and polishing compound?

My searches yielded both being mentioned but never in the same article.

toober 10-02-2013 02:56 PM

Does nobody here do it themselves or was that just a bad hour to post at for responses?

tguil 10-02-2013 04:09 PM


Originally Posted by toober (Post 1212969)
Does nobody here do it themselves or was that just a bad hour to post at for responses?

I've been touching up scratches on trucks and cars for over 50 years, but without seeing the scratch, I am not really comfortable offering advice. If you can feel the scratches with your fingernail and at the same time see white (primer) you are going to need to use touch up basecoat (paint). Then you have to decide if you want to top it with clearcoat (mixed opinions on this step).

Because you were rather "naive" on debadging, I suggest that you take your truck to a good detail shop and/or body shop to see what they suggest.

As far as doing your own repair, here is the best single website showing procedures for do-it-yourself paint repairs. Whatever you choose to do, it will not be as good as new, especially with your paint color.

Sorry you messed up.

mmateri 10-02-2013 04:17 PM

good advice from the poster before me, basically you need to wetsand about a one foot area minimum, you need to fill the scratch more with paint, and use the foot area around it to blend, lightly........more paint in the scratch.....lighter towards your perimiter.......when you wet sand you need to be through the clear, or when you clear you will see it as you have to wet sand after..........this really isn't a noob job........a bodyshop might be a better idea......i've done alot of this, but you need a good spraygun, and a proper air compressor so the pain atomizes good enough as to make sure you're not going to have a blotchy job, no matter how well you this...........alot

toober 10-02-2013 05:17 PM

The white is primer and not the way light refracts through the different clear coat angles of the scratch? I thought automotive primer was gray. But okay, touch up paint first. Does wetsand come before the rubbing compound? Does clear coat go on before or after the rubbing compound or polishing compound?

tguil 10-02-2013 05:43 PM

Read and reread the website I posted above. You are not ready to do the repair.

Grubrunner 10-02-2013 05:58 PM

I'm having a hard time understanding how using one of the letters you removed helped remove the remaining letters, hence causing your issue?

With all due respect, you need to research a lot before you attempt what it is you're asking. The posted link is a good one but might I also suggest knocking on the door of a body shop and asking for first hand advice.

If your preference is advice online, drop me a PM and I'll forward you Dylan's contact from Adam's Polishes, who's super sharp in all areas automotive paint. The Junkman is another handle you'll learn a lot from. He has several YouTube clips that will help you out.

Start here -

Automotive primer can come in many colors - Duplicate-Color for example offers them in an array - and the dried finish is often not the same color as the application.

Hope this helped.

Good luck.


toober 10-02-2013 06:39 PM

There's been over 50 years and time-proven improvements on scratch removal over the past decade that I figured it would be a definitive step-by-step process by now that can be listed out. Obviously if I was going to professionals for this, I would not have started this thread. I was hoping that there would be some professionals on this forum that could respond with known methods or provide a link to other threads of the same issue that have already been completed with DIY success. Thank you for the link tguil, it is very informative. Grubrunner, the letter was used to remove sticky foam residue left behind after the letters were off. The spray greatly helped the process, the sun didn't seam to help much.

toober 10-03-2013 10:36 AM

Looking at it again this morning, fingernail feels the scratches but does not catch on them.

HammerRammer 10-03-2013 11:33 AM

Almost all scratches are in the clear coat, here's some good advice

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