For most of the world, 2020 was a year of just trying to get by. Most people spent it stuck at home, with their car parked. When you never leave the house, the condition of your car’s finish might not be the priority, but now that things have begun reopening date nights and days out with friends are on the horizon once more. This means it is time to get your car looking great again. A Car Scratch Repair Kit for 2021.
If your car spends all its time in a garage, being parked for most of last year probably kept the finish looking good, and a simple detailing will get you back to beautiful. If you drive your car much or park outside, there is a good chance that it has some damage to its finish, from microabrasions and dings to actual scratches. You could take your car to paint and body shop and pay hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to have the damage buffed out and repainted, but you can fix much of this damage at home, saving you a fortune, and avoiding the need to put your baby in the shop for a week.
What are Scratches?
This seems like a no-brainer, but it is an important question to understand before you decide it is worth a shot and try to repair your scratches. Your car’s finish isn’t just a painted metal surface. There are at least three layers to the finish on your car, and each serves a different purpose.
Primer is a specialized paint that will stick to bare metal without chipping and flaking away. Primer prevents rust and allows your actual paint finish to attach. The properties that allow it to stick to metal also mean that other things adhere to dry primer very well. When those other things are the next layer of paint, that is a good thing. When they are dirt and grease, that is not as good. The primer needs to be topped with the next coat before exposing the vehicle to the elements.
The base coat is what most people think of as the paint of the car. This will be several layers of colored paint. Some finishes will have multiple layers in this coat to give different effects. This is typically where you would find elements like glitter or metal flake, although these might be applied as a secondary step on this layer.
The clear coat is what gives automotive paint its durability and longevity. It is exactly what it sounds like: a layer of clear paint that protects the underlying layers.
When we talk about scratches in the paint of a car, there are very different meanings that all apply to the same word. If an angry ex drags their keys down to the metal, that will require very different treatment than some microabrasions in the clear coat. A car scratch repair kit will typically focus on the latter of these. Microabrasions in your clear coat can make a car look substantially older and more worn, so it is worth your while to do the work of repairing these as you find them.
If you find deeper scratches that have gone well into the clear coat, you can get clear coat filler pens. Once the clear coat is repaired, you can lessen the appearance of the repair by blending with a simple repair kit.
If scratches go into the base paint, or all the way to the metal, you will need to decide if it is worthwhile to get it professionally repaired. If not, you can try a color match paint pen if needed, and then repair the clear coat as quickly as possible. Damage that travels through the clear coat can cause flaking and rusting pretty quickly, so handle this as soon as possible.
You might have to supplement with additional paint matching, but the scratch repair kit will make any repairs you do look that much better. Regardless of what type of damage you have, a scratch repair kit will come in handy.