Scratched paintwork is a hazard of owning a car - whether caused by an accident or by a vandal.

But getting a car scratch repair fixed by a body panelling professional can be expensive - so many motorists try the DIY route for fixing a car scratch first.

But how easy is it to fix car scratches yourself?

Here we present one way of how to remove a deep scratch from car at home.

It is not the definitive method for repairing a car scratch - just one among many. However, most approaches for a car paint repair from scratches use at least some of these techniques.

How to remove a deep scratch from car at home

This step-by-step process details how to repair scratches on a car

Clean surface with rubbing alcohol

Begin the process of the deep car scratch removal by cleaning the surface with rubbing alcohol.

Use a clean cloth or wet wipes to do this.


If necessary, wet sand the surface to remove any ridges from the car paint scratch.

Suitable sandpaper for car paint?

This means using a fine sandpaper (e.g. 3000 grit) while adding water as you go.

Protect the rest of the car paintwork

It's a good idea to duct tape around the scratch, to prevent the sanding process damaging the undamaged surface of your car paint.

Use spot putty to fill in the scratch on your car paint

Use spot putty to fill in the scratch on your car paint, then wait for the putty to dry - around 30 minutes.

The longer you wait the better.

The aim is to level off the scratch with the putty.

Ideally, you'd have a slight dip in the putty, where the 'crown' of paint will eventually sit.

Use leveller

It's a good idea to remove any excess putty used for repairing the deep car scratch. - i.e. the putty on the un-scratched areas of the vehicle's paint job.

Use scratch leveller fluid with a clean cloth.


Wet sand again

Use automotive sandpaper, such as 3M 3000 Grit, to sand down the rough edges of the putty. If this grit level does not work, switch to 2000 grit.

This should ensure the surface is flat for the next stages.

Add or squirt water over the scratch as you sand.

Clean the surface once more with rubbing alcohol (99%)

Touch up the paint

Use a pointed round brush to touch up the paintwork along the scratched area of the car paint work.

Wet sand once more

Use 3000 grit sandpaper to sand the paint touch-up area, squirting water as you go.


Finally, finish the car scratch repair by polishing the area where you have carried out the repair.

Use an electronic polishing machine with automotive polishing fluid to polish the area.

You can also do this by hand.


Video examples of a car scratch repair

Below are some videos detailing some of the common approaches used by body panel professionals to deal with scratches.


How to touch up car paint: Best paint touch-up tricks - Mercedes G55 


Deep car scratch remover: How to repair a deep car paint scratch like a pro


What about car scratch removers?

Most car scratch removers are only suitable for minor scratches of any length.

If you run your fingernail over the scratch and it catches, you won’t be able to completely remove it but using a car scratch remover will help to lessen the appearance of the scratch.

Some of the best car scratch removers available in the UK include: