: scratch repair how-to?

04-19-2005, 01:01 PM
Ok, so this is definitely a newbie question, I apologize in advance. Do I get bonus points for being a chick trying to teach herself how to deal with the after-effects of off-roading?

So my 2003 Taco (Lunar Mist Metallic) earned some scratches above the passenger-side tail-light (and I have to admit, this wasn't off-road related, my dog backed it into a chain-link fence - he's now cut-off from driving). A few people have the opinion they could be buffed out, but it looks to me as though a few spots are down through the metallic paint layer, but not to bare metal.

If buffing would be the first step, at least to see if it helps, what materials should one use? I saw in previous posts some recommendations to use Mequier's Scratch-X. And I take it if this doesn't work, it'd be time to get some primer and touch-up paint, right?

Sorry if this should be obvious, but some of us had to sit through home ec instead of shop...


04-19-2005, 01:33 PM
OUCH! I love Scratch-X but I don't think it'd anything for those scratches. Those are pretty deep. BUMP for you!

04-19-2005, 02:49 PM
Best you are going to do is to use some factory match touch up paint and then wetsand it all down. Then you can start the polishing and stuff.

04-19-2005, 06:19 PM
Looks like it's past the paint. Buffing normally takes the scratchs out of the clear coat only (such as if your dog jumped up on the door)

Those are too deep. Nothing you can really do. However, here's the best way to get out scratches if they are minor enough later on. You may want to try it, it will make it a little bit better. It may seem really pickey but it is well worth it.

Get a random orbital buffer. You may want to have someone that knows electric stuff to wire up a knob so you can slow the speed down. Go get a foam polishing pad and a product called 3M Perfect it2. It is a product that is polish and polish only (meguiars for instance contains wax in it). The pure polish removes the scratches much easier. Now this will help you out in any waxing scenario. Go to Mervyn's or JC Penny, Macy's, whatever, and get towels. Get 2 small towels about 1'X1' from either of these companies, Cannon or Fieldcrest. These are the two companies that truely put 100% cotton in thier towels. If you get a towel that isn't this, it will have polyester in it, and this will scratch your paint. Also get 2 large bath sized towels from cannon or fieldcrest. You may want to also invest in a wax product called Zaino Bros. This wax contains no carnuba which breaks down in the sun. This wax lasts through the snow, dirt, whatever, for about 8 months. It also shines a lot better and has UV protection in it. Only apply this stuff by hand siince a buffer wastes a lot, and Zaino isn't the cheapest stuff aound. The only place you can get it is from www.Zainobros.com directly, you will Need Z-1 and Z-2/Z-3 depending on your paint finish.

To get the scratches out, first wash the car throughly with dawn detergent. This will take any wax that was on the paint before off. Using the #M Perfect it, foam pad, and your buffer, apply 3M to the pad and start to buff the area that has the scratches. You may want to do the rest of the car since it leaves a squeaky clean finish with not a lot of scratches and nearly any oxidation. Let it dry, and remove it with the large bath sized towel.

For Zaino, it's really easy. Take your bottle of Z-1 and apply it to your small towel. You may want to fold it in 4's to make it mush smaller. Apply about a quarter sized drop and sprad it on the paint to make streaks. This will make you use much less. Then in a swirling motion, apply the Z-1 to the entire car. Do not wipe the Z-1 off! Go section by section till you finish (streak on there, swirl)

Now take your Z-2 and apply it to your other small towel. Apply a quarter sized drop on the towel and spread it like you did with the Z-2. Then in a swirling motion, apply the Z-2 directly over the Z-1. Remember, as long as you get the Z-2 on the paint, that's all you need. You don't really need to see the haze, it should barely be there. If you have the correct technique down, you could do a vette about 10-20 times with one bottle. Just go section by section till you have finished.

Then after doing the whole car, wait about 30 minutes or so. Come back outside to the garage and go to the first section you did. Take your finger and put it on the paint, and move it about 1/4". If the wax streaked, you must let it dry more. If it comes off and all you see is paint, no haze, you can start removing the wax. Take the large bath towel and remove the wax in a big circular motion. Small circles will leave swirls.

After removing the entire residue, stand back and look at your paint. Wipe the drool off and start driving!

To wash it, do not use Dawn anymore. This will remove the wax! Buy special car wash concentrate that does not contain carnuba wax or any wax. I recomend the Zaino wash.

When the water doesn't want to bead up, just apply the Z-2, not the Z-1. Then once you need to wax it again, start the process over with the dawn and the z-1.

It is really worth it guys. My white paint on my Tacoma looks like a darker color it reflects so good. It's so much easier to clean and it stays that way for a long time.

04-19-2005, 06:36 PM
Wow....Thanks for the write up! I'll definetly be doing this.

04-19-2005, 07:13 PM
No problem. You can also check www.Zainobros.com on the tips and tricks section to get more details on the Zaino application. My writeup is pretty much the same as it, but the Zaino site may explain it better.