The Ultimate Guide to Car Paint Repair: Restoring Your Vehicle’s Shine

There are few things in life as satisfying as a shiny new car. But with any glossy coat of paint is the ever-present threat of scratches. Scratches are, unfortunately, an inevitable part of car ownership. Whether it’s a large scuff on the edge of the kerb, or the small, microscopic scratches that come from resting a coffee cup on your car’s roof as you fumble to unlock it, there are bound to be scratches on your car.


But if you’re anything like us, it’s the large, visible scratches that are the most frustrating. Not only do they detract from the look of your car but, left untreated, can lead to further damage to the paint or even rust. So, if you’re currently dealing with car paint damage, how you can restore your vehicle’s shine?


What are common types of car paint damage?

Before we look at how to fix car paint damage, it’s important to understand just what type of damage you might have. The key factor in determining the severity of a car scratch is how deep it is.

Bumper car scratched with deep damage to the paint.

Clear coat scratches

Your clear coat is the top layer of your paint and the barrier designed to protect your car against the encounters of daily driving, from rock chips to bumps. Clear coat scratches are incredibly common and can happen fairly easily – even from washing your car. Luckily, they can also be repaired relatively easily and the majority can be removed by a good polish and buff.


There are several common types of clear coat car paint damage which might be present on your vehicle including:

  • Paint transfer scratches: Paint transfer scratches are the outcome of your car coming into contact with another stationary object – whether it’s another car or something else. Often, when this happens, paint may be crossed over and be embedded into your clear coat. Usually, the fix for paint transfer is simple – it can be removed with a rag, polish and some concerted effort.
  • Swirl marks: Swirl marks are usually quite undetectable under normal conditions but, if looked at closely or under intense light will appear. These are generally produced by poor cleaning techniques – for instance drying your car with the same towel over again means it may trap fine dirt which acts as sandpaper when you go to dry your car. They can usually be removed by polishing.

Deeper scratches and car paint damage


While the above are some of the more typical scratches, there are other types of more impactful damage that can occur. Deeper scratches occur when the clear coat is completely penetrated, impacting the layers of paint below.

This is usually when a professional paint repair will be necessary, as the impacted paint layer will need to be fixed before the clear coat can be reapplied.


Paint/base coat scratches

This occurs when the scratch penetrates the clear coat and reaches the colour beneath. As the clear coat is designed to protect the underlying paint and metal of the car, this exposure leaves the car to the elements. Base coat scratches can be repaired but doing so involves removing the paint from the area, touching it up with paint-matched colour and reapplying the clear coat.


Primer scratches

The final, deepest level of scratch – and the hardest to repair – is a primer scratch. With these scratches, the damage is deep enough to expose the metal surface of the car. The only way to address these scratches is to sand and repair each impacted layer individually, from the primer up.


Assessing and fixing the damage

Once you’ve identified the type of damage, it’s time to assess the extent of the problem. If your damage is minor and can be addressed with a simple polish, it makes sense to DIY. However, if the damage has gone beneath the clear coat, it’ll be important to ask yourself: Do you know how to repair a paint scratch or dent? Is it worth your time? Do you have the skills?


If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to leave it to the professionals like Bumpertek. As a professional car bumper and scratch repairer, you’ll get all the benefits of a professional repair: expert knowledge, advanced tools, and professional-grade products. And, if you use a mobile repair service like Bumpertek, you’ll get this with the added bonus of convenience – because we come to your home or workplace to undertake our repairs.

Checkout our blog on “DIY Car Scratch Repair vs. Professional Repairs: Which is Right for You?”


But what should you think through when deciding whether to opt for a professional repair?

  • Choosing the right service provider: Before undertaking a car paint repair service, it’s important to research reputable repairers and read customer reviews.
  • Understanding the cost factor: You’ll want to know how much it will cost. Reputable car paint repairs services will provide a quote before undertaking any work.

So if you’ve got a car paint scratch or scuff that you’d like to fix – reach out to Bumpertek today for a free quote.