How to fix a scratch on a car door

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tman9940
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:44 pm

How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by tman9940 »

I misjudged how much room I had to pass a parked car with a metal luggage holder on it and it gave me two 6 inch scratches on my passenger side door. Almost looks like someone keyed my car. It’s a 2010 Toyota Corolla. Not interested in taking it to a body shop. I watched a few videos on YouTube and feel confident I can fix it myself. Would love to hear from anyone that’s done it before and has any advice?
mike@jb
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Location: Florida

Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by mike@jb »

Try Meguiars ScratchX first. Apply several times, buff like mad and see how it goes.
Also follow up with a good paste wax (as it's slightly abrasive too).

If ScratchX + wax isn't good enough, step two would be to try small amounts of rubbing compound.
Apply, buff, repeat. It's fun!
Topic Author
tman9940
Posts: 288
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:44 pm

Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by tman9940 »

mike@jb wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 9:04 pm Try Meguiars ScratchX first. Apply several times, buff like mad and see how it goes.
Also follow up with a good paste wax (as it's slightly abrasive too).

If ScratchX + wax isn't good enough, step two would be to try small amounts of rubbing compound.
Apply, buff, repeat. It's fun!
Would you suggest going to Toyota to get the correct color paint? Or will they have it at a place like advance auto parts?
mhalley
Posts: 10388
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:02 am

Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by mhalley »

A local auto store might have a color match if it is a popular brand/color., if not they can order it. Or go to the dealership. You can find the correct color match number inside your drivers car door. There are many companies that sell matched auto paint online. The main thing is to decide if you want a paint pen or paint with a brush, sounds like you don’t need a spray can. Some brands include the clear coat, some you have to buy it seperately.
If you can’t feel the scratch with your fingernail, it may just be in the clear coat and you can buff it out.
Getting ready to do a couple small scratches on my Acura this week once the weather is right. I’d give the co I ordered from but it took forever to ship so I wouldn’t recommend it.
h82goslw
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Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by h82goslw »

If those scratches are down to the metal, the chances you’ll get it to look factory is almost 0 If you really don’t care try the items mentioned above, but know that those touch up paints don’t come close because the car has faded due to weather/sun and time. At that point only a body shop can make it match perfectly.
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lthenderson
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Location: Iowa

Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by lthenderson »

I used to buy touch up paint for scratches. I don't waste my time anymore. They show up almost as bad as the scratch itself did, especially with the shiny finishes most cars have these days. If it were a new car and the scratch went down to bare metal, I would probably apply the paint solely to prevent rust. If I were driving a 2010 aged vehicle that isn't considered a classic, like a Corolla, I would do absolutely nothing. The chances of rust being the demise of your vehicle is exactly 0%. In fact, I like scratched up older vehicles because people tend to give me a little more room in parking lots.
psteinx
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Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by psteinx »

tman9940 wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 8:44 pm two 6 inch scratches
...
Not interested in taking it to a body shop.
You may be overestimating how much this would cost to fix at the right body/paint shop.

Near me, I have a "quickie" place that does light body work and paint. This kinda thing is right up their alley, and might run $200-300 there, with an end result barely perceptible, if at all.

For the time and money, and likely bad result you'll get, if you DIY, I suggest you at least check around at one or two local, small, independent places. If they advertise "Same Day" or "Paintless Dent Repair", that's a promising sign.
LotsaGray
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Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by LotsaGray »

tman9940 wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 9:15 pm
mike@jb wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 9:04 pm Try Meguiars ScratchX first. Apply several times, buff like mad and see how it goes.
Also follow up with a good paste wax (as it's slightly abrasive too).

If ScratchX + wax isn't good enough, step two would be to try small amounts of rubbing compound.
Apply, buff, repeat. It's fun!
Would you suggest going to Toyota to get the correct color paint? Or will they have it at a place like advance auto parts?
Ordered some for my truck recently from Amazon but the seller was Scratcheshappen.com iirc. Will confirm. Was an exact factory match of Tuxedo black and came with clear coat also. Did really well on my scratches. Also bought a Deep Scratch repair by Turtle Wax. The Meguiars I had was not aggressive enough. TW had 4 grit of sand paper.
momopi
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Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:59 pm

Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by momopi »

If the scratch is thin and looks like someone keyed your car's door, you may be able to buff it out, or use DA polisher for paint correction.

Japanese cars tend to use soft paint. I've used turtle wax ice speed compound with DA polisher on several Toyota cars with good effect for minor scratches (won't fix deep ones. Check youtube for videos, but read up on how to use DA polisher on auto detailing forums if you plan to use one.
sureshoe
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Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by sureshoe »

psteinx wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2023 10:00 am
tman9940 wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 8:44 pm two 6 inch scratches
...
Not interested in taking it to a body shop.
You may be overestimating how much this would cost to fix at the right body/paint shop.

Near me, I have a "quickie" place that does light body work and paint. This kinda thing is right up their alley, and might run $200-300 there, with an end result barely perceptible, if at all.

For the time and money, and likely bad result you'll get, if you DIY, I suggest you at least check around at one or two local, small, independent places. If they advertise "Same Day" or "Paintless Dent Repair", that's a promising sign.
Just going to echo this. I have both used a body shop as well as done it myself.

I put a pretty ugly gash on a black car not more than a few months after owning it, but I touched it up myself (poorly). For the vast majority of people, it was a major improvement. The big problem is it also dented the metal some - so no good DIY for that - but again, very well hidden. If you took your time and did it slow, you can make it where you're the only one who notices it.

At the same time, I took a 5 year car to a body shop and they did a "whole body buff" and cleaned it up STUNNINGLY. All the little dings/etc were gone, and I think it was $500. For a small, isolated spot - I'd bet $200-$300 gets it perfect.

Really just depends on how much you care. DIY is very doable - just be slow and very very patient.
Glockenspiel
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Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by Glockenspiel »

mike@jb wrote: Mon Dec 04, 2023 9:04 pm Try Meguiars ScratchX first. Apply several times, buff like mad and see how it goes.
Also follow up with a good paste wax (as it's slightly abrasive too).

If ScratchX + wax isn't good enough, step two would be to try small amounts of rubbing compound.
Apply, buff, repeat. It's fun!
+1. Try this first. You may be surprised that it's a surface scratch that doesn't get through the paint. Once you do that, you might be able to live with the results or if not, then you can likely get it repaired for a $100-300 from a body shop.
rickcrna
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Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:04 am

Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by rickcrna »

Take the car to a reputable body shop. This kind of repair as a DIY project won’t end well.
the_wiki
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Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by the_wiki »

Do you want it to look good or just protect from rust?
tibbitts
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Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:50 pm

Re: How to fix a scratch on a car door

Post by tibbitts »

I've attempted a fair amount of this myself over the years, but if it's like you're describing, it won't end well. It always looks so easy in those U-tube videos. I once had body work for dent and then paint - more than you need - done with estimates like $2500, $3000, and... $500. Unfortunately, the $500 guys went out of business shortly after fixing my car but they did an amazing job. So maybe shop around for estimates. That always happens whenever I find anybody in any trade that provides an especially good value.

I strongly suggest not letting the damaged area rust no matter what it ends up looking like.
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