For car owners, maintenance of their vehicle’s appearance is just as important as maintaining the main engine. You wouldn’t want to drive a vehicle that doesn’t look good and impressive. With car wash services all around the country, it is easy to maintain your car’s luster and polished appearance. Unfortunately, you can’t control the happenings in your car. External factors such as accident scratches happen. But what about car keying?

You could be the receiving end of the “keyed car” tag. And most of the time, there’s no way to know if someone will do this to your car. For example, your partner might take his or her grudge in your car instead of you during a fight. When things like this happen, how would you fix a keyed car without wasting a lot of money?

The unwanted “keyed car” marks

In its simplest definition, car keying happens when someone or something scratches a car’s surface (either accidentally or intentionally) by a key’s small tip. Because the tip is quite small, the mark is not that grave, but it is still noticeable. You can even get your car keyed if you’re not very careful enough about your keys. Most of the time, this form of vandalism is used to get revenge or by random encounters.

Car keying is a form of vandalism, which means that in some places, this petty act is charge-able. If someone keyed your car, you could call the police for help, as it is illegal and a crime. It is still damaging to the property, which is the reason why the police can be called to assist in the case.

Unfortunately, the police itself cannot do anything major for this crime. That is unless you have a camera or any surveillance devices installed, which can prove who did the keying. But if you want an easier path, you can fix your keyed car and protect it.

How to erase car marks and scratches?

Before you continue with the tutorial, you should first assess the damage in your car. You will likely be able to fix it yourself if it is at the surface level or the clear coat. Do this by spraying water in the area. If the scar is in the clear coat level, the water can fill the scar, making it disappear for a moment. However, if the scar remains, the scar is too deep to fill with water. In this case, take your car to a professional car exterior repair shop.

The things you’ll need:

Here are the things you’ll need to go through the repair:

  • Paint – The same kind as your original car color
  • Masking tape – For covering the surrounding area
  • Sandpaper – With the grit of 1500 to 3000
  • Clearcoat – Make sure it’s in a spray can
  • Microfiber cloth – For cleaning up
  • Primer – If you take it too far with the sandpaper
  1. Clean your car for an easier paint job

Before sanding or painting, you need to make sure that your car is free of dirt and dust, or at least the area surrounding the scar. Any dust and dirt residue will be caked to the newly painted exterior if these things are not removed. In addition, you will get an accurate look at what extent the keying is done to your car exterior. You can clean the part with soapy water and a microfiber cloth. Make sure that before doing sanding and painting, the car is completely dry.

  1. Separate the scar from untouched areas

This thing will make you avoid touching the “okay” part of the car while painting. The masking tape servers both as a protective layer and an outline for the paint later on. Masking tape is fine if you’re sure you can accurately target the area. For bigger areas, you can tape newspapers in the surrounding area instead. Make a wider protecting layer if you’re going to use spray paint.

  1. Know the damage level and start sanding

It’s not that noticeable, but there are different layers in the exterior of the car. These layers serve a lot of purposes. Here’s how the layer is structured:

  • Wax – It is the finishing polish of the car.
  • Clear-Coat – It protects the car from UV rays and other natural damage.
  • Paint – It should be the same color as your original car.
  • Primer – The bonding agent
  • Car Body

Take your sandpaper (2,000-3,000 grit) and start wet sanding until the scratch is barely visible. Do not apply more pressure necessary, as you can scratch accidentally sand through the primer layer. If that happens, you need to reapply the primer, prolonging this step. The upside of reaching to the primer is the minimal visible differences between the good area and the newly painted area.

  1. Cover the car scratch with paint

In this step, you should consider the paintbrush you’ll going to use for better results. We recommend finer paintbrushes for smaller scars. Also, make sure that you get the color of your car right before applying the actual paint. If you’re uncertain about the color, search for your car’s OEM information online to see the exact match. Once you’re satisfied with the touch-up, it’s time to protect the paint.

  1. Coat the area to protect the paint

To protect the paint, you need to reapply the clear coat that you sanded earlier. Most clear coat products are in spray form, making it easier to apply evenly. Apply the clear coat according to the instructions on the paint can.

  1. Polish and wax

If you find any uneven surface after applying the clear coat, use 2,000-grit sandpaper to even it out. Respray if needed. Wipe the area using the microfiber cloth before waxing the area. You must wait until the cloudy part of the paint has gone before applying the wax. Let the wax dry and wipe with a microfiber cloth for the last time.

How much does it cost to fix a keyed car?

Scratch Only Hits Clear Coat: If the scratch has not broken through the clear coat, you can likely buff out the scratch yourself or pay $150 to $300 for a repair shop to do it. Scratch Penetrates Clear Coat and Gets to Paint: Scratches that require an auto body shop to reapply clear coat may cost $400 to $1,000 to fix.

Can you fix a keyed car yourself?

You can repair a keyed car on your own, but it requires a few tools and a lot of patience. It’s up to you to decide if you‘d rather spend the money to have your keyed car repaired or take the time do fix it yourself. A DIY keyed car repair isn’t out of reach, but it will take time and patience.

What do you do when your car gets keyed?

Get a Police Report

You should always call the police if you experience car vandalism. Their report is necessary for a claim, and there might be more going on than the incident with your car. If the culprit is caught, the insurance company could go after the individual to cover the damages.

How do I remove key scratches from my car?

How to Fix Keyed Car Scratches
  1. Washing the Car. First and foremost, wash the affected area completely.
  2. Drying the Car. Once you’ve washed the car, dry it thoroughly using a clean microfiber cloth.
  3. Applying Masking Tape.
  4. The Sanding.
  5. Applying the Primer.
  6. Applying the Paint.
  7. Applying the Clear Coat.
  8. Polishing/Waxing.

Can key scratches be buffed out?

Small scratches can usually be rubbed out with polishing compound. For deeper scratches, polish isn’t abrasive enough to fix the problem. For a deep scratch that’s visible even when you wet it down, you have to physically sand the area with a solid abrasive, such as sandpaper.

Do scratch pens work on cars?

‘Magic’ clear paint pens

Well, in most cases the answer is yes, it is too good to be true. Of course, no-one could expect that a pen could act like an eraser to completely remove the scratch. Car paintwork has a layer of clear lacquer over the top of the paint, and it is this that magic pens aim to repair.

How do you fix a deep scratch on a car?

How to Fix Deep Scratches on a Car
  1. Clean the surrounding area. Before you attempt to fix the scratch, give it (and the surrounding area) a thorough wash and dry.
  2. Use a scratch repair kit.
  3. Apply rubbing compound.
  4. Cover it with touch-up paint.

What’s the best scratch repair pen?

The scratch repair pen is a popular choice as it promises to remove paintwork scratches in little time without breaking the bank. One product you might come across is the Simoniz Fix It Pro scratch repair pen. It promises a quick fix that drivers are eager to try, so keep reading to find out how it fared in our review.

Can WD 40 remove scratches on car?

For scuff marks to cars, make sure the area is clean then simply spray it with WD40 Multi-Use Product and let the lubricant in the WD40 Multi-Use Product loosen the scuffed paint. Then simply wipe it off with a soft cloth.

Does Toothpaste ruin car paint?

While toothpaste itself may not ruin your car paintwork, it is possible to damage your paint by rubbing the toothpaste on the paint surface.

Why does toothpaste remove scratches?

When you gently rub toothpaste onto a slick and smooth surface, it sticks together on any imperfections that exist and softly sands them away, wearing off the uneven surface structure and polishing the surface clean.

Does Colgate really remove scratches?

Yes, toothpaste can be used to remove scratches. Due to some chemical properties of toothpaste, it is often used as a scratch removal. Just grab a soft cloth and a smear of toothpaste, and you can erase scratches without much work involved.

Does Colgate remove scratches on phone?


Look no further than your bathroom to cure small marks on your phone’s screen. Dab a small amount of toothpaste onto the end of a cotton swab or clean, soft cloth. Gently rub the cotton swab or cloth in circular motions on the screen until you see the scratch go away.

Can you repair scratched discs?

To fix a disc and get it playable again, you need some solution to fill in the small surface scratches. A store bought scratch-filler will definitely do the job, but you can also turn to things like peanut oil and baking soda to do the same thing.

How do I fix an unreadable disc?

Here are a few methods to try to fix your scratched disc at home:
  1. Rubbing Alcohol Method: Get a lint free non scratching cloth.
  2. Toothpaste Method: Use a small dab of the gritty type of toothpaste.
  3. Banana Method: Use a banana that is peeled and cut in half.
  4. Skip Scratch Fixer Method:
  5. Petroleum Jelly Method:

Can you fix a scratched PS4 disc?

To repair shallow scratches on the surface of a PS4 disc, you‘ll need a gritty toothpaste, a soft cloth, mild dish soap, and warm water. The gritty toothpaste acts as a light abrasive material that can fill and remove stubborn, shallow scratches from the surface of a PS4 disc.

How does Vaseline remove scratches from CDS?

Simply take a cotton ball and dip it in some alcohol to clean the area near the scratch. Then apply Vaseline or Petroleum Jelly to the disc. The Vaseline will fill in the scratch, hopefully making it readable again.