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Chips and scratches are going to happen. While some would argue that these imperfections add to the patina and provenance of a car, most of us would prefer to repair them. Fortunately, there are several methods to repair or diminish the effects of this damage, and all can be performed at home.

For a light scratch above the topcoat, buffing is the solution. Compounds come in ranges of aggressiveness; the deeper the scratch, the more aggressive the compound. An electric buffer is fast, but also the fastest way to cause more damage if you’re not careful. Buffing by hand is slower but safer.

When the damage goes below the topcoat, it’s time for touch-up paint. Getting a custom mix is usually the first step. Even if a supplier has a formula for your car, a computer match is usually better. Ask for single stage, non-catalyzed paint like acrylic enamel.

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