My own experience with paint touchups to cover scratches is on buying a used car and finding out in a few months that there was touch up paint used that is now peeling off. This said to me that in most cases it really doesn’t work to touch up your own scratch and that in the majority of cases the only true solution is to get a professional painting job. In doing further research on the topic, and thinking of my bumper, I am deciding to stay with the same general thought. Some times when looking for a quick easy fix, the truth is that it doesn’t exist.
Consumer reports, tested a series of scratch remover products and found out that they really don’t do what they claim on any major scratch, while they can get out the little things that are caused by bad wash jobs, “only one, Quixx Scratch Remover, did a good job of smoothing out a scratch that’s deep enough to feel if you run a fingernail across it. And even with Quixx, you have to be careful you don’t make the condition worse.” (Consumer Reports, 2007) Ifyou do decide to go this route they mention that “After using any scratch remover, apply a car wax to help protect the surface. In previous tests, we gave top marks to Black Magic Wet Shine Liquid Wax, Turtle Wax Carnauba Car Wax, and Eagle One Nanowax.” (Consumer Reports, 2007)
For those of us wanting to touch up scratches even sites that claim to be able to match any paint job state “Do not spray our paint over enamel paint that is less than two years old” and truly I have found that these are the people most concerned with scratches. The best site I found for directions on how to touch up paint is paintscratch.com. They claim to match any color and the prices are resonable, they also contain very complete directions on how to use their paints and what the limits of each type of product are. For example “Do not try to use the paint pen on areas larger than a pencil eraser. Larger areas must be sprayed Do not try to brush areas larger than a dime. Larger areas must be sprayed.” People who try to accomplish more than what the product was designed to do will end up disappointed in the long run. This site has the most complete directions you will find to accomplish a satisfactory result. http://www.paintscratch.com/automotive-paint-tips.htm.
The only true way to get a perfect result is to get the whole car professionally repainted, as the color on our cars changes with the environmental conditions that it has been exposed to over the years. This is true when ever you try to spot match anything. Perhaps with the time and effort that the directions recommend, a tidy job can be done. But in the long run, you have to ask your self whether the mark is bad enough to risk making it worse, or if the time it takes to do it right is worth the money you save having the whole thing done by someone who makes his living doing what you are trying to accomplish on your own. If the car was worth enough to me that the scratch was bothersome enough to be fixed; I would go the professional route.