It doesn’t matter how much you care for your car or how careful you are while driving on the road. There are multiple possibilities of swirls and scratches on the paint of your car. Road grime, dust, tree sap and bird droppings are some of the most common elements that can cause swirl marks or fine scratches on the paint surface.
Cars these days have better protection on the paint and most of the time, you need not worry about scratches but still, they can happen. If the scratches are deep, you will notice them with no problem, but if it’s just some swirls, you will need to get close to the surface to spot them. In either case, it’s important that you get rid of these scratches and swirls from the paint surface in time. Because if we leave them for a while, they will get deeper, making it easier for debris to stick in them.
Common causes of swirls
There are many reasons there are swirls on your car paint. Most of these are very common, but there are some unobvious causes.
- Tree sap
- Bird droppings
- Road grime
- Cleaning car with abrasive cloth
- Using incorrect rubbing pad for polish or waxing
- Using harsh wax compound
- Wiping debris off of the surface while it’s dry
- Frequently visiting automatic car washes
- Using abrasive car cover
- Placing metals on the surface
Useful tips for removing swirls
There are many methods to remove swirls and minor scratches off of a paint surface, but most of them usually start with washing the car with warm water. Debris usually sticks in the swirls or very fine scratches. If you try to clean them with wax or polishing agent, it won’t take the dust out and that can permanently damage the paint surface. Therefore, it’s better to wash the car thoroughly using warm water.
If the scratches are very fine, using good quality car shampoo will remove most of the swirls, but if they are still there, it’s time to move on to the next level where the cleaning treatment gets more serious.
At this stage, after the car is washed and dried with a microfiber cloth, it’s time to polish the paint surface. A premium quality polish can help as it not only reduces the polishing work but also brings out better results.
Read the instructions given on the product label before using the polish and follow the guidelines. After one use, if the swirls are still there, wait for 20-30 minutes and apply a second layer on it.
The second coat of polish will remove most of the swirls and once the surface is shiny, it’s time to apply a protector on it. A good quality wax or sealant can provide good protection to the paint surface and it will keep the surface resistive to swirls and scratches for a long time.
Paint chips and deep scratches
Even if you are very careful, it’s practically kind of impossible to keep a car free of swirls and scratches. Look at older cars around you and you won’t find a car that doesn’t have at least a single scratch or a set of swirls. Getting swirls and scratches on the car paint is usual, but the real challenge is to remove them and keep the car paint looking new for a longer time.
There are mainly two types of treatments that you can use for removing paint chips and scratches from the paint. They are polishing / waxing and using touch up paint. Polishing and waxing is the preferred method as it treats most swirls and fine scratches. If the scratch is too deep or too big, you will need to use touch up paint. Here you apply matching color on the scratch and fill it so it’s hidden or less visible to naked eye.
Things to understand about paint repair
If you know the color code of your car paint, ask for a small package of paint from the company and you can apply it to fill all the bigger scratches. The paint is usually in the form of a touch up pen or a small spray bottle. They usually mention the color code in the car’s manual.
When you are applying the paint on the swirl or scratch, make sure to only fill the scratch and not spread it on the paint surface. Here you can use a paintbrush that artists use or a toothpick can also work. Make sure that the surface is oil free, wax free and cleaned with warm water and also never use the paint applicator if the temperature is too cold or too hot.
Useful tips for removing deep scratches
First you need to gather all the things that are required for the repair. This includes; bottle of touch up paint, fine tipped brush, 3M Spot Putty, rag, excessive paint or putty remover and spreading putty.
Before applying anything on the paint, make sure there is no dust or dirt on it. Washing the car and wiping it with microfiber towel is always recommended. This helps remove excessive dust and oil from the surface and prepares it for the paint touch up.
Start with applying a moderate amount of putty on and around the scratch. Here you can use a fine applicator or an old credit card for an even layer.
Pour paint remover on soft fabric and just remove the excessive putty with moderate pressure. Keep in mind that we should fill the scratch completely.
Then apply the touch up paint with a small brush and keep the brush within the scratch area.
Once the paint is dry, you are done. If the results are satisfactory, good. But if you think the surface needs rework, use nail polish remover to remove the putty / paint and repeat the process.