I had some scratches in the side of my car and I tried to fix them by sanding, spraying primer, basecoat colour then a clear coat to add shine.

It came out looking like this and it is slightly rough to touch and darker than the rest of the car. How can I fix this?


[![enter image description here][1]][1]

Update: managed to sort it out the best I could.. thanks to some.

[1]: https://i.stack.imgur.com/fR3G0.jpgenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • Can you give some more details on the steps you've done, how many coats of each layer, polishing etc? Mar 27, 2020 at 16:37
  • Also what spraying method did you use - spray gun or rattle-can? Mar 27, 2020 at 16:44
  • It seems you're missing a few steps of wet sanding the primer and final coat (this).
    – user16128
    Mar 27, 2020 at 17:01
  • That looks darker and a change of humidity can cause many issues with paint finishes...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 27, 2020 at 17:34
  • @motosubatsu. Sanded 600 grit, 800 and 1200z 3 layers of primer, 3 layers of base coat and 3 layers of clear coat. Used the spray rattle can
    – mba
    Mar 27, 2020 at 21:09

3 Answers 3


I'm going to be rattle canning my truck, I've done this before. I came across a great DIY video by ChrisFix on YouTube. Here is link to the video: https://youtu.be/vUdSUDObwVc , check out 12 minutes into the video, Chris talks about hiding "hard lines" as the ones you came out with. Like others have commented, even if just wanting to paint a small section of the door, usually the entire panel will need to be done, atleast until you can find a seem or edge to blend the existing paintjob with the new.

Hope this video helps!

  • How did it turn out? Jun 22, 2020 at 10:12
  • Pretty good actually . Can you see the picture i posted above? ^^^
    – mba
    Jun 23, 2020 at 11:11

OK there's not much point in sugar coating this, but this isn't really going to be something you can salvage.

The only way to get this looking right is likely a full respray of both doors, and I don't mean with a rattle can. I mean with a proper compressor driven air sprayer. This is smack bang in the worst place to be doing this sort of thing, you're on two large, panels, straddling a shutline and with a cease line and a recessed door handle right nearby. A really good bodyshop guy might be able to spray it and blend but it's probably going to be easier, faster and therefore cheaper just to spray both doors and blend at their panel gaps to the front and rear wings.

You might be able to coax some level of sheen on the patch by wet sanding the clear coat with progressively finer grit (say starting with a 1200grit and working up to 2000, but I'd like to see a paint depth reading before commiting how low a grit to go, if in doubt use 2000 grit and drop if you aren't getting anywhere) then machine polishing the ever loving sh#t out of it, starting with a high cut compound and working down to finer, gentler compounds. And from about medium compound down polishing the rest of the door panels to try and even out the clearcoat surface (and you may as well do the rest of the car, the paint has some nasty swirls). But it's almost certainly going to still stick out like a lion in the Arctic.

The final result it going to depend a great deal on how even the colour coat is, Solar Mike's comment about changing humidity effecting this sort of thing is apt. There's a reason why body shops spray in controlled environmental conditions, temperature and humidity variations can wreak havoc with the curing process,

Certainly you aren't getting any sheen from the clearcoat that I can see but the simple truth is that there is no way to know how much of the colour darkening is down to the poor clearcoat finish and how much to the color itself until you're done, you could put in a huge amount of time and effort and not have much to show for it.

On the one hand if you want to have a an opportunity to get some practice in with wetsanding and machine polishing this is a great one, since it's not like you have to worry about messing it up, but if the goal is just to get it looking good I think it's time to hand it off to a bodyshop. Sorry :(


I'm not an expert in bodywork, however, I can tell from the job you did it is completely wrong.

When painting any panel on a vehicle you cannot just paint a small area. You have to paint a panel at least out to the body lines. This masks the edges of your paint areas. A body line is like the crease at the top of the door. The top of the door is probably not an area you should use, though, because it is readily noticeable. Instead, run it all the way to the top of the door at the chrome trim. For best results there, remove the chrome trim and leave your paint line where the chrome will lay on top of it. You'd then want to run the paint all the way to the front edge of the door (at the fender) and all the way to the end of the rear door (where it meets the body).

Blending can be done, but is best left to professionals. In most cases, the work of blending takes more time (think $$) to get it right than it does to just run the paint work up to the body lines.

I think if you went with what you did, except for the entirety of the doors you'd find you'd be on the right track to having a good result.

  • While I completely agree with the paint-to-body lines approach, this is definitely more than "just" the difficulty blending. There's more gone awry than just the attempt to paint part of the panel. Looking at the image the clearcoat at the very least is a complete mess at the moment. Mar 27, 2020 at 17:24
  • @motosubatsu - Oh, no doubt. The idea of pushing it to the body lines (completely to the edge) will hide most of the issues. I'm seeing. You cannot see any detail in the "worked" area as far as the finish goes. I can only answer what I see. Mar 27, 2020 at 17:28
  • It's almost certainly going to need an area pushed to the lines to get a good result - I suppose what I was trying to say is that there's no point in doing that until it's determined what the OP got wrong in the process they used so far. There's definite rough texturing to the worked area and what looks to be drip marks (likely clearcoat). Mar 27, 2020 at 17:33
  • So nobody thinks That this can be fixed with wet sanding and a polish/ wax. It wont be perfect but just to make it look a little better?
    – mba
    Mar 27, 2020 at 21:12
  • @mba if someone thought that was a solution then they would have suggested it....
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 28, 2020 at 6:50

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