View Full Version : Key Scratch Advice

04-11-2016, 03:30 PM
Hello. I am new to the forum and have read through a number of the previously posted threads. I appreciate everyone's recommendations, tips, and guidance to others within the community. I've recently attempted (very poorly) to try to wet sand a deep key scratch on a MDX 2010 metallic gray paint on a door panel. Here's what I attempted:

1. Washed door panel.
2. Wet sanded scratch to remove any rough edges using 3M 2500 grit sand paper. I don't think I went through the clear coat but I could be wrong (first time trying).
3. Before I went any further with touching up paint on the deeper scratches, I applied Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, followed by Meguiar's Polish Compound using separate micro fiber towels in very small circles. I unfortunately don't have a dual action polisher as recommended.
4. Afterwards, I noticed that the sanded areas (dullness) is visible as you can see beneath the scratch in the photo; some of the minor clear coat scratches are now removed. I don't want to make this worse. Please let me know which step I didn't do correctly and if this dullness is fixable. Any help is appreciated.

I have attached a photo of the scratch for your reference.

Thanks everyone.

04-11-2016, 04:59 PM
You may not want to hear this, but take it from someone who's in a similar situation as yours. I have water marks on my hood that has penetrated the clear coat, so wet sanding is probably a solution I need as well. If I was in your shoes, I would take it to someone who is at home doing this type of correction. I'm a weekender; an enthusiast who's been doing this for a hobby for about 8 years. I haven't wet sanded before, and I wouldn't try to correct what I see in your picture because you might do more harm than good if you're not experienced in this particular type of work. That's just my 2 cents. I don't mean to offend. I think I may have to bite the bullet and pay someone who can fix my problem even though I wince when I think about how much it may cost me.

04-11-2016, 05:49 PM
Given you don't have an orbital and since you've not done this type of correction before, I agree with JSMet in that you might want to contact someone local who has done this. I've had pretty good luck fixing such items but took some practice and time. Thankfully a neighbor with an old minivan let me practice on his in exchange for polishing it :) I fixed about 5 on his van and was even able to go back and re-do the first one. Now most all of them are 95-100% good.

04-11-2016, 07:59 PM
Looks kinda deep and 2500 grit will do zero.Bring it to a pro and see if they can lighten it up a bit.

04-12-2016, 10:02 AM
It's hard to tell from the picture, and guessing on how much you sanded and worked the compound.

If it is through the clean, then it's done. There's nothing to make it look perfect other than a repaint, although one the dealership lot pro touch-up guys may be able do a good job of covering it up.

How much did you sand?

How much pressure did you use? Just enough to keep the paper on the surface, or with some pressure?

Same question as above for the compounding step.

Best situation:

You lightly sanded and did not remove much. You lightly compounded, and did not remove the sanding marks. Light polish added a little gloss.


You quickly sanded through the clear leaving a cloudy area that no amount of polishing will clear up.

Did you have any color transfer to your microfiber that you used to compound or polish?

I would try the compound with a light colored short nap microfiber and pressure to see what happens. Work the compound on the area with moderate pressure for just a couple of passes. Then check to see if have any color, similar to the color of your paint, transferring to your towel.

If you do, stop. You cut through the clear.

If not continue, and check for the above again and make sure the cloudy area is not growing. Add more pressure and continue if all is good.

Hopefully you get no paint transfer and the cloudy spot will diminish.

04-12-2016, 09:40 PM
Thank you all for your quick and very informative responses. After some testing in a small area I was very happy to find out that Mantilgh was right: "You lightly sanded and did not remove much. You lightly compounded, and did not remove the sanding marks. Light polish added a little gloss." I polished the dull areas I was very concerned about. The deep scratch has been reduced overall, but still a little visible. The clear coat scratches are gone. I can definitely live with that and should it nag me I will take your advice and bring it to a professional body shop. Thanks again everyone.