How To Fix A Deep Keyed Car

How To Fix A Deep Keyed Car

How To Fix A Deep Keyed Car


Discovering that your car has been keyed can be a heartbreaking and frustrating experience. Not only does it damage the paintwork and diminish the overall aesthetics of your vehicle, but it may also leave you wondering who could have done such a malicious act. While it’s natural to feel angry and upset, it’s important to focus on finding a solution to fix the deep key marks on your car.

If you’re willing to invest some time and effort, fixing a deep keyed car can be a DIY project that saves you money. This comprehensive guide will take you through the steps needed to restore your car’s exterior and regain its original charm.


1. Assessing the Extent of the Damage

The first step in fixing a deep keyed car is to assess the extent of the damage. Take a close look at the scratches, paying attention to their depth and length. Deep scratches that reveal the metal of the car will require more effort to fix than superficial ones. Understanding the severity of the damage will help you determine the best course of action.

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2. Gathering the Required Materials

Before diving into the repair process, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. This includes automotive touch-up paint, sandpaper, rubbing compound, clear coat, microfiber cloths, and a polishing compound. Depending on the severity of the scratches, you may also need a scratch repair kit or a touch-up paint pen.

3. Preparing the Surface

Begin by thoroughly cleaning the scratched area using a gentle car wash soap and a sponge. Rinse it with clean water and dry it completely before proceeding. Next, use a fine-grit sandpaper to gently sand down the affected area, making sure to blend it with the surrounding paint. This will create a smoother surface for the touch-up paint later on. Don’t forget to wipe away any dust or residue with a clean cloth.

4. Applying Touch-Up Paint

Using the touch-up paint or paint pen that matches your car’s color, carefully apply a small amount of paint directly into the scratch. Take your time to ensure you don’t overfill the scratch. Once applied, allow the paint to dry completely before moving on to the next step. This usually takes around 24 hours, but follow the manufacturer’s instructions for accurate drying time.

5. Sanding and Polishing

After the paint has dried, use a fine-grit sandpaper to gently sand down the excess paint until it’s level with the surrounding surface. Be careful not to scratch the surrounding area. Once the excess paint has been removed, switch to a higher grit sandpaper to create a smooth and even finish.

After sanding, it’s time to bring back the shine. Apply a small amount of polishing compound to a microfiber cloth and gently buff the sanded area in circular motions. This will help blend the area and restore its glossy appearance. Make sure to use a separate cloth for the polishing compound to avoid any cross-contamination.

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6. Applying Clear Coat

To protect the repaired area and ensure a longer-lasting finish, apply a layer of clear coat. This can be done using a brush or spray can, depending on your preference. Apply thin layers, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. Multiple coats may be necessary to achieve the desired level of protection.

7. Final Touches

Once the clear coat has dried, examine the repaired area for any imperfections or unevenness. If needed, repeat the sanding and polishing process to achieve a seamless finish. Finally, give your car a thorough wash and wax to maintain its overall appearance and protect the newly repaired area.


Repairing a deep keyed car may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and patience, it’s something that can be accomplished by any car owner. By following the step-by-step guide outlined in this article, you can restore your car’s exterior and bring back its original beauty. Remember to take your time, be careful, and do a thorough inspection before considering professional assistance.


Q: Can I fix a deep keyed car myself?

A: Yes, you can fix a deep keyed car yourself with the right tools and materials. Following the steps outlined in this guide will help you achieve professional-looking results.

Q: How long does it take to fix a deep keyed car?

A: The time it takes to fix a deep keyed car depends on the severity of the damage and the drying time required for the paint and clear coat. Generally, the whole process can take a few days to a week to ensure a proper repair.

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Q: Can I use touch-up paint to fix deep scratches?

A: Yes, touch-up paint can be used to fix deep scratches. However, it’s important to apply it in thin layers and follow up with sanding and polishing to achieve a smooth finish.

Q: Should I seek professional help for fixing deep key marks on my car?

A: While it’s possible to fix deep key marks on your car yourself, seeking professional help may be necessary for more severe damage or if you lack the time or confidence to tackle the repair. Professional technicians have the expertise and equipment to ensure a flawless repair.

Q: How can I prevent my car from being keyed in the future?

A: To minimize the risk of your car being keyed, you can park in well-lit areas, install security cameras, and use a car cover. Additionally, being mindful of where and how you park can also reduce the chances of someone deliberately damaging your vehicle.

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