How to Remove Scratches from Bodywork - a Toolstop Guide

Have you ever had that moment? You're returning to your car, parked up in your local supermarket's carpark. As you start open to the door to get in, your eye happens upon it; a long, spidery line, etched into the gleaming paint work.

Yes, your beautiful car has an ugly scratch.

In my case, it happened in our driveway. My daughter cheerfully wheeled her bike passed the car, engraving it with the handle bar as she went.

So, how can we quickly and easily remove the scratches from paint work without incurring hefty bodywork fees?

And bear in mind, this applies not only to our cars, but also vans and boats!

Thankfully during our recent visit to DeWalt tools, we were shown how to use the Dewalt DWP849X premium variable speed polisher, pictured below, plus some bits and bobs easily sourced at your local car accessory shop, to easily and efficiently remove scratches from bodywork.

So, follow our how-to guide to removing scratches from paint work, part of our #DIYTradetips, and all will be well!

We've even made a handy tutorial video! But first off, some spec on the DWP849X.

This is a top-end polisher that'll not only serve your needs in removing those ugly scratches from your car's paint job, but will also fit right into the kit of any self-respecting bodywork repair firm.

Worth noting
Bonus features
0-3500 rpm via variable speed trigger. This allows you full control over the rpm of the polisher, but also the ability to micro-control the speed as you work
Fitted with an ergo D-handle, plus standard side handle
Large spindle lock for easy accessory change
M14 spindle thread
"Pop off" brushes to protect the armature, meaning longer life for the polisher
Rubber overmoulded gearcase allows the user to grip the gearcase for greater comfort
1250 watts of power
Replaceable wool ingestion shields which protect the motor from fluff off the woolly mit
Comes with 180mm Velcro backed pad, Velcro wool bonnet and 1 year warranty from DeWalt

For this task you're going to need, in addition to a polisher:

  • wet and dry paper
  • rubbing compound
  • polish
  • microfiber cloths

  Step 1 - Prepare the Area
Give the panel you're going to repair a wash down, then buff it dry.
Using wet and dry paper with a grit of around 2000-2500, rub over the scratches, making sure you keep the paper wet, and turn it regularly.

Step 2 - Apply Rubbing Compound
Rubbing compound is available in car accessory shops, so pick some up when you're buying your polish and cloths.


On the DeWalt DWP849X we used a medium-to-firm foam pad which we dampened slightly. This helps prevent the paint on your car burning as you buff.

Apply some rubbing compound to the pad.

Then, with the DWP849X set to a low speed of around 600rpm, apply the rubbing compound the prepared area on your car, van or boat.

Step 3 - Buff off the Rubbing Compound

Using a microfiber cloth, light buff the treated area of paint, removing the rubbing compound as you go.

Step 4 - Apply the Polish

To seal the paint work again, and restore that lovely shine and lustre, you need to polish it up.

Pour some of your polish onto a microfiber cloth and gently rub into the paint work. The polish will start to dry and cloud over. Give it around 5 or 10 minutes to completely dry before moving onto the final step.

Step 5 - Buff to a High Glossy Shine

Pop the woollen mit onto the DeWalt DWP849X as it's now time to buff your paint work back to its original high, glossy shine!

This time, ramp up the speed of the polisher, aiming for around 3000rpm. Don't press too firmly as you polish, however. Let the woollen mit caress the paint work, bringing it up to a glossy shine.

Time to examine your handy work!

If the scratch hasn't completely been removed, repeat the steps above.

If you've got any questions, comments or suggestions about this how-guide, or about the DeWalt DWP849X polisher, let us know in the comments or on Twitter using #DIYTradetips.


tanyabrin978 on Mon, 02 Jul 2012 11:05:53 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

 i try the Dewalt DWP849X premium variable speed polisher,ily it work great easy to work with it
full recommended.

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