Thinking about purchasing a new car? Use our new Car Loan Calculator to estimate your monthly car payment!

How to Remove Parking Lot Paint Dings

by Kelli Karanovich

A paint ding happens to your parked car when someone in a parked car next to your car opens a car door too quickly or too far and the car door touches your car. Sometimes your paint is scratched. Other times, there's a small dent. Almost always, a streak of paint from the other person's card winds up on your door. These problems are structurally insignificant but aesthetically displeasing and frustrating. Fortunately, there are ways to significantly improve the appearance of parking lot dings.

Steps for Surface Marks

Wash your car. Sometimes the act of washing alone will remove some of the offending paint and will help buff out any scratches made to your paint job. Regardless, washing your car removes dirt and dust so that your efforts will be more effective when you focus on addressing the ding directly.

Pour a small amount of acetone on a soft rag and lightly rub the ding. Observe to see if anything happens. If acetone removes the ding, then stop here and proceed to step 4. If acetone does not work, then proceed with the use of rubbing compound, available at automotive supply stores.

Spread rubbing compound on the ding. Rub with a clean cloth in a circular motion. When the ding disappears, begin rubbing from side to side to get rid of the circular buffing marks.

Clean the affected area with polishing compound and then seal with wax.

Steps for Deeper Scratches

Wash the car and then spread black shoe polish over the affected area.

Sand the panel using ample water and 2000-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Continue sanding until the shoe polish disappears.

Buff out sanding scratches using rubbing compound and a soft cloth.

Seal the affected area with wax.

Tip

  • Use a polishing wheel when buffing to quickly bring back shine.

Warning

  • Be careful to avoid buffing through to the next layer of paint.

Items you will need

About the Author

Kelli Karanovich was internationally published for the first time in "Adbusters" in 2006. She teaches online at the Christa McAuliffe Academy and contributes to the blog Mama's Musings. Karanovich holds a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from the University of Georgia and a certificate to teach from Shorter College.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images