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Removing Tree Scratches - DIY or Professional?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by NateTRD, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. Feb 17, 2015 at 3:21 PM
    #1
    NateTRD

    NateTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So this weekend I went wheeling with some friends and we ended up on a wrong, narrow trail and got some nice (not so nice) pin stripes down both sides of the truck. There are several and they run the length of the truck.

    The question is should I try "buffing" these out my self or should I take the car to a professional detailer?

    This will be my first time trying to do something like this. I've read all through the detailing stickies on TW, and various other sites.

    I was planning on doing the following:

    1. Wash the car (Optimum Car Wash)
    2. Clay bar to remove any surface material (Meguiar's G1016 Smooth Surface Clay Kit)
    3. Polish to remove scratches (Meguiar's G10307 ScratchX)
    4. Apply sealant (Duragloss 105 Automotive Total Performance Polish)

    So, should I attempt this myself? Is there a risk of making it worse? Did I miss any steps?

    Or should I just pony up several hundred dollars and have someone do it?
     
  2. Feb 17, 2015 at 3:28 PM
    #2
    DeeKay21

    DeeKay21 Lieutenant Dan.

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    Attempt it yourself first in my opinion but obviously if it hasnt gotten down to the metal and if no your just screwed on that part. I'd do it yourself that way you learn something at the same time and get some experience.
     
  3. Feb 17, 2015 at 3:31 PM
    #3
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    I'd only pay someone to do it if you're never ever going offroad again in your life.

    Otherwise - it's gonna happen again so you may as well learn to DIY it.

    ScratchX is for tiny scratch marks like left by dust in your polishing cloth and it isn't nearly agressive enough to remove enough paint to rub out brush scratches "sierra pinstriping."

    How bad do you want them gone?

    If you have any REALLY deep scratches - you can rub them out with a polishing wheel on a dremel by polishing down the length of the scratch with a cotton wheel - that way you're only polishing out a stripe about 1/4" wide and you're not removing that much paint from a wide swath. Then hand rub out the weird track marks left behind by the dremel. Yes, you can REALLY wreck your paint if you do this wrong! Use caution and don't blame me if you do it wrong!

    The more conservative approach is to use an additive glaze like this:

    http://www.meguiarsdirect.com/product/ultimate-polish

    Then cover that up with wax.

    The scratches are still there - but they're camouflaged and you'll hardly see 'em. That's not a paint removal technique, so the only risk is in potentially creating swirl marks.
     
  4. Feb 18, 2015 at 4:12 PM
    #4
    NateTRD

    NateTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I'll give it a try and if it isn't working I'll consider taking it in. I want them gone pretty badly!
     
  5. Feb 18, 2015 at 4:24 PM
    #5
    greeneggsnspam

    greeneggsnspam ಠ_ಠ

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    Too poor to list anything interesting.
    This is how it was for me. I went to wheel the K-Trail on New Years day and came back with this:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I knew that I would go back out there again and end up with scratches, so I did the best I could to minimize the appearance.

    I was able to minimize these scratches with the help of a random orbital buffer, polishing compound, glaze, sealant, wax, several pads, and about 9 hours.

    BTW, the cost of a buffer, detailing waxes/polishes/etc, and pads may cost a little up front. But I found it worth instead of just having it done once.
     
  6. Feb 18, 2015 at 10:02 PM
    #6
    ThunderOne

    ThunderOne Well-Known Member

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    A good wax will cover up 95% of that. You might as well get used to the scratches if you ever plan on wheeling again. My truck is pin striped to hell. If someone keyed my truck lightly I wouldn't even notice.
     
  7. Feb 24, 2015 at 9:19 AM
    #7
    NateTRD

    NateTRD [OP] Well-Known Member

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    IFS Skid Plate, All-Pro Sliders, OME Lift, 33" Cooper ST MAXX
    So I went ahead and spent 6 hours on Saturday doing it myself. The scratches look much better. Most of them disappeared and the larger ones are barely noticeable. Good enough for me. Thanks for all your input!
     
  8. Feb 24, 2015 at 10:16 AM
    #8
    bjmoose

    bjmoose Bullwinkle J. Moose

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    Hooray!
     
  9. Mar 15, 2015 at 11:37 PM
    #9
    imom

    imom Well-Known Member

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    How many times are you planning to go offroading? Why not apply some paint protection film then? It's expensive, but either you are good at paint repair or going to have to live with deeper scratches you eventually can't cut and polish. Everyone is different with their trucks... some are meticulous about their trucks while others see it as an off roader and more scratches gives it character
     

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