Top coat scratches or lacquer scratches. I do repair scratches but only top coat or lacquer scratches, a lot of people ask me what the difference is with scratches, as most people think all scratchers are the same, but unfortunately they are not, the scratches that i repair are only the top coat or lacquer ones, the reason i am saying top coat or lacquer is because it`s the coat that is on top of the paint that seals the paint and gives it the shiny look, that`s the lacquer, a bit like when you put a layer of varnish on wood to give it that shine, if the scratch is deeper than the lacquer then it is a paint scratch, so how can you tell if it is either a lacquer or paint scratch? and what is the difference? one of the easiest ways to tell the difference is by spraying some water onto the scratch, if it vanishes then it is more likely to be a lacquer scratch, that is because the water fills the lacquer and reflects the light evenly, that is why you should never buy a car in the wet or when it has been raining as it hides a multitude of sins on the body of the car. if it does not vanish after spraying some water onto it then it is to deep and so is probably going to be a paint scratch, so what is the difference? well first you have the body of the car that is the metal, then they prime the metal with a grey coat of primer, its just like a grey coat of paint, then they paint the car with the colour it is going to be a few times, then they put the top coat or lacquer on top of the paint to give it that shine that also protects the paint, now of the primer, the paint and the lacquer, the lacquer is usually the thickest coat, so if the scratch is on this last coat, then it is a lacquer scratch and it can be fixed without going to a garage for a paint job that can be quite expensive, but you have to bear in mind that although i can repair these top coat scratches and even you yourself can repair them, we are just thinning the lacquer around the scratch to to match the depth of the scratch, which will look just as good as when a garage repairs it, but they the garage usually re coat the lacquer, now don`t get me wrong we also could replace the lacquer but its more money, plus you need the right environment, as if you spray it outside or even in your garage it will just go everywhere and you will probably contaminate it as well, a garage has a special room for all paint work, so yes i can repair them and you can as well, and they will look just as good, and if you are happy with that then great you can save a lot of money, now if you want to fix the scratch yourself, just wash all around the area you are going to fix and keep it all wet, then take some 2000 or 3000 grade wet and dry sand paper and rub over the scratch perpendicular to the line of the scratch and make sure you do it evenly as regards the pressure you put on it, as it goes cloudy the scratch will eventual go, when it has gone then use a finer grade sand paper, then use a compound on it preferably with a buffer, you can do it by hand but it is harder, then finally give it a good polish a few times, then the scratch is gone. it sounds a bit scary putting sandpaper to the body of your car but this is how a garage would fix it, i would say until you are comfortable doing it, try it in a area of the car that is not noticeable first and when you are comfortable doing it you can have a go on the body of the car, i hope this has been of some help to all that read it, and if you are unsure of anytinig you can just call me, regards karl.