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How to fix a scratch on your van’s paintwork

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a vehicle on the road on which there are no scratches or scuffs. But when it happens to you, do you send it to the repair shop or try repairing the vehicle yourself?

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Start sanding

A van is a working vehicle, so chips and bumps are unavoidable: but it’s pretty expensive to get these blemishes repaired. If it’s only a small scratch, you might be tempted to repair it yourself. If so, you’ll need to clean and degrease the surface, leaving it free from dirt and grime. After this, sand the damaged area to remove the scratch and leave the surface smooth (to achieve this, you may need an orbital sander and rough and smooth grades of sandpaper).

Primed and ready

The area needs to be masked off and two coats of primer applied, with a ten-minute drying period in between coats. A protective base coat should then be applied, and each coat should be followed by sanding with fine paper. Each time you spray, you’ll be getting closer to the final colour required.

Generally, you’ll need about five coats, followed by a spray of lacquer prior to the final coat. This will help give a durable, glossy finish to the paint. When you’ve finished this, give the whole vehicle an all-over wax to help blend in the new, fresher paint to the older original paint finish. Don’t be tempted to wash your van for at least three days after doing any paint repair job.

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Prevention before cure

To help prevent dents and scratches inside your van, it’s a good idea to use Plylining on the inside of your van: this will strengthen the interior and help prevent dents and scratches resulting from tools and equipment carried in the rear of your vehicle.

Your work van is an important asset to your business, and its appearance on the road is an advertisement of your work ethic. Dirty, scratched and unkempt vans do not give a good impression, so always maintain a high standard of care and keep your van clean and tidy.

Whether you decide to have a go and repair your van yourself or take it to a workshop is up to you. The latter is the more expensive option but may look more professional.

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