Ford F-150/F-250: How to Repair a Paint Scratch

Save money and time by repairing paint scratches yourself on your Ford F-250 or F-350 Super Duty.

November 20, 2014

This article applies to the Ford F-150 (2004-2014), and the F-250, F-350 Super Duty (2005-2014).

Fixing a paint scratch on your Ford F-150 or Super Duty is not a difficult task. With the right tools and a little patience, you can have your truck looking its best once again. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to remove those unfavorable scratches from your truck.

Materials Needed

  • Paint or paint pen that matches the truck's color
  • Painter's tape and soft sponge with soapy water
  • Wet or dry sand paper #1200 grit
  • Primer if there is bare metal exposed from the scratch
  • Clearcoat paint

Step 1 - Find your Ford truck paint color

You can find your Ford truck paint color in the owner's manual or on the informational plate on the driver's side door jamb. Most auto parts stores will carry all Ford colors; alternatively, you can order them online. If it is a small scratch, a paint pen may be your best and least expensive option.

Figure 1. Locating the paint code (PM).

Step 2 - Find a location to perform the repair

Verify that you will be performing the repair at a minimum temperature of 50 degrees; the preferred repair conditions are above 70 degrees.

Step 3 - Wash the damaged area

With a soft sponge and soapy water, clean the damaged area and let it dry.

Figure 2. Washing the affected area.

Step 4 - Tape around the scratch

Use the painter's tape to isolate the damaged area and prevent any additional scratches or marks during the repair.

Figure 3. Taping around the scratch.

Step 5 - Apply primer

If you have any exposed metal or plastic, apply the primer to the area. Apply several coats of the primer, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next layer. Wait overnight to ensure the primer has fully dried.

Figure 4. Applying primer.

Step 6 - Use sandpaper to remove dirt

Even if your repair did not require primer, use #1200 wet/dry sandpaper to remove excess dirt, rust, or overhanging primer from the repair region to ensure a clean and precise working area.

Figure 5. Using sandpaper to remove dirt.

Step 7 - Apply paint with paint brush or pen

Use a small painter's brush or paint pen to apply the paint to the damaged area. Wait for each layer to dry then apply another coat as needed. You will generally want to wait 20 to 30 minutes before applying each coat, depending on temperature. Be careful not to glob the paint on the scratch, as it will leave an uneven surface. Use clean, even strokes as you apply each coat.

Figure 6. Applying paint with brush.

Step 8 - Apply clear coat

Wait overnight for the paint to dry then apply the clear coat to the damaged area as necessary to match the finish of the truck. Wait for each layer of clear coat to dry then apply the next coat. Two to three clear coats are more than enough.

Figure 7. Matte finish clear coat.

Featured Video: Repairing Paint Scratches

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