How to Fix a Keyed Car: A Comprehensive Guide

Having your car keyed is a frustrating experience. It not only damages the paint but also leaves an unsightly scar on your vehicle. Fortunately, there are ways to fix a keyed car. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to fix a keyed car and restore it to its original condition.

What is a Keyed Car?

A keyed car is a vehicle that has been scratched with a key or other sharp object. It’s a type of vandalism that can happen anywhere, and it’s not always easy to catch the person who did it. Keying a car is a malicious act that can cause thousands of dollars in damage, and it can be a frustrating experience for the car owner.

Things You’ll Need to Fix a Keyed Car

Before you begin fixing your keyed car, you must have the following tools and materials:

  • Automotive paint
  • Primer
  • Sandpaper (800-grit and 2000-grit)
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Masking tape
  • Polishing compound
  • Buffer pad

Steps to Fix a Keyed Car

Follow these steps to fix a keyed car:

Step 1: Clean the Scratched Area

Use a microfiber cloth to clean the scratched area. Make sure there are no dirt and debris on the surface.

Step 2: Sand the Scratched Area

Use 800-grit sandpaper to sand the scratched area. Sand until the scratch is no longer visible and the surface is smooth.

Step 3: Apply Primer

Apply a thin coat of primer to the sanded area. Let it dry for about 30 minutes before proceeding to the next step.

Step 4: Apply Automotive Paint

Apply the automotive paint to the primed area. Make sure to match the color of the existing paint. Apply multiple thin coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Step 5: Sand the Painted Area

Use 2000-grit sandpaper to sand the painted area gently. Sand until the surface is smooth and even.

Step 6: Apply Polishing Compound

Apply a small amount of polishing compound to the painted area. Use a buffer pad to buff the surface in a circular motion. Buff until the surface is shiny and smooth.

Step 7: Clean the Area

Clean the area with a microfiber cloth and inspect the surface for any imperfections. Repeat the process if necessary.

Preventing Keying of Your Car

Prevention is better than cure. Here are some tips to help you prevent keying of your car:

  • Park in well-lit areas
  • Park in areas with CCTV cameras
  • Use a car cover
  • Install a car alarm system
  • Avoid parking too close to other cars
  • Be aware of your surroundings


Fixing a keyed car is not a complicated process, but it requires patience and attention to detail. With the right tools and materials, you can restore your car to its original condition. However, prevention is always better than cure. Take the necessary precautions to prevent keying of your car, and you’ll save yourself the time and money of fixing it.