There is nothing like a good scratch on your bike to ruin your day. You can be the most careful person in the world but you can't keep it safe 24/7. Fortunately, fixing such scuffs and scratches doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. In fact, you can have them repaired at home so you can quickly forget this ever happened.
With the help of Sam Morgan, a man who has made a living out of removing paint, rust and grime from any surface including large factory's, residential spaces, cars and of course bikes, we outline some great tips to erase scuffs and scratches from your bike with items commonly found around the house.
For light scratches on your bike paint, using candle wax is a great way to cover the scratches to make them invisible. Begin by cleaning the scuffed area and allowing it to dry, then, rub a light coat of the candle wax on the scuffed area. This coat will cover and seal the unwanted mark.
Unfortunately, candle wax doesn’t offer a long-term solution, however, it will buy you time so that you can continue with your trip first and think of a permanent fix later.
Urethane auto paint
If you can find good quality urethane auto paint, sealing scratches and scuffs on your bike will be easy. Again, make sure the area you want to treat is clean and then touch-up the scratch as required.
Unfortunately, finding urethane auto paint with matching colors for your bike can prove difficult, so car paints used for touch-ups can be another alternative. Visit an auto detailing shop to find out if they have colors that match what is used on your bike.
It has always been a wonderful fingernail companion but it could also save the day when faced with an ugly mark on your bike. Nail polish is cheap and exists in many colors, which, makes it a go-to solution when looking for something to cover those scratches. Unlike urethane auto paint, you have high chances of finding a color that matches your bike’s paint and it is a more permanent solution than candle wax.
Once you have identified the color closest to that on your bike, clean the area then apply to the scuffed area evenly. You can apply several coats to make sure the scratch isn’t visible.
Super glue comes in handy when your option is to just level the scraped area with the unaffected areas of the frame as it is transparent and mixes evenly with the surrounding surfaces. Apply a thin coat of super glue on the affected area and allow it time to dry. After that you can touch it up with mail polish or an auto-paint.
Most formulas used in toothpaste have abrasive ingredients that could be applied to wipe minor scratches on painted surfaces, essentially working like a sanding tool. This is why you can always reach for it when your bike has unwanted marks that you want to erase.
The best choice of toothpaste is the teeth whitening formula. First, clean the affected area thoroughly, then, apply toothpaste on clean paper towels and buff the area. Use another paper towel to wipe off the toothpaste residue and see if the scratch is gone. You can repeat the process till the scuff is fully erased.
Shoe polish and sand paper
If you intend to use shoe polish, clean the area thoroughly so that you expose the scratch for a keen examination. Once you have done this you'll be able to identify the level of damage you are dealing with. You can wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove dirt and then dry it by wiping with another clean cloth.
Choose a shoe polish with a color that is darker than the paint used on your bike. Smear the shoe polish onto the scratched surface and spread it to fill in the scuff. The scuff is now properly exposed and you can use sand paper to rub the areas around it so that they are even. Sanding helps in leveling the surrounding surfaces to make the scratch invisible. Make sure you do not sand down the surfaces more than necessary, otherwise, you will be causing more damages, especially where an underlying layer of paint is involved.
You may rub the surfaces until the shoe polish disappears. Use a clean cloth to buff the area and see how it appears. For very deep marks, you may consider professional help in fixing your bike’s paintwork.
Always prep the area where the scuffs and marks appear before any repairs, this includes removing rust and dirt so that you have a clear view of the mark. This will also help the coat you apply stick firmly to a clean surface. Keep in mind many of these solutions are temporary or won't completely remove the scratches. For larger, more complicated scuffs, you may need to look for a professional to help with repairs, however, being able to remove those nasty marks at home can save you a few bucks and some hassle.