After picking up a scratch, one of the first questions many car owners ask is: “Can I fix it myself?” especially if it is the first cosmetic damage they have had. When asking for advice, T-Cut is a popular option that might be recommended to you. To help out, we explain below what this product is, how to use it and when it might not be the best solution.
What is T-Cut?
T-Cut is is a scratch remover solution that can be bought from many high-street stores and even some supermarkets. It’s a British product which has been manufactured in Lancashire since 1954; in fact, 2014 saw the company celebrating their diamond anniversary by commissioning a specially designed can, encrusted with Swarovski Diamond Crystals (shown in the picture below). The original product was called Tetrosyl Cutting Oil, and they have since expanded the range to include colour restoring products and polish.
The solution is mildly abrasive, like all polishes, and restores paint finish by removing the top coat and any scratches along with it.
Rather than just being used for repairs, T-Cut is used by some as a cleaning process to restore paint all over the vehicle.
How to Use T-Cut
The first thing to remember when “T-Cutting” a car is to make sure the paint surface is completely clean and dry. If any trace of grime or detergent is still on the car, it will damage the paintwork rather than restoring it.
The next step is to apply some of the liquid to a clean cloth like an old cotton t-shirt: something without fluffy fibres, which could also mark the paint. Then, working in a circular motion, you would rub the solution over the scratch firmly. In many cases the cloth changes colour as the top layer of paint is removed, although not with metallic finishes as the lacquer on these is clear. Once the scratch is gone, you would take another clean cloth and remove the excess T-Cut. Since the top, protective layer has been removed, the car now needs to be waxed on a regular basis to prevent corrosion.
If you wanted to restore an old paint job all over a car, the process is the same but it is a more laborious job, since every panel will need to be treated, one at a time. The maintenance afterwards will also be higher, since the car will regularly need to be waxed all over. Ultimately, using T-Cut will restore shine, but paint will always fade and the best way to give an old car a new lease of colour life would be a new paint job, which can be expensive.
When not to use T-Cut
- Deeper Scratches
T-Cut is that it is only suitable for shallow, surface scratches. Most of the common incidents which can scratch your car, such as scraping along a low wall, kerb, another car or vandalism (e.g. when cars are “keyed”) leave marks which are too deep for this fix.
- If you are unfamiliar with repairs
A certain level of expertise is required. Using the wrong cloth - or one which has been dropped on the floor -can inflict more damage. Also, you need to know when to stop when removing paint with T-Cut; it is easy to take off too much and reveal bare metal below, particularly on car corners. This is not something which can be rectified with wax.
- If you don’t have time for the finish or upkeep
It’s vital that all excess fluid is removed before finishing the job. If too much is left on, or the incorrect colour has been applied to scratches, it can be extremely difficult to remove. It’s a time consuming process and requires additional care afterwards.
The ChipsAway way
ChipsAway specialists are experts in car scratch repair. The unique and fully mobile paint matching system they use means that, not only are you removing the scratch, but repainting it with the correct, precisely mixed colour and finishing it with the same lacquer seal as before (see our video repair here). As this process restores the damaged area, there is no need for time consuming waxing afterwards.
In fact, ChipsAway repairs all come with a lifetime guarantee, all for less hassle and cost than going to a body shop or garage. In fact, most body shops would repair a scratch by repainting the whole panel, whereas ChipsAway specialists only need to repair the small area affected – and you can keep your car for the day as ChipsAway come to you.