How to Buff Out Scratches on a Car

Published by Jeff Torres

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How to Buff Out Scratches on a Car

How to Buff Out Scratches on a Car

Sometimes, the scratches on your car may be caused by various things such as vandalism, car accidents, poor parking, etc. So, while the scratches detract from your car’s appearance, you do not have to spend a lot of money to repair it, there are many easy ways you may do it by yourself. This review will show you a few ways how to buff out scratches on a car by yourself.

How to Buff Out Scratches on a Car

Determining the severity of the scratch

The scratches are not all created equal, but you have to address them and buff them out until they no longer exist. Determining the severity of a scratch on your car may be simple. While evaluating the scratch on the vehicle, you have to simply run your fingernail along with the paintwork. As you drag your nail over the scratch, feel its depth. 

Furthermore, if it is thinner than a sheet of paper or your nail does not catch the scratch, your clear coat may be the only layer of damaged paint. If the scratch might be thicker than a sheet of paper or your nail catches it, the scratch runs more profound than the clear coat; and you may need to address the scratch accordingly. 

How to Buff Out Scratches on a Car

By the DIY test

Doing a scratch repair yourself may save you from trouble, time loss, and, most importantly, money. Compared to the body shop fee, which might cost at least $100, you can buy a good scratch removal product such as Scratch Repair & Renew, which costs less than $15 and is very effective, so you may quickly repair the car in just a few minutes. 

If you fix the scratches on the car at home, you have to run a fingernail very carefully across the area with the scrape. Moreover, if your nail passes over the scratch without any resistance, you can fix it at home, but it may be difficult to repair without professionals if it catches inside the scratch.

Fast but not an instant fix

Before repairing the car yourself, keep in mind that all vehicles are different. The light scratches in softened clear coats may be much easier and quicker to repair. The deep scratches in hard clear coats might take more effort and time. Every scrape is unique, and depending on the depth and size of the scratch, you may solve the problem in a few minutes. You have to be always patient and carefully do your job no matter how much time it might take to get the results you want. 

Removing the scratches

To understand how to buff out scratches on a car, you have to know the anatomy of your car’s paint job. In addition, the car paint has three layers, including topcoat, base paint, and primer. Any time the car gets scratched, the paint is compromised, and when scratches go deeper into each layer of water, dirt and paint make their way into the aperture, which may cause some severe long-term damage. If the scratch went deep enough to break the primer and hit the metal car body, it is only a matter of time until rust develops. If that happens, you might have a problem, and it will be difficult to remove and stop the progress.

Even the slightest scratch that disrupts only the topcoat might devalue your car, and the deeper the scratch is, the more it lowers the value of your vehicle, especially if you want to sell it. Buffing these paint scratches yourself may save you money.

Tips to Buff Out Scratches on a Car

  • Before starting the paint correction project, you should first wash the car and dry it with a microfiber towel. If you work in an isolated area, you may wash only the section you prefer. If you find deeper scratches, swirl marks, and scuff marks over the car, you might have to consider polishing or rubbing compounds to restore the paint on the entire car. 
  • Apply a dime-sized dot of scratch removal product to the microfiber cloth. Do not apply much pressure to your paint because the polishing ingredients in the scratch remover are doing that. If it is a long scratch, you have to continue buffing in circular motions down the length of the scratch. Besides, you may have to wipe off any excess product with a clean microfiber and check the work. The work is done if the scratches have vanished and the area blends very well with the surrounding paint. 
  • In the rare cases when some passes may not be removed entirely from scratch, you may use color-matched touch-up paint to fill in the imperfection. 

Buffing scratches from a black car

The imperfections tend to be much more noticeable on the black cars. In this situation, the Jet Black product range uses pigments to cover any light surface scratches, imperfections, and swirls in order to buff out the deepest black appearance. You may use Turtle Wax Color Magic Black as a first-step solution to buff out the scratches on a black car surface. Always remember to shake well before the application. Apply a small amount of the product into a damp foam applicator and then spread evenly on one section at a time. 


If you want to learn how to buff out scratches on a car, there are many ways to do it easily by yourself, and it may take you just a few minutes. If the scratches have made their way to the primer level or the car’s bare metal, it may be better to bring your car to the professionals as soon as possible. In this review, we stated the most important and helpful tips that you may use any time you want to repair your car and make it just like a new one from a car service.

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