How Can I Get Scratches Off My Black Car?

Black Car

It’s unfortunate when a black car gets scratches because they are very obvious. Here is a quick tutorial on how to get scratches off a black car.

Why Do Black Cars Scratch So Easily?

In order to paint an automobile, you must first apply primer (on top of bare metal), your chosen paint color, and then a clear coat. In addition to giving your paint a nice glossy shine, the clear coat protects the paint color underneath.

Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, clear coat can be quite delicate. You risk leaving scratches behind if you touch the paint without using the best tools for auto detailing. The use of very soft clear coats by manufacturers like Subaru makes this especially true.

Scratching the clear coat interferes with light reflection. Some of the light is dispersed in various directions rather than appearing as a perfect reflection. Different perspectives will make this more or less obvious. Perhaps only in direct sunlight will you be able to see the scratches. 

Types Of Black Car Scratches

There are various kinds of scratches. In actuality, some are much simpler to get rid of than others.

An overview of the various types of scratches is provided below, but before you read that, you might want to use the fingernail test to inspect your own vehicle.

The exterior of your car typically has four layers. The bare metal itself is the first thing to consider; it is either made of aluminum or carbon steel. This layer usually resists normal wear and tear unless someone pounded on it with a sledgehammer. The next step is a bonding substance called a primer, which sits on top of the metal and serves as a kind of glue to keep the alloy and the paint adhered to one another. The base coat, which is the actual paint that gives your car its distinctive color, is placed over the primer. The clear coat, which serves as a water-resistant barrier and gives your car that glossy appearance, comes last above the base coat.

The damage to one or more of these layers occurs every time your car receives a scratch. You can repair this yourself if only the clear coat is harmed. However, you’ll have a bigger mess on your hands and may require the assistance of a professional detailer if the scratch extends past the base coat and deeper into the surface.

The fingernail test can be used to determine how deep a scratch is. To remove a scratch, simply run your fingernail along the length of the scratch. If your nail “catches,” the scratch has penetrated the clear coat. If there is no resistance when you press with your fingernail, the scratch is superficial and can be easily repaired.

Clear Coat Scratches

The base coat paint itself has not been harmed by these scratches. If the right polish or product is used, these very small scratches can be made invisible.

Deep Scratches (paint Layer & Primer)

No amount of polishing will be able to remove the abrasion once the scratch has penetrated both the base coat and the primer. The area will need to be sanded, then a fresh coat of primer and/or coating in the same color as the manufacturer must be applied. This work frequently requires the assistance of a professional.

Paint Transfer Scratch

When your car strikes a painted object, a special kind of scratch appears. The paint from the object will transfer and adhere to your car with sufficient force. The good news is that most of the time, transferred paint simply adheres to the clear coat and can be removed by giving it a sponge scrub. If it penetrates further than that, though, you’ll have to reapply the base coat.


How Can I Remove Scratches From My Car?

With a little knowledge and work, many scratches are easily repairable. Any color of vehicle can have swirl or scratch marks removed using these techniques.

A scratch would resemble a small ditch or ravine if you were to see the paint in cross section. Because of the surface irregularity, scratches reflect light in a distinctive way, making them visible. Unharmed clear coat allows light to pass through directly to the paint color, with a little bit of uniform reflection giving it a tidy, glossy appearance.

Light swirl marks are typically only discernible from a few angles, possibly only in well-lit areas. These are frequently left behind by minute mistakes made during washing or light contact with a rough surface. You might be able to remove light swirl marks from your car with a fine detailing polish.

Clean The Surface

The paint surface must be completely clean before anything else. Using a clay bar, wash the car and eliminate any extra contaminates.

Prior to using a clay bar, spray the car down with detailing spray. Spray for detailing serves as a lubricant. Without it, the clay process will result in more scratches.

Polish The Clear Coat

Next, dab some polish onto a microfiber applicator before using firm but moderate pressure to buff it onto the vehicle’s surface. When finished, wipe the surface with a fresh, dry microfiber towel.

Use An Orbital Polisher

Although it is optional, this step greatly simplifies the task. Deeper clear coat scratches might be removed more quickly with the use of a dual action or forced rotation polisher.

You can also use an orbital polisher to apply pressure to the paint’s surface more consistently and uniformly.

Wax The Car

The paint should be covered in a layer of wax after you’ve finished polishing. The wax shields the paint from additional contaminants and UV deterioration.

You’ll see that a car repels water after being waxed. When you wash the car again, it will be simpler to clean now.

Tips For Black Car Owners

Here are some tips you might want to keep in mind if you want to keep your black car looking really nice or restore its condition.

Don’t Overdo The Orbital

It can be challenging to operate orbital polishers. It’s very simple to remove more clear coat than you intended to, and if you’re not careful, you could even polish right through the paint. You want to remove as little of the clear coat as possible when polishing.

Don’t let perfection stand in the way of doing good. You might not be able to completely restore the paint’s appearance if it has deep scratches without endangering the clear coat’s integrity or even the paint itself.

When in doubt, it’s best to have a professional detailer fix paint issues on your car.

Get A Ceramic Coating

An extremely durable coating called a ceramic coat is put on top of the paint. Water and other contaminants, such as bug guts and bird droppings, are repelled by this coating. Light scratches can be completely avoided with ceramic coatings.

On a car with a ceramic coating, the ceramic coat may be damaged instead of the clear coat if it is scratched. In this instance, a light polish of the ceramic might be sufficient to bring the paint back to its previous sheen.

To get a ceramic coating, you are not required to use a professional detailer. You can complete this task in your own garage thanks to products that are readily available on the market.

On occasion, the ceramic coat must be removed and reapplied. Even so, this is still preferable to having to repair the scratch by eating away at your clear coat.

Get A Paint Protection Film

A clear, plastic urethane film known as paint protection film, also known as clear bra or PPF, is applied to the paint much like a vinyl wrap. The film is made to withstand impacts and lessen the possibility that scratches will penetrate to the car’s painted surface below. 

A paint protection film is the only thing that can effectively stop scratches. You have the option of wrapping only the front of the car to save money. For maximum protection, some people wrap their entire car in PPF and then ceramic coat it on top of the PPF.

Can I Fix Dings On My Car By Myself?

The extent of the scratch and how far it penetrates the paint will determine that. Your car’s paint is comprised of three layers: clear coat, base coat, primer and beneath these is the metal body panel.

A scratch removal kit or even a simple tube of toothpaste may be able to help you fix minor surface scratches and scrapes at home.

You might prefer to check your car into a nearby garage if the scratch is deeper or if you’d prefer to leave the job in the hands of experts. It might seem expensive, but it might be the best option for removing that scratch.

How Can I Fix My Deep Scratches?

No, not every automobile scratch is buffable.  You should probably contact a reputable body shop to get their opinion if you can see any bare metal, grey, or white primer paint.  

Since you need touch-up paint, deep scratches are more difficult to repair. 

However, I will go into more detail about how to do it yourself in another article.

What Equipment Do I Need To Get Rid Of Scratches?

If you choose not to purchase the 3M kit, you will need some fine-grit sandpaper to repair the scratch and polishing compound to smooth out the sanded area.

Most professional detailers use 3M automotive sandpaper 3000 grit.  It is incredibly well made and strong sandpaper.

You can probably do it all by hand if your car only has a few minor dings and scratches.  No need for a polishing device.  

However, it will be a little exhausting because buffing out the sanding marks can take some time.

I also like to mark the area I’m fixing with some 3M tape.  This is due to the fact that as you work on it, it becomes more difficult to see.


Although black cars are stunning to look at, they are also the most difficult to clean and maintain.

Unfortunately, because of the stark contrast between the paint of the car and the scratch, scratches are also more noticeable on black cars.

If the scratch only affects the clear coat, you can tell using the fingernail test. If so, a simple polishing agent can be used to remove the scratch and fix the problem.

If the scratch is not too deep and wide, it can still produce very positive results but requires more effort and skill.

Scratches should always be dealt with by professionals to prevent further damage, with the exception of superficial clear coat scratches.

By washing your car properly, using car wax, or using a sealant, you can reduce the number of scratches that happen as a result of poor washing practices.

Lorraine Winnie

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