How To Remove Scratches From A Black Car

Scratches on a black car are a bummer as they can be seen very easily. Here's a simple guide on how to remove scratches from a black car.

Henry famously said, “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black”.

Today, more than 100 years later, people love their black cars, and for good reason. It presents the contour of the car beautifully with a wonderful shine.

Unfortunately, the black color comes with a few disadvantages – keeping it clean and shiny can be very tough as dirt and debris love showing off on the black paint.

Something else that loves showing off on a black car are scratches.

The reason why scratches are more noticeable on black cars is the white appearance of the scratches, which in turn, contrasts the paintwork.

Whatever the reason, scratches do not belong on your beautiful car. That is why you should keep reading and learn how to get rid of scratches and make your black car shine like never before.

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Scratches 101

black car scratches

Not all scratches are the same. The deeper the scratch, the greater the damage for the paintwork and for your wallet.

The paintwork consists of several layers – primer, basecoat, and clear coat.

The primer is the deepest of the three and is applied directly to the bare metal of the car panel.

Following the primer, a basecoat is added which then gets covered by the clear coat.

You can further protect the paintwork by using car sealant or wax, which would make your black car look even better.

Nevertheless, each type of scratch is dealt differently. In the text below, we have collected all the knowledge of car scratches and put it conveniently in one place.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about car scratches for your black car.

Fingernail Test

man wiping and looking at car spots

Something many people do intuitively when they see a new scratch is to feel it. Turns out, there is something to it!

If you can feel the scratch with your fingernail, the scratch has gone beyond the clear coat and should therefore be taken to a professional for a fix.

If you cannot feel the scratch, it can be removed with a few simple and cheap steps.

A clear coat scratch is best solved by taking a little bit of polishing agent and gently rub the affected area until it is gone.

Notice that this only works for scratches that are limited to the clear coat of the paintwork, deeper scratches need more work.  

Deeper Scratches

Car Wax vs. Polish Which Is Best

Deeper scratches that penetrate the clear coat are a bit trickier.

In most cases, these types of scratches are best left for the professionals to fix, however, if you feel brave and full of confidence, a positive end result is achievable.

Scratches To The Basecoat

To fix a deeper scratch limited to the basecoat, you would need to use sandpaper and a few more steps.

There are kits available that come with everything you need, in short, you must sandpaper, use medium cut compound, and some polish to minimize the scratch and make it virtually gone.

If you are interested in doing it yourself, have a look at Apex Detail’s video on how to fix a base coat scratch.

Prime Coat Scratches

If the scratch has penetrated the basecoat all the way to the prime coat, a lot more work is needed.

Unless you are very comfortable with restoration work, you should leave this to the professionals.

When fixing a prime coat scratch, you will need to apply a color coat and a clear coat on top of that, which should then be sandpapered and polished to give it a smooth finish.

While this may sound simple, getting the color right to blend in, and applying everything smoothly is something that takes a lot of practice.

Deeper and bigger scratches are much tougher to fix. Therefore, a very deep and extensive scratch must be fixed by repainting the whole body panel which may be very expensive.

Protect Your Paintwork

Carnauba vs. Synthetic Wax

While car wax and sealant do not fully protect against scratches, many times they can reduce the damage.

Often, superficial scratches occur due to improper washing of the car, either by not using microfiber mitts/cloths or by taking your car to an automatic car wash with big, abrasive and dirty brushes.

By hand washing your car regularly and applying a layer of wax or sealant, your black car will have an amazing finish while also being protected.


Summer Car Washing
Summer Car Washing. Cleaning Car Using High Pressure Water.

Black cars are lovely to look at, but it is also the toughest color to maintain when it comes to making it look clean.

Unfortunately, scratches tend to also be prominent in black cars as there is a remarkable contrast between the color and the scratch.

Through the fingernail test, you can determine if the scratch is only limited to the clear coat. If it is, it can be fixed by simply rubbing some polishing agent on the scratch.

Deeper scratches have a bit more work to do but the result can be very promising unless the scratch is very deep and extensive.

Apart from superficial clear coat scratches, scratches should be handled by professionals so that no further damage is done.

Many scratches occur due to improper washing habits which can be minimized by properly washing the car and using car wax or sealant.

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Bajro Muric

Bajro is a big car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars - from common problems and fixes to racing.