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

More than a century later, people still love black cars, and with good reason. Black paint enhances a car’s curves beautifully with a gleaming shine.

Unfortunately, black paint also brings a few disadvantages. Keeping it clean and shiny can be very tough, as dirt and debris are far more obvious on the black paint.

Car scratches are also very visible on black cars.

Scratches are more noticeable on black cars because their white or silver appearance will contrast strongly with the paintwork.

Whatever the reason, scratches do not belong on your beautiful car. In this hand-crafted guide, I will show you how to get rid of scratches and make your black car shine more than ever before.

Let’s jump into it!

Table of ContentsShow

Scratches 101: The Basics

black car scratches

Not all scratches are the same. The deeper the scratch, the more significant the damage to the paintwork and your wallet.

The paintwork consists of multiple layers: primer, basecoat, and clear coat.

The primer is the deepest of the three layers and is applied directly to the bare metal of the car’s body.

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

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

Each type of scratch is dealt with differently. In this guide, we have gathered all our knowledge of car scratches and presented it 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

When people see a new scratch, a common reaction is to feel it with their fingers. As it happens, there is something to this!

If you can feel the scratch with your fingernail, it has gone deeper than the clear coat and should be taken to a professional to be repaired.

If you can’t feel the scratch, it can be repaired with a few simple (and inexpensive) steps.

A clear coat scratch is best fixed by taking some polishing agent and gently rubbing the affected area until it disappears.

This will only work for scratches that have not gone beyond the clear coat of the paintwork. Deeper scratches require more work.  

Deeper Scratches

Car Wax vs. Polish Which Is Best

Deeper scratches that have penetrated the clear coat are a bit trickier.

In most cases, these types of scratches are best left to the professionals to fix. However, if you are feeling brave, it might be possible to achieve a positive result.

Scratches To The Basecoat

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

You can buy a kit that comes with everything you need. This will involve using sandpaper, medium cut compound, and applying some polish to minimize the scratch and make it effectively disappear.

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

Prime Coat Scratches

Far more work is required if the scratch has penetrated the basecoat down to the prime coat.

Unless you are 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 then a clear coat on top of that, which will then need to be sandpapered and polished to give it a smooth finish.

This might sound simple but matching the color perfectly and applying everything smoothly requires a lot of experience.

Deeper and larger scratches are much tougher to repair. As a result, a deep and wide scratch will need to be fixed by repainting the entire body panel, which could be very expensive.

Protect Your Paintwork

Carnauba vs. Synthetic Wax

While car wax and sealant do not fully protect against scratches, they can do a lot to reduce the damage.

Superficial scratches often 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 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 well protected.


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

Black cars are lovely, but they are also the toughest color to maintain and keep free from dirt.

Unfortunately, scratches are also more obvious on black cars as there is a strong contrast between the car’s paint and the scratch.

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

Deeper scratches require more work and expertise, but the result can still be very positive unless the scratch is too deep and wide.

Except for superficial clear coat scratches, scratches should always be handled by professionals so no further damage will be done.

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

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Bajro Muric

Bajro is an ASE-certified master technician and car enthusiast with a love for writing and teaching. He writes about anything regarding cars, from common problems and fixes to racing.