How to Remove Car Scratches

One of the most frustrating parts of owning a car is when you see those small, annoying scratches on your vehicle’s paint. Typically appearing on your car door from accidental bumps in parking lots, these scratches can cause the overall look of your vehicle to suffer.

Below are steps on how to get out car door scratches yourself. Though if you’re not sure about handling it on your own, you can bring your car into our auto repair shop on Camelback Road and our technicians will be happy to help get your car back in tip-top condition.


Before you start the process of getting out the scratches, you first need to decide how severe they are.

Your car's exterior is made out of four distinct layers: the metal body, primer, paint and clear coat. A scratch’s severity is determined by how deep it has gone into the various layers.

You can check the depth of a scratch by considering the following:

Is only the clear coat chipped?

These scratches are usually unnoticeable, or at the very least, so light that they don’t make much of a difference to the appearance of your car. They should require only minimal effort to buff out.

Has the scratch gone through both the clear coat and the paint?

These are much more visible than the ones above, as you’ll most likely begin to see the light gray of the car’s metal. This is the most common type of car scratch, and the one that can be fixed by following the below steps.

Is your car’s metal surface scratched?

These scratches are so deep that they remove the clear coat, paint and primer. This type of scratch will most likely come with a dent, and will probably require professional help to fix.

Ready to buff it out yourself? Let’s go!


If you’ve determined that you have a fixable scratch on your car, then you’ll need to gather the right materials. They include:

  • Soap and water
  • Rubbing compound
  • Wax
  • A clean cloth


Give the area surrounding the scratch a good scrub to remove any dirt or dust that could cause further damage to the paint.


For smaller scratches that aren’t too deep, you can simply apply a small portion of rubbing compound to the area.

Rub the compound into the affected area in small, but urgent, circles until you start to notice the scratch disappearing. Avoid using too much compound, as you can take off more of your paint than you need to.


By waxing the scratched area you are basically replacing the clear coat that was worn down by the rubbing compound. Again, you’ll only need a small amount of wax, which can be gently applied to the car’s paint in small circles.


Giving your car a final scrub will not only clear it of dirt and debris, but also let you know if you’ve done a good job waxing. If the wax has been properly applied then it should repel the water, beading on the surface just as it does on the rest of the car.

Tags: Kia Service