Can a Deep Scratch Be Buffed Out?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Buffing a scratch means the use of polish and rubbing compound altogether in phases to treat the area. It is an easy process but demands some experience for understanding the steps involved. In fact, there are different methods other than buffing, such as using a scratch repairing kit or applying touch-up paint. However, they are not feasible options for working upon deep scratches. 

Can a Deep Scratch Be Buffed Out?

A deep scratch can be buffed out using quality rubbing compound and polish, but only up to 80-90% extent. No deep scratch damage to the primer level is curable up to 100% without professional sanding and re-painting techniques. Nevertheless, rubbing compound buffing does eliminate the visibility quotient of that scratch.

Person using a buffer to remove car scratch

If you are keen to know, can a deep scratch be buffed out with rubbing compound or not, then there is still a lot to understand before you head out to implement it. Follow this guide, and you will get more clarity on how buffing can remove deep scratches from your car or bike. 

What Is a Rubbing or Polishing Compound?

They are mildly abrasive and pasty solutions that are useful for paint corrections, with buffing & polishing applications. You can consider rubbing compound as a paste or liquid sandpaper that will help you remove a very thin paint layer. It blemishes the scratches and blends them with the actual paint. Moreover, using the rubbing compound makes the paint shinier and smoother. 

Also, you need to understand that just applying the rubbing compound over the scratch areas, does not fix them. But instead, you need to buff the compound over the scratch region using a buff pad or a microfiber cloth. The rubbing compound softens the paint or scratch region, evens it out, and then you can polish the region. Also, through buffing and polishing, you can revive the lost shine of your car. 

The Efficacy of Rubbing Compound for Buffing Application

Before knowing how to use the rubbing compound buffing technique for your car, you need to know some of its perks. For example, rubbing compounds have a unique formulation that breaks down the deep scratches and blemishes, making them even. The benefits of using the rubbing compound buffing technique are:

  1. The unevenness over the vehicle or scratched surface fixes immediately with proper buffing of the rubbing compounds. 
  2. The cleaning hassle for rubbing compounds is very minimal.
  3. It has the potential to help you restore the original paintwork of your vehicle.
  4. It acts as a concealing agent for scratches over your cars or other such surfaces. For most of the scratches, the rubbing compound acts as a vanishing agent. 
  5. There are different grit variants available for rubbing compounds, as they are abrasive materials. 

The only important factor for using a rubbing compound is understanding and utilizing the perfect technique for implementing it. Without an ideal buffing method, deep scratch removal is not possible, and you won’t be able to see the desired results. 

Man polishing a white car

Steps to Implement Rubbing Compound Buffing

The first thing that you need to implement is, buying the right quality rubbing compound. You can head to any car accessory shop for the same. You will get a paste or liquid compound option to choose from.

In fact, the paste-type rubbing compound demands a little bit of effort while buffing but offers better results than the liquid compound. Therefore, it is better to go with the paste type for optimum results. 

You can also buy the car polishing compound, similar to polishing car wax that can be used to clean windows, alongside the rubbing compound. It is because you will need it after the buffing process. The steps for carrying out the implementation of buffing are:

  1. Get a microfiber cloth or buffing pad. It will help you control the spread of the solution over the scratch region. 
  2. Take a little compound over the buffing pad or cloth. You can check the specific guidelines over the pack to ensure the quantity you should use.
  3. Keep a slow and gentle motion while you begin with it. 
  4. Reach out to the scratch with the use of smooth, fast, and tight circles. 
  5. It is slightly abrasive, and with buffing implementation, the rough edges of that scratch will wear out. 
  6. These compounds do have the potential to remove the paint off or fade it if you apply too much force upon buffing or use too much compound. To avoid that, you should keep checking the pad or cloth for any signs of paint removal. If you see any such, stop buffing or slow down your motion. 
  7. Continue to buff the area until you see the scratch vanishing out. 
  8. Now, take a clean cloth to remove any excessive compounds luring over the car’s paint. 
  9. Check the scratch to see if any more buffing is required for the same. If not, then you can proceed with polishing the area and your car. But, if the scratch still exists, then go with more buffing.

Here is a video demonstration of how to use or buff rubbing compound to remove deep scratches off your car.  

Man using a buffer on a black car

Related Questions

How to Choose the Right Rubbing Compound or Polish?

You must intend to buy a rubbing compound or polish from offline stores. It is because you get to try out the product on the test area to see if it works or not. Check the polish as well as the compound to know their efficacy. There are different methods of use, and you need to consider the steps in the process before picking the suitable compound for your use. To know more, you can check out this article.

How Do the Service Centers Repair the Scratches? Do They Use Rubbing Compounds as Well?

The service center experts will inspect the scratch to determine whether rubbing compound buffing would do the work or not. If the scratch is too intense or profound, they go for cleaning the area, sanding it, priming it, and filling the scratch as necessary. After that, the scratch region is then re-painted to match the original color coat. 


Now that you know, deep scratches are removable with the use of buffing, you can go ahead and get one right away. A rubbing compound pack will never get wasted, as deep scratches are common in high-traffic and tight-parking regions. Therefore, learn the correct buffing process to get rid of deep scratches over your car or other surfaces.