Can You Buff Out A Keyed Car?

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A keyed car means that someone has scratched your car with the use of keys. If not that, you might have accidentally damaged your car with a key scratch. Now, the question is whether the buffing process can remove the keyed car scratch.

If you head out to the insurance company, they will charge a hefty amount, considering the length and depth of your key scratch. Therefore, it is better to get a solution at home.  

Can You Buff Out A Keyed Car?

If the key scratch has only hit the paint’s clear coating, usual polish buffing will help you out. But if there is a deeper key scratch, you might need to use a strong rubbing compound to get a considerable finish. In short, it is possible to use buffing techniques for attending the keyed car problems.

Hand holding car keys near a car

You need to understand the buffing technique and other associated processes to treat the keyed car problems seamlessly. Hence, check out this article on “Can you buff out a keyed car?” and get the complete answer to the question.

Use of Rubbing Compound To Remove Subtle Key Scratches

Rubbing compound is an abrasive formulation that you must use to remove slightly deeper scratches than usual nicks. If the key scratch is somewhat more profound, you can definitely try rubbing compound buffing, but it might not give 100% invisibility of the scratch, but it will fix it up to the maximum extent. The process involves:

  1. Clean the car thoroughly to eradicate dust and debris from the scratch region.
  2. Buy a paste-form of rubbing compound and get a liquid polish along with it. 
  3. Now, you can get a power buffing tool, a manual buffing pad, or a microfiber cloth. Anything would help you buff out the scratch by blending the solution. 
  4. Using a power buffing tool is the best alternative, as it will save you a lot of effort in buffing the solution onto the car scratch. 
  5. Apply a little paste of rubbing compound over the buffing tool and start it. Buff the area with gentle speed, without putting more pressure. 
  6. Continue the motion of the buffing tool to the extent of your scratch. And spend sufficient buffing time over each section of that keyed scratch. It is to ensure that the compound gets sufficient time to blend in. Further, use more compounds after buffing a couple of sections. 
  7. After you are done with buffing, you will see that the visibility of the scratch is reduced. Now, you need to polish the area to ensure that you revive the lost shine of your car. 
  8. Apply the polish onto the clean buffing pad or microfiber cloth, and start polishing from the keyed area. 

These steps should suppress the scratch’s visibility, and most car owners will be satisfied with the result. But some people do want complete eradication of any type of scratches over their vehicle’s paint. Therefore, there is an alternative method of rectifying and painting the keyed scratches. 

White Mercedes Benz

Use Of Paint For Fixing The Keyed Scratches

For using paint to fill up the scratches, you don’t need professional assistance, as you can do it all by yourself with the right tools and steps. 

You will need paint that matches your car’s color. Get it from a known brand if you intend to match it with the original paint. If not, you should get automobile paint that is nearly similar to your car’s color. You will need a brush, masking tape, sandpaper, primer, a clear coat, and a clean cloth.

When you buy a clear coat, ensure that you purchase a spray can version of it. Once you have it all, follow the steps below:

  1. Firstly, you need to wash the car properly and especially on the keyed scratch area. By getting rid of the dirt and dust, you will get an idea of the actual damage due to keying. 
  2. Let the car dry out properly before you proceed with the next step. You will need a clean microfiber cloth for this purpose. A moist car will hinder the paint application.
  3. Now, apply masking tape to the surrounding areas to ensure that the paint doesn’t spread out while applying the coats. You can use newspapers to cover a wide area over your car’s body if you fear the spread of paint to other areas of the car.
  4. Now, you can go ahead with the sanding process. You might need to spend some time over sanding the scratch, depending upon the depth of it. If the scratch has penetrated just the clear coat, then rubbing compound buffing will do the job, as in the previous section. But, if the scratch is too deep, the compound won’t fill the void. Therefore, sanding is important to fill the void and bring it to an even level. 
  5. You can sand out a clear coat scratch as well to paint it for complete eradication. 
  6. Use wet sanding technique for the process, with 2000 or 3000 grit sandpaper. 
  7. Now, you will have to apply the primer onto the scratch. 
  8. Once you are over with that, go ahead and spray the paint.
  9. In the end, spray a clear coat onto the region to ensure an added protection.
  10. Now, give a polishing or waxing touch to the car for a shine. You can also use car wax to clean windows!
Hand holding car keys near a car

Related Questions

How Much Do The Automotive Repair Firms Charge For Removing Keyed Scratches?

The automotive repairers charge around $100 to $1500 for repairing keyed cars. The price varies depending upon the location of the scratch. To know more about the cost factors for professionally repairing a keyed car, don’t forget to click on this link.

Do The Insurance Companies Provide Coverage For Car Scratches?

Yes, an insurance company does cover the scratches over your car. You just need to check for the same at the time you take an insurance policy. Also, you need to file your claim if the scratches are pretty big and you want professional removal. This write-up provides more information about insurance coverage. You can check it out!


Car scratches can ruin your mood and make you unhappy. Unlike minor dents, you can easily remove in a method of using regular glue to pull out dents. And if you have got one, then it is time to get rid of it right away, probably you will enjoy taking photos of your car with a high-quality camera. Depending upon the intensity of the scratch, choose an ideal method that you think will do the job and save you a lot of money!