Buffing Out Scratches On Car Cost

Last Updated on January 19, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

When it comes to a scratch on the clear coat of the vehicle, experts say that a budget of $150 to $300 is required. However, when the scratch is much deeper and affects other paint layers of the vehicle, a budget of $300 to $900 is required. 

Key Takeaways

  • The exact cost of buffing out scratches on a car can vary depending on the severity of the scratches as well as the location of the scratches on the car
  • The prices for buffing out a scratch also depend on the professional or service you use to fix them
  • Buffing can remove light scratches on a car’s paint job but if the scratch is deeper then it will require more advanced repair
  • Some common types of buffing are cut buffing, color buffing, spiral buffing, glaze buffing, tripoli buffing, and white diamond buffing

Buffing Out Scratches On Car Cost

Buffing ProcessCost
One Light Scratch$35 – $50
Several Light Scratches$100 – $160
Light Scratches And Special Finish$250 – $300
One Deep Scratch$300 – $350
Several Deep Scratches$700 – $900

Can Buffing Remove Car Scratches?

Car buffing is often a procedure that is used in a wide number of situations. However, it is usually a task that only a few people can do efficiently. Nowadays, it is mentioned that buffing can be the solution to major collision damage or just a small scratch on a clear coat of paint.

Apart from that, car buffing and respraying are usually not the same tasks. In any case, buffing can be very useful when it comes to hiding large scratches. Large scratches on a car can be covered with smaller scratches using buffing. Even buffing continues to apply scratches until all these marks are no longer visible to the naked eye.

So, a seemingly even surface could be obtained on the entire coat of paint or on the area that should be fixed. However, at some point, the various factors that damage any coat of paint will do their work in this area. Here, we are dealing with an uneven surface that will be exposed to sunlight, rainwater, and other components.

So, because it is a paint layer with an uneven surface and too many scratches this place can wear out more quickly. So, in a short time, this area will look dull and very different compared to the rest of the vehicle’s paint layer that is still in good condition. Anyway, buffing can solve some of these drawbacks.

Here, you can remove damaged paint and scratches that can occur on the vehicle’s paint layer in many everyday situations. This requires some compounds that are combined with the buffing process. So, this allows the thinner layer of the paint to be removed to provide the desirable results that people expect.

Here, the result is usually a renewed shine of the car along with a surface with apparently fresh and smooth paint. There are also different types of buffing as well as special times to be able to implement a particular buffing on the vehicle. So, applying the buffing at the right time is the most appropriate thing to do.

The Best Time To Buff The Car

To get the best result, it is first necessary to try to clean and polish the paint of the vehicle to enjoy the shine on the paint layer again. Of course when this does not work then it is necessary to move on to the next procedure. In this case, it is a matter of implementing buffing to once again have the shine on the vehicle’s paint layer.

However, this is not a one-step procedure. Obtaining a flat paint surface is one of the steps that must be completed during buffing. After this, it will also be necessary to continue the procedure to deal with the microscopic scratches that are present on the paint layer even if they are not visible.

A certain glaze should also be incorporated which may vary in quality and variety depending on the type of buffing. In any case, the enamel will always be necessary to be able to fill each of the small scratches that have been left on the vehicle’s paint layer. In general, experts perform three main steps to obtain the best result.

Each of these procedures varies greatly in the budget required. To obtain a surface that looks like new paint, a lot of hard buffing work is required. Therefore, this procedure is not only applied for old paint or for light and difficult scratches that may exist on the surface of the vehicle.

Most Common Types Of Buffing 

The different procedures that exist can offer different results, as well as require varying amounts of money. When you have the right budget, it is possible to consider one of the most efficient buffings.

1. Hand Buffing

As the name suggests, this is a procedure that is applied by hand to a specific area on the vehicle. Thus, a small area is always worked on when it comes to hand buffing. In the same vein, the budget required for this procedure is usually not that high compared to the other procedures below.

Here, a rag to remove the paint is usually sufficient, as well as a mild compound to implement a soft buffing. Whereby, this allows for dealing with minor and light scratches that may be found on some surfaces of the vehicle’s paint. The procedure is applied until the scratch disappears permanently. Of course, this is not enough when the scratch is deeper.

2. Orbital Buffing

To rotate a foam disc, an orbital buffer is used together with a certain tool. In this case, circular patterns can be checked in the movement of this disk. In this way, the pad does not need to stay in one place for too long. Moreover, if this were the case, then this type of procedure would simply result in more damage to the paint surface.

In particular, this is one of the intermediate options that can deal with most light scratches and some deep scratches. This type of procedure is also usually chosen when it comes to getting a special finish after a specific paint job. So, it is usually quite common among professionals and not so much among amateur users.

3. High-Speed Buffing

This high-speed procedure is also complemented by a much larger pad than the previous option. First of all, the paint removal is much faster and more comprehensive when resorting to this buffing. Of course, the labor time required to complete this work is significantly reduced due to the buffing’s high operating speeds.

In the same sense, this high speed during buffing could also produce some errors and serious damage to the paint layer of the vehicle. Therefore, only professionals are qualified to be able to obtain a good result without producing additional damage. Thus, it is not at all advisable for amateur users to try to opt for this specific procedure to solve car scratches.

Additionally, there is also a wide variety of polishing compounds and polishing pads of different qualities. All of this can vary considerably the final costs of the buffing procedure. Even different types of finishes such as heavy rust removal can be obtained.

Here again, professional workers specialized in the high-speed buffing process are also required. Whereby, the various options could allow an amateur user to make a mistake in a very simple way. So, in this case, it is always advisable to have a professional when implementing orbital buffing or high-speed buffing.

4. Incomplete Buffing Results

While this procedure can be very useful for removing a wide variety of scratches on a vehicle’s paint surface, it does not always produce the most appropriate results. Of course, there is a limited amount of paint layers that can be removed to solve some imperfections on a vehicle’s paint.

So, it all depends on the number of paint layers on the surface of a vehicle. When the buffing process has been previously implemented, it would simply be necessary to repaint the vehicle. In short, there are not enough layers of paint to be removed and leave an efficient result on the vehicle.

Moreover, the paint layer may also be too oxidized to apply the buffing procedure. So, here the wear is too much and this procedure could easily make the situation worse. So, it is necessary to analyze each situation before choosing the buffing procedure for a vehicle.

Besides, it is also necessary to consider how deep a given scratch is and what layers it has affected a vehicle. In cases where a scratch has penetrated down to the metal or primer coat then this procedure would only make the situation worse. The most basic elements of the vehicle surface will be exposed.

Of course, this result is not what any vehicle owner is expecting. Most vehicles these days have a clear coat which is a thick layer placed on top of the rest of the paint layers. This has been implemented as an additional layer of protection. 

When the clear coat has simply deteriorated, then the vehicle’s paint will be exposed to different elements. So, the paint of the vehicle will simply start to peel off quickly. To avoid this, a new paint job is simply required on the whole area or the whole vehicle.