Remove Scratches from Black Paint: Part I

Polishing a Black Acura

Paintwork Correction (Polishing – Preservation)

The whole idea behind paintwork correction is to fix your car’s paintwork. There are two ways of going about paintwork correction by polishing, the first being cutting and the second being preservation. As you can probably assume, cutting will remove paint in order to get underneath the scratches or imperfections while preservation is a more delicate process that involves hand polishing and smoothing. We’ve gone in-depth to provide you with a wealth of information and tips when correcting your car’s black paint through preservation to remove swirls and scratches.

What’s the benefit of preservation over cutting?

Whether you’ve got a 1966 Porsche 912 or a 2011 BMW M3, your paintwork matters. So say you’ve bought one of these cars and the metallic black paintwork alone was an extra $3,500. I can guarantee you’ll be looking to take the very best care of said black paintwork, so rather than cutting and removing significant portions of it, you’re more likely to preserve the finish by smoothing and caring for it properly. Cutting does remove microns of paint in order to get under the scratches, but preservation helps to round the edges of the surface scratches, making them appear less visible. Preservation is the ideal solution for delicate paint finishes and vintage cars.


One of the most important components to properly correcting your car’s paintwork is the car polishing products you’re using. For preservation specific products, the biggest concern is finding a micro-abrasive polish that isn’t going to deeply cut the paint. Micro-abrasive polishes help to smooth imperfections rather than removing them from underneath, helping to preserve the longevity of your car’s delicate paint finishes. A good smoothing polish will act as a swirl remover and properly take care of minor surface scratching in dark finishes such as black paint. Along with a smoothing polish, you’ll want to get a quality finishing glaze that further smoothes the surface in preparation for wax or sealant protection.


The process of removing swirl marks, preserving delicate paint, and correcting your car’s black paint begins with washing your car. Once your car is washed, use a clay bar and clay spray to remove microscopic surface debris that can cause scratching of your car’s paint. By claying, you’re properly prepping your car’s paint to be polished and you’re now ready to begin.

Delicate Paint on CarFirst you’ll want to use a smoothing car polish which will gently smooth out surface scratches and imperfections. To apply the polish, use a foam applicator and apply an even coat (perpendicular to the scratching), one section of the car at a time. Once polished, remove the remaining polish from the paint and repeat on spots that need a little more attention.

Once your car’s paintwork is polished, you’ll want to follow up with a finishing glaze that will further smooth the surface in order to provide a proper base for a carnauba wax or paint sealant. You apply the glaze the same way as the smoothing polish, one section at a time. Once completed, remove the excess and you’re now ready to wax.

Watch for Part III of our “Remove Scratches from Black Paint” series on waxing in upcoming weeks!