DIY Tips to Get Paint Scuffs From Your Car

You can remove paint scuffs from your car with a scratch remover and microfiber towel or a number of other at-home remedies.
Written by Talullah Blanco
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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You can use scratch remover, toothpaste, a magic eraser, or nail polish remover to get paint scuffs off your car. 
No matter how careful you are, paint scuffs are bound to get on your car. Scratches and dents that leave a few paint marks on your car are an unfortunate yet inevitable part of car ownership but that doesn’t mean you should have to break the bank on a paint job to remove them.
Whether you back up into a pole jam or someone side-swiped your car door while you were parked on the street overnight,
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How to get paint scuffs off your car

There are a number of methods you can use to get rid of paint scuffs on your car depending on the extent of the damage to the car’s surface. Your car’s paint job actually is made up of several layers of paint–the primer, base layer, and clear coat. 
Superficial paint scuffs that don’t go beyond the clear coat can be buffed out using a scratch remover, rubbing compound, and a microfiber cloth or DIY home remedy. However, scuffs that reach the base coat will require additional scratch repair. 

What you need to remove paint transfer from your car

Before you start the paint transfer removal process, you’ll need to make sure you have all the necessary tools on hand for the job. The good news is you can find everything you need to remove paint transfer from your car at your local automotive parts store.

Tools for removing paint transfer

Here’s what you’ll need to remove the paint transfer from your car’s paint job: 
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Scratch remover
  • Polish
  • Car wax
  • Sandpaper
  • Touch-up paint

Steps to get scuff marks off your car paint without damaging it

Removing paint scuffs from your car paint without damaging it is easier than you’d think! You’ll be able to buff out paint scuff marks scratch remover and a little elbow grease.
MORE: DIY car wash: a step-by-step guide

Remove the paint with scratch remover

Here’s how to remove the paint from your car with scratch remover:
  • Clean the affected area to wash away grime, dust, dirt, and any other contaminants that built up on the car’s surface. This step will make the job a whole lot easier. 
  • Apply the scratch remover to a microfiber towel and rub it onto the affected area until the paint scuff mark is gone. 
  • Wipe clean and apply car polish in a circular motion to make your car shine.
  • Gently apply car wax to finish off the paint transfer removal job

Look at the damage

Once the paint is removed, you’ll be able to assess the extent of damage to your car’s paint job. You’ll need to smooth out deeper scratches with sandpaper and touch them up with paint before you apply polish and car wax. 

Home remedies for removing paint scuffs

If you want to avoid harsh chemicals or the auto parts store altogether, there are a number of DIY hacks you can use to remove paint scuffs. Better yet, you probably already have what you need in your home! Try these home remedies:

Use toothpaste

Toothpaste is an alternative to a store-bought rubbing compound and is an affordable nontoxic option. Use a microfiber towel to rub the toothpaste over the paint scuff and the grit will help remove the paint transfer. 

Use magic eraser

Spray a lubricant directly onto the paint scuffs and gently rub the magic eraser over the affected area until the paint scuffs disappear. While this home remedy method is effective, you’ll need to be careful to further damage your car’s paint job with the magic eraser. 
MORE: How to remove chewing gum from car paint

Nail polish remover

The acetone in the nail polish remover acts as a paint thinner and is another low-budget household item you can use to remove paint scuff marks. Wet a microfiber cloth with nail polish remover and press the acetone-soaked rag to the paint scuff marks for a few minutes then you should be able to scrub the paint stains away.

When to take your car to a mechanic

If you see paint scratches that reach the base coat or primer after removing the paint scuff marks, you should take your car to a mechanic or body shop to have professional paint over the car scratch for you. 
You may also want to consider taking your car to a mechanic if you don’t feel comfortable removing the paint scuff marks yourself and avoid further damaging your car’s paint job.

How to better protect your car from scuff marks

Scuff marks are nearly impossible to avoid when you own a car. Luckily, you can take preventative measures that will help protect your car from those pesky scuff marks. You should make some of the following tips part of your regular maintenance routine. 

Wash your car regularly

Dirt and grime aren’t just unpleasant to look at, they are abrasive and can damage your car’s paint job. Regularly bringing your vehicle to the car wash will remove abrasive soot that may cause scuff marks. 

Apply car wax

Another way to protect your car’s paint job is by
applying a protective layer of wax
that will prevent damage from dead bugs, abrasive dirt, and more. Wax also prevents oxidization which is what causes rust to form.

Use ceramic coating

Ceramic coating is a liquid polymer that bonds with your car’s paint to form a rock hard  protective layer! This treatment can be applied to the exterior of your is one of the best preventative measures you can take to protect your car from scuff marks. 

How to find cheap car insurance

If you removed the paint scuffs from your car and your car’s paint job was seriously damaged, then you’re probably looking at a costly paint repair job. Luckily, you can save money by price comparison shopping for
car insurance
with the Jerry app. 
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FAQs

Yes! Spray the WD-40 onto the affected area and the lubricant will loosen the scuffed paint so you can wipe it away.
Scratch remover, buffing compounds, and microfiber cloths are best to use on scuffed car paint because they won’t damage your car’s paint job.
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