top of page

How much does buffing cost?


How much does buffing cost?

This is a super legitimate question.  And the hardest to answer over the phone for your specific vehicle.  But in this article we will take the mystery away from the process so you can decide quickly if its worth a buff job or you are better off with a repaint.


We get it!  You want to know if you are  looking at a $50 dollar quick repair or a $500 expense or a $5000 repaint.


First let’s talk about the type of scratches that are bothering you.  There are essentially 6 different issues  that would have your stomach in knots and send you researching on the internet.


  1. RIS- Random isolated scratches

  2. “Spider webbing” scratches

  3. Water spots

  4. Holograph marks

  5. Overspray

  6. Bug/bird poop “chemical etching”


Obviously there's more, but we are intentionally over simplifying so you can find which category you most likely fall into.




RIS has good news and bad news


It is likely the least expensive problem that can be repaired with buffing 

BAD NEWS:  It's also the most likely to be irreparable with buffing.


What?? Did I just contradict myself?  No.  IF it CAN BE repaired it is a small area, so it won’t take a lot of time.  Translation: lower price.  We can often erase random isolated scratches for between $75-$150.


That is assuming they weren't TOO DEEP.  

So how do you know if it’s too deep?

  1. You can see the metal where it was scratch

  2. You run your finger nail in a perpendicular direction to the scratch and the groove catches you nail

  3. You spray it with a product like WD40 and you can still see the scratch


In this instance you have 2 options

  1. Get a color matched paint pen from the dealership (NOT Walmart) and carefully fill in the scratch

  2. Get a repaint

  3. OK I forgot - live with it. 




Under this umbrella, no pun intended, is anything that is causing a build up on your paint so that it looks dull, even milky.  99% there's water spots and streaks on the car.  It’s caused by subpar wash methods.

  1. Automated washes use strong chemicals and not enough deionized water at the end to rinse it all away.  Consequence = build up of chemical residues

  2. Washing with municipal or well water in conditions where the water evaporates before it can properly dry off.


The price to remove the mineral build up largely depends on how long its been accumulating.  See the chart below, but understand that the price has a wider scale.  In this case it’s more dependent on the amount of build up than the color.  Because the goal is shiny paint again.  We will be buffing just as long on a white car as a black car to remove the build up..


Next up we have “spider webbing” ... FOLLOW ME SO YOU DONT MISS IT!!




Funny word for what 90% of cars on the road have. This is the most common type of paint correction we do. 

Never seen it? Stand by your car facing the sun, look at your hood and shift your weight from one leg to the other. Now cross your arms. Just joking! That’s the MACARENA. Seriously, when you move back and forth while looking at the paint you’ll see light (or not so light) scratches all over the paint. Let me say that if you’re examining a white vehicle these scratches will be very hard to see. And that’s why we love white.  


Now depending on how the car was maintained, regular hand washing versus automated washes, the scratches can vary greatly in intensity. The more scratches, the less the light bounces off and the duller the vehicle looks. This is where an exact price must be given on an individual basis. Every car’s treatment, paint softness and road conditions it travels on regularly are different


But we can still guide you so that you know have a ballpark idea of what kind of expense you’re looking at.  


Here’s the determiners of pricing:

  1. Size of the vehicle 

  2. Color of the vehicle

  3. Intensity of the scratches


The smaller the vehicle the less time it takes, so the less it costs and vice versa.


The darker the vehicle is more correction is required to make the paint pop again and that means more time/labor, and the price increases


The amount of scratches could just as easily be quantified as the age of the car, because typically the older it is the more scratches it has.  That’s not a rule across the board, but they usually go hand in hand.




This is caused by improper buffing.  If you purchased a car like this it’s very common.  We’ve even seen it on brand new luxury SUV’s that are priced at over $100k.


It’s a serious issue to look out for if you’re pricing a buff job solely on price.  You may pay a low price up front and then have to turn around and pay more to have the work corrected.

Here's our GUIDELINES on pricing buffing so you can see what general price range you fall in. 

IMG_9684 (2).jpg

At this point we would be remiss if we did not give you the whole scoop.  There are things to be aware of when getting a buff aka paint correction.  There IS downside.  READ HERE TO KNOW ALL THE FACTS

Neon Green Sports Car


What services do you need?

You're on your wayto a shinier vehicle!

Neon Green Sports Car


What services do you need?

You're on your wayto a shinier vehicle!

bottom of page