How to: Remove scratches from piano black trim by hand

After shopping at Costco and loading my Explorer with groceries, I took a closer inspection of the car’s piano black trim. To my surprise, it appeared someone accidentally cleaned the trim with a scouring pad. It had so many swirls, it looked like the Starry Night painting. Look at the picture above and check out how scratched the piano black trim is.

Good news is that I was able to remove majority of the scratches by hand.  I’ll show you how I accomplished it.

What I’ll be using

Step One: Clean the piano black trim. I used soapy water to clean the dirt off, then rinsed with water, and then wiped dry.

Step Two: Once the area is cleaned put some Meguiar’s M10508 Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound onto a applicator pad. Then polish the area in a circular motion if possible. I polished the area for a good 5 minutes.

Step Three: Wipe the polish away with a microfiber towel and inspect. I was happy with the result of from step two so I went onto the next step. If there’s any noticeable defects then I would have went back to the previous step.

Step Four: I then used Meguiar’s M20508 Mirror Glaze Ultra Finishing Polish to finalized the polish. I used the same circular motion when applying the polish.

Step Five: Wipe the polish away with a microfiber towel and inspect. I was really happy with the result so I finalized this step with wax.

Before and After

Note- No wax was applied when I took the after image. It was naturally glossy after polishing.


It no longer resembled a painting of the Starry Night. It eliminated a majority of the surface scratches and made it glossy. There were some scratches that can be observed when looking closer. Here’s a zoomed up picture of those scratches:

This is a close up of the remaining scratches in macro mode.

Overall, I was happy with the outcome and the scratches weren’t as noticeable compared to before. It’s possible that I could have spent more time on step two to remove the remaining scratches. But I know in the future, there will be more scratches. How to prevent future scratches? Unfortunately, there’s only so much that can be done to prevent future piano black from scratching. The best option is to put on a 3M Clear Paint Protection vinyl film to protect the trim.

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