Removing scratches, cleaning, and polishing high gloss acrylics
I remember when I went to work for my dad over 40 years ago. I asked him how to deal with some laminate cabinets that had been scratched.
His answer was simple, “don’t get them in there in the first place”.
That’s good advice, but we still had scratches to deal with. Unfortunately, there is little or nothing that can be done with HPL. You replace the part or re-laminate. We’ve added StyleLite high gloss acrylic panels to our line up and with a little effort, scratches can be polished out depending on the severity.
StyleLite acrylic panels are a little different than high pressure laminates. In fact a lot different. Unlike gloss high pressure laminates, StyleLite high gloss acrylic panels have no irregularities and as they say about automotive finishes “has that liquid look”. Something on the order of a high quality polyester finish. There are no imperfections. Solid and wood grain patterns are available and when mated with laser banding, it’s all pretty amazing. In short, it looks like real wood with a top-notch finish. They have to be seen to be appreciated.
The panels come into our shop with a peel coat and the finished parts leave our shop with that same peel coat. The peel coat should remain until AFTER the installation. Most of the time, scratches occur during or after installation, so I want you to have some information I hope you’ll find helpful.
The best tools:
StyleLite recommends the following and I agree.
- Novus # 3 Heavy Scratch Remover
- Novus # 2 Fine Scratch Remover
- VuPlex Plastic Cleaner & Anti-Static Polish (Much better than the Novus #1)
- Any microfiber cloth
The Novus products are available on Amazon - (Link)
VuPlex is available directly from us on our store, here (Link)
Where to begin:
Removing scratches from acrylic surfaces is not a lot different than removing scratches from paint or wood. The theory is simple - you're making larger scratches smaller to the point the eye can no longer detect them. Let’s start with the #3 heavy scratch remover. Remove any dust with a microfiber cloth. Apply the polish to another microfiber cloth. Rub with firm back and forth strokes at right angles to the visible scratches. Reapply and rub as necessary. Polish until only fine scratches remain. Remove all the remaining polish. Next, apply the #2 polish to the cloth and rub in a circular motion until the material is dry. Buff with a clean microfiber cloth. Examine the surface and repeat as necessary. Finally, spray the surface lightly with VuPlex. Wipe off and buff with (yes, you guessed it) a microfiber cloth. Stay with microfiber and you won’t go wrong.
VuPlex cleans, polishes and adds a layer of protection. The advantage of using VuPlex is it creates a very slippery surface, which makes it harder to scratch in the future. Use VuPlex going forward for routine cleaning and maintenance. If you gauge the scratches to be small enough, you can skip the #3 polish and start at #2, saving time and money.
Hopefully at this point you have a restored finish and all your problems are solved. Just remember what dad said, “don’t get them in there in the first place”.