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How To Remove Scratches From Acrylic

Written by The Plastic People
13/02/2018 16:11:05


If you want to learn how to remove scratches from acrylic, acrylic sheets or acrylic products, also commonly known as Plexiglass or Perspex, read this step by step guidance from the team of plastic experts at The Plastic People. These methods are tried, tested, and sure to provide outstanding results everytime!

It’s important to check the scratched plastic is actually acrylic before you start this process. Acrylic is a popular, plastic-based alternative to glass. It is an extremely versatile plastic, used widely around the home in furniture (such as coffee tables and side tables) fish tanks, picture frames, kitchen/bathroom splashbacks and child-safe plastic mirrors. It is both decorative and functional - the perfect material for any DIY project!

If your scratched plastic is clear it is likely to be either acrylic or polycarbonate, which are the two most popular clear plastics. Scratches can be removed more successfully from acrylic than polycarbonate. Once polycarbonate is scratched it is not really possible to remove scratches. Scratches can, however, be removed from both clear and coloured acrylics. 

Follow these handy tips from plastic product providers The Plastic People, and your acrylic or products made from it will continue to shine. Light scratches, as you can imagine, are much easier to combat than deep ones.

How to remove light scratches from acrylic

You will need:

  • Acrylic/plastic polish (We have tried and tested VuPlex, which is a specialist acrylic polish)
  • 800 and 1200 grit sandpaper
  • Water for soaking the sandpaper
 
Instructions:

1. Wet one piece of 800 grit sandpaper - run it over the scratch in a circular motion and repeat with a dry piece of 800 grit sandpaper.  Alternate between the dry and wet sandpaper, rubbing for 2 to 3 minutes.  Don’t worry if your acrylic begins to look more frosty or appear to have more little scratch marks on it - this will go away during the process.

2. Next, move onto grade 1200 and do the same. Keep rubbing until all the scratches have disappeared.

3. Finally, dry the area with a soft, dry and clean cotton cloth. Then apply the acrylic polish and the acrylic should look like it has never been scratched!  The polish should restore your acrylic to a high level of shine.


Deeper scratches

Unfortunately, deeper scratches on acrylic products require a little more effort to remove. To check whether a scratch is deep or not,  rub over it with your fingernail. If you can feel it catch, consider it deep and follow this method to try and remove it.  The process is similar to removing light scratches but beginning with 600 grit sandpaper. If the scratch is deeper than about 5mm though, it is probably not worth doing.  

You will need:
  • Acrylic/plastic polish (We have tried and tested VuPlex, which is a specialist acrylic polish)
  • 600, 800 and 1200 grit sandpaper
  • Water for soaking the sandpaper

 
Instructions:

1. Wet one piece of 600 grit sandpaper - run it over the scratched area in a circular motion and repeat with a dry piece of 600 grit sandpaper too.  Rub with both wet and dry sandpapers for around 3 to 3 minutes. Don't worry if your acrylic looks more frosty or scratched - this will go away during the process.

2. Next, move onto grade 800 and do the same for a further few minutes. 

3. Then, move on to 1200 grit paper and keep rubbing until all the scratches have disappeared.

4. Finally, dry the area with a soft, dry and clean cotton cloth, applying the acrylic polish and the acrylic should look like it has never been scratched!  The polish should restore your acrylic to a high level of shine.

Restoring shine to acrylic

You can restore the glossy look of your acrylic by flame polishing thin sheets of acrylic (4mm thick and under) and sanding/buffing thicker acrylic sheets. 

For those who want a less labour-intensive way, try VuPlex polish, which we have tried and tested on acrylic to the satisfaction of our plastic experts.  It’s great for at home use because in minutes one use of VuPlex provides safe cleaning and protection from break down of clarity as well as restoring that high shine. Click here to get your VuPlex directly from us.


As always, our friendly customer services team is on-hand to provide further guidance and advice. You can email them at service@theplasticpeople.co.uk or contact us via the website. 

If you are in need of any plastics cut to size/shape, including both clear and coloured acrylic, check out our online store. Simply enter your desired measurements and recieve a personalised, instant quote today! Click here to find out more. 

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