Acrylic countertops, commonly called solid surface, have colors and designs that run all the way through the material. This makes it possible to repair most damage, including stains, scratches and burns. Although you need professional service for very deep scratches and burns, or to restore high-gloss counter finishes, you can repair less serious damage to matte and semi-gloss surfaces yourself.
Acrylic counters are nonporous, but they can stain. Common stains include ink, food, shoe polish, cosmetics and superficial cigarette burns. Remove these stains by cleaning the counter with an abrasive cleaner and the appropriate cleaning pad for your counter’s finish. Use a heavy-duty scouring pad for a matte-finish counter, or a non-scratching scouring pad for a counter with a semi-gloss finish. Alternatively, use the cleaning pad recommended by your counter’s manufacturer.
You can remove light scratches on a matte- or semi-gloss counter using an abrasive cleaner and a sponge or damp cloth. Scrub gently, in a circular motion, until the scratches disappear. Use a non-scratching scouring pad to work in the cleaner if the sponge doesn’t remove the scratches.
Deeper Scratches and Cuts
Deeper scratches and cuts might require sanding. Your counter’s manufacturer may sell a scratch-removal kit with sanding pads or sandpaper, but you can achieve the same results using your own materials. Use a random orbital sander and 120-grit sandpaper. Sand the counter a second time using 180-grit paper, then use 220-grit sandpaper until the damage is gone and the counter surface is smooth. Buff out sanding marks on a matte-finish counter using a heavy-duty scouring pad. For semi-gloss counters, use 320-grit, then 400-grit, sandpaper, then buff with an ultra-fine scouring pad.
Restoring a Damaged Finish
Sanding can restore your counter’s matte or semi-gloss finish. Begin work on a matte finish counter with 220-grit sandpaper, then buff the surface vigorously using a heavy-duty scouring pad in a circular motion. For a semi-gloss counter, start with 220 sandpaper and work your way up to 400. Buff the surface with an abrasive cleaner and a sponge to blend any marks. Glossy counters need professional restoration.