LESLIE: Keith in Virginia, you’re on the line. How can we help?
KEITH: Yes, I’d like to know how to remove some small scratches from my Formica countertop.
TOM: Uh, get a new countertop? (laughing)
LESLIE: Errr – unfortunately.
KEITH: Oh, yeah? There’s no like a rubbing compound or pumice or anything I could maybe rub on there to see if I can get some of those out of there?
TOM: No, because the laminate surface is too thing for any abrasion that could sort of eliminate a scratch. If you get a scratch in a laminate, the scratch is in the laminate. It’s in the color right away. It’s not like solid surfacing material like quartz or a natural material, where you could abrade it or grind it out.
LESLIE: To bring up that fresh layer underneath it …
LESLIE: … because with a laminate, there isn’t one.
TOM: Exactly. The only thing you could do is use a laminate polish. And if you use a laminate polish, it tends to sort of mask those scratches a little bit. But it’s a maintenance issue where you have to keep repolishing it.
KEITH: OK, well where would I get such a polish?
LESLIE: Keith, what type of finish does your Formica countertop have? Is it matte, satin, semi-gloss?
KEITH: Oh, my – say it was satin.
LESLIE: Satin. Is it a dark color or a light color?
KEITH: A dark color.
LESLIE: Errr. If it were a light color – depending on what your definition of a dark or a light color is – the folks at Formica, for a satin finish, they’re recommending you sand with a 320-grit sandpaper on a sanding block. And then you use a circular motion until the scratch is gone and you want to blend the finish with Soft Scrub and a gray Scotch-Brite pad. Make sure it’s the gray Scotch-Brite pad. They’re not recommending this for dark colors, though. So, there are other choices for you to try to make that scratch less visible.
TOM: The other thing, Keith, that you could try is to use a laminate polish which is – gives it sort of a semi-gloss finish to it. And it will wear off so you’ll have to reapply it. But the laminate polishes tend to blend in with those scratches and sort of hide them the same way, say, an Old English might blend into a scratch on wood furniture.
So that’s probably the best thing for you to do, Keith. Hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.