How to Repair Scratches in a Solid Surface Countertop
Discovering a scratch in your solid surface countertop can be more than a major annoyance, especially if it makes up part of a newly fitted kitchen. Although repairing it can be difficult, it is still possible if you follow the relevant steps.
Step 1 – Assess Damage
The manner in which you repair your solid surface countertop not only depends on the material that it is made from, but also on the severity of the scratch. Examine the entire countertop for scratches that are not immediately evident so you can repair it all at the same time.
Due to the intricate differences in materials such as natural granite, you may find that this type of countertop is more difficult to repair, since the design is too difficult to replicate.
Step 2 – Check Manual
If the solid surface countertop is one that you have had fitted rather than inherited due to a house move, you are likely to have a manual and, possibly, a maintenance kit provided by the manufacturer. The maintenance kit should contain the relevant sanding method and sealant to repair minor scratches. The manual should be able to outline how to undertake the repair and recommend repairers where major work is required.
Step 3 – Prepare Surface
Get the surface ready for repair by giving it an initial clean. Washing it with liquid soap and warm water should be sufficient, but on stubborn dirt use a solution of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar first. After rinsing, thoroughly dry the repair site with a towel.
Step 4 – Sanding
No matter how extensive the damage, start with the lowest grit grade of sand paper or scouring pad. Different materials react in different manners, so you may find that only a little sanding is required to rectify the scratch. Gradually build up to higher grades of sandpaper, always keeping a close eye on the scratch to verify that it is becoming less visible.
This method will not work on a ceramic solid surface countertop. In this case, the best method of repair will be to carefully remove the offending tile, so as not to disturb those surrounding it, and replace it with a new one.
Step 5 – Clean
Clean away the resulting powder with a damp sponge to ensure that you gather up all the tiny particles. Wipe a clean dry towel over the surface to soak up any last traces of water before proceeding.
Step 6 – Color and Seal
If the repair has affected the color, buff or polish the surface to rectify the color before sealing it. A solid surface countertop will usually comprise a coating which serves to protect it from staining and make it more hard-wearing, so it is important to seal the site of repair for the same reason. If there is no indication of the type of sealant that has previously been used, use one that is suited to the room where the countertop is fitted.