Having an acrylic coffee table can be a great addition to your living room décor. Acrylic furniture adds a modern and sleek look.
However, over time an acrylic coffee table can lose its shine and start to look dull and scratched. If your acrylic coffee table has lost its luster, don’t worry, there are several easy ways to bring back the acrylic shine.
Why Does Acrylic Lose Its Shine?
Acrylic is a plastic material that is shiny and transparent when new. However, acrylic can be prone to scratches and scuffs from daily use.
Things like dust, grease, skin oils and even just stacking items on the table can cause micro-abrasions on the surface over time. This makes the acrylic look dull and opaque rather than shiny and see-through.
Cleaning and Polishing the Acrylic
The first step in renewing the shine is to thoroughly clean the acrylic table. This will remove any dirt, dust or oils that are causing it to look dull. Here are some tips for cleaning and polishing acrylic:
1. Use a Soft Cloth
Always use a soft, lint-free cloth when cleaning acrylic. Paper towels or rough clothes can cause tiny scratches. Microfiber cloths work well.
2. Remove Dust and Dirt
Wipe the entire surface with a damp soft cloth to remove any dust or dirt. This will prepare the acrylic for polishing.
3. Clean with Mild Soap and Water
Make a solution of mild dish soap and lukewarm water. Dampen the cloth in the solution and gently wash the acrylic. Avoid using harsh cleaners or chemical sprays which can damage the material.
4. Rinse and Dry Completely
Be sure to rinse the table thoroughly after washing. Wipe dry with a soft towel to prevent water spots.
5. Use Acrylic Polish
For heavy duty shine, use a polish made specifically for acrylic surfaces. Apply a small amount to the soft cloth and rub into the acrylic. Remove any excess.
6. Buff to a High Shine
Use a fresh dry soft cloth and buff the acrylic surface in circular motions. This will bring back the transparent glossy shine.
💡 Pro Tip: Always check the care instructions for your specific acrylic furniture. Some brands may have special cleaning recommendations.
How to Fix Scratches and Scuffs
If there are any light scratches or scuffs on your acrylic coffee table, you can buff them out using a polish and some elbow grease. Here’s how:
1. Start by Cleaning
Make sure to clean the scratched area thoroughly first, as described above. This will allow the polish to work into the scratch.
2. Use a Plastic Polishing Compound
Look for a polishing cream designed for use on clear plastics. Apply a small amount to a soft cloth.
3. Focus on Scratched Areas
Rub the polish into the scratched areas using circular motions. Apply moderate pressure.
4. Clean Residue and Buff
Wipe away any excess polish with a clean damp cloth. Then use a dry soft cloth to buff the acrylic shine.
5. Repeat if Needed
For deeper scratches, repeat this polishing process 1-2 more times. The scratches should become less noticeable.
6. Consider Sanding for Severe Damage
If the table has extensive deep scratching, lightly sanding and re-polishing may be required. Use extra fine grit sandpaper and sand in the direction of the existing scratches to minimize visibility.
⛔️ Caution: Avoid using any harsh chemicals like acetone, bleach or ammonia as they can permanently damage the acrylic.
Protecting the Surface Going Forward
Once you’ve restored the beautiful acrylic shine, you’ll want to keep it looking its best. Protecting the surface from further scratching and wear is key. Here are some preventative tips:
1. Use Coasters Under Drinks
Prevent new scratches and water marks by always using coasters under glasses, bottles and cans.
2. Add Felt Pads to Furniture Legs
Stick small adhesive felt pads onto chair and table legs that may contact the acrylic. This cushions any impact.
3. Minimize Direct Sun Exposure
Position the table away from direct sunlight which can potentially cause acrylic to haze over time. Close drapes during peak sunlight hours.
4. Clean Up Spills Quickly
Promptly wipe up any spills to prevent liquids from drying and leaving residue on the acrylic.
5. Avoid Harsh Products
Do not use any harsh cleaners, chemicals or solvents on the table as they could cloud or etch the acrylic.
6. Dust Frequently
Use a microfiber cloth to gently dust the surface a couple of times a week. This prevents dulling scratches from dust buildup.
Bonus Tip: Consider covering the table with a fitted acrylic sheet when not in use to protect the surface from accidental scratches.
Common Acrylic Table Myths
There are a few common misconceptions about caring for acrylic furniture. Here are some acrylic table myths debunked:
1. Myth: Acrylic can be cleaned with glass cleaner
Fact: Most glass cleaners contain ammonia which can damage and cloud acrylic over time. Use mild soapy water instead.
2. Myth: Acrylic is maintenance free
Fact: Acrylic needs occasional polishing and preventative care to keep its clarity and shine.
3. Myth: Acrylic can go outside
Fact: Prolonged sun exposure can cause the acrylic to yellow and haze. Keep acrylic tables indoors.
4. Myth: Acrylic stains easily
Fact: Acrylic has good chemical resistance. Stains can usually be removed with proper cleaning methods.
5. Myth: Scratches ruin acrylic
Fact: Light scratches can be buffed out. Acrylic is resilient if cared for properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still, have some questions about renewing the shine on an acrylic coffee table. Here are answers to some common queries:
1. What household items can I use to polish acrylic?
For polishing, it’s best to use a product specifically made for clear plastics rather than household substitutions, which may scratch. However, in a pinch, a mild vinegar and water solution can work.
2. How do I get rid of static on my acrylic table?
Static build-up is common on acrylic. Try wiping with a dryer sheet or diluting a small amount of fabric softener in water and cleaning the surface.
3. Why does my acrylic table seem to attract so much dust and lint?
The smooth static-prone surface of acrylic tends to attract more dust and fibers than other materials. Frequent dusting helps reduce buildup.
4. Are microfiber cloths ok for cleaning acrylic?
Yes, microfiber cloths are safe for cleaning acrylic as they are very soft and lint-free. Avoid using paper towels or abrasive scrubbing pads.
5. Can I use rubbing alcohol to clean acrylic?
It’s best to avoid alcohol or acetone. The solvents can cloud and damage the acrylic. Mild soap and water is the safest cleaning method.
Restoring the Shine for Long-Lasting Beauty
With the right cleaning techniques and preventative care, an acrylic coffee table can maintain its crystal-clear glossy shine for years. By removing scratches, avoiding direct sunlight, using protective items and keeping dust and dirt wiped away, your acrylic will continue looking freshly polished. Be sure to properly care for your acrylic furnishings to be rewarded with lasting beauty and style.
Featured Image: istockphoto.com