How to Remove Scratches From Bathroom Vanities

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Things You'll Need

  • 1,000-grit wet/dry sandpaper

  • Sponge

  • Nonabrasive cloth

  • Automotive polishing compound

  • Lambswool buffer

  • Cultured marble polish

Tip

Cover the bathroom mirror, walls and floor with newspaper or dropcloths before using a power buffer.

Warning

Do not try to sand out scratches that have penetrated the gel coat of cultured marble or the surface finish of a plastic laminate. If you can't remove a scratch by wet sanding with 1,000-grit sandpaper, it's there to stay. Attempting to get it out with more abrasive paper will damage the vanity.

The countertops of many bathroom vanities may be made from plastic laminate, but more often it's a material called cultured marble. This is basically a mixture of polyester resin, limestone, pigments and fillers with a thin surface coating similar to the coating on a fiberglass shower or bathtub. The gel coat can sustain small scratches, and when the scratches accumulate dirt, the entire surface looks old and worn. The process for removing these scratches is similar to that for removing scratches from an auto body. You can safely remove only those scratches that don't penetrate the gel coat.

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Step 1

Soak a piece of 1,000-grit wet/dry sandpaper in water for five minutes or so to get it saturated.

Step 2

Moisten the countertop with a sponge soaked with water, and then sand the surface with the wet/dry sandpaper. Move the paper in a swirling or circular motion. Check your progress frequently by wiping off the sanding residue with a nonabrasive cloth. If you still see scratches, wet the surface with the sponge and continue sanding.

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Step 3

Wipe off all the residue when you're done. Rinse the vanity with clear water, and wipe the surface dry. Spread automotive polishing compound over the surface and polish the surface with a lambswool buffer. You can buff by hand, but it's easier to use a power buffer.

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Step 4

Protect the gel coat with cultured marble polish, available at hardware and home supply stores. Apply the polish according to the instructions on the container.

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references

Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker and Family Handyman.