Dealing with a Hairline Scratch in a Laminate Top

A just slightly too visible scratch in a deep red laminate top prompts advice on prevention and touch-up. June 12, 2014

I just routed a top and my router base left a fine scratch in the Formica top. It is a deep red wine color; the scratch is faint white. I can't feel the scratch with my finger but in the right light it's there. Any tips on blending it in?

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor J:
Not really. If you work on it with something like soft scrub, it may hide the scratch to some degree, but that usually changes the over-all level of sheen too. Anything that would fill a scratch needs a scratch to fill... you need to be able to feel it. Most of those would wear off or wash off anyway. Personally, I would peel it and replace the laminate. You will spend more in time and effort than it would cost in plastic.

From contributor P:
Make sure you don't have any burrs on your router base. Also, when you are running the router on the surface, either put your hand in front of the router to clear debris or blow ahead of the router with an air gun.

From contributor S:
The deep burgundy colors are bad about showing scratches. It will be scratched in time for sure. To add to what contributor P said, get some LamiLube and spray it on your router base and wipe off the excess. It will make your bases glide super smooth.

From contributor N:
All the deep colors like burgundy, dark blue, and hunter green use a white background. If the white is showing through, you can sometimes take a red felt marker and draw across the scratch. Put a little bit of paint thinner on a cloth and just wipe over it gently, but not enough to take away the marker completely. If that doesn't work, try a red pen, and do the same. If it is a deep scratch this won't work. In the end it is up to you what you will accept as being okay.

From the original questioner:
Thanks - that's just what I did only I used lemon instead of paint thinner. I could walk away and be okay with it but in the end it will be up to my customer.

From contributor S:
Don't point it out to the customer, unless they have already seen it. Often we are the picky ones and we see every little mark.