Touch-Up for Scratched or Scuffed Laminate

Oops! Here's how the pros fix those little mistakes (perhaps the fault of a careless co-worker...)January 20, 2007

I have some minor scratches (can't feel, but see) in some installed laminate. What's the best way to eliminate or hide them?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor A:
Plastic polish or a permanent marker, depending on laminate color and extent of damage. Sometimes a pencil will work too, until the laminate gets cleaned.

From contributor D:
I've encountered this problem before. Usually when using a router on the edge. Does anybody know of a manufacturer of felt tip pens that could be used for touchups? I've used Seamfil before.

From contributor E:
Try an office supply store. Big selection of colors. I shop at the smaller local stores. Not sure what big box office supply stores have.

From contributor S:
I have been successful using acrylic paint. The kind artists use in a tube. You can mix any color you can imagine - it can fill small voids and it doesn't dry out and shrink (usually). The trick is to not over work it. Apply it and rub over gently with a damp rag, until it looks right, then leave it alone. I would try it on a test piece first.

From contributor J:
If the scratches can be seen but not felt, then most likely they are not scratches, but scuffs (big difference when it comes to repair). Scuffs can be hidden with countertop polish, as this will give the whole top the same sheen. I use some stuff I picked up at Home Depot, but most hardware stores have it also. Scratches are much harder because you have to actually fill in an area that was scratched out. I haven't found any great methods of fixing these, although Seamfil is the best if it will stick in the scratch. Markers do work sometimes, seems like mostly on edges where the light won't reflect across the damaged area. If the customer knows about the damage, I almost always end up replacing because they can always find the spot. If they don't know, then the trick is to hide it good enough so that by the time they do, they are unsure of how long it has been there. I normally only do this on commercial jobs.

From contributor T:
Try Countertop Magic spray cleaner - orange can. I have seen it in the Depot. This has worked best for us. We also spray it on the trimmer bases.

From contributor R:
I use the touch-up markers from Mohawk. All kinds of colours.

From contributor F:
Anything clear and oily will usually hide small scratches. Scotts Liquid Gold polish, a finger rubbed on the forehead, etc. As already mentioned, this only works until the laminate is cleaned.