Do Acrylic Coffee Tables Scratch Easily?


Acrylic Coffee Tables Scratch Easily

Coffee tables are an integral part of the living room and they add both functionality and style to the living room decor. There are many different types of coffee tables and they vary widely in size, weight, and design. Some people may prefer large coffee tables that are made of firm and heavy material, while others may prefer smaller and lighter options.

While acrylic coffee tables have a transparent and sleek design reminiscent of glass, they can scratch easily, especially when in contact with sharp items. As a result, while they can contribute to the modern look of your living room, you should not drag any items or materials across the table and avoid using sharp objects.

Acrylic coffee tables combine the transparent look of glass with the durability of acrylic. They are relatively lighter compared to other table designs and have a sleek and appealing shape. While there are many benefits to owning an acrylic coffee table compared to other options, customers interested in purchasing these tables should be wary of the potential for scratches.

Do Acrylic Coffee Tables Scratch Easily?

Acrylic coffee tables have a sleek and transparent design and have many benefits compared to other types of coffee tables. However, acrylic can scratch easily and customers should be cautious of this. If you plan to use your acrylic coffee table to place heavy and scratchable items, you should account for this.

The first important consideration is to avoid any contact with sharp items. Because these tables scratch easily, it is recommended that you put a holding pad or coasters underneath and never put these items in direct contact with the table. In addition, you should avoid directly dragging any items across the table, as these may leave permanent marks.

One relatively easy solution is to cover up your acrylic coffee table with cloth or a sheet before placing any potentially sharp objects on top. While this will likely temporarily impact the decor of your table, you can always take the cloth off when you are done.  

In some cases, the legs of the coffee table are made of acrylic, while the top is made of glass. In these cases, your items will most likely not get in direct contact with the acrylic and you should apply the standard cautionary approach when dealing with glass. Indeed, some manufacturers will purposefully make the top out of glass to prevent scratches.

Best Practices to Avoid Getting Scratches

While scratches on your acrylic coffee table can in most cases be removed (see below), there are certain practices that you should follow to prevent scratches in the first place. We recommend the following three approaches to minimize the likelihood of damage:

  • Avoid placing any sharp or abrasive objects
  • Keep your pets and children away from your coffee table
  • Place a cover over the table

The first recommendation is pretty straightforward. If you have any items that are even remotely sharp, you should avoid putting them in direct contact with your table. This also applies to coins, kitchen utensils, and other household items. Ideally, the top of your acrylic table should be empty most of the time, for both visual and functional reasons.

If you have small children or pets that have sharp toenails or teeth, you should keep them away from your acrylic table. Because it may be difficult to monitor your children or pets all the time, it is best that you move your table to a different location. The good news is that acrylic tables are significantly lighter than wood, glass, and most other materials.

Finally, the easiest way to ensure your table is spotless is to place a cover over it. It is up to you to decide the type and material and you can experiment with different options. Of course, your table will no longer be as visually appealing. This is not necessarily an issue because the cover should be on only when there is a possibility for scratches.

Removing Scratches from Your Acrylic Coffee Tables

To clean the acrylic coffee table, you should avoid using any cleaning supplies that contain ammonia. Instead, these tables are best cleaned with mild detergent, wet or dry sandpaper, water, and a microfiber soft cloth. Using these supplies, it should be relatively easy to clean the coffee table without leaving any marks or scratches. 

For families with children, parents should be careful not to let their children play with toys or other items that may leave marks or scratches on the table. Because of their light weight, you may even consider moving the table to a safe space while your children are playing. The same applies if you have pets with sharp toenails or teeth.

For more substantial scratches, you should apply the following procedure. Use wet or dry sandpaper and rub over the scratched area in a circular motion. For more substantial scratches, use a higher grade of sandpaper. Following this, use a polishing agent such as car wax and rub it over the scratched area. This should eliminate the scratch and return the acrylic to its initial condition.

If the scratch is too deep, however, it may either be impossible to remove or you may have to contact a professional. The good news is that acrylic is still easier to care for than wood or many other materials. Unless the scratch is too ingrained, you should be able to remove it on your own. In the most extreme cases, the scratch may be impossible to remove.

Different Types of Scratches

Some scratches are easier to clean than others. Depending on the magnitude and depth of your scratches, you may have to use different supplies and cleaning materials. While deep scratches are more difficult or in some cases impossible to clean and may require professional help, the surface scratches are more straightforward.

For mild scratches, you will need acrylic cleaner, acrylic polish, sandpaper, mild detergent, water, and a soft cloth. If the scratches are not visible from afar, you may not need sandpaper. Apply acrylic cleaner or mild detergent and water to the scratch and wipe down the area gently. If the scratch is gone, use a dry soft cloth to remove the excess liquid.

For moderate to excessive scratches, in addition to the same items as above, you will need a more durable sandpaper and heavy scratch acrylic cleaner. After you apply mild detergent and acrylic cleaner, use the more durable 800 and 1200 grit sandpaper and apply it in circular motion for several minutes. Finish off by removing any excess liquid with a clean cloth.

In the more extreme cases, where the scratch is deep and visible from afar, you may need to contact a professional. They will be able to tell you if the scratch can be removed. In some cases, unfortunately, where the damage is excessive, you may need to get a new coffee table. If you are cleaning it yourself, remember to avoid products with ammonia.

How to Clean Cloudy Acrylic

In addition to scratches, your acrylic table may get cloudy or hazy if you apply a commercial cleaning solution that leaves residue on the surface. While acrylic is preferable to glass because it is lighter and doesn’t shatter as easily, it is also more difficult to clean and more susceptible to getting cloudy.

If your table gets cloudy and you want to return it to its original look, the procedure is similar to removing scratches. However, you do not need to use sandpaper, acrylic cleaner, or acrylic polish. To remove the cloudy spot, you will need the following supplies:

  • Clean and soft microfiber cloth
  • Warm water 
  • Mild soap

If the cloudiness is not excessive, simply apply warm water to the cloudy area and rinse it with soft cloth in a circular motion. Repeat this for a few minutes and the spot should be clean. Make sure to dip the cloth into water to make sure you are not reapplying the dirty material.

For hazy spots that are more excessive, you should also apply mild soap. Once again, move the cloth in a circular motion, making sure that you clean the surface. Once this is over, have a fully dry and clean cloth that you will use to make one last clean up of the area. If you follow these directions, your acrylic table should be fully transparent again.

The Durability of Acrylic Tables

Acrylic tables and glass tables look alike from a visual point of view. They are both transparent, have a sleek look, and are amongst the most popular options for living room or dining room coffee tables. However, acrylic tables have several advantages over glass, which explains their popularity in recent years.

Glass is significantly easier to crack or shatter and could cause injuries if this happens. In addition, glass is substantially heavier and more difficult to move around. If you have lots of pieces of glass furniture, this could make it more difficult and expensive to transport. 

However, glass is also much harder to scratch and easier to clean. Unlike acrylic, glass can be cleaned using commercial cleaning agents and you do not have to worry as much about scratches or marks. If you have pets or small children, glass will be more durable in terms of scratches. 

At the same time, however, because of how easy it shatters, there is a greater risk of injury. Potential customers should think about the trade-offs. Glass is advantageous because of its durability and a lower likelihood of scratches. Acrylic is advantageous because it does not shatter and is less heavy, which makes it easier to move around.

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