Although highly durable, metal furniture and appliances are usually susceptible to scratches. Some scratches might be light and easy to remove while others might be deep, thus requiring extra efforts to eliminate. So, how can you remove scratches from metal furniture?
To remove minor scratches from metal furniture, you can use vinegar, a powdered scratch remover, or metal polish to eliminate gouges and negligible cuts. However, for deep scratches, you might have to clean, sand, and carefully polish the surface to get the job done.
Still reading? Great, in this article, we’ll discuss some of the main methods you can use to remove scratches from any metal appliance or furniture.
Removing Deep Scratches
When dealing with metal furniture, it’s crucial to take extra precautions to keep the surfaces in pristine condition. However, no matter how careful you might be, an accident can occur, consequently leaving hard-to-ignore, deep scratches all over your beautiful metallic furniture.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to removing deep scratches from metal surfaces, especially if you want your furniture or appliance to regain its initial appearance. You’ll need to get your hands dirty by removing layers of metal through sanding and complete the process by polishing the surface for a smooth, neat finish.
Observe the following steps when using this method.
Step 1: Choose the Sanding Products
You can use a sanding block or an orbital sander depending on the size of metal you’re working on. Sanding blocks work well when looking to remove scratches from small metallic surfaces, while orbital sanders are ideal for large surfaces.
To remove the deep scratches, using coarse sandpaper is advisable. However, you’ll need to be careful to avoid weakening the metal due to over sanding with coarse sandpaper.
Step 2: Identify the Grain of the Scratched Surface
Before you jump straight into sanding, take your time to find the grain of the metal. To spot the grain, take a close look at the metal to see if the surface is running vertically or horizontally. The grain will let you know which direction to sand.
Step 3: Sand the Metal Surface Strategically
If you want to return your metal surface to its initial appearance, you’ll want to scratch a wider surface. It’s ill-advised to sand the scratched areas only as this will give your metal furniture an uneven appearance, and you don’t want that!
So you’ll need to sand the entire surface. That is if it’s the upper part that’s deeply scratched, then sanding the entire upper section will be necessary. The same applies to sides.
For a crisp finish, be sure to sand in the same pattern, especially in the direction of the grain.
Step 4: Change the Sand Papers
Once you’re done sanding with coarse sandpaper, it’s time to switch to a finer pad. Again, the sanding should follow a similar pattern that’s in line with the grain. Continue sanding with the fine sandpaper until the scratches disappear, and the layers look uniform.
Step 5: Wipe and Polish the Sanded Area
Metal cleaners can come in handy when you don’t plan to use metal polish. However, if your plan is to finish the job with a metal polish, you can wipe the sanded area with a clean, damp cloth, which should reveal a neat, scratch-free surface.
Polishing the surface is the last step, and arguably the easiest. Apply the metal polish on the entire surface you worked on for a uniform finish. It’s best to give the metal surface a couple of hours to dry before using it.
Removing Light Scratches
Although smaller compared to deep scratches, light scratches can be an eyesore, especially if allowed to accumulate. Therefore, whenever you spot these annoying scratches on your metallic surfaces, consider using the methods we`ll discuss in this section.
Using Microfiber Cloth and Vinegar
The first method is using microfiber cloth and vinegar to eliminate scratches. For this technique to work, be sure to observe the following steps.
Step 1: Identify the Direction of the Grain
Dealing with metallic surfaces such as steel requires attention to detail. Keenly observe your metallic furniture to determine the direction of the grain. Working against your furniture or appliance’s grain might exacerbate the scratches, which beats logic, considering your mission is to eliminate the scratches.
Step 2: Apply Vinegar on the Microfiber Cloth and Rub on the Surface
Apply a generous amount of vinegar to a microfiber cloth and gently rub on the surface. Point to note, you’ll need to rub in the direction of the appliance’s grain for successful outcomes.
While it might be tempting to focus on the scratched area solely, it’s advisable to rub the vinegar-soaked microfiber cloth on the entire surface for a more uniform (and appealing) outcome.
Leave the metal surface to dry once done with the process.
Step 3: Apply Mineral Oil or Olive Oil
Before you apply mineral or olive oil to your metal furniture, you’ll need to rinse both the surface and the microfiber cloth to remove the vinegar.
After you’ve rinsed the cloth, soak it in olive or mineral oil and proceed to rub it gently on the surface you’re working on. Again, following the direction of the grain is crucial for successful outcomes.
Step 4: Wipe and Dry the Metal Surface
Leave the mineral or olive oil layer on the metallic surface for ten to fifteen minutes. Once the time has elapsed, wipe the surface (in the direction of the grain). Rubbing in a circular motion might lead to more scratches, especially if you’re working on a highly sensitive surface.
Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to dry the surface completely. Ensure that you rub carefully until the oil layer is completely removed. After this step, your metal furniture should be free of those annoying little scratches.
Using Powdered Scratch Removers
Granted, not all light scratches will be easy to remove. While household acids like vinegar can remove light scratches, medium-deep scratches might need stronger agents such as powdered scratch removers.
Below are steps to follow when using powders to remove scratches on metal surfaces.
Step 1: Prepare the Surface With Household Vinegar
Prepping the surface is important before you bring in the powder. To prepare the surface, you’ll need to use vinegar and a microfiber cloth. Allow the vinegar to sit on the metal surface for 10-20 minutes before wiping it off gently. Rub mineral or olive oil on the surface to leave the working area smooth and clean.
While this step is not compulsory, it helps to increase the efficiency of the powdered scratch remover.
Step 2: Prepare the Powder Scratch Remover
In this step, carefully hold a damp microfiber cloth before gently sprinkling the powdered scratch remover. Add a few drops of clean water to activate the mixture, and rub it in until the powder transforms into a paste.
Step 3: Gently Rub the Powdered Scratch Remover on the Affected Surface
Although most people tend to focus on the scratched area, it’s advisable to apply the scratch remover evenly across the surface. That is, after gently rubbing the affected area, proceed to work on the surrounding areas to allow for a smooth, even finish.
Disclaimer: You might need to apply the paste severally if you’re dealing with several medium-deep scratches.
Step 4: Remove the Powdered Scratch Remover Using Microfiber Cloth
Once you’re convinced the scratches have been eliminated and the surface looks even, take a damp microfiber cloth and wipe the surface clean. Repeat the process with a dry cloth, this time rubbing even more gently than before.
Remember, whether you’re applying powdered remover or rinsing the layers off the metal, it’s crucial to rub in the same direction.
Using Metal Polish to Remove Minor Scratches
In case you don’t fancy the hassle of mixing powders and using home acids to remove scratches, then you might find a metal polish useful. Metal polish helps to smoothen out scratches, thus leaving metal surfaces looking neat and even.
You can choose mild or strong metal polish depending on your needs. If using metal polish is your preferred option, consider observing the following steps.
Step 1: Clean the Metal You’re Working On
Always start by cleaning the metal surface regardless of your preferred scratch removal method. Cleaning gives you direct access to the surface you want to work on as it removes built-up dirt or grime that might come in the way. Consider using acetone if dealing with built-up grease.
Step 2: Apply a Small Amount of Polish to a Clean Microfiber Cloth
Apply a small amount of polish to the microfiber to determine the cloth’s absorption properties before increasing the amount. The idea is to have an evenly soaked microfiber cloth before rubbing it on the affected surface.
Step 3: Apply the Metal Polish
Similar to the other scratch removal methods, be sure to rub the metal polish in a single direction (the direction of the grain). Gently rub until the scratches disappear. Please note that you might have to rub several times and reapply the polish if you’re dealing with medium-deep scratches.
Don’t forget to apply the metal polish in surrounding areas for a uniform outcome.
Step 4: Clean and Dry the Metal Surface
After polishing the scratches until they’re smooth, you should proceed to wipe out the polish using a damp microfiber cloth. The rule still stands, wipe in the direction of the grain!
Once you’re convinced that the scratches are no more and that the surface is uniform, take a dry microfiber cloth and dry the metallic surface. Rub as gently as you can to prevent scratching the surface.
Tips for Keeping Metal Furniture Scratch Free
Always Wipe or Rub With the Grain of Your Metal
Be sure to wipe with the grain of your metal to avoid increasing the light scratches. Regardless of whether you are polishing, buffing, or wiping metal surfaces, always observe a similar pattern. Using circular or back and forth motions will lead to unsightly marks on the surface you’re cleaning.
Be Careful With Abrasive Pads
You should avoid abrasive sponges or items such as steel wool when dealing with light scratches. Since light scratches are usually easy to remove, it is advisable to use non-abrasive sponges, microfiber cloths, and cleaning products to eliminate scratches.
Abrasive pads and coarse sheets like sandpaper might be necessary when looking to eliminate deep scratches. However, you’ll need to switch to fine sandpaper once you even out the metallic surface you’re working on.
Avoid Using Items That Can Damage or Scratch Metallic Surfaces
Unfortunately, due to their perceived strength, metallic devices are often mishandled. You’ll need to put in extra effort to prevent your metal furniture from developing those annoying scratches. As a result, be careful when using items such as knives, utensils, and magnets on metal surfaces. It isn’t advisable to place heavy items on metallic furniture that is dear to you.
Remove Scratches Immediately After They Occur
The best way to deal with scratches on metal furniture is to act with urgency. You don’t want to postpone cleaning scratches as they’ll gradually increase over time, thus making removal a nightmare. Therefore, take advantage of and eliminate scratches whenever you spot them.
And if it’s your first time dealing with deep scratches, it’s advisable to use high-quality compounds like the Barry’s Restore It All Stainless Steel Rescue. Just follow the instructions indicated at the back of the product, and you’re good to go.
Although not a walk in the park, removing scratches from metal furniture or appliances shouldn’t be too hard.
You’ll need to examine the extent of the scratches to determine the best technique to use. Remember to switch between coarse and fine sandpapers when using sanding bars or orbital sanders to remove deep scratches.
For light scratches, using a microfiber cloth and vinegar might be enough to get the job done. But in case the scratches prove too stubborn, you can bring in the big guns and use a powdered scratch remover to eliminate the scratches.
Whichever method you choose, remember to always rub or wipe in the direction of your metal’s grain for successful outcomes.