How To Restore The Shine To Acrylic


Category: clear acrylic, Working with acrylic
 

If you’ve bought acrylic which has since started to lose its shine, read our simple steps to learn how to polish your plastic back to a gleam.

You can restore the glossy look of your acrylic by flame polishing thin sheets of acrylic (4mm thick and under) and sanding/buffing thicker acrylic sheets. We have information explaining these methods here.

For those who want a less labour intensive way, try Vuplex polish which we have tried and tested on acrylic to the satisfaction of our plastic experts.  It’s great for at home use because in minutes one use of Vuplex provides safe cleaning and protection from break down of clarity  as well as restoring that high shine.   

Find out more about Vuplex here.  Contact any of our friendly team for advice about plastic. We’re happy to help.

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How To Remove Scratches From Plastic


Category: clear acrylic, coloured acrylic, Recycle, Working with acrylic
 

If you have ever wanted to know how to remove scratches from plastic read guidance from our team of plastic experts, below. The methods are tried and tested.

It’s important to know what type of plastic is scratched before you start. If it is a coated plastic,  scratches will not come out.  If the plastic is clear it is likely to be either acrylic or polycarbonate which are the two most popular clear plastics. Scratches can be removed more successfully from acrylic than polycarbonate. Once polycarbonate is scratched it is not really possible to remove scratches.    If it is a coloured plastic, check if it is coloured acrylic. If it is either clear or coloured acrylic the scratch can probably be removed.

If the scratch is a deep one (eg. it would catch your finger should you rub it over the scratch) then it is unlikely to come out. But smaller, surface scratches can be fairly easily polished out.  Here’s what to do:

  1. Rub the scratch with some wet and dry paper of 600 grade, using some water. Don’t worry if your Acrylic turns frosted and seems to get lots of little scratch marks – this is normal and they will disappear later
  2. Swap to grade 800 wet and dry paper and carry on gently rubbing the scratch for a minute
  3. Continue rubbing for another minute using wet and dry paper grade 1200
  4. Finally, clean and dry the area you should see it looks frosty. Use Brasso to buff and remove this frost effect.

Your acrylic should now look like it has never been scratched.

Alternatively use a scratch removing product especially developed for plastics.  We have tried and tested Xerapolwhich is a specialist acrylic scratch remover originally designed for industrial use.

Xerapol can be used to remove scratches from acrylic

For further help contact The Plastic People team of experts.

 

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Creating Double Sided Picture Frames


Category: picture framing
 

In recent years the popularity of frames that sandwich work between two panels of glass so you can see both the front and the back of the work has risen. This is a great way of showing double-sided work, but be sure to use acrylic to prevent damage to your artwork .  Your artwork should never be in direct contact with glass as condensation can build up between its layers causing your artwork to fuse and bond permanently with the glass – eventually destroying the work.   With the ready availability of acrylic sheets with a cut to size service, creating established photo and picture frame sizes as well as bespoke frame sizes has never been easier for small businesses, start ups and do-it-yourself picture framers.

Using acrylic for picture framing offers other benefits too, the biggest of which come from the famed strength and durability of acrylic sheets.  10 x stronger than glass yet half its weight, acrylic makes a lighter, stronger and safer option than glass.

Atleast a 10mm thick clear acrylic is a good choice to create this type of frame if you’d like to stand alone.

double sided acrylic frame

double sided frame made from 10mm thick acrylic

Choose acrylic sizes to either match your artwork if you want your piece to finish flush to the edge or choose a bigger size if you want a clear border around your piece. For help choosing pieces check out The Plastic People where you can enter sizes and see prices straight away.  Contact their friendly team for help with any framing requirements.

Learn more about using acrylic for picture framing here.

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Make Your Own Mirror Wardrobes and Dressing Table


Category: Mirrors, Recycle
 

If you like mirrored wardrobes but not their often hefty price tag, consider making your own – perhaps you’ll be inspired by this makeover by a customer of cut to size acrylic mirror retailer, The Plastic People.

Existing wardrobe doors have been transformed by gluing acrylic mirror on in a uniform pattern. Working with acrylic mirror can be safer than glass mirror as it is much lighter than glass making it easier to handle yourself. It is also much stronger than glass mirror and very unlikely to break – if it did, it wouldn’t shatter into many small pieces like glass mirror.

Here’s what you’ll need 

  • Your wardrobe
  • Ruler or measuring tape
  • Acrylic Mirror – cut to your sizes
  • Gloves
  • Eye protection
  • Acrylic mirror adhesive

Instructions:

  1. Measure out the areas of your wardrobe that you’d like to cover – length and width.
  2. Order acrylic mirror cut to the sizes of the space you want to cover. Use an online service for this – acrylic mirror can be safely delivered to you saving you time and hassle of shopping and transporting it yourself.  The Plastic People have a cut to size calculator where you can see the cost quickly as well as order should you wish to.
  3. Apply acrylic mirror adhesive to the back of the mirror pieces and press them firmly onto your wardrobe
  4. Repeat until your wardrobe is covered.
  5. Clean your new mirrored furniture pieces with soapy warm water to remove any excess mirror adhesive.

Your very own mirrored wardrobe!

You can also cover drawers and dressing tables in the same way to match in with your new mirrored wardrobe – check out these examples below. The simplest of all is covering your furniture top with mirror: just measure the length and width of your furniture top. Once you have that, order your cut to size acrylic mirror at these sizes.  Top tip from The Plastic People is to have the corners of your cut to size acrylic mirror rounded to ensure no sharp edges.

 

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How To Cut Perspex


Category: Recycle, Working with acrylic
 

If you are contemplating how to cut plastic or cutting perspex at home, read our helpful guide before you start.

Cutting Perspex or Acrylic  can be done at home using saws which you might usually use on wood.   Before you begin to cut, we advise you to leave on the film which covers and protects your acrylic/perspex until you have completely finished cutting.  And, remember – gloves and safety glasses too for this job:)

Begin by clamping your acrylic sheet to your work surface so it does not flex or move.  Use a length of 1 – 3 wood to distribute the clamping pressure and act as a guide for your saw.   A sharp blade and a smooth feed is the way to go. Don’t force your cutting – you’re likely to generate heat which will melt the acrylic.

DIY – sharp blade, smooth feed

If you are cutting sheets thinner than 6mm simply choose  a very sharp scoring tool, clamps, a table with a straight edge and a metal rule.  Clamp your acrylic sheet so it does not flex or move.  More than one scoring pass is the way to go with this method.  Start by scoring around 1/8th of the way through your acrylic sheet.  Keep going in both directions and ideally also score from both sides of the acrylic sheet as this will make the eventual snap easier and the break cleaner.

When you’re satisfied with the scoring, make sure your acrylic sheet is clamped very firmly with the edge of the table directly beneath the score.  Press downwards on the piece that’s beyond the edge of the table until your acrylic sheet snaps.

If you are cutting acrylic sheets which are thicker than 6mm, choose your saw depending on whether you are cutting curvy or straight lines.

If you are cutting curvy lines a jigsaw with metal cutting blades of reduced depth and sharp teeth can be used – use the finest blade you can.  If you choose to use a jigsaw try experimenting with settings and your speed first of all on a few test pieces of acrylic to gauge the results you get.  The speed of cutting is one to trial as is the pressure you apply – cutting too slowly can melt acrylic and applying too much pressure can chip its edges.  You can use a lubricating oil to help prevent friction from building to a point  where the acrylic begins to melt.  Have someone apply it to the saw blade as you’re making the cut.  Take care to avoid flammable lubricants or aerosols as these are a fire hazard.

If you are cutting curved edges or unusual shapes a band saw can also be used. The teeth per inch on your blade should decrease as the thickness of your acrylic sheet increases. On thick acrylic sheets thicker of 12mm or more use blades with very few teeth per inch.

If you’re cutting straight lines you can use a table or circular saw with a blade with fine closely spaced teeth and a 0 degrees rake angle.  This will suffice for rough cutting.  It is difficult to get a good finish using a hand saw.  If you need a very clean edge, try making  5-10 light passes with a scraper followed by some light sanding.  For a smoother finish use dedicated acrylic cutting blades for jigsaws and circular saws.  These blades will produce better results.

Even easier – buy it ready cut to your sizes

If you want acrylic or perspex cut to a certain size without the time and bother of cutting it yourself, you can buy Perspex cut to size online and have it delivered to your home or business.  The friendly team at The Plastic People will be happy to do this for you or use their cut to size tool to order the sizes you need and they will post out the acrylic you want to you.

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