Monitor Scratch Repair & Haze Treatment

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Joined: 18 Jul 2019, 17:33

Monitor Scratch Repair & Haze Treatment

Post by alapsu » 10 Nov 2020, 12:00

Like many before me, I recently experienced the misfortune of finding I'd significantly scratched the screen of my XL2546 during a move.

The scratch was about a centimeter long, but it was just slightly to the left of the screen's exact center. When the screen was turned on, it produced a sort of rainbow discoloration along with maybe a bit of distortion. Pretty annoying.

So I turned to YouTube and found a peanut gallery full of people claiming they've found the one simple trick to fix a scratched monitor. I must have been desperate, because I often proceeded despite feeling like I was going against my better judgment. I tried rubbing some petroleum jelly into the scratch, literally erasing the scratch with a rubber pencil eraser, even rubbing toothpaste on the scratch. None of those solutions worked.

Eventually, it dawned on me that a scratch is a scratch, and a monitor scratch isn't all that different from any common type of scratch: your repair solutions really all amount to either buffing it out or filling it with something else. So I decided to cut the crap and use the best buffing compound I'm aware of: Meguiar's M10508, which is intended for automotive use.

I applied M10508 to a microfiber cloth, turned off my monitor and buffed for a few minutes. I then checked my progress by turning the monitor on (a scratch that is prominent when the monitor is off may not be prominent when the monitor is on). Seemed like I was making decent progress, so I kept on until I'd buffed for a total of about 10 minutes.

This brings us to the time of writing. Using the method described above, I've managed to remove the scratch from the monitor's screen entirely. So the scratch problem is solved. But my repair method has created a new problem: in buffing the scratch out, I also removed the hazy coating from the screen's center.

The lack of coating is most noticeable when the monitor is turned off; I can more clearly see my reflection in the center of the screen than in the screen's surrounding area (M10508 is marketed as a "Mirror Glaze Ultra-Cut Compound", after all).

When I turn the scratch-free monitor on, everything looks fine as long as I'm looking directly at the screen without changing my viewing angle. A small head movement, however, produces a fleeting "rainbow" effect in the buffed part of the screen. It's fast and subtle, and that makes it difficult to describe, but I now realize that the reason the monitor comes with a hazy coating has to do with mitigating this effect.

I've found that I can solve this problem by smearing a thin coat of Vaseline over the affected area. With Vaseline applied, the "rainbow" problem is fixed. But it's a bit tricky to smear just right, and due to Vaseline's propensity to shift over time I'm not convinced this is a good long-term solution (let alone my wife's probable reaction upon walking in on me touching up the Vaseline smear on my monitor).

I feel like I've learned a lot from this, and I'm just a step away from producing the Definitive Guide to Repairing Scratches on Matte Monitors, but I've not yet been able to clear that step.

Does anyone know what compound is used for the anti-reflective coat on the XL2546? Is this something I could buy and apply myself? Any other ideas about how I could replicate the anti-glare haze in the buffed area?

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