How to Paint a Formica Table Top

Written by brynne chandler
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Formica was the tabletop material of choice for decades, and its colourful durability still has many fans. Replacing the formica on a tabletop is beyond most casual do-it-yourselfers, but that doesn't mean that your stained and cracked table top is beyond help. New paint formulas and better bonding primers mean that you can have that old formica tabletop looking new again in no time.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Strong cleanser
  • Fine and medium sandpaper
  • Wood filler
  • Rags
  • Dust mask
  • Painter's tape
  • Fusion spray or other Formica paint
  • Non-yellowing sealer
  • Newspaper or drop cloths

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    How to Paint a Formica Table Top

  1. 1

    Clean the tabletop thoroughly with a strong cleanser.

  2. 2

    Rough up the surface a little with the fine sandpaper, and then wipe away any dust.

  3. 3

    Fill any cracks or chips with the wood filler.

  4. 4

    Sand the wood filler with the medium sandpaper until it is even with the tabletop. Finish it with the fine sandpaper until it is very smooth, then wipe away all dust.

  5. 5

    Cover the table's trim, if any, with painter's tape.

  6. 6

    Lay the drop cloth or newspaper beneath the table to protect the floor.

  7. 7

    Spray the Fusion plastic paint, or apply the formica paint, directly onto the formica.

  8. 8

    Let the first coat dry overnight, and then apply a second coat. Let this dry overnight as well.

  9. 9

    Carefully apply the non-yellowing sealer and let it dry for twenty-four hours before using the table.

Tips and warnings

  • Read all labels to make sure your paint will adhere without primer.
  • Use very fine sandpaper between coats of paint for an extra-smooth finish.
  • Always wear your dust mask when sanding or painting.
  • Keep the paint area well ventilated.

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