How to Repair Damaged Formica

Written by mason howard
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How to Repair Damaged Formica
Restore Formica and maintain the appearance of your kitchen or bathroom. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Formica is a forerunner in countertop manufacturing, offering durable, easy-to-clean, laminate-based coverings in a wide range of styles. Despite its resistance to staining, cracking and heavy use, time can take its tool on a Formica countertop. Likely damages include stains, peeling edges, bubbling, nicks and surface dulling. Delay the need to replace a Formica by repairing minor imperfections and refinishing the surface.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Toothbrush
  • Acetone or nail polish remover
  • Contact cement
  • Drill
  • Adhesive injector
  • Towel
  • Iron
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Laminate repair filler
  • Putty knife
  • Gel gloss polish
  • Soft cloth or orbital buffer

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  1. 1

    Wash the Formica thoroughly with warm water and dish soap, wiping it down with a non-abrasive sponge.

  2. 2

    Remove stains. Create a paste out of baking soda and white vinegar. Scrub the paste generously on the stains with a toothbrush then leave it to dry. Remove the dried paste and repeat if the stain is faded but not gone. If the stain still remains, try scrubbing the area with acetone or nail polish remover.

  3. 3

    Re-adhere any places along corners where the Formica is separating from the wood substrate. Brush away any loose matter from under the peeling Formica. Paint a thin film of contact cement on the back of peeling edges and on the substrate. Press the Formica back in place. Glue on any broken off sections with contact cement.

  4. 4

    Drill holes through the bottom of the wood substrate and inject contact cement under the Formica, using an adhesive injector, to glue down any areas in the middle of the counter top that are bubbling up. Lay a towel on top of the bubble and set a warm iron on top of the bubble for a few seconds. Place something heavy on top of the towel while the contact cement cures.

  5. 5

    Repair gouges and nicks. Clean the holes with rubbing alcohol. Fill the gouges and nicks with laminate-repair filler, levelling the surfaces with a putty knife. Laminate repair filler is available in a variety of colours for counter top matching.

  6. 6

    Polish the surfaces. Spread a liberal amount of gel gloss polish on the counter top. Leave the polish to dry to a cloudy haze. Buff away the dried polish with soft cloth or an orbital buffer.

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