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Learn how to fix scratched Formica countertops and other surfaces. Includes step-by-step instructions on repairing Formica countertops and other types of laminate countertops and work surfaces.
Learn How to Fix Scratched Formica Yourself
Need to know how to fix scratched Formica countertops? If your Formica countertop is scratched, don’t replace it just yet. Instead, try these simple steps to fill in and hide those scratches.
Removing Scratches From Formica
Formica is an inexpensive composite usually laminated to a particle board substrate and used for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Although stain-resistant, Formica can be easily scratched. The scratches result in a dirty and dull-looking surface.
In this article, we discuss how to fix scratched Formica and make it look almost, if not exactly, like new. Follow these simple steps to fix and remove scratches from your Formica kitchen countertop or vanity.
Materials You’ll Need
- Countertop Polish
- Liquid Formica filler
- Laminate Repair Paste
- Putty knife
- Spray wax (like Pledge)
- Soft Cloth
- Heavy-duty scrub sponge
Clean the Surface
Mix mild detergent in warm water and clean the Formica surface thoroughly. Use a sponge to remove loose dirt, oil, grease, and polishes that may have been used to shine the surface.
A non-scratching scrubbing pad will help remove dirt from inside the scratches. The surface and the scratches must be clean before you can proceed.
Finally, mix some ammonia and water as you would to clean other surfaces and use it to wipe the Formica surface. Let the surface dry before continuing.
This repair is temporary and will probably have to be repeated after several months. Use a soft cloth to apply countertop polish to the scratched Formica and buff it in until the scratches are completely filled.
This repair does a good job of covering the scratches and hiding them, but they will show again after a few months.
Deep Scratches and Chips
This is a permanent repair. Purchase a laminate countertop repair kit with putty at the hardware store or home center and mix it to match the color of the countertop.
For larger chips, you may need to mix in a flake material to match the colored flakes found in many Formica and laminate surfaces.
Apply the mixed putty with a putty knife and smooth it over the scratches and chips, fully filling the void. Wait about one hour and reapply the putty, since it shrinks as it cures.
Let the putty harden according to the directions and wipe away any excess with a soft cloth.
A second option, if you know the color number of your Formica countertop, is to purchase liquid form filler directly from a Formica dealer.
The liquid form filler fills cracks and small chips and does a generally good job of hiding the blemish.
The sides of a Formica or laminate countertop can peel away from the countertop edges. Reattach these loose flaps of Formica with a hot iron.
Heat the iron and apply it to the side of the countertop and move it back and forth over the loose flap of Formica. The heat from the iron will reactivate the contact cement used to glue the Formica to the particle board substrate.
Don’t overheat the Formica and if it doesn’t begin to stick after a minute or so, stop. The cement has probably aged to the point where it is no longer an effective glue.
Hold the flap away from the countertop. Brush a small amount of contact cement on the back of the Formica strip and on the countertop edge.
Beginning where the flap is still attached to the countertop, push the flap into the cement with your fingers and work out toward the end of the strip.
Immediately wipe away any contact cement that squeezes out. Roll the strip, working from the inside to the out, with a 3-inch wide paint roller to remove any air bubbles.
A scratched Formica countertop doesn’t necessarily have to be replaced. Repairs will mitigate, if not entirely remove, the scratches from the surface.
Repairs also help prevent additional damage from taking place. Repair your Formica countertop and save yourself the cost of replacement.