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How To: Resurface Laminate Countertops


Do you have have outdated, worn or damaged laminate-clad countertops?  This back-to-school tutorial outlines how to give new life to tired countertops by resurfacing with Formica® Brand Laminate.

The following steps are for resurfacing self-edged or flat surfaces. Do not attempt to re-laminate over formed surfaces such as postformed countertops or other items having rounded or no drip edges. Items such as sink bowls and range tops must be removed from the existing top before resurfacing.


Use standard Grade 10 Formica® Brand Laminate.


The old top must be examined closely for loose or poorly bonded laminate. New laminate should be applied only to a clean substrate or well-bonded laminate.  Do not apply laminate over deep-texture laminates, paint, vinyl, paper or other similar materials.

Determine the proper order for applying the new laminate edges, face, etc. Check the clearances of doors, hardware, joints and corners. Trim the old top, as required, prior to applying the new laminate. Be certain to allow for the additional thickness of the new laminate to be applied.


Acclimate the new laminate to the same environment as the old top for at least 48 hours. This will allow the laminate to "move" (expand or contract) before it is bonded.  Acclimation greatly reduces the chances of seam opening or buckling, shrink-back and reduces stress on the glue line.

Clean the old top with a strong detergent or non-flammable solvent to remove any wax, grease, and polish deposits prior to sanding.

Using a belt sander, sand the old top to remove the original finish. It is not necessary to sand off the color or pattern. After sanding, remove sanding dust with a vacuum and tack cloth.  Wipe the surface clean with a mild detergent and allow to thoroughly dry.


Coat the sanded surface and the back of the new laminate with a uniform coating of contact adhesive. Allow both to dry thoroughly prior to assembling. (Note: Assembling wet adhesive lines will trap solvent and may result in a poor bond. Follow the adhesive manufacturer's recommendations. Do not use water-based adhesives.)

Index the new laminate with the substrate. Make initial contact by smoothing with palms, and apply pressure using a "J" roller or rotary press. Trim as usual with recommended tools.

The information and statements herein are believed to be reliable, but are not to be construed as a warranty or representation for which Formica Corporation assumes legal responsibility. Users should undertake sufficient verification and testing to determine the suitability for their own particular purpose of any information or products referred to herein. NO WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE IS MADE.


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