Formica Touch Up

April 30th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’m going to give you tips on how to do Formica repair or touch up that perhaps you would have never though of prior to reading this article. You’ll find these techniques, I’ve used for many years, will assist you with repairing the marred or flawed plastic laminate area that is now an “eye sore.”


Remove a Black Speck

If you’ve just laminated something with a new piece of mica and discovered that it has a flaw in it, such as a black speck, you can try this idea. First use lacquer thinner. That’s the accepted Formica contact glue cleaner in the industry. Sometimes it’s just a spot of grease. If that doesn’t work, try this.

Using a small sharp bladed knife, such as a paring or pocket knife, gently but firmly take the tip and scrape the area. Only scrap on the speck. If the speck is on the service, it will come out leaving a very mild matted look in the top coat. This will be less noticeable than the black spot in the Formica.

The key to this working is DO NOT go deeper than the color. IF the speck doesn’t disappear, after a couple of scrapes, it is probably not going to come out. Don’t make a gouge in the plastic laminate.

  • Tip: NEVER use this technique on gloss or even semi gloss Formica. It only works on matte finishes.

Fix Over- Filed Areas on Plastic Laminate

This next technique really only works with dark colored laminates that may have primary colors of white, blue, red, green, or black. I’m sure you’re familiar with “Sharpie” permanent marking pens. When there are areas of dark wood grains, marble patterns or stone designs of Formica that have been over filed, use these permanent markers to shade over the lighten areas. This Formica touch up method works great for blending wood grain patterns as well.

The best way to do this is to make a mark with the permanent marker just to the side of the area and then QUICKLEY rub it with your fingers. This will smear the color, forcing it to become a light semi transparent application rather than being a harsh permanent mark that doesn’t blend with the Formica’s coloration. It may take a few applications to achieve an acceptable repair.

Clean the area with lacquer and your fingers with lacquer thinner when you are finished. Use this chemical sparingly on the area that you have just placed the colors on. The lacquer thinner will remove the color off of the plastic laminate if you clean directly on top of the area that you just did the touch up repair on.

Use Seam Filler on Formica

This substance is not really made to fill large chunks or dips. It works well where there are “seams” to fill that are less than 1/16” in width. The product works on small chips and depressed areas as well. Please note that this is not a very durable product. So, it really should not be used on countertop surfaces to fill in chips. It doesn’t have a real strong bonding strength. In high work areas, such as kitchen counter, the seam-fill will never be able to withstand the constant use that it will be subject to.

Seam filler can be removed with lacquer thinner. Sometimes when you are working with it you can moisten your finger with the chemical and quickly smooth the colored seam filler out. This will blend it with the existing laminate. The product can be sanded with 220 or 400 grit sand paper too. Don’t sand the Formica though.

There’s really no way to touch up a chip in Formica where it will not be noticeable. Actually, if you’re removing a black spot from plastic laminate counters or doors using the knife blade method, the repair will be noticeable with close inspection. Even though the permanent marker technique works great, there may be a requirement of mixing various shades to get the right coloration. Here again, the final outcome may not totally cover up the original flaw.
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  1. Patty
    May 9th, 2010 at 16:32 | #1

    I just installed Formica Basalt Slate (black) and the seams are white. What can I use to permanently color them black to blend in with the black formica? I have tried a black
    permanent marker but it comes off when I clean the countertop with Windex.

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