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How to Brush on Contact Glue-Get a Smooth Finished Product

When you are laminating large areas with Formica and do not have a sprayer, it will be necessary to either roll the glue on or apply it with a brush. Learning how to do this correctly is going to take a little practice. One of the biggest challenges is getting the contact cement to flow or lie down smoothly before it begins to dry.

This of course is going to be dependent upon the climate that you live in. If it is winter time and there is a chill in the air, the chances are good that you will not have any difficulty getting the adhesive to flow in a smooth pattern on your work surface. But, if you are in a hot and dry climate, contact glue has a tendency to want to dry almost the instant that it hits the work surface.

So, how do you retard the glue so that it will not dry so fast? I’m not really sure how you can retard contact glue so that the drying time is slowed down. I do, however, know how to get it to go on in a smoother pattern in hot climates.

I like to use lacquer thinner while I am brushing or rolling on the contact glue to help things go smoother. What I do is get a pale that I can put the thinner into, enough to cover the bristles of the brush when I insert it into the container. Before I dip the brush into the contact glue gallon, I dip the brush into the lacquer thinner.

This seems to cause the glue to not dry as quickly and makes it a little thinner so that it can be brushed on faster. I do not dip the paint brush in the thinner every time I am about to put glue on the materials surface though.

If you do not do this, what happens is that the glue begins to dry while you are brushing it on and it will begin to gel and roll up. This will cause the end result of your Formica lamination to have noticeable humps and bumps underneath the finished surface.

If I were you, I would practice and get a good feel for how contact glue can be brushed onto plastic laminate in order to get a smooth layer of glue applied. If you take time to do this the finished product will look a lot better than if you don’t. I always buy the cheapest brush that I can find on the shelf.

Most hardware stores sell empty paint cans or plastic containers that have lids. You can put a generous amount of lacquer thinner in these containers and place your used paint brush that has contact glue on it in the bucket and put the lid on it. This will allow you to use it in the future when you have more Formica laminating to do.

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