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Can Formica Be Applied Over Formica

January 26th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

In the thirty years that I’ve been making kitchen cabinets and counters, many people have asked; “can Formica be installed over Existing Formica?” The answer is yes. The process is usually very successful if the existing surface is in good shape. If there are a couple of loose areas they can generally be re-glued before the new piece is adhered.

How does resurfacing kitchen cabinets with Formica work?

Step One-The area to be covered is measured and the new laminate is cut one inch oversize in both the width and length.

Step Two-The areas that will get the new laminate are cleaned with lacquer thinner. This is done in order to remove any grease build-up that has occurred through the years.

Step Three-The surface where the new plastic is to be applied is sanded with forty to eighty grit sand paper. This can be accomplished with a belt sander or a hand held sanding block.

Step Four-
The Formica is fitted to any crooked areas on the walls, ceilings or floors where the edges of the laminate will meet them.

Step Five-Plastic laminate glue is then applied to both the counter or Formica cabinet and the new plastic.

Step Six-The two surfaces are then pressed and rolled together. Once a piece is adhered, there is no possibility moving it around. It will be permanently in place and cannot be adjusted.

Step Seven-The overhanging laminate is trimmed off with a high-speed router.

Step Eight-The newly installed Formica is cleaned with lacquer thinner in order to remove any contact glue.

Usually Formica can be applied over Formica on an average size set of kitchen counters in one and a half days.

There is about five hours of preparation work that needs to be done prior to adhering the new surface laminate. Included in the preparation time is the process of measuring, choosing laminate, getting all of the materials and pre-cutting the plastic.

Resurfacing work should be a job that is done by professional cabinet makers. There are many videos on on this Youtube Channel that may help to educate you in how to do some of the various steps involved in the process of applying Formica laminate on top of existing Formica.

One of the biggest issues with taking on a project like this is having the correct tools. There is a video on the Youtube channel I linked above that quickly shows the most common tools used for resurfacing cabinetry.

It’s important to take note that gluing Formica on top of existing Formica laminate is going to create a lot of unpleasant orders and dust. The reason being, you are dealing with the dust from rough sanding the surfaces to accept the Formica, the solvents and the glues inside of the house.

Categories: Cabinet Resurfacing
  1. terry
    April 17th, 2015 at 09:24 | #1

    I am gluing new Formica over old Formica. My problem is that the factory edge has a 3/8” round over made of wood past the edge of the old Formica. Is it advisable to use my router with a 3/8” round over bit to cut the excess Formica after it is glued down?

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