How to Repair Chipped Formica


Formica is a brand name for plastic laminate. It is made of plastic and resin, which are heated and pressurized so they bond together. Formica is a common component in countertops, but also in tabletops that date from the '50s and '60s. Repairing chips in Formica requires a few basic tools and special seam filler formulated for laminate.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Square tool
  • Small, stiff putty knife
  • Replacement Formica chip
  • 100-grit sandpaper
  • Contact cement
  • Small paintbrush
  • Fine-toothed file
  • Laminate seam filler and solvent
  • Polished putty knife
  • Rag
  • Cut out the damaged section with a utility knife. Use a square tool to keep your cuts straight.

  • Remove old adhesive using a small, stiff putty knife. The base of Formica is likely to be particle board, which isn't extraordinarily durable, so don't scrape too hard.

  • Hold your replacement Formica chip up to the area to be patched to see if it's the same thickness. Sand down the back of the patch chip using 100-grit sandpaper if it is too thick. Once you've fixed the thickness, trim with the utility knife to fit the area to be patched. It's better for the replacement chip to be slightly smaller rather than slightly larger than the area; you can fill in any gap with seam filler.

  • Apply contact cement to the area to be patched and to the back of the replacement chip with a small paintbrush. Let the cement set for 15 minutes before applying the patch.

  • Press the patch into place and file the edge smooth with a fine-toothed file.

  • Squeeze a small amount of seam filler on a scrap of laminate. Use a polished putty knife to stir the seam filler until it's thick enough to stay where you put it. Apply it to the seam with the putty knife. Smooth the seam filler with the putty knife and wipe away the excess with a rag moistened with the accompanying solvent.

Tips & Warnings

  • Obtain free sample chips from the Formica manufacturer. These should be large enough to repair chips.
  • Use seam filler to repair very small chips. Simply fill the chip, smooth it with the putty knife, and wipe away the excess once it's dried.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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