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Formica counter top stain question

(-----) 2007

I see posts about solutions for formica cabinets. What about counter tops? I purchased a house with great maple woodwork throughout and also maple kitchen cabinets. I painted the kitchen walls green with buttercream and tan accents. Looks good except the in good condition countertops which are a glaring retro mix of red, pink, white and an odd (pinkish/whitish/tan) fleck that is simply incompatible with the maple for all intents and purposes. Is there a way to permanently stain (or bleach to a cream color) the countertops that will still allow for fairly hot items, be nontoxic and will not abrade/crack or wear off. The kitchen appliances are built in and I don't want to remove them for this decor problem. With all the information about removing stains on formica, surely there is SOME useful stain available. Thank you.

Karen McNeely
hobbyist - Boonville, Missouri, USA

January 10, 2008

Formica is actually paper sealed behind a temperature-resistant, heat-resistant, resin. It is deliberately designed to prevent anything from staining it or bleaching, Karen. You won't be happy with paint. But you do not need to replace the countertop and disturb your cabinets and built in appliances. You can buy just the formica rather than the whole countertop, and glue the new on top of the old (the formica itself is only about 1/16" thick). Search the web with terms like "glue formica to formica" and you will find detailed instructions from Lowe's (www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=howTo&p=Improve/ReplaceLaminateCountertop.html) and other places. Good luck with the project.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 11, 2008

New Formica counter tops are not very expensive. Shop around, and you'll find them at around $15-20 per linear foot installed. There is no paint or stain which will produce a satisfactory finish. As far as over laying with 1/16" material as Ted suggests, I'm afraid you'll find it nearly as expensive and a lot less satisfactory than new tops.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

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