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Refurbishing scratched formica bedroom dresser

January 10, 2009

I have a black formica bedroom set. The top of the dresser is scratched and I would love to paint it. It is now black and I would like to keep it that color. I know, I know, I should have put glass over the top when I bought it. If I have a second chance, I will.

I see answers to my question saying sand, don't sand, do this, do that. I think I just need a do this answer and I'll do it (and put glass over the top).

I love this bedroom suite and don't want to buy another!

Carole Savitt
- Greenville, NC

January 18, 2009

Hi, Carole. Formica is not meant to be painted, and is not easy to paint well. Had your formica been a kitchen countertop, the answer would be easy: get a new formica top. Formica integrated into bedroom furniture doesn't offer you that option. But if you are going to put glass on top of it, at least you don't need good wear and scratch resistance.

There is no way to avoid conflicting advice. If someone recommends sanding, there is no way to silence those who have been more successful omitting sanding, and vice versa. But I would lightly sand it, wipe with a rag lightly dampened with acetone [←affil. link] (nail polish remover), lightly apply black paint just to deep scratches, trying to fill them, let dry, and apply black paint very lightly to the whole top.


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

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