Jump to content
I Forge Iron



Recommended Posts

Yes I know this is not even a little blacksmith related..... I want to lay new formica over old formica... I don't like the old pattern. I planned to rough up the old stuff.. or chip it off whatever seems to be better idea.... then lay down the new contact cement and new formica. I know I will have to pull my sink.. and do some cutting.. but it looks like a straight forward process.

I know I have missed something.... so I figure .. you guys and girls know a buncha stuff... maybe you have tried this.. let me know the ins and outs....

The countertop in question is in good solid shape... I see no reason to rip it out, just to replace it with the same thing... Oh yeah.. I have never laid formica before... I am an experienced carpenter.. but not a laminate guy....

Ideas, questions concerns?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can put new formica over old if the old stuff is still tight. You just rough it up with coarse sandpaper (about 24 to 36 grit... power sand if there is much area to cover). Then you can apply contact cement to both surfaces and adhere. If you've never done much practice a bit with some scrap first. IMO it is best to avoid router trimming as it is too easy to spoil a lot of work and material. Final trim with a large coarse file instead. I like to use about a 14" plasTcut file but whatever you have can work. You can use a finer file or sandpaper and block to smooth the bevels.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks much guys..

The old stuff is still tight... I have some 30 grit floor sanding paper I was going to use to tooth it, and a wipe with acetone is worth while...

As for order of operations... is it worth while to do the small edges first or the large pieces first?

What can you cut this stuff with to rough it into shape... and make it more manageable?

I have plenty of files... from farriers rasp to swiss fillet.... and a bunch in between...and sand paper out the kazoo... that I got covered...

just trying to avoid landmines.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cut it with a scoring knife... mine has a carbide tip but I have used utility knives and they do work, not as well however. They are pretty cheap so it's worth it to get one unless you are far from a store. Cut oversize as perfect alignment is not very likely. Usually allow about 1/4" overhang on each side but an 1/8" is okay for side strips. Ideally you hang the sides first and trim them flat with the surface Then attach the surface and trim to a shallow but even width bevel... that way the top overlays the edges and helps shed water. Be sure to use a roller to press the glue joints as tight as you can. A cheap j-roller will work but one with a second handle that allows you to press with both hands and use your weight on it is better. These are rubber rollers and formica dealers should have them available. It takes some practice to use the edges of the file to cut the excess material off but with a bit of practice you will get it done and you sort of leave everything just a tad long at first cut and then file it down again to get a near perfect fit. IMO it is less dangerous even for pros than using a router... they only have to slip just a dab to make a mess of everything. I have done it both ways and I know pros who use each method. So if you are a router wizard with a nice small trim router then you do it your way. Do practice a bit though use up some time and some scrap. You WILL be glad you did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do the edges first, then do the top, it will look better that way. I had to replace the counter in the house I am selling because the previous owner did it backwards. I admit I bought a whole counter for that one, but the price was similar since it was a "standard" size, and my wife wanted a backsplash.

Use long cleaned sticks, dowels are better, but 1x1 or so, ripped from a 2x4 are good, to prevent the adhesive from sticking till you are ready on the large surface. Make sure your sticks have no "fuzzies" on them. Take your time, read your labels on EVERYTHING and know your working time window.

Denatured alcohol is more gentle than acetone on you, but use either, wipe on wipe off, with rags that HAVE NOT been washed with fabric softener. Fabric softener is an oil. Expect to go through a few rags.

It's anal, but wash first with soap and water, then solvent, then sand, then wash with solvent again. I have never had paint or glue adhesion problems with this wash schedule. Sanding first can drive wax, grease, and oil deeper into the surface. This is a bigger problem with fiberglass than Formica.

Practice is nice, and cut the sink hole after you lay it up, or cut the sink hole with a lot of wiggle room if you need the piece for your estimate.

Have fun, good luck, I'm sure it will look nice when you are done.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...