Refinish/paint dresser with formica top

hockeymom4August 16, 2006

We are thinking of purchasing a used bedroom set for my teenage son. It is a medium toned brown wood. The seller says the top of the dressers are formica. My son would prefer the set to be a darker color. Is there any way to paint or darken the stain on this type of finish?

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You can paint laminate. Basically you need to scuff up the existing surface for good adhesion, use a high quality primer, and top coat. Visit your local paint stores (not the big box stores) for recommendations as to which primer you should use.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 7:04AM
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There's no way to strip off the finish and stain it a darker color, is there? The pieces are made of wood but the tops are formica.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 5:13PM
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I bought an old maple table once that had a formica top on it. I bought a large piece of flexible wood veneer (with the paper backing) and used contact cement to glue it down. Varnished it and never had a problem.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 4:02PM
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I was searching online and found this same advice for using veneer on the top. Is it difficult? Did you have a hard time matching the top to the rest of the table? Do you cut the veneer first and then apply or trim after you have glued it down? Where do you purchase veneer like this? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 5:03PM
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If this is your first time, just be extra careful. Follow all instructions.

Both the table and veneer were maple. I stripped and sanded the entire table so everything matched.

The veneer comes in 4' x 8' sheets (or smaller) so I rough cut to size. Follow the instruction on the contact cement to the letter! Place the veneer on the table top. Roll with a roller thingy. Use a razor blade to trim CAREFULLY.

I've always bought my veneer at lumber stores that carry exotic hardwoods. You can order online also.

Helpful tips.

Here is a link that might be useful: Veneer Roller

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 2:37PM
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Thanks for the help. We'll check out the website. It's good to know we have some options. We're going to buy the set and decide whether to paint or try to darken the color.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:45AM
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Hockymon....For a dresser for a teenage boy, paint over formica will soon be a mess. I would just go with what's there, ot apply a new layer of formica.
Paint, veneer, or whatever over Formica just never does a good job of sticking, unless you are very careful of the surface. That's the beauty of Formica....nothing mars or sticks to it.
Live with what you have or apply a new layer.
Linda C

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 7:22PM
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