desk with formica finish

Old 02-26-01, 12:30 PM
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I have a desk we bought in the 1970's and it has a formica finish on the top. How can I remove (strip?) the formica so I can refinish the entire desk? During that period of time formica was used on many furniture pieces to protect it from spills, etc. by children.

Thank you.
Old 02-27-01, 04:19 PM
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The solvent for contact cement (used as an adhesive for Formica type products) is acetone. Removing the laminate is a time consuming process and may not be worth your effort.

The material under the laminate will be inferior wood - used for its structural rather than esthetic qualities. Even if you get it cleaned up well (a task in itself), you may be dissappointed with its looks.
Old 02-28-01, 09:37 AM
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Wink How about painting it?

Laminate tops can be painted. Maybe this would work for your formica top. If the desk is a nice wood and you want to leave it a natural color go ahead and then paint the top to accent the wood. 1. Glue down any portions that might have come loose from the substrate. Clean the surface as you normally would. 2. Protect what you don't want to paint with tape (painters) or drop cloths. 3. Choose primer (Zinsser BIN, an alcohol-base primer is a good choice). Ask someone at the paint store to tint it to the same color as the base paint. Brush or roll on primer; let dry according to manufacturer's directions. 4. Roll or brush on the base coat of paint. Let dry as above. 5. Tape of areas that you might want a different color (you can get real creative here), roll or brush on second color of paint. let dry. Remove tape. 6. Protect your handiwork with three or four coats of polyurethane, letting each dry thoroughly.
Hope this helps you.

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