How to Cut Formica Sheets

a dark Formica counter with kitchen accessories in the background
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-30
What You'll Need
Formica blades
Utility knife
Masking tape
Straight edge

Many people use Formica to redecorate their homes. They find the laminate surface to be durable, easy to clean, and mold resistant. Plus, it’s a versatile material that can be used to top furniture, cover countertops, or create shelves. Whether you want to resurface your cupboards or use a sheet of Formica in some other way, you will first need to learn how to cut it.

Step 1 - Prepare the Formica

Prepare the Formica so it's ready to be cut. Roll out the sheet until it is flat. You can keep it in place with weights on the corners of the sheet. (Books or anything else of a similar weight will work.) Alternately, you can clamp down the edges if your work surface allows it.

Step 2 - Take and Mark Measurements

Now you need to measure the area of the cabinet or worktop that you need to cover with the Formica. Make sure your measurements are accurate so you don't waste the Formica. Measure twice and only cut once!

Once you have measured the area, mark those measurements on the back of the Formica with a pencil. Once again, double-check your work. You want the Formica sheet to fit accurately.

Step 3 - Mask the Formica

Now you need to protect the surface of the Formica with masking tape. Put the tape over the pencil line you've just drawn, and the line should show through. You then need to draw this line again so you can see it clearly. Use a square, ruler, or another straightedge to make drawing lines much easier and more accurate. Mark an X on the waste side so you know which side you plan to use.

You may also like to place something under the face of the Formica sheet so that it is fully protected and won't be damaged by anything else. Any grit or dirt on the cutting surface could scratch the surface of the Formica.

Step 4 - Cut the Sheet

Use your straightedge and utility knife to cut along the line as accurately as possible. Use the utility knife first, as it will provide a good, clean cut. Then grip the wasted area of Formica and lift it up slightly. The Formica should break off and leave a good cut.

Be very careful not to get your fingers in the way of the blade. Otherwise you could end up with a nasty injury.

If you need to clean up the cuts, you can also use the Formica blades to do so.