How to Laminate a Table Top

What You'll Need
Self-adhesive Laminate Sheet
Sharp utility knife
Protective goggles
Heavy duty scissors
Large Rule
Soft cloth
Tape measure

A laminate table top is hard wearing and practical for the kitchen. You can easily apply laminate to a table top giving it a new lease of life at a fraction of the cost of replacing the table. 

Step 1 - Choose Your Laminate

Laminate is available in sheets from most hardware stores. It is generally between 0.5 and 1.5 mm thick. You should also look out for the technical specifications on the manufacturer's guidelines that will show you how good the laminate's resistance to wear, scratching, staining and fire is. If your laminate is not self adhesive, you will also require wood glue.

Step 2 - Prepare Your Table

First you should prepare your table ready for laminating by sanding the top down with sandpaper. This will give the table a smooth surface ready for the laminate. Once you have fully sanded down the surface down, remove the dust with a soft cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a soft brush attachment. If the table already has a laminated or veneered surface, you will need to remove this first with a chisel. Wedge the chisel underneath the veneer and ply the layer off a little at a time. Use protective goggles when you are doing this in case any splinters come off. You will be able to sand down any dried on glue that is left underneath. 

Step 3 - Measuring Your Table

Before you cut the laminate, you need to measure the table top with a tape measure. You should then add an inch to each side of the table measurements when measuring and cutting out the laminate. 

Step 4 - Measure and Cut the Laminate

You should then measure the laminate to your table measurements and carefully cut with a utility knife. Use a large rule to make sure you cut the sides in a straight line, cutting along the side of the rule with the knife. Take care not to scratch the new laminate. 

Step 5 - Applying the Laminate

Remove the backing from the self adhesive laminate and position the laminate so that each table edge has the extra inch of laminate hanging over it. If you are gluing your laminate, apply a thin layer of wood glue to the table before placing the laminate. Press the laminate firmly down onto the table top and push firmly over the laminate to secure it.

It is always a good idea to then cover the table with books or other heavy objects and leave it over night so that the adhesive layer has a full chance to set. Once you are satisfied that the laminate is fully secure you should now carefully cut around the table using some heavy duty scissors to remove the excess laminate from each of the table sides. 

Step 6 - Finishing the Table

The last stage is to sand the edges of the table lightly so that there is an even finish all the way round.