Does it hold up to washing?
Brenda: Yes you can paint your formica cabinets! Remove doors, hinges, and hardware (label to know where to place back.) Prime. Then... two coats of a GOOD latex paint. Here's how my little kitchen looks now:
Make sure they are clean and dry. Remove the doors and hardware. Mark the doors and cabinets with tape where they go. Lightly sand the doors and cabinets to remove any gloss and roughen the surface for paint with 220-grit sandpaper. Use a tack cloth or damp rag to remove dust after sanding. Prime with a stain blocking primer like KILZ. Acrylic, or water-base, paints are low-fume and clean up easily with water. Alkyd, or oil-base, paints require good ventilation because the paint contains solvents that can irritate your lungs and make you feel sick. Alkyd options require mineral spirits for cleanup, but they provide a hard, durable paint finish. Whichever you use, buy the best-quality paint you can afford for a lasting kitchen cabinet finish. Seal with at least three coats with a water based polyurethane. Use a small foam roller and foam brush for a smooth finish.
The diy kits for painting laminate (formica is one brand name for laminate) countertops, are meant to be a temporary decor fix only. The expectations of the finish can never compare with the durability of a brand new laminate.
We painted out laminate cabinets and it held up really well. I agree that the key is sanding and priming so the paint adheres well. Good luck!
I used PPG all surface exterior oil paint to put a base coat on my formica counters with zero prep work other than a heavy, deep cleaning and wipe down. Then I used any paints I had around to create a 'granite' surface and topped it all with about 6 coats of food safe latex poly. These countertops held up to hard daily kitchen use, washing, etc. for several years until I put the home on the market. The result was so good that even the home inspector thought they were actually granite! 😎👌