Asked on Jul 6, 2012

how does one cut sheets of formica? Sheers/saw?

CaperniusD PKMS Woodworks


I have just painted built in cabinets and would love to cover the counter area with something more durable than paint, I have no experience with formica but will try to do it if I can handle it. Any tips would be appreciated.
the area above the dark TV hole is where I want to resurface.
9 answers
  • Becky H
    on Jul 6, 2012

    I've not done this, but I've been told a router works well.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 9, 2012

    The "rough" dimensions are cut out using a circular saw or jig saw. This results with an over hang on your substrate. This finished edge is then cleaned up with a router...there are even special routers called a "laminate trim router" for the job. I have this Bosch model...its pretty sweet.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 9, 2012

    Oh I forgot to mention this formica is installed with contact cement first...let it dry then trim.

  • D P
    on Jul 4, 2013

    So far, a year later, it's still just paint on the shelf surface. Does anyone have any ideas to cover this other than formica?

  • Thegreenworkbench
    on Jul 4, 2013

    They have formica cutters as well if you aren't comfortable with power tools. Remember when using the contact cement not to let two surfaces touch until it is exactly where you want it to be. As far as using another material, maybe some laminate wood flooring? They easily snap together and you could probably get scraps from someone redoing their floor or from a store since you don't have much to cover.

  • Rose
    on Jul 4, 2013

    2 Possible WAYS2GO: Idea #1 I moved into an older rental and wanted to cover the existing perfectly functional counters. I had a 5/8" thick rectangular marble slab tabletop that usually sits on it's wrought iron base ( a French cafe-type table I bought years ago at CostPlus Imports for less than $100). Since I'm not using the piece, I popped the marble top on the counter. A bonus was that it's just a couple inches deeper & a few inches wider than the counter, so expands the available counter surface, without getting in the way in the smallish kitchen. Then, I kept an eye out for another shorter marble remnant (white carrara/gray veining -pretty common) for the other side of the sink, Found an old square marble table top that matched well & had it cut down to my specifications. Shop around for this simple service, varie$ widely. I like that the stone is vintage - I don't worry about it getting a bit beat up, just enjoy the "patina". Idea #2 Potting table top/counter I had a 1" plywood sheet cut to my dimensions at the bigbox depot, then took it to a metal fabricator's shop to be covered in zinc (galvanized sheet metal), wrapping the edges all around & underneath to discourage moisture soaking into wood. I laid that new tabletop/counter on top of the roomy old wooden four-drawer topless dresser I had painted & fabric wrapped, (base sealed with many coats of non yellowing clear sealant). You could make a similar counter "cap", even extending the depth of the top by a few inches from current counter surface, and tacking on a front fascia piece before applying metal, that can cover the thickness of the original counter. Will look custom, and it is!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 5, 2013

    Tile, rustic wooden slab, glass, copper

  • D P
    on Jul 14, 2013

    thank you all for your great ideas!

  • Capernius
    on May 17, 2015

    as someone already said, use a router to trim it up....but before you do that, brush or roll on contact cement....put it on the formica AND on the cabinets/wherever it is to be installed. after you get the glued formica on the cabinet, take a heavy roller to squeeze all the air bubbles out...usually you can feel the difference...usually. let it set for 24 hours or more, & then take a router & trim off the excess...depending on ow good you are with crafts, maybe the leftovers(formica) can be used in a craft somehow... Just a thought.

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