How do I paint Formica cabinets?

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  • Tinyshoes Tinyshoes on Jan 24, 2019

    Barbara...Sand first so paint will adhere...then paint

  • Nan W. Nan W. on Jan 24, 2019

    Barbara: Easy-peasy! (Be sure to take off hardware... hinges... so it doesn't look like an amateur job. Label the back of doors... so they go back in the correct places.)


    Clean (degrease well -- even with Windex) Then prime. Then two coats of good latex paint.


    Here are my cabinets... they look much better than original formica trimmed in "wood."


    I also added new knobs when the job was done. (bought in a bulk pack from Home Depot)

    • Barbara Hofer Barbara Hofer on Jan 24, 2019

      Thank you Nan, I will follow your instructions to the letter. Your cabinets came out beautifully! Exactly what I want. Thank you!

  • Natalie Natalie on Jan 25, 2019

    On formica, you really need to use a bonding primer. Formica is known to resist paint, so only scuff sanding won't cut it.

    Make sure to scrub the cabinets of grease, oil and build up with dawn dish soap or something that will cut through all that grease. Then and scuff sand before you prime.


    Then I would use an enamel product like Sherwin Williams Emerald Urethane Trim and Door Paint. It is super tough and will withstand the constant use of kitchen cabinets. And it doesn't need top coated.


    General Finishes has a paint called enduro pigmented poly that is super tough as well, but its supposed to only be sprayed on.


    You could use chalk paint, but you'll need to top coat it (I wouldn't use wax topcoat in a kitchen) with water based poly. I prefer Varathane brand.


    Whatever you do, just remember that the prep work before painting is the most important.

  • Jennifer Weber Ferguson Jennifer Weber Ferguson on Jan 26, 2019

    Formica can be hard to paint - try XIM Bonding Primer - this stuff sticks to just about anything and apply two coats before painting your color of choice!

  • Barbara Hofer Barbara Hofer on Jan 26, 2019

    thank You!

  • Tuula - Color Me Thrifty Tuula - Color Me Thrifty on Jan 26, 2019

    Formica is easy to paint as long as you use the right products, a high adhesion primer is super important. Cabinets need to be clean and free of any grease before painting.