How to refinish 1950's Formica table?

Robin Moxley
by Robin Moxley
  6 answers
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Jun 20, 2017

    I'd keep it as original as possible. They are collector items.

    Clean the formica, put a coating of acrylic finish (I use Pledge Floor Care) on it.

    Clean the metal legs, etc. getting as much pitting off as possible with Brillo soap pads. They should shine up nicely.

  • We still have our parents set. My brother painted the legs and just cleaned the top as it was in perfect condition. They repainted and recovered the chairs. My sister in law uses pretty tablecloths on them, my mom had a lot and now all vintage to antique. Looks really pretty in their kitchen.

    Is yours chrome or painted wrought iron? What is the new look you are going for?

  • Just Retired Just Retired on Jun 20, 2017

    I would clean it up on the legs and sand lightly and spray paint maybe with black semi gloss Rustoleum paint. Then clean the top well and lightly sand and spray paint maybe a bright yellow. Classic and timeless

  • I agree with Sal- they are in high demand right now, so try to keep it as origional as possible. I used WD-40 and 4-0 steel wool on the legs of mine as they were not only filthy, but rusty too. Most of the rust came off, and the chrome looks great. I wouldn't recommend anything with much more grit than 4-0; you can also try some chrome polish meant for cars for the finishing touch. Unfortunately once chrome is gone, there's no way to replace it cheaply. I've also tried tin-foil and warm water, but get about the same results as the WD-40 and steel wool.

    I used WD-40 to shine up the formica on the top of mine; Johnson paste wax looked terrible. I'll try the Pledge floor shine Sal- thanks!

  • Seethebeauty Seethebeauty on Jun 20, 2017

    I was going to suggest not to ruin the original formica as they are already so old and in a few decades, wow, what a treasure. I love the idea of revamping the chairs, especially if the original material has deteriorated. And, then, of course, decorate around your table. You may be surprised how beautiful you can create.

    • Robin Moxley Robin Moxley on Jun 20, 2017

      It has some yellowing in the table top and the metal sides have some of the enamel paint missing. I have recovered the chair bottoms.

  • Chris Brasher Chris Brasher on Jun 20, 2017

    If it's in good shape I would also keep it natural. But if it's not there are now paints and treatments that resurface anything. One turns anything into wood with real wood fibers. Then it can be painted to match your decor. If you look online you find these easily.