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Painting Formica

Posted by Bruce Ridenour on March 6th, 2002 10:29 PM
In reply to painting fomica cabinets by dcostantino on March 6th, 2002 07:36 PM [Go to top of thread]

The best product to bond to Formica is XIM Primer. This stuff stinks to high heaven but the good news is that you can topcoat with any type of paint except epoxy. However, if your going to use latex, you'll need to give the primer about three days of drying time before you paint over it.

Start by giving your cabinets a good washing with a strong cleaner and rinse well with clear water. Then thoroughly degloss the formica by sanding it with 150 grit sandpaper and then clean up the dust with a tack cloth. Next, apply the primer. XIM can be tricky to work with as it sets quickly. If you wish to expirement, you could try using Brunning's "Grabber Plus" primer instead of XIM, but try it on a small area first, allowing it to dry for 3 days, then try to scratch it off with your fingernail or a spoon or butter knife. "Grabber Plus" is a latex primer that doesn't have quite as strong a smell as XIM and it is much easier to use, I've just never tried it on Formica. When I'm painting Formica, I always use XIM.

Hope that helps!

PS: Never paint Formica countertops that are for food contact.

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