Is it possible to paint formica (bathroom) and make it look decent?  Is there a special paint or technique?

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vivian20125 years ago
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canucksgirl5 years ago
Years ago I painted the cheap formica "faux-tile" tub walls of our rental apartment with a polyurethane paint. All I did was lightly sanded it (just to get rid of the shine) and then brushed on the paint. It had a nice thick consistency that you would expect in a durable melamine type cabinet paint. Well, we stayed in that rental apartment for 6 years, and never had any problems with it. I scrubbed the bathroom regularly, and never had issues (and I've been compared to "Monica" from the show "Friends"). That paint was amazing.

Unfortunately I just discovered that the company was bought out (by an even bigger company), and they discontinued that specific paint line; but if you can find something similar (polyurethane, or melamine paint), you should be okay if you do a light sanding first.

In case it helps, the paint I had used was by a company called "Varathane" (which now exists under "Rustoleum") and they called it "Colours in Plastic" (no, not a typo). It came in satin, semi-gloss and high-gloss, and in about 10 different colors.
Burf5 years ago
Formica can be repainted but you'll likely regret doing so within a few days to a month or so later. They may even look great initially, but even if they do, the results will eventually be less than satisfactory.
It is easily scratched, particularly along the edges where clothing, buttons, belt buckles, zippers, etc. come into contact with it. Even sliding a glass or bottle across the finish will leave scratches.
Stains are problematic, particularly in the bathroom, from things such as soaps, toothpaste, perfumes, hair care products, bathroom cleaners, ink from magazines, receipts, labels and so forth.
If you decide to go ahead, don't scrimp, use a very high quality product made specifically for that purpose and follow the instructions to the letter. Research the products you are considering carefully and try to read consumer reviews about them. Concentrate on the negative reviews, they will often mention things that you may not normally think about.
Personally, it is not something I would recommend. In my opinion, the negatives far out weigh the positives. If it were I, I would start saving the money to properly replace the tops and forget about trying to paint the old ones.
rickharris Burf5 years ago
Having second thoughts on Painting a counter top - I guess you could and then put a clear acrylic top on it to protect the paint or any finish you like.
vivian20125 years ago
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bwrussell5 years ago
I have seen special counter top paint in the paint section of several hardware stores.
I'd love to know how this works out for you, I have to deal with laminate counter tops soon and am trying to decide between re-laminating or painting.
for counter tops I would look at replacing or covering with a new cover. Here in the UK a company cut Granite tops to fit over them - looks good.

rickharris5 years ago
Yes and Yes a paint suitable for plastic surfaces.

The Formica needs to be rubbed down totally with fine wet and dry sand paper.

If it is chipped fill the chips first.