To paint Formica and other laminate surfaces, sand the Formica, then apply a primer or paint designed to adhere to smooth surfaces, and seal the paint with high-gloss acrylic sealant. Some paints require priming first, while others can be applied directly to the Formica.
Cabinets, countertops and other Formica surfaces do not absorb traditional paint like wood because they are not porous. This is why special primer and paint are required.
Step 1: Sand the Formica
Using 150-grit sandpaper, rough up the surface of the Formica so paint or primer will stick more readily. This is an optional step, but it can reduce the number of coats required later on.
Step 2: Paint or prime the Formica
Primer provides a base coat for any type of paint. It extends the options for colors and brands if a paint product that is designed specifically for laminate surfaces is not desired. Several coats of primer might be required to ensure even coverage.
Alternatively, start with a laminate-safe paint and no primer. This might take less time, depending on the type of paint. Make sure the surface is clean and dry, then paint with a roller to ensure a smooth finish.
Step 3: Seal the Formica
To ensure the Formica stands up to daily use, seal the painted Formica with an acrylic sealer. Allow it to cure fully before using the surface based on the manufacturer's instructions.