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Thread: Dull spot on formica

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Dull spot on formica

    Daughter spilled fingernail polish on formica kitchen table, leaving a dull spot the size of a small banana. Is there any way to restore this so it shines like the rest?

  2. #2
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    The nail polish typically removes all the oils from the surface. Is it dull but normal surface or didnit actuslly affect the surface of the Formica?

    I'd try some car wax to start with. I've used that on Corian when it was looking a bit dull.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


    mold maker's Avatar
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    Much of the detail on Formica is actually printed, so care must be taken not to abrade the surface too much. If the surface is still smooth a coat of polymer wax will improve it, but the damage is done and we can only disguise it somewhat
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    So other than wax, I understand that there is no product out there that will solve my problem? Not Good!!!!!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Put a new Formica top on it. It is not hard or that expensive.
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  6. #6
    Does it have detail? I have seen smooth white formica, probably quite old, which didn't, and there may be other colours. With this you could polish away the texture with fine abrasive paper, say 600 and 1200 grit, and finish off with jeweller's rouge or something similar on a cloth or felt rotary wheel. It wouldn't take much thickness of melamine or resin to resist that.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmerjim View Post
    Put a new Formica top on it. It is not hard or that expensive.
    We just put our new counter tops in and they are formica, are there any care instructions yall would recommend? It was ~10x cheaper than granite and the recommendation from my uncle was it would be easier to just replace in 5-10 years when we go to sell as tastes/styles will change over the years.
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    For many years, lacquer thinner was the standard cleaner in cabinet shops to clean overspray contact cement from formica cabinets. Since nail polish is essentially lacquer, the polish should not have hurt the finish. Are you sure there was not a build up of wax or furniture polish on the table, and the nail polish removed that, showing the original matte finish?

    Leslie Sapp - Old school cabinet guy in another life.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    When I installed plastic laminate I used Acetone (nail polish remover is similar) as a cleaner and it didn't affect the laminate at that time. Formica is almost all compressed paper with a thin layer of plastic on top.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    I made and installed counter tops for close to 30 yrs, there is a spray out there called Counter Magic, it's a cleaner with wax, might want to try that, the top surface is indeed plastic and we also used lacquer thinner as a cleaner.

    The weirdest damage I've seen was done by a lady cooling off baked potatoes on a paper towel on her butcher block formica, faded everything to a dull white where every potato sat, the manufacturer (thru a representative) paid to replace her counter then had us cut the damage out and send it to them, never heard what they found.

    For those with Corian, any damage can be polished or sanded with Scotch Brite pads, different colors are different grit with green being the roughest, we used purple which is medium and leaves a matte finish with white being fine for a glossier look, if it's a gouge or cut you may have to sand with fine sand paper prior to using the Scotch Brite, either way it becomes labor intensive because you may have to do the whole counter to get an even finish.
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  11. #11
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    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Thanks Tunnug! I will deff buy some 'counter magic' if I can find it. Easier to use the proper cleaner from the start then try to fix damage after the fact.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Guess I've been out of the game too long, here's what I found, it was actually called Countertop Magic. http://www.superiorcabinet.com/counmag.html
    "People in Arizona carry guns," said Detective David Ramer, a Chandler police spokesman. You better be careful about who you are picking on...

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    We used acetone to clean Formica, nail polish remover will not harm it as I use it to remove nail polish left on Formica here. I think you have some residue left behind. Wipe it down good and try pledge on it. Formica is a laminated composite material composed of several layers of kraft paper impregnated with melamine thermosetting resin, or a unified core, and topped with a decorative layer protected by melamine, then compressed and cured with heat to make a hard, durable surface. If it's scratched you might try some plastic polish for lenses or extra fine buffing compound.
    Last edited by NyFirefighter357; 08-05-2017 at 07:16 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    I had a dull spot on my formica. I told the neighbor kid to get off the counter and go home.
    "Only the weak blame parents, their race, their times, lack of good fortune, or the quirks of fate. Everyone has it within his power to say, this I am today, that I shall be tomorrow. The wish, however, must be implemented by deeds." Louis L'Amour The Walking Drum

  15. #15
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    I agree acetone, and most solvents won't harm Melamine. Heat can, mainly discolor the pigments and burn the paper. But not much else. If not Formica, then. There is no telling.

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master DUKE NUKEM's Avatar
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    A large pencil eraser will polish the area back up

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