How to Hide or Repair Scratches in Plastic Laminate Countertops

My kitchen countertop has scratches in the Formica. What can I do to patch these areas? -Earl

Hi Earl,

Plastic laminates, like Formica, are composed of layers of compressed paper covered with a thin coating of hard plastic, so it can be tough to repair scratches to the surface. Here are a couple of ideas, though, that might help.

Furniture Paste Wax

Applying a coat of paste wax will add a new shine to the surface and help hide any scratches. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Clean the countertop thoroughly with warm, soapy water.
  • Use a soft, cotton cloth (an old tee shirt works great) to work furniture paste wax into the scratches, then lightly spread more wax across the entire of the countertop.
  • Allow a couple of minutes for the wax to dry, then use another cotton cloth to buff the entire surface of the countertop (a motorized buffer with a lamb’s wool applicator would be even better).

Plastic Laminate Filler

If the scratches are deeper than the outer plastic coating and penetrate down into the laminate core, try applying a colored laminate filler to the countertop, brand names of filler include SeamFil and FormFill.

Apply the filler to the deeper scratches, and let it dry for 24 hours before polishing with furniture wax.

Plastic Laminate Countertop Paint

A final option is to apply a special plastic laminate countertop paint, such as Rust-Oleum Countertop Coating to refinish the countertops. For a more decorative faux granite look, try Giani Granite Paint for Countertops.

You’ll need to start by cleaning the countertops to remove any dirt or grease, then fill any deep scratches or dings using two-part auto body filler, sand the countertops smooth to remove any gloss, and wipe up any sanding dust before coating the surface following the instructions on the container.

Good luck with your project,


Further Information