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


  1. I also have scratches in my laminate counters. Please be more speciftic about the brand of wax to use, and where to buy as you have mentioned it must be a food-safe wax. Thanks Dave

  2. Please be more speciftic about the brand of wax to use, and where to buy as you have mentioned it must be a food-safe wax.

    Thanks Julie

    • Food safe wax can be hard to find. Here’s a link to one at that’s listed as food safe . Pure carnauba wax is also considered food safe, though most contain petroleum dissolutes as solvents, making them not food safe. Pure beeswax, such as this one listed at is considered food safe, though beeswax doesn’t offer as much protection and may be hard to apply. Hope that helps!

  3. Hi Danny, Stupidly I rubbed off lamination with a scotchbrite scouring pad trying to remove a small water stain. Will the procedure with wax help and where could I purchase it locally-food safe also. Should I go for the products mentioned Woodturnercatalog or beeswax. Should I also use the filler and where can I purchase that if so? Thanx so much, it is not my place and I feel so bad about it. Was only trying to help.

  4. I tried a furniture wax that included carnuaba wax and beeswax. It polished up well but I now regret doing it because hot dishes like a cup of tea have created cloudy ring marks. I wish I went for another option.

  5. I have to find the cheapest way to repair a kitchen counter top scratch that i drug a microwave across. It’s just the finish and about 8 inches long. How do i judge the color and purchase your product and fix it myself?
    =====thanks and please respond -====
    Sharon Tarrillion

  6. I have used shoe polish as the wax. Pick a colour to match the counter of course. Don’t do the whole counter, just the scratch. Works well.

  7. I use Organic Coconut Oil with fabulous results. This is food grade edible coconut oil. I’ve also used coconut oil to polish all kinds of wood. Apply, wait, then buff. It works like a miracle and it’s safe.

  8. Another option is Wipe New. The same stuff that you restore headlights with. Sand using up to the 2000 gtit paper and then apply Wipe New. It probably didn’t shine like that when it was new.

  9. I’m south african would just to enquire where do i get paste wax and is there something similar that i can use for my laminated kitchen counter top that is lightly scratched

  10. **Thank you Rose Medwedeff****

    The coconut oil worked a treat used some white wine vinegar first to deep cleaning the surface then rubbed in by hand a few spoons of coconut oil then polished and buffed in looks brand new!! Used to get rid of a few knife marks on the laminate worktop when the Mrs didn’t use a chopping board!! Great cheap tip if you are at the end of rental tenancy and don’t want to get stung for ‘repair bill’ which by online is normally £60+

  11. Just fixed some nasty scratches on laminate doors. Used bees wax applied with finger then buff using an electric drill with the cloth buffer attachment….worked a treat…hardly visible any more. 🙂

  12. Any suggestions on how to put an edging on our laminate countertop edge to prevent bumps and scratches to the island wooden chairs??

  13. Left a dripping bottle of toilet bowl cleaner on Formica counter top. When I took away the toilet bowl cleaner I had a deep stain which was the outline of the bottom of the toilet bowl cleaner plastic squeeze bottle. Tried every type of cleaner to no avail. Any ideas on how to remove or if not possible, ways to cover up stain.


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