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How to Repair Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertops are pretty durable, but they can get nicked and scratched. They can even bubble. But you can fix these minor imperfections and even remove stains. If you have a countertop with a lot of damage in one area, you can repair it by cutting out a bad section and replacing it with a cutting board or glass insert, glue down lifted edges and corners, and take care of small stains and scratches.

A sharp knife is great for preparing food, but if it slips, you end up with small cuts or chips in the countertop. You can fill small holes with a product called SeamFit, available in about 20 colors. If you or someone you know is good at blending colors, you can come up with the shade you need by mixing your own. The product has a satin finish when it dries, but there’s a gloss additive for surfaces with more shine.

A laminated counter is similar to furniture veneer. Thin sheets of vinyl laminate are glued onto a wood surface. And like veneer, sometimes the bond breaks and the laminate forms bubbles or the edges pop loose. You can reactivate the adhesive easily.

When a laminated edge lifts, it’s still the glue you should concentrate on. If reactivating the glue doesn’t work, then get a liquid adhesive, a small sheet of wax paper, and a syringe or a knife with a slender blade. Here’s what to do:

  1. Put some glue in the syringe.

    Laminate glue also comes in an aerosol can, which works well for getting under loose countertops but is hard to clean up if the area is oversprayed and not protected with paper and tape. Use it only as a last resort.

  2. Gently lift the loose edge; then with the syringe, push glue under the laminate.

    Another option is to put glue on the knife and insert the knife under the laminate. Spread the glue onto underside of the laminate, and then put more glue on the knife and work it onto as much of the wood as possible.

  3. Immediately put pressure on the edge.

    Be sure you quickly wipe off excess glue, and then wash the side and top of counter and anywhere else the glue might have oozed.

  4. Put the wax paper on the counter; then weight it with books.

    When you’re finished, excess glue can be removed with lacquer thinner on a rag.

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