How to Hide or Repair Scratches in Plastic Laminate Countertops

By: Danny Lipford

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,

Danny

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12 Comments on “How to Hide or Repair Scratches in Plastic Laminate Countertops”

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  • John Brownng Says:
    October 6th, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    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.



  • Rose Medwedeff Says:
    January 10th, 2016 at 7:07 am

    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.



  • David Riehm Says:
    December 30th, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    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.



  • sharon tarrillion Says:
    December 18th, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    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



  • Georgie Says:
    September 21st, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    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.



  • Susan Says:
    April 9th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    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.


  • Official Comment:


    Ben Erickson Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 8:53 am

    Food safe wax can be hard to find. Here’s a link to one at woodturnerscatalog.com 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 thefurnitureconnoisseur.com is considered food safe, though beeswax doesn’t offer as much protection and may be hard to apply. Hope that helps!



  • Sherry Crowe Says:
    June 25th, 2012 at 5:33 am

    I would also like to know what kind of wax to use and where to buy it. Thanks Sherry



  • Juliane Richards Says:
    May 9th, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    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



  • David Schlosser Says:
    April 2nd, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    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



  • Susan Cornett Says:
    March 18th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    What is the name of the wax for the laminate countertop????



  • Jane Croucher Says:
    March 17th, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Where can I purchase plasitc laminate filler or paste wax to restore my contertop.
    Thank you.


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