Fixing small chips in laminate countertops is easy and requires few supplies, so it’s something even novice DIYers can tackle with ease. However, you should have at least some experience working with tools before beginning this project so that you understand the basic techniques required for using your materials safely.
Here’s how to fix a chipped laminate countertop:
- Clean the surrounding area with acetone.
- Put a small amount of laminate filler on a putty knife.
- Apply filler to the damaged area.
- Allow the product to dry for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove excess filler from the countertop.
- Reapply the filler if it shrinks.
In this article, we’ll show you how to fix a chipped laminate countertop. The best part is that this fix doesn’t require any special skills or knowledge – it’s something even novice DIYers can tackle easily. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to make your kitchen look brand new again, read on!
Follow All the Manufacturer’s Instructions Carefully
Above all else, it’s essential to follow all of the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when taking on a DIY project. Instructions are typically listed on the packaging. The way you’ll need to use any given product may vary depending on the manufacturer, so it’s essential to read carefully!
Some basic tips for safety include:
- Always wear safety gear when using any repair product.
- After application, allow any liquid to dry thoroughly before you use the countertop.
- Don’t use laminate repair products in direct sunlight or other hot conditions.
If you have never used a specific product before, do some research first on how best to apply this material for your safety as well as others around you.
Gather Your Materials
Before you start working on your countertops, make sure you have all the materials you need for this project. Here’s what you will need:
- A laminate filler
- A putty knife
- Touch-up paint that matches the color of your countertops
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Clear sealant
1. Clean the Surrounding Area With Acetone
When repairing laminate countertops, start by cleaning the surface and surrounding areas with acetone. Put on your protective gloves and safety glasses before touching anything that has acetone on it (acetone can dissolve plastic, and touching pure acetone with your bare skin is risky).
Use acetone, nail polish remover, or isopropyl alcohol to clean around the chipped area. Once the area is clean, leave it to dry for an hour or so. The surrounding area must be completely dry before you can move on to the next step.
Consider wearing safety glasses when working. Some types of laminate countertops may contain tiny glass particles in their resin mixture, and these particles can become airborne during sanding and pose a danger should any get into your eyes.
2. Put a Small Amount of Laminate Filler on a Putty Knife
Laminate filler or paste is available in most hardware and home improvement stores. These products are also sold on Amazon, such as the Fix-A-Chip Repair Kit. This kit repairs everything from chips, cracks, and blemishes to burn holes and more.
Choose a laminate filler or paste that matches your Formica counter. Then, apply it to the edge of a stainless steel putty knife. This will prevent the excess product from getting onto the undamaged areas of the counter, which, in turn, will minimize the clean-up required at the end of the job.
If you need more info, read our article about the best repair kits for laminate countertops.
3. Apply Filler to the Damaged Area
When applying the filler to the damaged area of your countertop, make sure to coat it thoroughly so that there are no dips or indents left in the countertop. A second coat may be necessary to fill in the damage properly.
Ensure you wear protective gloves while completing this step. You should also wear eye protection, such as safety glasses or goggles.
Apply the filler swiping in one direction until the chip or indent is completely filled. Remove any excess filler from the undamaged countertop before it begins to dry.
4. Allow the Product to Dry for 15 to 20 Minutes
You will need to allow the countertop filler to dry for at least 12-24 hours before applying any countertop coatings, such as paint or lacquer.
Make sure to apply several thin coats of the coating of your choice, rather than applying it all in one thick application. This will help prevent blistering and bubbling in the finish when it is applied over dried filler.
Once you have finished applying the filler, allow it enough time to dry before using your countertop again. Leaving it overnight is typically long enough for Formica products, but other types of counters may require less drying time depending on what they are made out of.
If you’re unsure about how long to leave the filler to dry, check the laminate manufacturer’s website for guidance.
If there was a chip or scratch near where the chip occurred, you might need to apply some touch-up paint over them both to avoid any noticeable differences in color between areas after finishing up this project.
5. Remove Excess Filler From the Countertop
Once the filler is dry, you should be able to scrape or sand any excess filler. Once again, whenever using scraping or sanding tools, be sure to wear protective gear to avoid inhaling the dust from these materials.
After you’ve applied the product and let it dry, all that is left to do is to smooth out any exposed edges with fine-grit sandpaper. Then, you’ll need to apply touch-up paint to overexposed areas so there won’t be noticeable differences in color between repaired sections once complete.
This process should restore your chipped laminate countertop to its original state and prevent further chips from happening.
6. Reapply the Filler if It Shrinks
If you notice that the filler material has shrunk as it dried, you may need to apply more of it. If that happens, start by cleaning the area and move through each step mentioned above until the product is dry.
Once you have applied enough additional filler material, let the area dry overnight once again so that the product has time to fully cure and set up before continuing onto the next step in this process.
If your countertops are a unique color, you can paint over most fillers with matching paint. For my countertops, I use the Giani Paint Kit. The kit is an all-in-one paint kit with everything you need to finish your countertops. However, you’ll need to find a kit that has a paint that matches your countertops.
Once you paint your countertops, finish by applying a coat of clear sealant over your countertop to complete the process. A sealant will typically guard your countertops against scrapes or scratches while giving them a fresh new appearance.
It’s vital to apply a protective coating over the filler or touch-up paint. Otherwise, the filler and paint will wear off quickly and may need to be redone. Make sure to read instructions carefully on all products beforehand to ensure a successful application.
Your countertops will look good as new again after following these steps! You can also follow these steps to fix chips and scrapes on most other laminate surfaces around your home.
With this guide, you won’t have to worry about the cost of hiring a professional to handle small areas of damage on your countertops. All it takes is a few supplies and some easy steps, which means even DIYers will be able to tackle this task with ease.