Can you Paint Formica Cabinets?

Formica cabinets may remain in fine shape over time, but the paint has become obsolete or simply does not match your aesthetic.

Instead of rebuilding the cabinets, repaint the Formica to give it a new appearance. When it comes to painting, Formica takes a little more priming than wood since its top surface is not porous such as plain wood. It is necessary to use a slick-surface primer or decorate.


Formica countertops may be painted if the proper primer and paint are used.

Take the doors off the cabinets

Using a Gibson screwdriver, disconnect cabinet knobs and doors. To preserve the hardware from paints, cover it with painter’s tape if it is not easily removable.

Set the hardware and bolts on top of a sheet of cardboard on a workstation. To minimize paint spills, cover the floor underneath or around the cabinets with newsprint, or work outside if feasible, laying paper underneath the particular cabinets.

Cabinets should be cleaned

Wipe off the cabinets entirely, comprising the insides, using a moist towel and household cleaner. Even if you are not repainting the interior, wipe these surfaces down to keep them clean. Permit surfaces to totally dry.

Sand down the cabinets

Put on a dust mask. Use a fine-grit sandpaper block, and any surfaces you want to paint, as well as the exposed corners of Formica cabinet doors if you are not repainting the insides.

Sand just enough to rough up the surface so that primer may be applied. Wipe the dust away with a moist towel and permit the cabinets to dry fully.

Always apply the Primer

Make sure your workspace is well-ventilated. Fill a paint container halfway with primer suited for laminate or slippery plastic-like surfaces.

Coat all portions of the cabinet that you want to paint, such as the mirrored doors and side corners. Permit the primer to totally dry.

Add a second coat if required, then let the primer cure for the time indicated by the producer; this might take several days.

Permitting the priming to cure before repainting implies the cabinets will be suitable to use sooner.

Put on the Formica Paint

Fill a clean paint tray halfway with the appropriate latex paint color. Permit the paint to dry fully before painting the cabinets and doors.

If necessary, apply a second coat. Permit numerous weeks for the paint to cure before utilizing the cabinets, particularly if the interiors have been coated.

  • You will need a golden screwdriver
  • Tape for painting
  • Newspaper
  • Wet cloth
  • Cleaner for the home
  • Mask for dust
  • Sanding block with fine grit
  • Primer intended for use on plastic or slippery surfaces.
  • Trays for painting
  • Scrub brushes
  • Paint made with latex


Tape screws to their appropriate components using a strip of painter’s tape to keep screws and hardware close together.

Whereas the primer can be either water- or shellac-based, a lacquer primer cures faster than a comparable water-based counterpart.

It also has a little greater odor until the alcohol dissipates, thus it is best used outside or in a well-ventilated location.

Read the suggested curing periods on primer packages to select the best solution for your needs. Either sort of priming may be painted over with normal latex paint.


Surfaces of Sand

The surfaces will then be sanded. You must first put on safety equipment such as a face shield, sunglasses, and gloves before beginning the treatment.

This will shield you from the dust created by roughening up the surface. This is critical because it helps the paint to adhere to the surface.

Do not forget to use an electric sander. To begin, sand the doors using fine sandpaper. If you do not have an electric sander, you can use elbow grease.

Ensure to sand the whole surface and not leave any gaps. The margins must be sanded as well. When the surface seems gritty and abrasive, you are ready to move on to the following phase.

Make Cabinet Frames

When it comes to prepping the cabinet frames, you must first wash them before sanding the sides and corners.

Cover the area you do not need to paint with tape once again, such as the regions where it meets the ceilings or walls.

Cabinets should be primed and dried

Apply 3 coats of thick primer to all surfaces. It is critical to examine whether the primer is being accepted by the surface when priming.

Certain regions may not take the primer, causing it to splatter over a slippery surface rather than absorb it.

Wait for each coat of primer to dry after applying it to the Formica cabinets. Allow at least 12 hours for the last application to dry properly.

Attach Fasteners and Dry Paint

Kindly allow some time after applying the paint for it to dry. If you have used tape that has to be removed, you can run a box cutter or razor along with the corners.

So much so that removing the tape is a critical step. You may now replace the fasteners and affix the doors.

To summarize, you can paint your Formica Cabinets – but not in the same way that you paint hardwood cabinets.

So, to complete the task correctly as a do-it-yourself project, follow these instructions. If you fear you will not be able to handle it yourself. Best wishes!