Painting Formica

If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to spruce up a formica backsplash, try painting it.

1. If your back splash has outlets or switches, turn off the power at the circuit box, remove the plates and then seal the openings with some heavy plastic and some painter’s tape. Plastic freezer bags work great for this!

2. Clean the area with hot water and a t-s-p alternative to remove all the dirt and residue. Use rubber gloves and safety glasses, then rinse well.

3. Use a palm sander to scuff up the surface of the formica with 150-grit sandpaper, then clean away all traces of dust.

4. Carefully tape off all the areas that you don’t want painted. the next step is to brush on a coat of bonding primer. This product will grip the formica and help the paint adhere to the wall.

5. When the primer coat is completely dry, use a roller or small sponge brush to paint on a good quality latex paint. You will probably need a couple of coats.

6. When the paint is dry follow up with two or three coats of non-yellowing polyurethane.


COLOR Frequently asked questions

How do colors effect room size?

Generally, warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows close in a space. Blues, greens, and violets tend to make a room look larger. Dark colors have a diminishing effect. Whites are always a good choice for making a room look larger.

My room has a chair rail and I am using two colors….?

This depends on the look you want to achieve. If you want an open, airy look, always paint the portion of the wall below the chair rail darker allowing the lighter color to dominate.

Should trim work be painted the same color as the walls…?

Use the same color to hide trim work, use a lighter or darker color to bring out the trim work and add highlights.

Will the paint I choose look lighter or darker on the wall?

Larger surfaces make the paint appear darker. As a general rule, always choose colors that are a shade or two lighter than what you want. Do keep in mind that colors can also appear lighter or darker depending on surrounding colors and lighting.

What is the best way to decide which color is best for my room?

Take color chips home to determine the color of your room. A nice technique is to hold the color chips in the daylight and at night so you will see how lighting will effect your color choices.

What color should I paint my ceiling?

White or off-white colors will create the illusion of having a higher ceiling and more open space. Whereas medium to dark colors will create the illusion of lowering the ceiling. Customarily, white or off-white tend to be used.

Will the paint actually match the color chip?

As a general rule, paint on a color chip will appear slightly lighter than when applied in a room. Always take into account the sheen of the paint, the lighting in the room, and other colors that are in the room.