How to Remove Paint From Formica

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Things You'll Need

  • Soapy water

  • Paint solvent

  • Plastic brush, pad or scraping tool

  • Rags

  • Rubber gloves


Cleaners consisting of alkali, acid or sodium hypochlorite will damage or stain Formica laminate. Do not use such cleaners to remove paint. Immediately wipe and thoroughly rinse any spills.

Do not inhale solvent fumes. They are a health hazard.

You can remove spilled paint on Formica, with caution.

Formica laminate surfaces are beautiful as well as durable. Any Formica laminate can become damaged or stained through abuse, carelessness or improper usage. Occasionally you may need to deal with paint stains, whether due to a painting project on an unprotected surface or a room repainting project that drips on the laminate surface. It is possible to remove paint stains on Formica with careful treatment.


Step 1

Scrub the area with warm, soapy water. If the paint is water-based, this may be enough to remove the stain.

Step 2

Apply an ammonia-based household cleaner with a spray bottle or dry cloth. This should remove stubborn water-based paints. Rinse the area.

Step 3

Select a paint solvent and read the directions carefully. Heed all the warnings. Ventilate the room well and wear rubber gloves before using the solvent. Keep the solvent away from all heat sources, since it is highly flammable.


Step 4

Apply the smallest possible amount of solvent to stains caused by oil-based paints, lacquer and varnish with a dry rag or small brush. Work as quickly as possible to avoid delamination from extended exposure or overuse.

Step 5

Scrape any remaining stains gently with a plastic brush, pad or scraper. Avoid metal, steel wool and abrasive pads.



Christy Bagasao

Christy Bagasao has been writing since 1991. She is an English and communication graduate of Wisconsin Lutheran College with a year spent at Nottingham University in England. Her work has appeared in such publications as "Forward in Christ."