Good Questions: Formica veneer replacement

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
Justine wrote in with this restoration question:
“Hey guys, I have a question. I found this cool vintage looking credenza at the Sally Army for $40. The shape is great, it has wonderful metal pulls, but the drawers are scratched and chipped in some places and the top is a cheap formica veneer with a big chip out of it, showing the particle board underneath.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to restore it – is there somewhere I can buy new veneer for the top? How hard is it to apply new veneer? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!


It’s funny you come to us with this question, because we only recently salvaged a vintage 1950’s Westinghouse stereo cabinet of similar size and finish from the street, and are also hoping to restore and repair it back to life (when we restore our lives with some free time). But our unit doesn’t have the Formica veneer ontop, so we plan to just sand and refinish it to smooth out the scratches and scuffs.

Damaged Formica is supposedly very difficult to repair. Perhaps you could fill in the chip ontop and the scratches on the drawers with a two-part epoxy cement, prime and then repaint the whole credenza a new colour. We’ve never used this product, but there is also a Wood & Formica Repair Kit for $9.99. If this sounds like too much trouble, it might be best to contact a countertop fabricator or cabinet contractor to replace the whole top. Or perhaps some of our readers have some other options for Justine to take with her restoration project.