Formica Coffee Table Quick Redo

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Do you think Formica is out of style? Check out this Formica coffee table quick makeover.

Formica is a popular material used in furniture manufacturing. It is known for its durability and resistance to scratches and stains. However, over time, laminate table tops may start to show signs of wear and tear or become outdated in terms of style. Discover how Amelie gave this old Formica coffee table a stunning makeover that will breathe new life into any living room.

Amelie bought this coffee table in a garage sale. It was in vintage good condition. The hairpin legs will always command attention and make the table still fashionable.

Did you know that Formica is actually a brand name. Over the years, this name has become synonymous with laminate countertops and surfaces. Before we grab our favorite paintbrush, let’s try to understand what is formica.

So, what exactly is Formica?

It is composed of several layers of paper, saturated with melamine resin and phenolic resin, which are compressed under high heat and pressure. The top layer is a decorative sheet that can mimic the appearance of various materials, such as wood, stone, or metal. The core layers provide the strength and stability, and the bottom layer is a protective backing that resists moisture and enhances durability.

It was first invented in 1912 by Daniel J. O’Conor and Herbert A. Faber, who were looking for an alternative to expensive materials such as marble and wood. The name “Formica” was derived from the Latin word for ant, as the material was believed to be as strong as the exoskeleton of an ant.

Formica is known for its remarkable characteristics. It is highly resistant to scratches, stains, and heat, making it a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops. It is also easy to clean and maintain, requiring only mild soap and water to keep it looking great for years. Additionally, Formica is available in a wide range of colors and patterns, allowing for endless design possibilities. It became a popular choice for interior design and furniture after World War II. During the 1960’s and 70’s, laminates was symbolic of a modern lifestyle.

Tools and Supplies for this Makeover

Prep Work


One of the first steps in giving your Formica coffee table a makeover is to thoroughly clean and prep the surface.

Amelie started by thoroughly cleaning the formica coffee table to remove any dirt, dust, or grime that may have accumulated over time. She used a mild detergent and water to wipe down the surface, ensuring to clean the edges and corners of the table.

This table was overall in pretty good condition. You can only see some scratches on one small area of the table top. Amelie decided to hide this scratches with paint and leave the remaining part of the top with its “raw wood” apparence.


After cleaning, Amelie applied painter’s tape to create a modern design. She lightly sanded  the surface of the Formica coffee table to be painted using fine-grit sandpaper. This step helps to create a rough texture on the surface, allowing paint or adhesive to adhere better. Be sure to wipe away any dust or debris before moving on to the next step.

Prime the Surface

Before applying the new paint, it is essential to prime the Formica surface to ensure proper adhesion. Amelie chose a high-quality primer specifically designed for laminate surfaces. The primer was evenly applied using a paint roller or brush, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

We really recommend using a high-quality primer specifically designed for laminate surfaces and allowing each coat to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Apply the Paint

Once the primer was dry, she started painting the table top. She used a roller or a paintbrush to apply the paint evenly on the surface. She of course let the paint to dry completely between each coat to ensure a smooth and even finish. Two coats of paint were enough to get a consistent coverage.

Once the paint is dry, your Formica coffee table makeover is complete! Place it back in your living room and enjoy the refreshed look it brings to your space. It’s amazing how a simple DIY project can completely transform a piece of furniture and give it a new lease on life.

We recommend choosing a high-quality paint that is suitable for laminate or furniture surfaces. If you wan tot avoid buying many products, paints with built-in primer and topcoat is a great option. Dixie Belle is now selling Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint which is perfect for this kind of project. The built in topcoat helps protect your piece from moisture, sunlight, and scuffs, which is perfect for high traffic areas. Plus, you won’t need to purchase topcoat. This is perfect for small projects like this coffee table. Allow the paint to fully dry and cure before using the coffee table.

Let’s have a look again at the table before the redo…

The two-tone blue color triangles bring a touch of originality to the table. I’m a fan!

With a few simple steps, you can transform your old Formica coffee table into a beautiful and stylish piece of furniture that will enhance the look of your living room. Get creative, have fun, and enjoy the process of giving new life to an old favorite. Choose a vibrant colors to create a statement piece. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different shades.

So, if you have an old and tired Formica coffee table that needs a makeover, don’t hesitate to give it a fresh new look. With a little time, effort, and creativity, you can turn it into a stylish and modern piece that will add charm to your living room.

Happy makeover!



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