1769 Apr 7, 2002

Hello All,

I am contemplating "opening up" Windfallís interior by painting the imitation teak surfaces around the galley, salon and nav station. For anyone who has done this successfully...what product was used to prime the surfaces and was any special prep such as roughing up the surface by sanding used? In past attempts at painting formica, I have found that the paint scrathes off far too easily. Any comments are gratfully received.


Don Edgar, Windfall K064, Cortez, FL

1770 Apr 7, 2002


Would it not be easier to simply remove the old formica and replace with new? I kind of doubt that you would wind up with a hardy enough surface for a sink counter area with a paint product. I would rather think it easier to remove the old formica and replace with new and you would be a lot happier with the results.

Has summer hit your area yet? We are getting some great sailing winds up here today and out of the east.

Don Bundy

#129 K, New Port Richey, FL

1771 Apr 6, 2002

I have never tried to paint formica. If the need arose I think I would try to cover the formica with a new formica sheet. (but I have never done this either). I would check with a paint store and then test whatever they suggested.


1772 Apr 7, 2002

Don, a few years ago I moved into an apartment with an ugly bright orange formica counter top in the kitchen. With nothing to lose, I painted it with enamel paints (multi colors, sponge effect to give it a gray/black granite look - after an enamel base of black). I finished the surface with oil based clear polyurethane. It still looks good after a couple of years and people are amazed that itís paint. Occassionally I touch up a deep scratch which given the orange formica shows brightly with a black magic marker but thatís about it. Itís not on a boat, but gets plenty of water and alternate hot and cold temperatures from sink water, wet dishes and hot pans. Sorry I canít recally the exact paints but I bought them all at Home Depot (and a little bit went a very long way). Oh, and yes, I roughed up the formica thoroughly with 120 grit sand paper (no reason to use that grit except that I had an excess of it). Also thoroughly degreased it and let it completely dry before painting.

Tom Lix, Relief #17

1773 Apr 7, 2002

Iíve painted the formica both on the boat and in my kitchen at home. Sherwin Williams makes a product called UMA (Urethane modified acrylic) which is made for this application. It only comes in gallons and its expensive. To be honest the best thing I have found is Zinnserís Bullseye 123 primer/stain sealer. I used it at home and on about half of the boat. It works with both oil based and latex paint. I would suggest using a paint make for cabinets, its harder and will stand up to dings better than a regular wall or trim paint. The most important thing is to prep the Formica surface properly. Scrub it with TSP or other such product from the paint store. Then wipe it with a degreaseróI used lacquer thinner. (have plenty of ventilation) Then sand with 60 or 80 grit paper followed by 100 grit. You need to get all the sheen off of the formica. Wipe off the dust with lacquer thinner, prime, wait a day, the paint.

I would remove all the teak trim before you sand. I know this is a pain because they are nailed from both faces, but it is very difficult to sand the formica along the trim.This might sound like a lot of work, but itís sure easier than redoing the formica on the walls, and if you change your mind about the color, you just repaint.

I redid my counter top as well. There is no need to remove the old formica if it is still sound and well attached. Just degrease it, scuff it up and apply the new formica over it. I guess you could really go off the deep end and do ceramic tile.

Hope this helps. I feel that painting the interior was one of the best cosmetic things we have done. It really lightens up the interior.

Good luck

Jim Rendt, s/v Galadriel (SWII, k12)

1776 Apr 8, 2002

After just removing most of the original Ďmica in Sea Quill and replacing it, I may have a couple of observations.

1. The removal is not so hard to do. The clean up of the glue that held it in place IS! Heat guns, thinners and sandpaper (lots of it) are the weapons of choice.

I have replaced the woodgrain with a very subtle Colonial White and the interior of the main salon is now bright and far more roomy to the eye.

The "Easypoxy" sold at West Marine covers the Formica quite well and with nothing more than a sanding with 22 grit paper.... some of my forward cabin still sports this solution since 1994. Next winter it will all go away in favor of the next phase of the refit...... but 9 years, five of it living aboard should speak well of the product.

Paul, Sea Quill, # 29K