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Thread: Fixing delaminating Formica

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Boston MA
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    59

    Fixing delaminating Formica

    I have this large and heavy headboard designed to attach to a Harvard bed frame.
    It is completely covered in Formica - white on the face and a faux walnut wood grain on the edges. Think mid-century modern. Despite being 60+ years old (my parents had it built for their bed) it is in very good condition except for one small area that is delaminating. About one foot of the edge strip is no longer stuck to the particleboard core. The area which is pulling away is very rough on the underside but it can be pressed down perfectly flat with very little pressure.

    I'm wondering what adhesive I should use to reattach the flap that is loose. It was probably originally bonded with contact cement but I'd rather not use that unless there is no other choice. I can pull the strip away from the core enough to get a small brush or other applicator between the Formica strip and the core pretty close to the point where they are still joined. Hopefully, there is something I can use that won't require me to thoroughly clean the underside of the strip.

    I would think a very thin adhesive would be best but I don't know what will work in this situation. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Mark
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  2. #2
    Sometimes you can reattach those strips by applying heat. A regular iron works well for this, just don't tell the owner of the iron what you are doing....I'm not sure why you are against contact cement, the newer varieties have reduced VOC's. You can carefully lift the loose area and apply the adhesive to both surfaces and prop them apart with some tooth picks for the set up time. Remove the tooth picks and press it down starting from the portion that was still attached working toward the free end.

    You can also use some double sided tape, 3M makes some clear double sided tape with strong adhesive that is just about impossible to pull apart.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 08-01-2019 at 1:36 PM.
    Lee Schierer
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  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Contact adhesive would be my go to. Use the real stuff not the water based.

  4. #4
    Mask off areas not to be sprayed, wedge laminate as far apart as possible, then using spray contact cement coat both surfaces well. Wait till it dries, and then press together using a laminate roller. To clean up any over spray DO NOT use Lacquer thinner. Use a rag DAMPENED with mineral spirits, preferably deoderized.

  5. #5
    Concur on using the contact cement. It's what's holding every Formica countertop in the world to the particle board beneath it
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    folsom, california
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    i have used gorilla glue a couple of times with good success. mask off and use more tape to hold it in place.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norristown, Pa
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    I have also used this approach with luck. If it doesn't work you can always do the contact route.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Schierer View Post
    Sometimes you can reattach those strips by applying heat. A regular iron works well for this, just don't tell the owner of the iron what you are doing....I'm not sure why you are against contact cement, the newer varieties have reduced VOC's. You can carefully lift the loose area and apply the adhesive to both surfaces and prop them apart with some tooth picks for the set up time. Remove the tooth picks and press it down starting from the portion that was still attached working toward the free end.

    You can also use some double sided tape, 3M makes some clear double sided tape with strong adhesive that is just about impossible to pull apart.

  8. #8
    I just had another thought. 3M Super 77 multi purpose adhesive spray would bond your laminate.
    .77.jpg
    You would need to mask areas that don't need glued to protect from overspray.
    Last edited by Lee Schierer; 08-03-2019 at 7:45 PM.
    Lee Schierer
    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

    My advice, comments and suggestions are free, but it costs money to run the site. If you found something of value here please give a little something back by becoming a contributor! Please Contribute

  9. #9
    I would go with the 90 instead of the 77. Borgs stock the correct spray for laminates.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
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    1,218
    If that headboard was built 60 years ago it was definitely attached with contact adhesive. It also would be the 'real deal' not the water based stuff sold now. To reglue it will only need a very thin coat on both surfaces ,let dry till tacky and press together.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Boston MA
    Posts
    59
    Thanks, everyone. I'm going to go the old (not water-based) contact cement route. Also, I', going to use the brush-on stuff - I don't really want to deal with all the extra masking and shielding of surrounding area involved in the spray version. Thanks again.

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