Repairing Peeling Laminate

Laminated home surfaces, such as cabinets and countertops, provide a natural wood appearance at a much lower price than actual hardwood. Since laminate essentially consists of printed paper sealed with plastic, it may eventually peel off substrates over time due to failing adhesive. The corners or edges of laminated countertops, cabinets and tables are particularly susceptible to peeling as they often experience more wear. Since damaged laminate makes surfaces look dingy and overall unattractive, promptly repair peeling laminate to restore the object's aesthetic appeal.

Step 01

Wipe the substrate, which is the surface beneath the laminate, with a dry cloth. Remove all grime particles from the substrate without wetting it.

Step 11

Cover nearby exposed surfaces with drop cloths, and then turn on fans to allow cross-ventilation. Put on work gloves as well, and then make sure the temperature in the work area is at or above 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 21

Mix the contact cement well using a stirring utensil. Once the cement is evenly mixed, brush the contact cement thinly and evenly onto the substrate and the underside of the peeling laminate using a disposable paintbrush. Make sure to brush the contact cement onto the joint where the substrate and laminate meet.

Step 31

Lay the peeling laminate carefully onto the substrate, starting at the joint and working outward to ensure proper alignment. Firmly press the laminate onto the substrate to prevent air bubbles or wrinkles. Realize that once the cemented laminate touches the cemented substrate, they are permanently bonded together. Make sure to bond the laminate to the substrate within one hour of applying the contact glue.

Step 41

Cover the entire cemented-down laminate surface with bricks, books or other heavy objects. Let the contact cement cure for 40 minutes.

Step 51

Remove the heavy objects from the laminated surface. If you notice contact cement globules have oozed out from under the edges of the laminate and then hardened, carefully break them off using a sharp chisel and hammer.


  • Never mix contact cement with water or adhesives.