How to Patch a Chipped Laminate Countertop

Installers create laminate countertops by covering a core counter material, composed of wood, with a thin sheet of plastic laminate glued into place.

This thin sheet is waterproof, easy to maintain, and highly durable. Over time however, the sheet can sustain damage including chipping along the material's surface. This chipping not only mars the laminate's appearance, it also creates an opening for moisture to work its way beneath the sheet and cause the holding glue to fail. Repairing the chips is a process of simply filling the chip with material and restoring the smooth surface of your counter.

Clean the countertop using a pH-neutral cleanser and a sponge to remove any dirt or debris. Concentrate cleaning efforts especially on chipped areas as the depression in the laminate caused by the chipping can attract a large amount of dirt. Rinse the countertop with clean water then pat it dry with paper towels.

Locate each chip in the laminate surface. Feel around the edges of the chips for the presence of any ridges between the void in the counter and the remaining countertop surface. Sand down any ridge found with fine-grit sandpaper until all edges of the chipped area are level with the surrounding counter surface. Wipe the surface with a clean cloth to remove any sanding debris.

Mix a batch of laminate filler in a cup to match the color of the laminate on the countertop. Laminate filler comes in multiple colors so you can mix two or more using a wooden paint stirrer until you obtain the matching color.

Fill the chipped area with the laminate filler using a putty knife to press the filler into place. Shape the filler if working at the edge of the counter to match the countertop's contours. Extend the filler coverage over the surrounding counter slightly, no more than 1/4 to 1/2 inch so that you can blend the edges in with the countertop.

Scrape along the surface of the filler patch with the edge of the putty knife to level the patch out with the rest of the countertop then allow the putty to dry and harden. Drying times vary by filler manufacturer so check the instructions on the particular filler used for timing recommendations.

Sand the hardened filler with the fine-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface out. Feather the edges of the filler onto the laminate surrounding the chipped area to blend the edges of the filler in with the surrounding laminate. Wipe with a cloth to remove any sanding residue.

Things You Will Need

  • PH-neutral cleanser
  • Sponge
  • Paper towels
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Cloth
  • Laminate filler
  • Cup
  • Wooden paint stirrer
  • Putty knife

About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.