Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks/Removing Laminate


I have an old dinner table that is solid wood. It has been in the family for a long time and passed down through the generations. I'm in the process of refinishing it; problem is the top of the table has a thin layer of laminate. I have heard to sand it off with a sander? I have also read to run a iron over it to loosen up the glue then pull it off? What would be the best solution to removing the laminate without destroying the top of the table? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Brock,

Sanding that laminate off would be really labor intensive, and messy - you'd probably go through a ton of sanding belts, too - so I don't recommend that.

My best suggestion is to use lacquer thinner. It's a secret trick of the trade - when you're putting laminate down and you accidentally position it wrong - most people would think you've ruined the piece, right? The trick is to apply some lacquer thinner to the back of the laminate - it instantly dissolves the contact cement. You may have to apply some, pull away the laminate, then apply a little more, working your way across the whole piece of laminate. The lacquer thinner gasses off almost immediately, so you'll have to keep applying it. Most people I know put it in a squirt bottle to apply it - like an old ketchup bottle.

It you're careful, you may even be able to save the piece of laminate for another use. (If it's any good.)

OK - good luck - this isn't hard work, it's just a little messy and time consuming, but easy enough to pull off. Hope my advice helps you out,

Jamie in Vegas

Jamie Yocono
Wood It Is! Custom Cabinetry
Las Vegas, NV

Cabinets, Furniture, Woodworks

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Jamie Yocono


Woodworker, Furniture designer/builder, industrial arts educator. Bachelor degree in Furniture Design, and journeyman carpenter, with a 4 year apprenticeship. Currently owner of custom furniture/cabinet shop in Las Vegas, NV. Can answer most woodworking questions EXCEPT those regarding repairs, refinishing, and antiques.


Bachelor in Furniture Design - Ohio University (1980) Journeyman Carpenter, Local 639 Adult educator - Developed adult education woodworking program for the University of Akron, and taught classes there for 9 years. Opened a private woodworking school in Las Vegas, NV and teach private and semi-private lessons. In 2011, I will begin teaching UNLV woodworking classes at my school. Sweet!

Furniture Society

Tile Design and Installation Magazine (Article on inlaying tile into wood)

Journeyman Union Carpenter Bachelors degree in Furniture Design (Ohio University) College of Hard Knocks!

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