How To Repair A Melamine(?) Dresser Top

Re: 60s era dresser with a melamine-type top, or a formica-type top, which is damaged by hand sanding.
The owner (unknowing DIYer) stripped and sanded (prepped) the lower woodwor k, for refinishing, then realized the top can't be as easily prepped, is di fferent material, when trying to sand it. I suspect the melamine(?), its elf, can't be easily removed, so his alternative may be to stain and/or pai nt.
Might there be a relatively easy way to remove this topping, itself, to ins tall a new countertop covering?
Can a new wooden top, or veneer, be glued onto the existing dresser top?
Might a counter top, as this, able to be stained and/or painted, and get a good adhesion? If so, what might be a procedure (and/or product?) for prep ?
Might a solvent, only, be required for prep.... I'm thinking, unlikely?
Best guesses are welcome, since I don't know, exactly, what material this t op is.
Thanks. Sonny
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On Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 10:03:44 AM UTC-5, Sonny wrote:

Pic - https://www.flickr.com/photos/43836144@N04/28920730153/in/dateposted-public/
The factory installed top seems to have some thickness, to it, not thin like formica. The lower trim and carcass is prepped for refinishing.
Sonny
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On 9/8/2016 10:13 AM, Sonny wrote:

That top certainly looks like plastic laminate to me. If it has been sanded and you have low spots it might cause an adhesion problem, normally contact cement will fill slightly low spots but if it was sanded to bare, what ever is underneath and especially along the edges, you might not get good results with adding a laminate on top of the existing.
You might try a heat gun to remove the top but it might be less work to simply put a real wood top on the piece.
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On Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 12:04:58 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:

I'm coaching/advising from long distance. I don't have the dresser in fron t of me.
The owner, Joe, sanded a small spot, when he realized it couldn't be sanded , as wood is. The sanding removed a slight amount of the colored woodgrai n-look, of the coloring, so only a slight white bare spot is showing, but i t's apparent. He had hope to stain the area, to re-match the original colo r/grain.
I had wondered if heat might allow its lifting, to accommodate applying a v eneer or other wood top.
dpb asks-

He's thought of that, but admitted he can't see how, since he's not handy e nough to know what to look for, or where.
Thanks. Sonny
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On 09/08/2016 10:13 AM, Sonny wrote: ...

Looks like a laminate to me; perhaps even the LH corner there has separated just a tad, maybe...
As you noted, heat _might_ lift it; presuming from indicated age it's solvent- not water-based contact cement, lacquer thinner, etc., is suitable solvent (albeit with appropriate cautionary words on volatile hydrocarbons...). One separates an edge with the putty knife, work a little solvent in and let it wick and soften, gain a little more--repeat.
Doesn't sound as though the person in question is up to the task, though???
The little of the rest of the chest showing looks like pretty nice walnut, maybe...it looks like replacing the top with a sold one would be the way to really finish off the piece if were trying to make something of it...
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On Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 12:26:45 PM UTC-7, dpb wrote:

If the laminate was a retrofit, heat the laminate (an iron will work) and it might just melt some hide glue and pull the laminate and top layer of veneer off (that top veneer was likely damaged before the laminate was applied). Heat is enough, won't require a solvent.
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On 09/10/2016 7:04 PM, whit3rd wrote: ...

I'd guess if that were so, the likelihood a commercial manufacturer used hide glue to be slim to none...nothing lost in the attempt, granted, but I'd think it highly unlikely to be successful.
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On 09/08/2016 10:03 AM, Sonny wrote:

Staining won't work worth a hooey; there's no porosity to speak of to accept it. Paint is always a possibility, yes...

Depends on the working definition of "relatively"... :) Short answer w/o seeing the piece, is probably not for the apparently as novice an individual as talking about here...

"Can", sure...question is one of who's got the expertise in the subject population of candidates to do it is the likely major issue...

for prep?
Just rough it up good and any primer/paint combo will likely be just fine.
It's not terribly difficult to lay new laminate over old but do need a little handy-ness.
Is it possible to just remove the top and replace it with new material entirely?

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Re: 60s era dresser with a melamine-type top, or a formica-type top, which is damaged by hand sanding.
The owner (unknowing DIYer) stripped and sanded (prepped) the lower woodwork, for refinishing, then realized the top can't be as easily prepped, is different material, when trying to sand it. I suspect the melamine(?), itself, can't be easily removed, so his alternative may be to stain and/or paint.
Stain won't work, paint could. --------------------------------
Might there be a relatively easy way to remove this topping, itself, to install a new countertop covering?
Paint thinner will soften/clean up contact cement (the regular type at least, don't know about the waterborn). However, you need to get the thinner between the laminate and the substrate; heating it will soften enough to get a putty knife in at a corner, add thinner, wait a bit, pry some more, add more thinner, etc. ----------------------------
Can a new wooden top, or veneer, be glued onto the existing dresser top?
Wood, sure but you'd do better to sdrew it on from inside the cabinet. If that is done, there would be laminate edges showing, just add thin trim to cover.
Veneer is possible too IF the laminate is solidly afixed. You would still have the laminate edge showing, same cure as for solid wood except it would be better to apply the trim first, trim flush to laminate top then apply veneer. Here's a reliable source for veneer... http://www.constantines.com/veneer.aspx Some is available in large sheets, no need to glue up individual pieces. -------------------------------------
Might a counter top, as this, able to be stained and/or painted, and get a good adhesion? If so, what might be a procedure (and/or product?) for prep?
Sand, prime, sand, paint --------------------------------
Best guesses are welcome, since I don't know, exactly, what material this top is.
Looks like plain old laminate. It comes in various thicknesses. ----------------------------------
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Looking at the photo again, I'm thinking the laminate was added after the dresser was made. The reason I think that is that it - laminate - is above the wood edge trim and I can't imagine any manufacturer doing that. If that IS the case I would definitely be removing the veneer hoping that whatever is under it is as nice as the wood on the rest of the piece/
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On Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 11:03:44 AM UTC-4, Sonny wrote:

different material, when trying to sand it. I suspect the melamine(?), i tself, can't be easily removed, so his alternative may be to stain and/or p aint.

ep?

Did you check out the "Rust removal / next generation taser" thread? ;-)
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I would try a heat gun and a stiff narrow putty knife.
Then something to dissolve as much of the glue as possible, and finally sand to recoat as practical.
Re: 60s era dresser with a melamine-type top, or a formica-type top, which is damaged by hand sanding.
The owner (unknowing DIYer) stripped and sanded (prepped) the lower woodwork, for refinishing, then realized the top can't be as easily prepped, is different material, when trying to sand it. I suspect the melamine(?), itself, can't be easily removed, so his alternative may be to stain and/or paint.
Might there be a relatively easy way to remove this topping, itself, to install a new countertop covering?
Can a new wooden top, or veneer, be glued onto the existing dresser top?
Might a counter top, as this, able to be stained and/or painted, and get a good adhesion? If so, what might be a procedure (and/or product?) for prep?
Might a solvent, only, be required for prep.... I'm thinking, unlikely?
Best guesses are welcome, since I don't know, exactly, what material this top is.
Thanks. Sonny
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