Q: Is laminating over existing plastic laminate an acceptable practice? If so, what is the best procedure?

A: Jeff Pitcher responds: It is possible to add a second layer of laminate, though it’s always best if you can remove the existing laminate and get down to a clean substrate. Unfortunately, there’s really no good way to get old laminate off unless it’s loose to begin with. If so, by using a torch and a putty knife, you may be able to remove what’s there. Don’t ever apply a second layer over loose laminate.

If the first layer is well adhered, scuff the surface with a belt sander and an 80- or 100-grit belt. The key is to break the slick surface, since most glues will not stick well to slick, nonporous surfaces. After scuffing the surface, wipe it with a solvent like mineral spirits or paint thinner. This helps the glue to "wet out" — meaning that the glue will spread well instead of beading up on the surface. After wiping the counter clean and dry, apply the laminate as you usually would.

Jeff Pitcher is marketing director for Custom-Pak Adhesives in Newark, Ohio.