Laminate Question

Jean-Marc Dugas

PCS Member
Part of the 54XL project will be to replace the laminate. I think that the closest match is Formica White Ash Gloss Finish (

I have contacted Formica for samples but for some reason, they do not have gloss finish samples, only matt finish. They also said that they have a minimum order of 8 sheets, which is double what I need, so I got to figure this out. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Now, for those who worked with laminate before, when I get to that point in the restoration, do I glue the new laminate on top of the old or strip the old laminate and glue it on the wood? I assume that the glue would not stick to the old laminate. Thoughts?
Laminate - Psg Side - Attendant Seat 01.jpg

Paul Steinberg

Staff member
Super Site Supporter
Use a professional heat gun to soften the glue on the backside of the old laminate, and pull it off. You will need to remove all traces of the old glue and apply fresh glue to the back of the laminate, and to the wood. Once the glue sets up, you press the two pieces together, and they will adhere to each other. To be certain that it has properly adhered, a small rolling "pin" is used in all directions to assure full contact between the two pieces. Then the edges are trimmed using a router and a plastic laminate cutter. You will have to decide which seams you want to expose where the front laminate intersects with a side piece of laminate. It does take some expertise to trim the laminate because you must keep the router flat, and not go off at the corners.
As for purchasing the laminate, there are multiple companies that manufacture laminate other than Formica. Formica makes or used to make a laminate that had a color that went through the entire surface, so a scratch wouldn't mar the look of the material. I am not certain if it is still available any longer. Since Formica was the "name brand" of laminate, it is entirely possible that the factory used another brand such as Wilson Art, which was less expensive. In the era when your car was custom-built if the customer wanted a different color for the cabinets, they would accommodate the customer's wishes. You might look around for custom cabinet shops that might be able to add your 4 sheets to their stock orders which will make the price a little more palatable.

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2019-2022
Super Site Supporter
If the corner tear is the only thing on that might check to see if there is a shop doing vinyl repair near you rather then try to recover it.

Bill Leverett

PCS Member/Super Site Supporter/Paramedic Supervis
I cant recall what brand/style of laminate I used. I took a sample and went to a bunch of "older" cabinet shops to find what I was looking for. They had some smaller off-cuts so the price was right. I then went to a small local shop to do the work. As Dave mentioned it wasn't a perfect match but unless you were looking closely it was hard to spot the difference.

Kurt Arends

PCS Elected Director 2021-2024
I would cut down panels out of old '70s van style ambulances, if it were me. I know of several in yards with that exact same Formica. That would be the best way to get an exact match.

Jean-Marc Dugas

PCS Member
Since all of the cabinets, attendant seats, squad bench, and everything else is out of the car I want to do the entire interior. If I cannot find the gloss White Ash or something close to it, I will go to the matte finish. Since the entire interior will be finished with the same material, that should work.