Formica countertops are designed to withstand wear, heat and water, but they can still be damaged, especially as they get older. But replacing damaged countertops is not your only option.
Small chips and scratches can be repaired relatively easily. You can buy laminate repair paste at most hardware stores -- it comes in a variety of colors you can mix to match your countertops. Before applying the paste, clean the counter with an ammonia solution to remove any dirt, grime and grease. Let the counters dry thoroughly and then spread the paste over the bad spot with a putty knife. Let the paste dry according to the directions on the package, wipe the excess off from around the damaged area and clean.
You can use countertop polish to cover small scratches, but the fix is only temporary. You'll need to reapply it on a regular basis -- probably at least every couple of months.
Contact cement is great for reapplying peeling laminate. If the edge of the laminate is damaged beyond an easy glue fix, remove the edge, lightly sand the exposed surface to remove any old adhesive, and glue on a new laminate edge [source: DIYNetwork].
Are you tired of the color of your Formica? Thinking about ripping out your kitchen counters but hate the thought of spending all that money to replace them? Consider painting them. Painting your Formica kitchen and bath countertops can give the room an updated look for much less than it would cost to install new countertops. You will learn how to do this in the next section.