When to Remove Peel Coat from High Gloss Laminate

Opinions vary on whether to peel off protective coating before the finished piece is installed. December 30, 2007

I will soon be doing a large job with high gloss laminate (the first in a number of years). Any advice on how not to scratch this material when using it? It has a peel coat on the face. Do you leave this on until after the trimming? We also have the Betterly air glide routers, but I'm still hesitant on the whole thing.

Forum Responses
(Laminate and Solid Surface Forum)
From contributor D:
I always leave the peel coat facing in place from start to finish. You still need to be sure that your laminate trimmer base doesn't have any nicks or burrs on it, to prevent scratching the lam through the peel coat. As far as when to remove the peel coat is concerned, I usually do that on site at the time of delivery and installation.

From contributor J:
I used to leave the peel coat on until one time I found some scratches that were obviously done before the peel coat was applied. I had to re-lam the tops, so now I always peel it off before I start cutting. It's surprising how many scratches you find even though the peel coat isn't scratched (especially on dark colors). Masking tape (2" or 3") works well to keep the top clean and lots of lube on edging.

From contributor K:
Peeled, with painter's tape on bottom of router plate.

From contributor S:
We had to do a tub surround once using gloss laminate and were concerned about the tile setters, plumbers, etc. We put Armourall on it and it seemed to survive. I don't think it is a guarantee that it will work, but better than nothing. I would also test it on a scrap piece before.