The "wood" under the Formica is basically just sawdust glued togather. It will not stand up to use. It will absorb liquid from stain and get bumpy and rough. Like particle board but worse.
I am with foxrun41 and I will add that I can 99% guarantee you will not be a happy camper if you remove the Formica! If you want a change and don't want to replace the counter tops perhaps you could consider this (a contest winner):
I am afraid the wood under the formica will not be of top quality. The wood most likely will be 2nd grade plywood. But if that is what you want. Remove the formica, sand off any adhesive residue, fill in nail holes and gouges then use any paint or stain you want. Then if you want, paint with a polyurethane product. If you don't like the condition of the underlayment plywood you can always have some one come in and reapply the formica. Or install a new countertop.
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