4 Easy Ways to Resurface Your Kitchen Counters

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Your kitchen counters get a lot of use, and with all the food prep, projects, kid-stuff, and cleaning they endure countless chips, scratches, marks, and stains. Some homeowners have the budget and time to invest in new countertops; others don’t. If your countertops need an upgrade that your budget won’t allow, consider refinishing them.

Laminate countertops, in particular, can be refinished to the point of looking brand new, and re-laminating, granite sheets, decorative chips and tiling offer four easy and inexpensive ways to do it.

Before you use any method to resurface your laminate countertops, be sure to prep the area:

  • Cover cabinets, sinks, appliances and walls above the counters with painter’s tape
  • Vacuum and dusting the counters with alcohol-based cleaners

1. Re-Laminating

Did you know you can install new laminate right on top of your old countertop? Here’s how:

  1. Measure your laminate countertops to ensure that you buy the right amount of material.
  2. Lightly sand the old surface using an orbital sander, being sure to keep your old surface even for the new laminate you’ll be laying.
  3. Apply a household cement on the old countertop surface and the new laminate material. You’ll want to leave an extra inch of laminate material hanging off either side of the counters. Make adjustments when you lay it so the pattern aligns.
  4. Roll out any bubbles or bumps in the laminate with a rolling pin. Cut off the extra inch or more laminate material.
  5. Let it sit for half a day.
  6. Voila! New laminate countertops.
Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Granite Sheets

You can also update your laminate countertops by overlaying granite sheets, which are real granite with polymer resin. For this, you will need to enlist the help of a countertop installation service as it is difficult and requires experience. As with laminate, the process will begin with measuring your countertops and cutting sheets to fit over them. Granite sheets cost 20-30 percent less than real granite, and they are resistant to heat, stains, and scratches. Granite sheets also come with a 10-year warranty.

3. Applying Decorative Chips

In some cases, rather than completely overlaying your laminate countertops with a new sheet, you can simply revitalize them by adding decorative chips. This is like adding a new texture to your countertops. The process isn’t too expensive, but it is extensive—and its can’t be done with stone surfaces or tile. Here is the process:

  1. Scrub the old surface thoroughly.
  2. Apply the base coat and have the decorative chips ready to go. You only have 20 minutes after the coat’s applied to lay them down.
  3. After you’ve applied the first layer of decorative chips and let it dry for 20 minutes, take a hand shop vac to remove any loose chips. Then, sand the flat area and the backsplash until smooth.
  4. Paint the decorative chips countertop with a topcoat and let it dry for several hours. Repeat this process twice so the countertop has three topcoat layers. This will protect the decorative chips from cracking off due to impact, such as that from a heavy pot.

4. Tiling

Another way to resurface your laminate countertops is to cover them with tiles. In some cases, you’ll have to install a cement board over the laminate counter before installing the tiles so that they’ll have something strong to adhere to. You can then set them with mortar in a pattern that you like. You can use any kind of tile that you want to match your kitchen, though most kitchen professionals will recommend ceramic since it withstands moisture, sharp objects, and high heat from the stove or hot pots.

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