DIY Network

Resurfacing a Kitchen Countertop

This DIY Basic will provide tips on resurfacing a kitchen countertop.

More in Kitchen

Step 1: Watch an Overview Video

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools

Materials and Tools:

countertop coating kit with adhesive base coat, wetting agent, decorative chips and protective top coat
(1) 6x3/8-inch nap microfiber roller and frame
(1) 6-inch high-density foam roller and frame
(2) paint trays
(2) 2-inch synthetic brushes
2-inch smooth painter's tape
diamond embedded sanding tool
drop cloth
plastic sheeting
disposable gloves
lint-free rags
dust mask
safety glasses
100 percent silicone kitchen-and-bath caulk
hand brush and dust pan or shop vac with brush attachment
putty knife

Step 3: Meaure the Countertop

Instead of replacing worn-out laminate countertops, resurface them. Start by calculating linear footage of countertop.

Measure countertop length in sections, multiply by depth and add together. An online calculator can help you arrive at correct figures.

Extinguish all flames and pilot lights and turn off stoves and electric heaters; DO NOT SMOKE during installation.

To cut down on dust, particles and accidental smudges, keep pets and children out of area. Wear dust mask and safety glasses during installation.

Step 4: Prep the Area

Cover cabinets, backsplash, sink and appliances with plastic sheeting secured with painter’s tape and spread drop cloth on floor.

Fill cracks, dents and chips with epoxy putty and sand smooth.

Remove dry caulk around sink or backsplash with putty knife.

Clean and degrease countertop.

Using Diamond Embedded Sanding Tool, sand entire surface in circular motion. Entire surface should be covered with small scratches.

Remove dust with shop vac or brush and dust pan, wipe surface with damp cloth and let dry. Rub hand over dry surface to check for dust and re-wipe if necessary.

Step 5: Apply the Adhesive Base Coat

Stir adhesive base coat and pour into paint tray.

Working quickly with 2-inch brush, apply thick, even coat to backsplash, 1 to 2 inches of adjoining countertop and front edge.

With 6-inch 3/8-inch nap microfiber roller, apply heavy, even coat to countertop surface and front edge rolling back to front.

Tip: Coat should be thick like cake frosting. For smooth application, hold roller at high angle.

Rewet roller and reroll countertop in one uniform motion back to front. Apply more basecoat in areas of thin coverage.

Step 6: Apply Decorative Chips

Spray light misting of wetting agent over base coat, especially backsplash and front edge. Surface should be wet but not puddling.

While basecoat is still wet, apply decorative chips to backsplash, then front edge, then flat surface. Use dispenser tool and apply liberally and evenly: more is better.

Tip: If you bump into wet coating, repair smudge by applying more basecoat and chips.

Allow to dry overnight (12 hours).

Step 7: Remove Loose Chips and Sand the Area

With hand and shop vac, remove loose chips. Scrape surface and knock down edges, removing additional loose chips.

With sanding tool moving in circular motion, sand flat portion of countertop until smooth. With sanding block, sand backsplash and front edge.

Backsplash and front edge should have smooth, lightly textured surface. Over-sanded or bare areas can be touched up by applying Adhesive Base Coat and Decorative Chips. Allow to dry.

Remove dust and wipe with damp cloth twice. Test with hand for dust. Clean up all dropped chips and dust. Use sanding guide included in kit to ensure proper sanding.

Step 8: Apply the Top Coat

Mix protective top coat, stir for 2 minutes and pour into paint tray.

With 2-inch brush, apply heavy, even layer to backsplash and 1 to 2 inches of adjoining countertop.

With 6-inch foam roller, apply protective top coat to flat surface and front edge, back to front.

Rewet roller and reroll surface in one direction. Touch up light areas, and allow to dry overnight.

Keep windows closed, pets away and ceiling fans off during drying.

Score painter's tape along edges and remove.

Wait 48 hours for light use of countertop, 7 days for full use. Light use means placing on the surface only objects weighing less than 5 pounds.

Complete kitchen transformation with refinished cabinets.