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Budget Kitchen Ideas

How to Repair and Refinish Laminate Countertops (page 2 of 2)

Learn how to repair scratches, gouges and chips; plus get the lowdown on paints and refinishing kits made to transform old countertops.

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Countertop refinishing products

Pre-assembled kits help the DIYer get all the ingredients together. Most kits include pre-selected paints so the final color blend is realistic.

  • Armor Garage specializes in tough coatings for garage floors, but their expertise extends to refinishing products specifically for laminate countertops. Each Armor Granite kit covers about 50 square feet of countertop, and includes all brushes, rollers and finishing coatings.

This product offers thicker coatings than typical countertop refinishing products, and the finish is heat-resistant — a rarity for painted finishes.

Armor Granite kits are pricier than most, and colors are somewhat limited. Prices range from $279 to $$320, depending on the color of the finish.

  • Giani Granite paint kits come with various tones of paint that you apply one at a time to create that mottled, granite look. Two coats of clear sealer (included) protect the paint.

There's a wide variety of colors to choose from, and a paint kit with topcoat, color layers and protective finishes is only $70.

  • Countertop Transformations from Rust-Oleum is designed specifically for laminate countertops. The kit features stone-like chips that are sprinkled onto the wet surface of the base layer to create a granite-like texture.

A critical step is de-glossing the existing surface to ensure good adhesion. This kit includes a diamond-embedded sanding block specifically made for thorough de-glossing.

Kits come in many colors. You'll pay $250 for a kit.

  • Countertop Tranfauxmations is a tutorial — not a full painting kit — that guides you through the process of painting your countertops. You get an instructional DVD, a guide to paint combinations (using Benjamin Moore paints), a brush and a dabbing sponge for $45. Or, spend $15 to download the instructional video from the website.

Before

<strong>Before</strong>

Courtesy of Rust-oleum

After

After

Courtesy of Rust-oleum

Cover your assets

Not that artistic? Peel-and-stick vinyl sheets from EZ Instant Makeover mimic real granite, even stainless steel and nickel finishes. A 3-by-12-foot sheet is $90.

You can apply the sheets in minutes, although good surface prep is vital, as any defects will show through the sheet. De-glossing your countertop surface (and wiping up any dust with a tack rag) helps long-term adhesion.

Abuse won't cut it!

As you might imagine, DIY painting, refinishing kits and stick-on products are tough, but they're not invincible.

  • Don't set hot items on them — use a trivet or hot pad.
  • Don't cut or pound on them — use cutting boards.
  • Wipe up spills immediately.

Pro services for the un-handy

Like the idea of a low-cost kitchen makeover but don’t trust your thumbs? Pro refinishing services will re-do your laminate countertops for you. You get all the benefits — no tear-out, fast turnaround and a complete budget-friendly countertop redo — at a slightly higher price. Plus, you'll have an experienced pro doing the work.

You'll pay $400 to $650 for an average kitchen countertop refinishing, and the pros will be in and out of your home in about four hours. A five-year warranty is standard.

  • Get-A-Grip products are made for refinishing cabinets, ceramic tile, and both laminate and cultured marble countertops.

  • Munro Products specializes in cabinet refinishing, but also makes a system called SurBond for refinishing laminate countertops.

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