Spruce up laminate countertops with a coat of paint
Homeowners with laminate countertops may pine for an upgrade to a more high-end material, such as granite or quartz. While laminate is often modeled to simulate these kinds of material, they'll also be less resistant to heat or damage.
If you're looking to give a laminate countertop a fresh look, one of the easiest ways to do so is to add a coat of paint. This may seem like an unconventional solution, but it can easily liven up a kitchen and help extend the counter's lifespan without the considerable expense of getting new countertops.
You'll have plenty of colors to choose from when selecting paint, and many opportunities to get creative as well. These include experimenting with different patterns or using stencils to create a more visually interesting look than a uniform color. Consider using paint swatches or stand-ins, such as painted pieces of cardboard, to see how a pattern will look on the counter before committing to a design.
When choosing a paint, make sure you pick a brand that will work well on laminate. HGTV says acrylic paint designed for interior use should be sufficient. Avoid latex paints, which won't cure as well and are unlikely to hold up under the daily traffic through the kitchen or bathroom. Ashley Poskin, writing for the home design site Apartment Therapy, says some suppliers sell kits specifically designed for renewing countertops.
Prepare the countertop before you break out the paintbrushes or rollers. Jennifer Noonan, writing for the home improvement professional Bob Vila, says you'll want to put up painter's tape, drop cloths, and plastic sheeting over edges, cabinets, and other surfaces you want to remain free of paint.
Clear off the counters and thoroughly clean them with a degreasing cleaner. Once the counter is clean, use a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and help the paint adhere. HGTV says you can use a sanding sponge to get into tight areas such as countertop edges. You can sand by hand or use an electric hander.
Once you've finished sanding, put some mineral spirits on a rag and wipe down the counter to get rid of any dust and debris. Allow the counters to dry before you begin painting.
Apply a thin, even layer of primer to the countertop. Use a roller to cover the larger surfaces, overlapping each stroke slightly to prevent wet ridges from forming. Use a handheld brush to get into tighter areas, such as those around the sink. Noonan says you should follow the manufacturer's instructions for this process, allowing adequate drying time and perhaps adding a second coat of primer before you start painting.
Paint kits designed to replicate the appearance of stone will have special instructions for how to mix the colors. If you are simply applying a single color, add a coat of paint in the same way you added the primer.
You may need to add multiple coats before you are satisfied with the appearance. Poskin says you should no longer be able to see the original countertop through the layers of paint.
Add a sealer on top of the paint to help protect the countertop. Noonan says you might mix and apply resin, following the manufacturer's instructions to do so. HGTV recommends two applications of an acrylic top coat.
After you've removed the painter's tape and other protective measures, go easy on your countertops for awhile. It will likely take a day or two until the top coat cures, and it might not fully cure for several more days.
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