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Archive for Monday, July 15, 2013

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Fix-It Chick: How to refinish a laminate countertop

July 15, 2013

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Countertop refinishing kits are an inexpensive, short-term alternative to replacing worn and outdate laminate counters. These kits come in a multitude of colors, finishes and price ranges.

Step 1: Choose the right product for the job. One-step kits are the less-expensive alternative, but they are not as durable as multistep kits. Most multi-step countertop refinishing kits consist of a base paint layer sprinkled with actual stone chips and topped with a clear protective coating. Multistep products hide imperfections better and are more heat resistant than one-step products, but can cost 10 to 15 times more than the one-step kits.

Step 2: Tape off all surrounding areas with a high-quality painters tape. Use drop cloths to protect floors, sinks and other large surfaces.

Step 3: Wash the entire counter surface with a nonresidual cleaner such as TSP or Dirtex.

Step 4: Remove loose or peeling pieces from the countertop and fill any cracks or divots with epoxy putty or a two-part resin filler like Bondo.

Step 5: Lightly sand the countertop, sweep up the residue and wipe the surface clean with a rag soaked in mineral spirits.

Step 6: Make sure the area is well-ventilated and wear a properly fitted respirator rated for paint fumes. Follow the refinishing kit’s instructions and apply the first coat of paint. Use a brush to trim along the back splash and in tight areas. Work quickly. The paint becomes tacky within an hour and should not be touched after that.

Step 7: Use a smooth foam roller to apply the paint widthwise from the wall to the counter’s edge. Overlap the strokes for a smooth finish. Do not retouch areas after the paint has been applied; allow the second coat to cover imperfections.

Step 8: For single-step products, apply the second coat within an hour or wait 24 hours before recoating. For multistep products, follow the kit’s instructions to complete the project. Typically this will consist of liberally spreading a stone finish atop the first coat of paint, sanding it and later applying a top coat to seal the surface.

Step 9: Once all coats have been applied, allow the finish to cure for three to four days before removing the painters tape. To ensure that the edge is unblemished, run a carton knife along the edge of the tape and pull it back slowly.

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