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Fast & Inexpensive Countertop fix/change/update
Samantha Carter
twilight2000 wrote in saucyhelp
Want new countertops but can't afford to replace them completely? Here's a couple of ideas I gathered from Christopher Lowell's Message boards. Great stuff!

Got one of those "wood grain" laminates? Screaming orange counters? Some other laminate you just can't stand? Here's an idea that uses tile, a little sweat equity and your style. Head out to one of the places in your area that handles Contractor's Tile (Home Depot is a great option) and pick up enough 4x4 white contractors tile and 2x6 edge tiles (very inexpensive) to do the job. Add to that a few of the more interesting (and expensive) flat and edger tiles that say "You." Scrape the counter with a heavy sand paper and apply mastic and tiles. Scatter your special tiles amongst the basic contractor's tile for a great custom look. The project should cost less than $300 -- and that's including the hand tile cutter and grout! This is something you can do easily in a weekend. Don't forget to loosen the clamps holding the sink down so you can get the tile under the sink edge (if you have that kind of sink). When the grout is dry, tighten the clamps and stand back to take in your beautiful new DIY counters.

Don't want tile? Try this one.

Sand the countertops and then apply a coat of stain blocking primer like Kilz. The stain blocking primer lets you use any kind of painting technique you want to on those countertops. Whether you want to paint them a nice, quiet, zen green/gray or a bright sunshine yellow or even decoupage them, just add 5-7 coats of water based polyurethane to seal your masterpiece and you're good to go! Shouldn't take more than a weekend and you can thank Christopher Lowell for this one!

(yup, I'm bucking for a writing gig somewhere -- and I'm practicing my talents -- but the content is why I posted here :>).
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Makes two of us :> Pictures when I get done!

decoupaged counters... that sounds amazing.
someone please do this and take pictures!

Oooh! Thanks for posting this. I was planning to tile our counters, and was thinking I had to peel up the laminate and/or replace the actualy countertop... Who knew I could just SAND.... (!)

I've painted kitchen counters and a bathroom floor using the technique Lowell described--in fact, I may have heard it from him, ages ago. They looked great and held up very well.

My only caveat is that if you're going to paint kitchen counters, you'll have to use trivets under anything hot (including serving bowls, not just pots and pans) and be sure to wipe up any water or other liquids (as they can leave a cloudy mark if they sit too long). Otherwise, it's a great cheap fix.

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