There is a keen interest in kitchen counters nowadays, mainly because it’s not so complicated to change them or at least to refresh them. There are various solutions by which to “refresh” a countertop, just choose the one that suits you best, according to your tastes and your budget. You can either: paint your counter, put a new cover, change it completely or apply ceramics.
Painting the countertop
Regardless of the laminate that covers your counter, it is possible to repaint it at low cost. You can take a step-by-step approach to this:
Step 1 - Sand the counter to remove its gloss. You can repaint the counter even if it is smooth.
Step 2 - If a piece of your countertop is burned or broken, you can simply cut out that part of the counter and replace it with a butcher board (available at most home centers). You can also repair the damaged section by cutting the counter around the bump, removing what is raised and repairing the hole with plaster of Paris. When everything is dry, you must sand again.
Step 3 - Clean the surface with the TSP degreaser.
Step 4 - If a piece of the countertop of was ripped off, remove the broken tape and replace it with a band made especially for this purpose found in hardware stores, or simply in a kitchen cabinet manufacturer. If you don’t find the right size, you can take a piece of laminate, cut the desired size and glue it to the adhesive contact.
Step 5 - Apply immediately the dressing with oil. Some oil dressings dry in about one hour. For cutting, take a brush, for under the countertop, a roll. Be careful not to apply too thickly to avoid scratches in the paint. Wait about 2-3 hours, until the paint is completely dry.
Step 6 - Then use a fine sandpaper to remove small particles of dirt or dust that could dry with paint. Wash thoroughly the leaf surface of the counter to remove dust.
Step 7 - When painting your countertop, choose a painting to floor (acrylic urethane 100%) and apply three layers, making sure to dry between each layer as if the paint is not dry enough, the top layer will adhere poorly to the surface. The darker the color is, the longer it takes to dry.
You can apply this technique both for the countertop and the cabinet doors.
Putting a new laminate
If your countertop is molded or round, putting a new cover is not an option. On the contrary, for a plain countertop, this is an economical and practical solution. There is a large variety differing in terms of price and quality. Simply cut the right steps and apply contact cement on the countertop and the laminate, then place your coating. Just follow the instructions on the bottle of the glue because everything is very well explained.
Changing the countertop
To change a counter, you must first cut the seal around the counter, remove the screws under the counter and remove the faucet and sink if you want to change this part of the kitchen counter (in the case of counters in a house older than 30 years, as well as in the case of countertops made in unconventional ways, the approach can be a bit different).
Most manufacturers go to your house to take measurements for the countertop, show you samples of recovery countertop (laminate, marble, granite) and will deliver the countertop tailored to your requirements. You install it in the same way you take it off.
Installing ceramic on the countertop and backsplash
This is probably the most impressive method as it can completely change the look of your kitchen. You can let loose your imagination and have fun with wacky designs, as tiles come in a good variety of sizes and colours. You can also perfectly your countertop and the backsplash of the counter (the part of the free wall between the countertop and the cabinets).
It is recommended to first prepare your design by placing your tiles on the counter before sticking them, to see how they fit on it. This way, you will have the flexibility to make adjustments before gluing everything in place. It is important to use a square to draw a line that will allow you to make sure everything is right. If you're not used to lay ceramic, it is preferable to use small crosses between each tile to ensure a uniform space. You withdraw them before asking your grout. To cut the ceramic on the edges of your countertop, it's best to use a wet saw for a better result (you can rent it in the tool rental centers).
Paste all the tiles and use a spatula with serrated teeth as it allows you to adjust each tile separately.
Remove the cross and wait between 12 and 16 hours before you apply your grout. Regarding the grout, it is better to put more than enough. Either way, you will then use a sponge to remove the excess. For the purposes of the grout, you can use a tube similar to the sockets pins or a type of sponge with a handle, specially designed for grout application , which allows you to insert the grout into all cracks. When the grout is spread evenly, remove the excess with a sponge making sure to spread it between each tile, but not too far off. You must later remove the excess, otherwise you risk removing too much sauce.
You have the choice of two grouts: one with epoxy, which is often used for showering and cooking. It is much tougher, but more difficult to install and more expensive than standard grout.
If you choose to use the standard grout, you need no-fault and then applying a sealant in each slot with a sponge brush to protect it from the infiltration of water, coffee, juice or cooking oil. It is a very effective stain. It is however advisable to wait at least two days before applying a sealer.
Finally, when everything is dry, take a wet sponge to remove excess grout. You must be patient because the grout is sometimes difficult to control.