How to Make Countertops Shiny

Updated February 21, 2017

A bright, shiny countertop makes a kitchen or bathroom seem cleaner and brighter. Laminate is one of the most popular countertop materials, with many styles and finishes including gloss or matt. Over time, countertops that were once shiny and new can become dull from use, and matt countertops can start to look drab. Restoring or adding lustre using a high-gloss polish will go a long way toward rejuvenating the feeling of a kitchen or bathroom.

Wash the countertop thoroughly with an all-purpose cleaner, then wipe it down with white vinegar to disinfect all surfaces. Towel-dry the countertop.

Wipe a coat of gloss gel polish onto the laminate surfaces, using a clean, lint-free cloth. Use a polish that is food-safe and intended for use on acrylic or fibreglass; do not use automobile polish.

Leave the gel polish to dry. It will turn cloudy.

Buff the dried, cloudy gel from the countertop, using a soft, clean, dry cloth while applying firm pressure and working in circular motions. To expedite and make buffing easier, use an electric hand buffer. The surface will have a shiny finish.

Reapply gel polish as needed, depending on how often the countertop is used.


Repair any peeling edges or corners before polishing. Paint a layer of contact cement on the back of the peeled laminate and on the wood substrate below, and stick the laminate back in place. Allow the contact cement to dry for at least 15 minutes before polishing. Use the same polishing technique to shine porcelain tile, ceramic tile, stainless steel and cultured marble countertops.

Things You'll Need

  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Gloss gel polish
  • Lint-free cloths
  • Electric buffer (optional)
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article


About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.