Kitchen and bathroom counters can become worn out and begin to look distressed over the course of time. Whether you have granite, wooden or laminate counters, at some point they may need to be restored. Rather than spending money on replacing your kitchen counter, you can restore the look of your counters with some basic techniques that are inexpensive and easy to apply.
Laminate counters are one of the least expensive materials to purchase or replace. Most do-it-yourself remodelers can install laminate without difficulty. Prefabricated laminate counters consist of a wooden counter base fitted with a layer of laminate sheets, or a pre-moulded laminate counter. Preformed and prefabricated laminate counters can be cut to fit any counter configuration. If you already have laminate countertops you wish to restore, you can remove the existing laminate and use a special adhesive to attach a new layer of laminate sheets right on top of the counter base.
Solid surface counters like granite, marble and Silestone can develop a patina from continued use that may appear as scratches, etching or discolouration. Chemical restoration can remove the patina, seal existing scratches and restore the original shine and smooth texture of a solid surface counter. Chemical restoration products are sold in most home improvement centres, or you can hire a professional restoration company to apply the chemicals and buff your counters back to their original condition.
A simple paint job may be all you need to restore kitchen counters. Regardless of what material they are made of, the right paint can freshen and renew the life of your counters. Start by sanding the counter with a medium grit sandpaper to etch the surface so the paint layer can adhere. Fill in cracks or holes with a layer of cement, epoxy or putty to create a smooth, even surface. Apply a heat-safe, high durability paint or stain approved for countertop use, and finish with a topcoat to protect and seal the paint.
Re-tiling your kitchen counters may be a more labour-intensive option than some of the alternatives, but the end result might be worth your effort. Many types of ceramic or porcelain tiles are inexpensive, and they can be installed over the course of a day or two. Natural stone tiles like granite and marble can also be found at a reasonable price and may offer the chance to dramatically restore your kitchen counters on a budget.