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How to cover kitchen worktops

Updated February 21, 2017

Laminate is a durable and easy-to-clean material used for kitchen worktops, but over time worktops can become faded or outdated. Kitchen worktops can be covered with new laminate as long as no part of the original is peeling up. It is important to remove all fixtures such as sinks or soap dispensers and to properly prepare the original surface to ensure proper installation and adhesion of the new laminate.

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  1. Use an electric sander with 50-grit sandpaper to sand the worktop. Make sure all surfaces are consistently roughened.

  2. Wipe down the worktop with a rag dampened with a multipurpose cleaner and degreaser. Make sure all sanding dust has gone.

  3. Place laminate sheets on top of the worktop and go underneath and trace the outline.

  4. Cut along the traced lines using a jigsaw or a utility knife.

  5. Use a paintbrush to apply coats of contact cement to both the worktop and the back of the laminate.

  6. Set dowels, spaced 30 cm (12 inches) apart, on the worktop and place the new laminate on top of the dowels. The dowels will keep the contact cement-covered surfaces from sticking to each other while you get the laminate into the correct position. Remove the dowels once the laminate is in position.

  7. Roll a laminate roller all over the surface to press the new laminate down.

  8. Cover the edges with laminate strips cut to match the thickness of the worktop. Use a paintbrush to apply two coats of contact cement to the edge of the worktop. Allow both coats to dry according to the time indicated in the manufacturer's instructions. Apply a coat to the back of the laminate strips and press them into place.

  9. Allow the contact cement to completely set up.

  10. Use a metal file to smooth down any rough edges and corners.

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Things You'll Need

  • Electric sander
  • 50-grit sandpaper
  • Rag
  • Multi-purpose cleaner and degreaser
  • Laminate sheets
  • Contact cement
  • Dowels
  • Laminate roller
  • Metal file

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.

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