7:41 PMkitchen counters
#Five Ways to Update Old Kitchen Counters
Old counters can make a kitchen feel out-of-date, but replacing them with new, expensive materials isn't always an option. Here are a few less expensive ways to update old counters.
Give It a New Look with Paint
Assuming you're starting with standard laminate counters, there are a couple of different ways you can use paint for a new look. On the less-expensive end of the spectrum, there are products like Rust-Oleum's countertop paint. that are tintable to almost any color.
In the image above, chalkboard paint and paste wax were used to make soapstone-like counters. You can see more on that transformation here.
Rust-Oleum also makes a Transformations product which is a three-step process that mimics the look of natural stone.
It's a three-step process which takes more time, and it's a little more pricey—upwards of $200 per kit—but it also has some pretty dramatic results.
Skim-Coat Your Counters for a Faux Concrete Look
If you like the look of concrete but don't want to remove your existing counters you can skim-coat them with an Ardex concrete product meant for patching or skim-coating floors. This doesn't give you the long-term durability of full concrete counters, but it achieves the same look without needed to haul large slabs of concrete around. You can find a tutorial about skim-coating counters here .
Make Your Own Solid Concrete Counters
You can also DIY brand new concrete counters, which is a little more intense but also more durable in the long run. It involves building several forms, mixing and pouring concrete, and moving the new counters into place.
It may take some practice to get the consistency of the concrete right, so I'd recommend doing some sample pieces first before committing to making full counters. Here's an Instructable with more info.
Create Tile Countertops
If concrete is too complicated, tile can be a much cheaper way to get a solid-surface countertop. I've tiled several kitchen and bathroom counters, and while you may be able to tile over laminate I would suggest creating your own counters out of plywood or MDF topped with a tile membrane like this one from Durock .
You can find a complete primer on creating and tiling counters here .
Install Butcher Block
While this is getting into replacing your countertop territory, I've found butcher block to be a much more affordable option than other types of counters. Because it's wood, this is a fairly easy type of counter to cut and install yourself if you have the right tools.
The above video shows some techniques for cutting and joining butcher block (they plunge cut with a circular saw to cut the hole for the sink, but I've also used a router with a straight and template to do that, which also worked.)
There are many different options for updating counters, depending on the look you'd like to achieve, how much you want to invest, and your comfort with the tools and techniques involved.
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