How to Refinish Countertops


Whether refinishing a damaged bathroom sink countertop or worn-out kitchen counters, refinishing the counter surface is an affordable option. This relatively simple renovation adds new life to a boring kitchen or spruces up an outdated bathroom. Refinishing works best on laminate surfaces. Plan on two days to complete this project and for countertops to fully dry.

Things You'll Need

  • Rags Masking tape Paint brushes and rollers Denatured alcohol Countertop cleaner Epoxy primer EP-Acrylic paint Palm sander (not required but makes the job much easier) 120 grit sandpaper 220 grit sandpaper

How to Refinish Countertops

  • Clean the counter surface and wipe it down with denatured alcohol to remove any grease. Dry the surface completely with a dry, clean rag.

  • Cover walls, corners, sink edges, faucets and areas which need to be protected from the primer and acrylic paint with masking tape.

  • Sand the entire countertop including edges and corners using the 120-grit sandpaper and the palm sander to texture the surface. Texturing the laminate helps paint adhere. Wipe the entire counter clean with a damp cloth to remove the dust from sanding; dry the countertop completely.

  • Use a paintbrush to cut in the corners of the countertops with primer. Use a paint roller to apply two smooth, thin layers of primer, allowing each layer to dry completely.

  • When the primer coats are completely dried, sand the primer surface lightly to score the paint, which helps it accept the acrylic finishing coats. Remove all dust with a damp cloth and dry completely.

  • Use well-mixed acrylic paint and roll on two to three light layers to the countertop surface. Between coats, sand the surface gently with 220-grit sandpaper, and clean off all dust before adding more coats. Allow each layer of paint to dry completely before sanding.

  • Allow two days for the paint to dry completely. Do not place anything on the countertops before they are dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Painted laminate cannot withstand heat from hot cookware. Chips and gouges are possible---do not bang dishes, pans or pots on the refinished countertops and always use a cutting board to avoid damaging the surface.

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