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Does anyone have any ideas about how to replace kitchen counters. Mine are pink laminate and we can't afford the hundreds to thousands of dollars it would take to replace them with other laminate, corian-type stuff, stainless steel, butcher block, or even to tile them.
They can be removed easily, but what can I replace them with?
You can paint them with melamine paint. Make sure to prime them first. Any good paint store will be able to give you directions.
The old counters are not hard to remove. You will have to undo your sink and pipe connections.
Tip: You would have to cut the sink opening in the counter too.
Depending on the layout of your kitchen you can look in Lowe's or Home Depot, they carry Formica-type counter pieces that you can assemble. They can be cut to the size you may need. Your labor is a lot cheaper than hiring someone to take out and put it in new counters.
If you can afford this approach, rather than trying to paint them, it will be better in the long run.
Lowe's & Home Depot employees are most helpful in telling you how to handle this type project.
Check with different home stores (Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, or whatever is in your area) and find out if they offer countertop refinishing. What that means is that they would simply put a new layer of laminate (just the colored part) over what you already have - no new wood, framing or major installation. They basically just re-cover what you have. It would look the same as brand new laminate countertops, but is supposed to be MUCH cheaper.
Laminate countertops are relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to install. It just takes time and patience. I found our countertops at Foxworth-Galbraith for about 150.00 for 2-10 foot sections. My kitchen counters are "L" shaped. Plus they even cut them to the size in lenght and appropriate angle cuts for no charge. Give it a go... and sit back and admire what you were able to do. Good Luck
You can paint with melamine paint, I just finished my bathroom and kitchen counters.
First sand lightly, then wash with a good cleaner for this type of work such as TSP (ask your hardware person).
Next step is to apply a thin coat of melamine, it is oil paint so it really needs a good 16 hours to dry between coats. Make sure to overlap your strokes and do not push too hard on the roller - smooth and clean lines.
After 16 hours sand lightly and wash again - completely dry and apply a second coat the same as the first.
Once dry 16 hours later apply a clear polyurathaine with a good quality brush, allow to dry for 5-6 hours, sand lightly and reapply if necessary.
Remember the finish is not impervous to scratches until the clear coat is added. When done as directed above, the finish is absolutely beautiful.
Use peel and stick paper that is sized to the width of your counters to cover them properly.
There are many colors & patterns and very cheaply done on the pocket book!