Updating Ugly Counter Tops

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It may not be fun but it is fact: most of us live on a budget. If money were no object, we could easily have the house of our dreams with every nook and cranny to our exact specifications but for most of us mere mortals that is tragically not the case. What is the case, however, is having to make do and sometimes living with things we dislike but cannot afford to change. One such thing is ugly counter tops.

As I looked for my first house, I knew deep down there would be things I would have to deal with being a part of that home that I would not like. Since I did not have the budget to build and pick out my own everything, I was right that I would have to cope with things until I was able to change them. Something that repeatedly made the dislike list were counter tops. It is hard to fathom what people are thinking when they choose counter tops because a few of the ones I saw were truly baffling-they matched nothing and were not aesthetically pleasing in the slightest. Just when it seemed like I was destined to have ugly counter tops until I had the spare cash to do something about it (and we all know that would take forever because there are so many other priorities!), I learned that I could upgrade those counter tops in an economical way.

If you have counter tops you wish to banish from your home, why not paint them? It may sound strange, but it is completely doable. The first step in the process is to clean your counter tops thoroughly in an abrasive manner, such as with steel wool, that will remove all grime. It is not necessary to sand the surface as long as you use a primer such as Glidden Gripper Primer (although you can sand if you wish). Simply paint on a couple layers of primer and allow to dry.

The next step is to drape all of the areas you do not want painted, such as your sink and cabinets, because you will be using spray paint to paint your counter tops. Yes, spray paint! Krylon makes a line of "Make It Stone" metallic paints that, when sprayed on, give the appearance of stone. These are great for enhancing the appearance of your counter top, but you are not limited to just that finish. Other paint options do exist and many people have created faux granite that looks very real. They tell of their experiences here.

Once you have applied the paint of your choice in a few coats and allowed it to dry, it will need to be coated with clear polyurethane. This should be done twice, allowing it to dry between applications. Once that is dry, it is time to add the finishing touch that is Envirotex Lite. You could opt out of using the Envirotex and call the job done after the polyurethane, but adding Envirotex gives you a thicker, high gloss layer that is resistant to wear and tear. It also adds a beautiful, lustrous shine. If you opt to use Envirotex, apply it with a sponge and allow to dry for 72 hours to get a good, hard cure. Be warned that this does begin to dry quickly and can dry unevenly if you are not careful, hence repeated applications to even it out thoroughly.

Depending on the counter top area you have to cover and your paint preference, it is reasonable to expect this job to come in at or near $100.00. If that sounds like a reasonable sum of cash to part with in the name of better looking counter tops, then give this method a try. In a few days' time, your kitchen will be looking good as new...or maybe even better!

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