||01-15-2008 01:08 AM
Yes, the red is laminate. I'm very familiar with these 1950's cabinets and counters. The metal banding will interfere with applying new laminate, as the metal edge slightly wraps the edge of the existing laminate. One thin you could consider is removing the metal banding, apply new laminate over the existing laminate, and also laminate the exposed edge where the metal banding once was. You could also reinstall the metal banding, which would be better functionally (won't peel away as laminate might), but it will be lifted up by the extra thickness of the new laminate, thus exposing the bottom edge of the counter.
The best way to go is to replace the counter altogether. One drawback is that on a new counter with a built-in back splash, the back splash is only 3-1/2 inches tall (if I remember correctly) and if the existing counter has a back splash, it's probably 4 inches tall. This is a problem if you have tile on the wall above the back splash. What I've done in the past is rip some wood strips the thickness of the difference (1/2" in this case) and attach them to the top edges of the cabinets, and install the new counter on top of that.
This is all pretty complex, I know. So, you're probably wondering about painting the existing laminate. You can do that as a temporary fix. You'll have to thoroughly clean the surface and give it a scuff sanding with 120 or 150 grit sand paper. A fine grit sanding sponge also works well. Or heck, use a fine grit sanding sponge with soap and water to clean the surface! How's that for thinkin'? Rinse it thoroughly and let it completely dry. Then apply 3 coats of a good quality, satin finish paint of your favorite color. Even red if you want! Be sure to lightly sand between coats for a really nice finish. If you treat it gently it should last for several years.
One of my favorite sayings... "A little caulk, a little paint, makes a carpenter what he ain't." ;)