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I would like to re-do our counter tops in the kitchen. We currently have the laminate on particle board type. What is the best way to refinish this type of counter top to make it look higher quality, without replacing the whole counter top?

  • Overlay a higher quality laminate on top with adhesive?
  • Rip off the laminate and replace with a different material (stone, tile, etc?) This might require cutting or sanding the particle board which I don't mind doing.
  • Give in and rip it all out and spend the bucks on a higher quality finish?
  • Don't touch it, call a professional?
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Sorry to be negative, but my immediate reaction is that for the time/energy you'd put in (certainly for the amount you'd pay a pro), you'd be farther ahead and almost certainly end up with a better result if you just buy new counter tops. You're going to have to pull out the sink etc anyway. The particle board is not a suitable base for stone/tile. –  gregmac Jan 24 '12 at 3:34
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sans replacement, the best...and perhaps only realistic way are the new countertop refinishing products. I believe they are an epoxy based system. I haven't used them, but they seem to be getting popular. The only other thing I could think of would be to have someone come in and fabricate stainless or copper overlays for you. But that'd be really expensive and likely as much work as just getting new countertops. –  DA01 Jan 24 '12 at 7:47
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Gregmac is right. Resurfacing old formica etc. is difficult and no bargain. Unless your tops are extremely complicated, a new laminate top can be the fastest, cheapest and actually quite simple install. Can you post some pics? –  shirlock homes Jan 24 '12 at 10:57
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1 Answer 1

As DA01 mentioned, there are epoxy-based methods for refinishing laminate counter tops in the $100-200 range. They seem to have fairly positive reviews:

Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformation Refinishing System

Counter-Coat

Giani Granite

Note: I have not personally used any of these products, and I am in no way affiliated with them.

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For the cost of the rust-oleum option you can get a new butcher block counter top from Ikea. –  Amanda Oct 24 '12 at 2:08
    
Tile over (using floor tiles)? –  Matt Jun 29 '13 at 22:52
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