By Cherie Barber
Kitchen renovating can be wildly expensive, so instead of scrapping the original and starting from scratch, it’s always good to consider if you can apply one of the four Rs: retain, recycle, repair or restore.
Often robust items, like a laminate benchtop, are still in good condition; they’re simply dated and need a contemporary new look. That’s when the specialty resurfacing products on the market come into their own.
There are a couple of different options, depending on the look you’re after. The most straightforward is to use White Knight’s Laminate Paint teamed with its Bench Top Protective Coating for a hardwearing finish. You can tint the laminate paint to virtually any colour, so it’s highly flexible and a great solution for revamping that mustard yellow or orange benchtop.
It’s pretty much the same procedure as you’d use for painting any surface: clean, sand, prime, then carefully apply the paint, preferably with a roller to get a really smooth finish, then put your top coat on.Laminate paint can be used for your kitchen cabinetry as well, so you can spruce the whole lot up in a weekend of intensive DIY.
If you want a granite-look benchtop, then Rust-Oleum has a couple of products that come as a total kit. There’s Benchtop Transformations, which is applied similarly to the White Knight products, except you get a granite fleck in the paint. It’s available in either Diamond White or Galaxy Black. This video I’ve recently done takes you through all the steps and the fantastic final look you’ll get.
Then there’s Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations, which is a little bit more involved, as you actually use the sifter that comes with the kit to sprinkle tiny decorative chips over an adhesive base coat, which then gets sealed. If you’ve got particularly worn or damaged benchtops, this is a great cover-all and it comes in four shades, from a desert sand to a deep charcoal.
Here’s a video I made a while ago with some of the girls from my Renovating for Profit team that demonstrates how it’s done.
The really important thing with any of these products is that you meticulously prepare whatever surface you’re treating. All cracks, chips and dents must be repaired, filled and finely sanded before you start and the surface has to be completely cleaned of grease and dust. The smoother and cleaner your base, the better quality your finish. And be sure you use masking tape and plastic to keep surrounding surfaces cordoned off.
Resurfacing your benchtops can be a little tricky, but you’ll be rewarded with striking benchtops that only cost you a few hundred dollars at most and look as good as new.
–Cherie Barber is the director of Renovating for Profit, a company that teaches everyday people how to buy and renovate properties for a profit.