Refinishing a countertop with Rustoleum Stoneffects
August 31, 2007 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Can you actually refinish a laminate countertop with Rustoleum Stoneffects, or a similar product, and get an attractive and durable result?

I may be selling my house within the next year and am looking at a few elements that need improvement. My laminate countertop is looking pretty sad with a scorch mark and a slight gap between the corner join of two pieces of laminate. I could spend a few hundred dollars on new Corian countertops, or I could spend a little time and about $100 trying the finish first, going to Corian if it fails.
posted by maudlin to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is this countertop in the kitchen? A bathroom?

Personally, I wouldn't do it. That stuff leaves a rough finish, and that would make it impossible to keep clean and sanitized enough to work on, particularly in the kitchen. I suspect it would be a big turn off.

What about tiling the countertop?
posted by LN at 7:46 AM on August 31, 2007

Sorry, it's the kitchen: one L-shaped 8 foot counter (6.5 feet and 1.5 feet) with a double sink, and a small L-shaped counter that's about 2 linear feet. The special countertop finish over the stone makes a smooth, hard surface, so it looks like granite or Corian from a distance.

I think tiling can look very attractive, but I don't know if I could live with it.because of the uneven surface, the noise, and dealing with the grout. It doesn't seem to be a very popular choice in Canada either, and as I do intend to sell my house, I'm going for something like Corian or another synthetic. (Granite is obviously gorgeous, but it's expensive and may to out of line with the quality of the finishes in the rest of the house.)
posted by maudlin at 7:55 AM on August 31, 2007

I would never paint laminate with any kind of paint. My sister bought a house with painted laminate countertops. It may have looked OK at the time, but it's now hideous.

If it were me I would have new laminate installed. It's inexpensive, attractive enough, and durable. You can get a fresh, clean look without buying expensive Corian. Some of my friends have beautiful laminate. Unless you get up on it, it looks like stone.

Painted countertops aren't an attractive selling point in my opinion. I would take one look and anticipate having to rip them out.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:00 AM on August 31, 2007

The manufacturers site says it is possible. You might want to wait until before you sell the house so that you don't damage it before the sale. Then let the next homeowner deal with any problems.
posted by JJ86 at 8:09 AM on August 31, 2007

I would recommend that you not paint over the laminate. I think that it would look so much more professional to re-laminate it or tile it. Look at the large 12 x 12 tiles as they make a great counter top and fewer grout lines.
posted by JayRwv at 8:14 AM on August 31, 2007

The linked product isn't paint. It's an epoxy surface coat. They're pretty clear on the linked page that this can be applied to Formica. Formica is the classic laminate.

I still wouldn't do it, because this stuff looks to produce a rough, stone-like finish, which is just the opposite of what you want on a countertop. Imagine trying to swipe a sponge over your counter and having the sponge get abraded to bits by the rough surface.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:37 AM on August 31, 2007

Best practice is to re-laminate countertop. If you need a more dressy look, have the installer/yourself create a 45-degree miter on the front edge in lieu of the existing (I presume) 90-degree edge. If you choose a darker laminate, the dark colored line isn't evident.

Also, representative came by our office and they have a solid-surface edge detail for laminate countertops. I've no knowledge of how it's done, and didn't investigate further cause it seemed to be an odd "solution" to the "problem" of the lamiante seam showing. Sortof a pseudo-solid surface look. May be something to look into?
posted by mightshould at 8:47 AM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

The basic Stoneffects finish is rough, but the epoxy coating for the countertop added on to it does produce a glossy surface. Trust me, I felt the sample and checked! I have no interest in getting a rough finish for my kitchen counter.

I'm now leaning towards a nice new -- and relatively cheap -- laminate right before I sell. The current edging is bullnose, with no seams showing, so I should be able to get that again. Gem-Loc looks interesting, but bullnose laminate should be at least as nice and a lot cheaper.
posted by maudlin at 8:54 AM on August 31, 2007

The manufacturers site says it is possible. You might want to wait until before you sell the house so that you don't damage it before the sale. Then let the next homeowner deal with any problems.

1) Why would anyone do any home improvement after the sale (unless it's a condition of the sale, natch)?

2) It's not OK to experiment on something that now belongs to someone else.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:19 AM on August 31, 2007

JJ86: Sorry, I think I misunderstood your comment. In fact, I think I am still misunderstanding it now.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:41 AM on August 31, 2007

There is an additional reason not to paint it. It will look like a painted countertop and prospective buyers will extend their impression of it to the rest of the house. ("What else did they do a half-ass job on? Anything in the walls that I CAN'T see? Forget it. I pass on this house.")

You'd be surprised at how nice laminate can look these days for much less than you would spend on Corian or similar.
posted by jeanmari at 10:40 AM on August 31, 2007 [1 favorite]

Regarding tile, I have tile counter but used a 24 inch tile, meaning only 2 grout lines in a six foot span. Can't rave about it enough! Porcelain tile, you can cut on it, you can put hot pots on it. The tile I used was a dark grey colour and I used a dark grey grout so the grout lines are very low key. I don't know about your house but the imperviousness to heat and scratching are a huge plus at our place. Laminate can get to looking pretty bad pretty quickly unless all household members are concientious about treating it kindly.
posted by alltomorrowsparties at 3:22 AM on September 1, 2007

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