LESLIE: Gloria in Illinois is doing some work to her 1960s house in the kitchen. What can we help you with?
GLORIA: Yes. Number one, I love your program. I think you’re both just great.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Thanks, Gloria.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Thank you very much. You obviously don’t know us very well. (Leslie chuckles)
GLORIA: (chuckles) I do. I’ve been listening a long time.
TOM: OK, how can we help you?
GLORIA: I want to know if I can put an identical countertop over one in good condition just to change color.
LESLIE: Like you want to put a new laminate down? You want to paint what you’ve got? You want to keep the same shape?
LESLIE: All of it.
GLORIA: All of it identical; just change the color. I want to put a new one over the old one. Can you do that without tearing out the old one?
LESLIE: Oh, absolutely. I mean if you’re looking to relaminate, you’re right; the approach is fantastically simple. You can have a pro do it. It’s something that if you’ve got the right tools you can do yourself. Laminates are available. There are several companies: Formica, Wilsonart. I mean there’s a ton if you search them out online or even just go to a kitchen showroom and you can get sheets of the laminate.
And what you would do is you would use contact cement and you would put it on both surfaces – the existing countertop and the backside of the new laminate – and then you let it sort of get tacky and then you place the new one on top of the old one. And I’ve done this before; where you sometimes – you know, once everything gets tacky, you can put little dowels in between the two to sort of roll them out to make sure that they stick in the right spot; because once that contact cement gets in contact with each other, it is super-stuck. So that’s one way to do it.
There’s also a new product out from Rust-Oleum which is called Countertop Colors. And usually I wouldn’t say paint a kitchen countertop but Rust-Oleum makes fantastic products that adhere really well and are super-durable and they offer, I think it’s 16 different colors on a painting process that you can paint over your existing countertop; you know, just as a temporary fix or a permanent change for a while until you decide if you want to change the material or you find the laminate that you love. And it’s an inexpensive kit.
TOM: And it’s an easy thing to do.
TOM: I’ve got to tell you, Gloria, while I commend the idea of relaminating the top, it is a lot of work. Because let’s face it, you ask can you do this without removing the top. Well, you can but it’s really tricky and, frankly, you absolutely have to remove the sink. So you’ve got to disconnect the plumbing …
LESLIE: And the faucets.
TOM: … and the faucets and, by the time you do all that, you’re about a half-a-dozen screws away from pulling the whole top; which is the easiest way to do this. So, if you want to just change the color, you might want to try that Rust-Oleum paint product, which is great. If you want to laminate it, you’re going to have to go all the way and probably take it off because you’ll find that it’s just easier to work around. Because remember, even when you put the laminate down, you’re going to have to trim it to make it all fit and it’s just easier when it’s not on the wall.
LESLIE: You know, Gloria, when you go to apply the new laminate, remember: you’re going to have to plunge-cut with, say, a router to cut out where the sink is going to go. This way, you end up with no seams on a long run of your countertop.
There’s also a new product from a company called Modern Masters and they’ve put out a kit that looks like granite. Now that’s a little bit more on the pricey end. I think that guy is like $250 for the kit but it really does look like granite.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, something like that.
LESLIE: So there are some options, if you want to try something that you hadn’t thought about.
TOM: Gloria, I hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.