Is your once smooth laminate countertop showing signs of wear and tear? Those burn marks and scratches are unsightly for sure. But don’t worry. It doesn’t take much to repair laminate benchtops. All you need is to match the problem with the right materials and technique. Here’s how you can patch up yours at home and make it look brand new.
How to Repair Scratches
When you repair laminate benchtops, clean the surface first so the wax or filler will adhere to it later. Start by pouring some dish soap onto a damp rag. Use the soapy rag to wipe the surface in small circular motions. Pay attention and apply pressure on scratched areas.
For extra dirty laminate countertops, use a suitable disinfectant spray to clean them further. Then use a clean rag for wiping. Allow them to air dry for a few minutes to let any excess moisture evaporate. Next, apply one of these solutions, depending on the severity of the damage.
Baking soda for light scratches
Dip a damp cotton cloth onto some baking soda, then buff the surface to remove the scratch. Alternatively, you can also use a laminate repair pen with a colour matching your worktop.
Wax for shallow scratches
Dip a soft cloth onto some car or furniture wax. Apply it onto the scratched laminate surface in circular motions, adding more if needed. Let the wax sit for about 20 minutes (or follow the instruction of your wax product) before buffing with a clean cloth.
Filler for gouges and deep scratches
Buy a laminate filler or paste that closely matches the colour of your bench. Squeeze out some filler onto the scratched spot, then use a plastic putty knife to work the paste into the groove. Scrape off the excess filler, then allow it to dry and cure for a day. Finally, wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel.
How to Remove Burn Marks
Accidentally laying a hot skillet on your laminate countertop can result in light to dark burn spots. This damage type may require more work than scratches. Also, there’s a slimmer chance to bring it back to its originally unmarred state. But there are still ways to repair laminate benchtops and remove these surface burns.
Baking soda for light burns
Clean the burnt surface with liquid soap and warm water. Then sprinkle some baking soda or any finely powdered abrasive cleaner on top. Next, use an old toothbrush or any soft scrubber to clean and remove the stain. Finish by wiping the area clean with a damp cloth.
Applying a bit of white toothpaste onto the burned spot is another option. Leave it for about 5 minutes before using an old toothbrush to work the paste into the marking. Then use a damp rag to wipe the surface clean. You can try this kitchen benchtop repair method for light stains, too.
Sandpaper for moderate burns
If the abrasive cleaner does not work, try rubbing the burnt spot with fine 200-grit sandpaper. Make sure to sand it lightly so as not to remove several layers of your laminate benchtop. Focus on the outline of the burn mark. Then wipe the area with a clean rag, and sand it a few more times if needed to get desired results.
Epoxy for severe burns
Repair laminate benchtops with deep burn marks by filling the spot with epoxy. Let it dry thoroughly, then smooth it out with sandpaper. Wipe your counter clean before using it. However, for extensive damage, you can use a countertop paint kit to conceal it.
How to Paint Over Damages
Before painting over the damage, make sure to clean the area thoroughly with soapy water. When dry, wipe it with denatured alcohol, then don’t touch the surface again to avoid transferring oils from your fingers or hands. Next, fill any cracks or holes with putty, allow to set, then smooth it out with sandpaper. Remove the old caulk around the seams, too.
You might want to de-gloss and sand the entire countertop surface as well to ensure optimum paint adhesion. Use 100-grit sandpaper for this, then remove all residue and dust with a soft rag. Prep the area for painting and cover the corners with painter’s tape. Paint the surface with a good-quality primer. Once dry, follow the painting instructions of your chosen countertop paint kit. For beginners, the faux granite finish is easy to recreate using simple and random sponge dabs!
More Tips to Repair Laminate Benchtops
- Fix peeling laminate with contact cement.
- Remove stains by applying a paste made of water and baking soda. Do not rub the paste in, but leave it on the stained spot for a few hours. Then wipe it with a clean paper towel or soft cloth.
- Stubborn stains can be cleaned with a clean cloth and acetone, denatured alcohol or paint thinner. Use a white rag so as not to transfer fabric colour onto your bench surface.
- For a quick fix, consider covering the damaged spot with a trivet or small kitchen appliance.
It’s more cost-efficient when you choose to repair laminate benchtops than replace them. Moreover, there’s less work and mess involved. And depending on the size of your counter, you can even finish the project over the weekend. But to avoid the cost and hard work altogether, give your countertops some TLC after every use. Follow these steps to start cleaning your kitchen counters the right way!