Do it Yourself: Resurface Solid Surface Countertops
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Solid-surface countertops come in many different colors and brand names. The material was created to last for many years and is nonporous, which is great for the kitchen and bathroom because it helps prevent bacterial growth.
After several years of use, however, your countertop may need to be resurfaced to renew the original luster.
Before You Start
Determine the current finish of your countertop. There are three types of finish: matte (almost no shine), satin (little shine), or high gloss (high shine). Most customers prefer the matte or satin finish because it looks nicer for a longer time and doesn't reveal as many scratches as the gloss and is recommended for high-use areas.
The sanding process will create a fine dust. Tape a covering to the entrance or entrances of the room you will be working in. Slightly wet the surface that you are working on to minimize the dust. Use an electric sander with a dust collector, if possible.
Basic cleaning can be done with soap and water. Avonitesurfaces.com recommends using a green, thin, heavy-duty scour pad and a little abrasive liquid cleanser. The scouring pads come in rough to smooth based on the colors, with white (roughest), yellow, green, peach, lilac, blue, and gray (smoothest).
For scratches or overall polishing, slightly wet the surface to be polished. Avonitesurfaces.com suggests sanding with 240 grit paper and following with liquid cleanser on a green scouring pad. The sanding can be done by hand or with an electric sander. MrResurface.com says to rub over a scratch using a straight motion and occasionally switching directions. Rinse the pad periodically. This process can be done over a larger area or the entire countertop to blend in sanding and feather it out. Use water and a clean soft cloth to clean off any residue. To achieve the desired matte level, you may need to go over the entire matte surface using a dry green scouring pad.
Scratches can be removed on a satin-finish countertop with the same process as the matte, except start with 400 grit sanding paper followed by 600 grit paper, as recommended by Avonitesurfaces.com. Follow with a white scour pad and liquid cleanser, and finish using a specialty solid-surface spray to bring out the luster.
Sanding a high-gloss counter should be done with 400 grit paper and followed with a polishing machine to restore the original finish. Tough stains may require a polishing compound and a soft cloth. Avonitesurfaces.com advises people to seek a professional fabricator if they do not have the proper equipment for their high-gloss finish.
Protection from Future Damage
To protect your countertop, use hot pads under hot foods, avoid using harsh chemicals or sliding rough objects, and never cut foods directly on the countertop.
John Fechik has been writing since 2009. He owns a business in Michigan and is a licensed builder with over 35 years of experience in kitchen/bath design and cabinet making. He also has over 40 years of experience in the music and recording industry and buys and sells items on eBay. He has an Associate of Applied Science degree in orthotic/prosthetic technology from Baker College.