How to Repair a Bleach Mark on a Laminate Countertop
Laminate countertops are durable and come in a wide selection of colors that flatter any decor. Manufacturer instructions often seem unclear and ambiguous when it comes to the use of chlorine bleach for cleaning laminate surfaces. Cleaning with diluted bleach and rinsing well after sanitizing the countertop seems to offer no ill effects, but heavy use of strong bleach mixtures will permanently remove the color from laminate. Unexpected replacement costs are avoidable by doing a patch paint repair. This small project will save the laminate and is a virtually undetectable repair.
Lightly sand the bleach-stained area of laminate. Do not sand too deeply. The goal is to roughen up the surface to make it receptive to painting.
Wash the area with liquid detergent and water on a sponge. Rinse with plain water and let the area air dry. Wipe the sanded area with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.
Mix a small amount of colorant with the primer so that it will closely match the color of the finish-coat paint. Most home improvement centers and paint outlets carry a wide selection of primers and color additives.
Apply a layer of primer using a small sponge applicator. Use a small paint roller for larger areas. Allow the recommended time for the primer to dry as the label indicates.
Add one thin layer of finish coat with the oil-based paint. Let the paint dry for an hour and add a second coat. Allow the paint 24 to 48 hours to dry and cure before continuing the project.
Wipe on a layer of carnauba wax to the entire countertop. Buff to a shine using soft rags.
Things You Will Need
- Safety glasses
- Sand paper
- Liquid detergent
- Cotton balls
- Rubbing alcohol
- Colorant (to match finish paint color)
- Oil-based paint
- Sponge applicators or roller brush
- Carnauba wax
- Soft rags
- Bring several color swatches home to compare before settling on a particular color.
- Kitchen Countertops offers great advice for caring for laminate countertops (see Resources section).
- Use safety glasses and gloves for this project.
- Keep area well ventilated due to fumes.
- Use extra caution and care on the repaired area of the counter. The painted surface will not be as durable as the original laminate and will need repainting periodically.