The countertops are defective. As a renter I haven't been privy to all the communications with regards to the countertops, but the story goes something like this: the engineered marble countertops are defective in terms of the material itself - the marble wasn't "engineered" or sealed correctly. So my high-gloss countertops quickly (like, within a month or two) turned to shit. Even water stained them.
|My charming kitchen counter.|
|The ugliness of the bathroom counter. |
I like to keep a tidy house. I like nice things. And my countertops are so bad that I found myself, in the dead of night a few nights ago, researching how much it would cost for me to replace the countertops myself. Which is insane, because I rent. And is further insane given how little investment the landlord has made into the upkeep of the suite to date. I have found myself putting more and more "clutter" on the kitchen counters to cover up stains. It was getting ridiculous.
So I needed a solution to the countertop problem that cleaned them up, didn't cost a lot, and wasn't irreversible since I am just a tenant. What I came up with was: Macktack. Sometimes called contact paper, I'm talking about heavy duty self-adhesive shelf liner. I took to the internet, found that other people had done this to great success, and so off I went, countertop measurements in hand, to Home Depot.
I bought two rolls of "granite" look contact paper, at a cost of $8.97 each. That was enough to cover my two large kitchen counters, and my bathroom vanity, which was also badly water stained.
Here's how I did it:
1. I washed down my counters with soap, and dried them with a towel.
2. Starting on the far end of my countertop, I started cutting out sheets of paper, leaving several inches of overlap.
3. I peeled the backing off the backing paper a few inches at a time, and smoothed the paper down using a credit card (I switched at some point to a Starbucks card, I found the edges easier to use) as a kind of a squeegee. Peeling off the paper only a few inches at a time allowed me to ensure the paper was going down smoothly, without air bubbles.
4. When it was time to lay another piece, I overlapped it with the previous sheet by about half an inch. When I hit sink or stove or other such obstacle, I used an Exacto knife to shape the paper.
5. When the entire thing was complete, I popped any remaining air bubbles using a pin.
6. I bought clear silicone caulk ($2.99) and caulked around the sinks in the kitchen and the bathroom (badly, but it's clear, so you can't tell just how badly), and around a few corners.
|Laying the paper.|
|Curriecat is dubious. And cute.|
|Doesn't the bathroom look sooo much better?|
|Believe it or not, that's the "less cluttered" version of my kitchen.|
I'm really happy with how these turned out. They're not perfect, and I don't know how long they'll last - I may have to re-paper them at some point, and that's OK. Because they're a heck of a lot cleaner looking than they were before, and I can put some of the "cover up the stains" clutter back in the cupboard. I would use a speckled pattern like I did, because the pieces blend together well (harder to see the seams), and the business masks any imperfections. Sure, it's not super-stylish, but it's a good, temporary solution to an everyday problem.