Since I’ve been doing several posts on working with what you have, I wanted to share two inexpensive ideas from readers who tackled less than ideal kitchen situations.
Instead of replacing her tile backsplash—adorned with flowers circa early 90’s—Amber found another solution for less than $50. She was able to make her backsplash look brand new by using a combination of a bonding primer and paint.
Amber shares a very detailed explanation of the process on her blog.
So, what if new granite countertops aren’t in the budget? Rachelle’s “pink” laminate kitchen countertops weren’t exactly what she had in mind.
She has a way with words, so I’ll just post her email about how she got rid of the pink for around $20 without ripping out the countertops:
“Rustoleum sells a kit that's around $200 that mimics granite. It's quite labor-intensive and involves sanding with diamonds and sprinkling little chips, and more sanding with diamonds and clear coats over that. But, Rustoleum also sells this plain countertop paint. It just comes in a quart-sized can like normal paint, and you get it tinted whatever color you like. I chose pale gray for my counters. It's about $20 and is not labor intensive. . .
I removed all caulk, cleaned the counters well, sanded them lightly with your non-diamond standard sandpaper. Then, I cleaned off all the dust and let it dry. Use frog tape to tape off your sink, backsplash, appliances, etc. You should open the windows, make sure there is good ventilation, and send the toddlers away for the day. The only negative for this stuff is that it's pretty stinky until it dries.
You want to have a small brush to do the edges and a foam roller to roll the paint on smoothly. I painted the entire counter, then waited about an hour and painted a second coat. I would recommend putting a couple of layers of poly on top because I think the countertops would look nicer longer, but I was too lazy. The two coats without poly will look good for six months but will start to chip and need to be repainted in about a year. I suspect with a couple of coats of poly, it would last much longer. In my opinion, this is a cheap and easy solution and I don't mind spending $20 and taking an afternoon to paint the countertops once a year in order to not have to look at pink countertops while I save up for new ones.”
Thanks to Amber and Rachelle for sharing how they were able to work with what they had in their kitchens. I hope this helps some of you who are looking for inexpensive or temporary fixes around your home.