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Lilion 08-16-2012 03:01 PM

refinishing a counter and adding a backsplash
This may take a minute to explain. My house was built about 1970 and has a truly ugly yellow marble Formica countertop. It does not have an attached, raised backsplash. Our cabinets are custom and the countertop cannot be removed without destroying them. We're trying to remodel on a very tight budget.

The current backsplash area is a hideous metallic golden tile that has been painted white. The tiles come off very easily. The walls of my kitchen have been painted a peapod green I really love. I am thinking of removing the tile backsplash and painting the walls between the cupboards and retiling only behind the sink and stove.

We are planning on redoing the countertop. Right now we're leaning toward just paint and poly or Envirtex lite (like the Giani Granite kit). We know paint and poly isn't the best route, but it would be a huge improvement over what we have, even if it only lasts a few years. We may spend a bit more and use some restoration kit product, like Rustoleum counter transformations or Encore cement (my favorite), but right now price is an issue.

I would like it if my countertop had the raised, attached backsplash as well. I was thinking about adding a 1x4 board to the back of the countertop, affixed to the wall and caulked, holes filled, etc. (with something paintable of course) then finishing it along with the countertop. Will that work? Is there some reason I can't add a board as a backsplash as long as it's primed and painted or whatever I use?

I appreciate any input. Budget is the biggest issue, as replacing the horrible harvest gold sink and leaking faucet will take a good portion of the money we have to spend. I've lived with this kitchen for 10 years and I can't do it anymore!!!

Thanks so much for any help!

Blondesense 08-17-2012 10:51 PM

Do you have a Habitat for Humanity Re-store anywhere near you? You may find something there that would work in your situation.
If you are going to be painting it anyway, a different color backsplash wouldn't matter.

I would be afraid wood, especially a soft wood would either rot out in the area just behind the sink, or just look like painted wood.
If you go this route, at least find a hard wood, not a soft pine that is easily gouged up.

joecaption 08-17-2012 11:09 PM

Why do you think the counter tops can not be removed?
It should not mat ter if there custom cabinets or not, counter tops are not part of the cabinets, there just set in place and screwed in place with screws from inside the cabinets.

Not my house but I would save up and do this one time.
In my own house I replaced all the couter tops with some new ones HD is stocking that look like real stone tops, A new deeper sink that also looks like stone, a new high rise faucet and new counter tops for about $300.00.
It took 1/2 a day to install all it myself.
Now I have the total look I want and will not have to spend time and money just getting by, then have to rip it all out later.

I agree about not using a piece of wood. At least stick some tile up there.

Lilion 08-18-2012 11:58 AM

The cabinets are nailed, not screwed, to the walls top and bottom. The countertop are part of the cabints, they were built in place, nailed to the cabinets. In places you can see when you take out a drawer, that the nails are easily 2 inches long. The nails holding the cabinet to the walls are even longer. There's a LOT of them. In addition, after the bottom cabinets and countertops were put in, one of the top cabinets was put in that goes all the way down to the countertop, literally resting on it. The only way to remove that part of the countertop is to remove the upper cabinet, which means prying it off the wall. (There's a ledge in front of the cabinet) It's possible, remotely, that a good contractor could remove it without utterly destroying it, but the one guy we had look didn't think it was likely. This photo shows how many nails hold the cabinets to the wall. They are ALL like that. Those cabinets aren't coming out in one piece. The next shows the nails holding the countertop down and then you can see the top cabinet setting on the bottom one.

Lilion 08-18-2012 11:59 AM

Lilion 08-18-2012 12:01 PM

Lilion 08-18-2012 12:22 PM

So after I originally posted this I did hours of research and we've decided to try Giani Granite Countertop paint. It's a paint system with a primer, a sponge paint technique and a top coat/sealer. It's got good reviews, not just on it's own website but also Amazon and other sites that sell it. This isn't a permanent fix, we don't expect it to last 10 years. Really anything will look better than our yellow formica. So, we're giving it a try. As for the backsplash, we have regular and treated lumber in 1x4's in our garage and I think we'll just do it. I appreciate your concerns, but with a ton of primer and then the sealer from the kit, along with a good caulk to keep water out from between the counter and the board, I think it'll be okay for a while. The website seems to agree with that. If it only lasts a year or two, we'll not be too unhappy. I do thank you for your input. We won't get to the paint for a day or so, so if anyone has any more input I'll be happy to listen. :yes:

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