Dear Home Staging Expert®-
My husband and I are selling our home to be closer to our family in another state. The problem is, our laminate kitchen countertops are pretty dull, scuffed up, and in general kind of gnarly looking, but we can’t afford to replace them before we put our house on the market as our Realtor® has suggested. They are definitely an eye sore. What should we do?
Ugly Countertops in Oregon
Dear Ugly Countertops –
Thank you for the question and how nice to be moving closer to family! I’m sure they’re all looking forward to seeing you much more often.
As far as your countertops go, if you absolutely cannot replace them, there are several options to making them less of an issue and/or help them blend in with the rest of the kitchen and not stand out so much.
- Clean and Condition – There are a number of kitchen countertop cleaners out there that can help. My favorite is Jubilee Kitchen Wax. Kind of old-school, as I do recall my Mom using this same product back in the 70’s, but it absolutely works and will help minimize the scuffs and give your countertops a nice, new sheen.
- Blend them in with Paint – I’m not talking about painting the countertops themselves, but when the backsplash and/or cabinet color are similar to the color of the countertop, they will not be so obvious. If the countertops are a funky color, you can make them less stark by painting the backsplash/cabinets in a dull, neutral color in the same tone.
- Resurface – There are companies out there now who can professionally resurface your countertops, saving you 50% of replacing them for new. Do an internet search of “Countertop Resurfacing” and you are sure to find someone who can provide this service for you and save you some money.
You might be wondering why I don’t suggest painting your kitchen countertops with one of the many new kitchen countertop paints on the market. Well, I think that’s a great option if you’re looking for a temporary fix as an owner, but a little misleading if you’re trying to pass it off to a potential buyer. The truth is, I have yet to see a countertop paint product that stands up long-term to the rigors most kitchen countertops go through on a daily basis. It is one thing if you know they’re painted and take the necessary precautions such as no standing water around the sink, no chopping directly on the countertop, etc. But you don’t want to surprise the new homeowner when they accidentally drop a pan and chip away the paint.
Lastly, if you know the kitchen countertops are going to be an issue, price your house accordingly to allow the new homeowner enough $$$ for updates.
Hope this helps and please let me know how it goes!
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