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Topic: Question: How to preserve a countertop  (Read 768 times)
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« on: November 23, 2008 08:18:46 AM »

I have a standalone kitchen storage unit; the top is composed of thin laminate with wood design.  As this sits between my stove and sink, I knew it would need regular cleaning so I covered the surface with 2 coats of polyurethane to help preserve it.   It's been about a year since I've had this unit and I've started to notice that the surface is getting little raised bumps.  Not sure if it's the poly wearing off and/or if moisture (from cleaning) is making the laminate surface buckle. 

My last storage unit had the same problem - the top started getting lumpy and 'bubbling'.   I tried various things to help preserve the surface before I ended up tossing it.  I bought a square of very thin, clear plexiglass and ModPodge-ed it onto the top surface of the cabinet.   It didn't look very good and got cloudy after a while, so I don't want to do that again.  I also tried contact paper, but it started peeling off after a while.  I don't want to tile it.

I'm looking for any suggestions on keeping the damage from getting any worse.  Thank you.

« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008 08:43:23 AM »

I've typically only had this problem when I've used the surface as a cutting board (bad me!), because cutting into the surface allows the water to seep in and mess up the laminate.   I know it would be incredibly expensive, but have you considered replacing the top with a cutting board (something that's designed to be cut on/washed).  I saw some bamboo boards (naturally anti-microbial) that sounded pretty cool.

If cutting on it isn't the problem, I'm not sure what would help. Perhaps something like a resin coating (thick enough not to be an issue)?  Or you could reseal it every year or so...
« Last Edit: November 23, 2008 09:02:16 AM by Muria » THIS ROCKS   Logged


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« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008 08:58:48 AM »

Just a thought but putting hot pots, pans dishes etc on the countertop will also make it go wonky.  Other than maybe cleaning  chemicals maybe damaging the surface and\or humidity getting under the laminate.
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« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008 09:54:09 AM »

Heavy duty waterproof tablecloth - not that hard to find. You just have to wipe it down after using it like you wipe a table. And it's replaceable.

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« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008 06:42:20 PM »

This won't help get rid of the bubbles,  you can see if you can poke a small hole in them with a pin and get them to go down.  I would recommend using a marine varnish like this http://www.valsparglobal.com/val/resident/manowar.jsp.  It provides good protection from water etc.  Otherwise multiple layers of polyurethane can help.

Good luck!

« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008 08:58:34 AM »

Thank you for all of the suggestions.  I think that I'm going to go with the marine varnish idea; I figure this method will be more durable than the polyurethane and allow the wood grain design to be visible.  I don't cut on the surface of this unit, so it's not like I have to worry about any varnish-to-food contact.
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