The tragic story of a girl, a paint brush, and a countertop

Sometimes you just have to say it - I screwed up.

Last Spring I had a tiny budget, grand plans for a kitchen face lift, and no idea that paint is more complicated than a brush and some tape. It was my first project in our new home and I really wanted to bring the kitchen out of antiqued, countrified, gingham hell:


I wanted bright, light everything to make our little U-shaped prep area feel bigger. So I went to Sherwin-Williams, bought a gallon of Ultra White, and went crazy.

I painted the antiqued and dirty cabinets, replaced the hardware, removed the gingham wallpaper, painted the walls, and… I should have stopped there.

But the counter top, oh - the counter top! The speckled blue laminate was coming unglued in spots, and there was one reason in particular why it had to go. A reason that I cringe to admit.

We had mice.

Our house was empty for a year before we bought it and shortly after we moved in we started to notice little black droppings near all the food sources. Sick, right?

I grew suspicious of the laminate right away - the speckled pattern and bumpy texture made it impossible to be 100% certain it was clean - and when I moved the microwave to paint the cabinets, my fears were realized. I found a big pile of mouse turds in the corner of our countertop! On which we prepare food!

(Important side note… very shortly thereafter we remedied the rodent problem)

So with that discovery I threw common sense to the wind and painted the counter tops with wall paint. I tried to minimize my poor decision with a few coats of polyurethane, but I knew I screwed up. 

At first it was pretty and clean, a sea of white with pops of color… 


…and then it was a tableau of stains. Spots where water was left to dry around the edges of the sink. Rings where glasses stood overnight. Cracks and bubbles where the paint didn’t adhere quite right. Scratches with little bits of blue laminate peeking through where I’d tried to scrub away the mess. 


I knew painted laminate was not a permanent solution, and I’m honestly happy with the 11 months we got out of it, but the time has come for a new solution. Eventually we’ll install butcher block, but until I win the lottery I need another temporary fix - one that will stand up to a couple years of meal prep.

I’ve been scouting ideas for a while now, and this week I saw what Sherry and John are doing over at Young House Love:


Oh, heaven! That’s just concrete overlay on top of laminate countertops, and all for $15 per bag!

After a little research, it appears that there are some big proponents and equally enthusiastic opponents to this idea, which I’ll cover in another post this weekend, but given the disaster we’ve got now I don’t think we have anything to lose by trying it.

Redemption, here I come!

ASEAN Disaster Emergency Response Simulation Exercise Begins in Hanoi

“Regular simulation exercises like ARDEX is important to assess if our disaster response mechanisms are effective, and if further improvements need to be made. I hope that ARDEX-13 will generate constructive and practical inputs for the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER), and enhance our collective response to disasters in the region”, said H.E. Le Luong Minh, the Secretary-General of ASEAN during the opening ceremony of ARDEX-13.

To read the full article, please click the image above.

To read the opening remarks, click here.