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Can you stain or paint laminate countertop?

Can you stain or paint laminate countertop? I have an old farm and am in the process of updating the kitchen. The countertop is an old butcher-block-style laminate. I do not want stone or concrete. In fact, I like the wooden look. I just want to stain it so it will be darker in tone. Is that possible?

Anything is possible, but is it a smart decision? Laminate can be painted with a special paint process, but I don't recommend it: The durability factor is very low. I don't even recommend painting a wood butcher block. If you want a darker tone, switch to a darker laminate or dark-wood countertop. Stainless-steel countertops, which most professional kitchens have, can also have a darker appearance. I can understand if you don't want stone or concrete, which some people feel is too cold and hard. But, truly, isn't this is what you want in a countertop, especially for hygiene reasons? Whatever surface you choose, it is your kitchen - not a rental - so invest in a proper change.

Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is the president of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc. in Toronto.

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