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Monday, November 24, 2008

Sink Replacement. From Solid Surface To Granite Composite.

This is the finished product.

Any time you are doing a sink replacement it is a fairly big job. What makes a sink replacement job even bigger, meaning more labor intensive, is when you are changing to a different sink model than the one you started with.

In other words, if you have a sink that needs to be replaced and it is a Corian 850, it is an easier more straight forward job if you replace it with another Corian 850 bowl. Lately I have had several customers that have had one type of sink to start with and then they wanted to change to an entirely different type of sink.

Here is an example of one customer that fits that description and some details about just how tough it is to pull off a job like this one.

First, the customer had a solid surface material that they don't even make any more. It was Etura. That presented a problem in trying to find a replacement sink that was identical to what she already had. Most solid surface sinks are standard sizes of around 30"x16" or maybe even 30"x 18". There are many models and manufacturers and some are a little bigger or smaller than what I just mentioned but most are in that ballpark.

Etura, during their short lifespan, decided to make their sinks be out of the normal spectrum of measurements that are used. I think it was 32"x 18". That means that we would have to shrink the hole to accomodate a new solid surface sink from a different manufacturer.

Normally, I would just jump in there, shrink the hole, install the new sink, enjoy the customers glee for a little while and then hit the road. Of course that could not happen on this one because as I said, they no longer make Etura so getting any material to shrink the hole with was impossible.

There are about 5 gazillion different sinks that would work if we were going to just opt for a drop in sink in it's place. Naturally though, the customer always had an undermount sink and she absolutely did not want a drop in sink, most of my customers think the same. If they have had a drop in sink before they will do everything in their power not to have one again. They just love the undermount sinks for their ease of use and the smooth transition from the countertop down into the sink with no "crumb catching" lip sticking up through the countertop.

We had to search long and hard for an undermount sink that would not only be large enough to take up the oversize hole that would be there after we removed the old sink, but it also had to be able to fit into her sink cabinet base. I spent countless amounts of time searching online and in catalogs looking to find something that would work but always ran into some type of problem. Color, size, material or style. There just always was something that disqualified each type of sink that we came up with.

Finally, I contacted a company you may have heard of called Ferguson inc. I was dealing with the Winston Salem, NC location 336-759-0253. I talked to Latonya Peeples and told her all of the hurdles that we faced in our project. After several rounds of phone tag and emails, Latonya sent me an email with a sink that she thought might just fit the bill. The sink was a Blanco granite composite model 513-441. I got with my customer and she loved the sink style and color, and I was happy because the dimensions were going to make it possible for me to complete this job and give the homeowner exactly what she wanted. I probably would have never found the right sink if it wasn't for Latonya's help. I had looked all over the internet and found several that were similar but just not what we needed. Thanks Latonya.

This is the sink that she needed to replace.

The sink cracked and it was leaking to the point where she could not use it. She had looked around to find someone to repair the sink for her. What you see here is the "repair". Someone showed up to smear some nasty goo on the crack and then called it "fixed". AHHHH! That is not fixed! That's just ugly goo smeared on a crack. Then, they even made her pay for it!

This particular type of sink replacement calls for a lot more job site preparation than many other types do. As you can see, all of the plumbing has been removed from the sink and the cabinets have been cleared out.
Next, I lay out my lines for cutting out the opening of the new sink. In many cases I would just cut out the deck while the old sink is still attached. In this case though, I have to first cut the existing sink free from the countertop and then cut my countertop deck to the correct dimension fo the new sink.

I have to put up a lot of plastic and then get in there with a dust mask and vacuum equipment. Dustless equipment does not collect dust very well for the types of things I will be doing so I have to take every measure possible to contain the dust for my customer.

I have cut the sink free from the countertop here. Now I need to wrestle it out of the cabinet and start working on making the new cutout to accomodate the new undermount sink.

I made a template for this cutout instead of just trying to cut to the lines by hand. It is faster and more accurate with less finish work to do.

This is the finished cutout.

This was a very long work day and after many hours of working I kind of let the whole photo documentary fall by the way so I could get the job done. Some of the things that the pictures did not show you are as follows.

1. Once I got the old sink out of the cabinet, I had to cut out the cabinet wall on the left side of the sink. That was the only way to make room for the new sink to be put into the proper place.

2. I also had to cut out a "scoop" in the cabinet wall on the right side of the sink so the sink could be wiggled into position. I only needed about another 1 1/2" which is good because the dishwasher is there and we only could gain about 2" extra. That was pretty close.

3. I had to make an elaborate support system to hold the new granite composite undermount sink in place.

4. Once the sink was installed and all of the plumbing was reconnected I then had to replace the cabinet wall that I had to cut out on the left.

If you look closely you may notice that the sink is not exactly centered in the cabinet. That is because the original sink was not centered in the cabinet. Since the holes for the plumbing were already drilled into the countertop and there was no material available to allow me to "move" any of the holes, I had to work off of the center hole that was already there. (That note is for you eagle eyed craftsmen out there that would have spotted that in the picture!)

It was a major job and a very long day but that is what makes you feel like you've accompolished something substantial. I was happy with it and most importantly, the homeowner was happy with it and has been more than happy to pass my name around to others interested in having some out of the ordinary things done to their countertops.

This is the finished product.

Another job by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful North Carolina.

Nationwide Surface Repair

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Countertop Repair. This Is Why You Need A Specialist.

You find out that you have a crack in your solid surface countertop. Naturally, you want to find someone to fix the crack for you. You call all over the place looking to find someone to fix the crack and you discover that this is not the kind of job that most handymen and local contractors will take on for you.

Eventually you start calling around to solid surface countertop fabricators and you discover that most of them are not interested in sending one of their fabricators out to help you either. Why is that?

Here are a couple of reasons why this happens.

  • Most fabricator shops have a large overhead and lots of new fabrication and installation to get to. This is what pays their bills. If they have a guy in the shop that is generating $1000.00 a day in revenue for them by fabricating, they probably will not want to take him out of the shop to do a repair for $400-$500.

  • A lot of fabrication shops have great fabricators that can build magnificent countertops practically in their sleep. However, they may scratch their head in bewilderment at the thought of doing a countertop crack repair on a countertop that is already installed in your home.

    1. Now, you may find someone that says they can fix the crack for you but that is not what they do on a regular basis. Everybody has to start somewhere but do you really want someone to use your kitchen as their training ground to develop their skills?

      Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that they are trying to get one over on you or anything like that. In fact, they may be very well intentioned and only be trying to help you. But, when it comes to your substantial investment in your countertops, you don't care about good intentions. You care about good results. This is why you need a countertop repair specialist to repair your solid surface countertops.

      Here is a perfect example of a bad solid surface countertop repair. Not only is it ugly, it did not hold for very long. Notice the different color stripe and the squiggly crack that is coming right off of the repair strip.

      The reason there is a different color stripe is because whoever repaired it used the wrong color material. Not just a different dye lot, a whole other color of white. I do have to admit, sometimes matching white material when there is none left by the original fabricator can prove to be very tricky. That is why you need a countertop repair specialist. They can figure these things out ahead of time and usually prevent these types of results from happening.

      Fortunately, these homeowners were able to find Complete Solid Surface Refinishing to come and make the new repair. That is all we do. Solid surface countertop repair. Nothing else. We were able to get to the bottom of the color match delema and make a great repair for them.

      At the time of repair, I had not been out to their home before. They told me basically what they had over the phone and I showed up with several shades of white solid surface to make the repair. Guess what. Out of all the material that I brought with me, not one single piece of it was a match. Did I go ahead and make the repair with the wrong color? Of course not.

      They a seperate desk top in their kitchen that was made from the same material. Their main countertop had a tile backsplash which was no help to us. However, their desk top had a backsplash that was made from the same solid surface material. I was able to remove the sidesplash from the wall and "harvest" that material for the repair.

      Here is the end result.

      The customers were very happy with the results and I was very happy to help.

      Another great repair done by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful North Carolina.

      Monday, August 18, 2008

      Replace Drop in Sink With An Undermount Sink.

      Replacing a drop in sink with an undermount stainless steel sink

      This is one of those jobs I love to get. Why? Because almost everytime I get a chance to do one of these, the customer has been told by at least one person "in the industry" that this is an impossible task and that no person or company anywhere can possibly pull off such a job with satisfactory results.

      That really gets me going. I just love doing things that "can't" be done. Of course they can be done or I wouldn't be doing them. Enough babbling, on with the show!

      This customer has an Americast composite sink that is a drop in style. She wanted very badly to have an undermount stainless steel sink.
      instead because of the smooth transition into the sink. There is nothing sticking up through the countertop to have to clean around and recaulk and collect foodstuff etc. With just a simple wipe of the countertop, all the crumbs just fall effortlessly down into the sink and are rinsed away.

      After I have removed the drop in sink, the first thing I have to do is to cut all four sides of the sink cutout smooth so that I can seam the required Corian to all 4 edges of the sink cutout.

      The reason I have to do this is because the hole that is there is considerably larger for the drop in sink than is required for the new undermount stainless steel sink
      installation. This is always the case when switching from a drop in sink to an undermount sink.

      Here is a shot of the rough sink cutout. You can see how it is not an even and smooth cutout and will have to be recut before I can proceed with the hole shrink. You can see how I cut the sides using straight edges and a router. Because I dont want to give away any top secret information, I am not telling how I make the back section cuts. And you can't make me! (He says smiling gleefully)

      Next, I seam the pieces of Corian to the sides to shrink the cutout from left to right. While the seams are curing, I will be preparing the material for the front to back hole shrinking process.

      These jobs are very involved with lots of very small steps along the way that I am not documenting with pictures. Not because I did not want to share the pictures with you but I just got all wrapped up in getting the job done and just forgot to take some of the pics.

      Okay, you can see here that I have gotten all of the seams done around the sink, then I recut the sink cutout to the proper dimensions and shape to accept the new stainless steel undermount sink. I have also drilled the holes into the countertop for the faucet.

      What's left now is to attach the new undermount stainless steel sinkto the countertop and then have the plumber come and install the plumbing. You would think that all the hard work was over at this point. Not the case. Installing an undermount stainless steel sink
      as a retrofit project is a very challenging process. Fighting gravity, positioning the sink correctly in the exact right spot and above all, making sure that all of your attaching efforts are sufficient. The last thing I want is to get a call in the middle of the night about someone's sink crashing to the floor.

      Tah Dah! Here is the new undermount stainless steel sink
      installed and all ready for a long life of washing dishes.

      Well, there you have it. The customer was tickled because she got her retrofit undermount stainless steel sink
      and I was happy too because I got to show that a job that could not be done actually could be done and done well.

      Another job that just can't be done. Done by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful North Carolina.

      Nationwide Surface Repair

      Sunday, July 27, 2008

      Are Granite Countertops a Threat to Your Health?

      There has been a controversy swirling around behind the scenes in the countertop industry for around 10 years or so. The issue is the amount of radon that some types of granite countertops are emitting and whether or not it should be deemed a legitimate risk to peoples health.

      It was only this week that I noticed it in the mainstream media for the first time. Fox News featured a segment on this issue on July 25th about it. Since then, I started looking around and it looks to me like this is going to be an industry shaking event before too much longer.

      Radon is the main culprit in the countertop related health scare. But according to W.J. Llope, a physics professor ar Rice University in Houston, Texas, we should also be concerned about the levels of Uranium as well. This is according to an AP article that was published on Chron.com on July 26, 2008.

      Professor Llope goes on to say "I'm not claiming that people necessarily will get very sick or die of cancer within months," Llope said. "But if you spend 10 years in that kitchen there is a risk you may end up with cancer. It might or might not be attributed to granite. Who would know?"

      Hey, theres nothing like those scientists to give you a certain definite answer about something, right? It may be dangerous but maybe not and if it is and you can't tell then how will you know, and blah blah blah.

      On the other side of the argument you have people saying in defense of granite that granite is absolutely safe...mostly.

      The same article has a quote from Jim Martinez, a spokesman from the Marble Institute of America. He warns against the use of "Junk Science" to determine the threat levels posed by granite countertops. A point that I fully agree with. Junk science has been the ruin of many good things and has muddied the waters in all kinds of research from medical advancements to global warming.

      Jim Martinez goes on to say that according to a study done at The University of Akron, 85% of the granite varieties used in America were found to be safe. WHAT? 85% safe. Okay, who wants to volunteer to be the 15% of consumers that has radon oozing, uranium churning countertops in their kitchen?

      I know Jim means well, but that is not a very good argument for the Granite team in my opinion.

      He is correct about one thing though. There needs to be uniform standards and protocol across the board in order to properly study the levels of radon and uranium
      in these countertops.

      There are 2 sides to this story and it is one that I will be keeping an eye on.

      Right or wrong, I think there will end up being a lot of litigation and eventually a lot more government regulations involving the granite industry.

      Conducting a radon test in your home is very simple. We have located a web site that sells low cost radon testing products that are 100% EPA approved and easy to use. You can order online and have the package within just a few days, not to mention their excellent customer support. Click here to go there now

      You can spend truckloads of money getting someone to test the radon levels in your home or you can buy different types of test kits and radon safety gadgets to test it yourself. If you are going to want to test it periodically, it's probably a good idea to go ahead and buy several test kits
      or one of the radon safety gadgets and do it yourself.

      Here is the link to the story at Chron.com http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hotstories/5909022.html

      Thursday, June 12, 2008

      Retro Fit Sink Replacement. Undermount to Drop IN

      This a a retro fit sink replacement. The customer had a Fountainhead brand intregal solid surface undermount sink that had the old squiggly lines in the bottom that would not sand out.

      The customer was dead set against putting in another solid surface sink and wanted to go with a stone composite sink (Pegasus model) in a drop in application. This particular sink can be installed as an undermount or a drop in.

      Every job has to have a good supervisor right? Here was my super for the day.

      Here is the ugly old sink. As you can see, the small side has most of the damage.

      The process for getting the old sink out is a little bit different on this one. When you do a solid surface sink replacement and you are going to go back with another solid surface sink, you cut the sink free from the countertop at the point where the countertop and the sink meet.

      On this one, I can cut out the hole for the new sink and just leave the old sink attached to the countertop material, lift it straight out of the top of the countertop, and then the new sink is ready to be replaced.

      Here is the new sink, all ready for washing dishes. I left before he made me wash dishes.

      This job was performed by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing in beautiful North Carolina!

      Monday, May 19, 2008

      Find a Countertop Repair Specialist Near You.

      If you are in need of any type of countertop repair on solid surface or stone then you are in luck. You can find a countertop repair specialist in all 50 states from one easy location. A countertop repair specialist is now available for you in all 50states.

      There is no longer any reason to call your builder and have him call some fabricators then wait for them to get back to your builder so he can get back to you. It isn't unusual for a homeowner to have to search for weeks just to find someone that will take on the task.

      Once they do find someone, good luck. If they don't do repairs on a daily basis then more than likely they are going to have limited capabilities so you just have to cross your fingers and hope that your problem is one that they can fix for you.

      A dedicated, qualified, experienced repair specialist is what you need and now it's easier than ever to find one in your state. Just visit www.nationwidesurfacerepair.com

      You just fill out short form and within 24 hours you will be contacted by email, phone, or both. It's completely free to use too, so if you need to find a countertop repair specialist near you be sure to stop by www.nationwidesurfacerepair.com
      Homes Priced Less Than Foreclosures

      Thursday, May 15, 2008

      Avonite Sink Replacement.

      Here is an Avonite sink replacement. As you can tell, this sink had something dropped into it that made a chunk of the sink fall out. As usual, the homeowner was wiggin out over this. He called Avonite directly and they sent me out to inspect and then to replace the sink.

      The broken sink.

      The new sink.

      I still have lot of people asking me if there is any repair that can be done to a sink that is damaged rather than replaceing it. There is not. It just needs to be replaced. Of course it is better if you can have it done under warranty instead of paying out of pocket. A lot of the sink replacements that I do are already past the 10 year warranty period.

      A typical sink replacement in North Carolina runs around $1100- $1400.00 with the labor to replace it, the plumbing, the glue, and the cost of the sink itself, so you can see why warranties are so important when it comes to your countertop options.



      Tuesday, May 6, 2008

      Solid Surface Countertop Repair. Cooktop Cutout Crack Repair

      This is known as a cooktop cutout crack repair. The countertop has cracked in two places around the area that has the electric cooktop installed. This material is Cornerstone. They are no longer on the market and the material is no longer available. Fortunatley, the homeowner had a good fabricator that provided her with the proper heat trivettes and cutting boards made from her cooktop cutout so we were able to do a great looking repair.

      There is still a little bow in the very front of the cooktop area that we had to leave in there because we were limited on the amount of material to work with. If material had been readily available we could have done an on site refabrication of the front section but for this we had to concentrate on just repairing the cracks.

      Once again, some of my photos look like those old blurry Bigfoot pictures. Sorry.

      Here is the countertop after the repairs have been completed.

      ****Subscribe to my blog to get instant updates in your email box as soon as a new article is posted!!**** Use the form on the top right of the page.

      If you live in North Carolina and need countertop repair then stop by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing and contact me or send me an email to blogreply@bryand.ws


      Tuesday, April 29, 2008

      From Drop In Sink, to Undermount Sink.

      Great Deals on Undermount Stainless Steel Sinks.

      A good portion of my customers that have me to replace a perfectly working sink are wanting to go from a drop in sink to an Undermount Sink.

      In most cases the reason is because they just don't like having the sink sitting up above the surface of the countertop. For some people, they don't care whether they have a sink that sticks up or not. Other people just can't handle it so they bite the bullet and call me to change it out.

      These customers had a really nice stainless steel drop in sink but they wanted to go to an undermount stainless steel sink

      They knew, because I had prepared them ahead of time, that this was no easy job and that there were a lot of variables to doing a switch from a drop sink in to an undermount sink. In almost every case when you go from a drop in sink to an undermount sink you will have to shrink the hole when you remove the drop in sink to accomodate the curves and overall size of the new undermount sink.

      That means that you will have to add material to all four sides of the sink cutout making the hole go from approximately 32"x21" to 26"x15". Once you shrink the hole, then you have to cut the hole to the correct dimensions and with the correct radius in the corners. It is time consuming, dirty, and expensive. For me though, it is also very rewarding to tackle a job like that.

      It's the kind of job not just any countertop company will even take on if asked, but the kind of job that I absolutely love to do. It's what makes my inner craftsman giggle.

      Enough yapping. Here is a series of pictures from the job process. Not every single step is shown. I was too busy working to stand around taking pictures(:!

      This is their perfectly fine stainless that they just stopped liking. (:

      After removing the drop in sink, this is the cutout that you have to work with.

      This is the hole after I had already done the shrinking process. Notice the squared off inside corners. Most of the time I would have just filled in the entire cutout but I was very limited on material. I needed to shrink the hole 4" smaller in all directions but all I had to use was strips of 3" splash. For this reason, I had to shrink it in two stages. The first stage, I shrunk the cutout by 3", and in the second stage I filled in the corners to provide enough matereal to follow the contour of the undermount sink.

      The pencil marks are where I am going to cut the new cutout.

      Here is the new cutout for the undermount sink. It's really good to get to this point on this job. But now the real work starts. Shrinking the hole and adjusting the new cutout is pretty tough and time consuming but now it's time to attach the new sink.

      When you are fabricating a countertop from scratch, attaching an undermount sink is fairly simple. You have the countertop flipped upside down, lay the sink into place, silicone, and ad the holding clips.

      When you do this as a retro fit it is many times harder to accomplish. You are fighting gravity through the entire process. In most cases, and in this case, you can't get all of the clips on it because of the work area under the sink. There just isn't much room to work.

      In order to hold the sink in place permanently I had to build a support structure. Being the airhead that I am, or maybe it was the 10 hours of work with no lunch break, I forgot to take a picture of the structure for you to see. Anyway, if you subscribe to the blog on the form on the right of the page, you can get instant email messages when I have new posts. I am certain that I will be doing another one of these jobs.

      Here is the finished product. Nevermind the dusty upper bar.

      If you live in North Carolina and need countertop repair then stop by Complete Solid Surface Refinishing and contact me or send me an email to blogreply@bryand.ws


      Sunday, April 20, 2008

      Wilsonart Gibraltar Countertop Repair

      Here is a repair that I recently did that is a Wilsonart Gibraltar countertop. This color is a discontinued color and it is the old formulation of Gibraltar which is a polyester blend. I forget exactly when they did it but Gibraltar changed over to an acrylic formulation that is much more reliable than the polyester.

      I have always disliked the polyester tops but they have provided me with a ton of repair work over the years so I guess there is an upside to them, for me anyway.

      The problem with repairing a discontinued countertop is trying to either find a place to "harvest" the material from in the kitchen or finding a fabricator that keeps material laying around for years and years in the hopes that one day he will actually be able to use the old stuff for something. Fortunately for these customers, I am that fabricator . I never throw any material away no matter how old it is, how ugly it is or what size it is, or what it is made of. You just never know when a 1" wide by 6" long piece of some discontinued color may just save the day.

      This countertop cracked right at the corner of the wall and came forward. A crack like this offers up a special challenge to a repair man. Any time you are working within about 3 inches of the wall you can't really get a good cutting tool there. You either have to alter a router to make it be able to cut all to the wall or spend way too much money on a special router that is made just for that, or do some very precise free hand cutting with a Dremel tool.

      On this one, I chose to try the precise free hand method first. Fortunately for me, that was the key to making this repair.

      I have posted about odd dye lot, or non dye lot repairs before to show just how the repairs can turn out. I have to say, I am very pleased with this repair and the customer was ecstatic too because even though it is a non dye lot repair, the color was remarkably close and is not obvious without some very close scrutiny.



      Sunday, April 6, 2008

      Installing Drains in a Corian Sink.

      There seems to be a lot of different ideas about installing the drains, or strainer baskets in Corian or other solid surface sinks. I thought I should address it.

      When you install the strainer baskets you will do it just as you would any other sink. Here are the steps.

      Step 1:Use plumbers putty around the strainer. Do not, do not, do not, use silicone. Some well meaning plumbers and do it your selfers have told a lot of people that it is best to use silcone instead of plumbers putty.

      That is horrible advice and here is why.

      Silicone does what the plumbers want it to do. It holds the strainer baskets in place and it keeps them from leaking. But, it holds everything together a little too well. If the baskets ever need to be changed, it is not going to be easy. And what happens when it isn't easy? Brute force comes into play, along with frustration. For a solid surface sink, that is the last thing you need. A little too much frustration mixed with brute force and you have the recipe for a sink replacement.

      Step 2: Tighten your parts just enough. Do not under tighten them or you will have a leak. Do not over tighten them or you will get a crack in the sink.

      I hope this is helpful. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog for regular updates and articles. The sign up form is on the side bar to your left.

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      Saturday, March 29, 2008

      Solid Surface Countertops. How Not To Remove Scratches. Part 2

      Okay here we go with part 2 of Solid Surface Countertops. How Not To Remove Scratches. How Not To Remove Scratches Part 1.

      I have to apologize for my photography again. I don't know whether it is me or my camera or what but my pics seem to be blurrier and blurrier lately. I'm getting a new camera soon so we'll see.

      This is a Corian countertop. The color is Hot. The people have had these countertops for about 10 years and they wanted to get the fine scratches out of the countertop. They were a little nervous about trying to do it themselves even though they had directions on how to clean it and remove scratches that were provided at the time of their installation.

      They called around to some K&B places and to a couple of fabricators and asked for advice on removing the scratches. Every single place told them to break out the sandpaper and Scotch Brite pads and start scrubbing. They did it. In a flash they realized that was definitely one of the worst things that they could have done. The marks left by the 320 grit sandpaper and the maroon Scotch Brite pad were way more noticeable than the fine scratches that they were trying to remove.

      Here is the island before I did a complete refinish or scratch removal.

      In this next series of pics, there is a particular patch of scratches on this top but I was not sure if the scratches would show up on camera. For this reason I used a black marker to symbolize an actual scratch.

      As you can see, the patch that I rubbed on with a Scotch Brite pad really stands out. Who wants that?

      This is what the scratch patch looks like after I wipe off the white dust that I made while rubbing with the pad.

      With the sunlight coming through this window, even in a poor quality picture you can really tell how the homeowner had tried to get the scratches out himself.

      This is after I did a refinish on it. The Scotch Brite pad scratches are all gone. I see I left a little dust in the ogee edge before I took the picture. Oops, I should have used my
      Countertop Magic
      before taking the picture.

      This is the island after refinishing.

      The whole lesson behind this article is this. Your countertops were expensive, they are high quality, elegant and beautiful. Even so, from time to time they may need some maintenance type of attention. It's no different than your automobile, when it needs maintenance, sometimes it is just better left to a professional that has all of the proper equipment and experience to do the job for you.

      It isn't something that a normal homeowner with moderate experience with a sander could not do themselves but most homeowners do not have the proper sander, abrasives, and dust extraction equipment like a vacuum tool system. Here is a good sander and vaccum system if you are interested in trying it yourself.