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We've all been there: Living in a rental apartment that might be great for any number of reasons, but has one fatal flaw. There are a few things you can do to hide those unsightly laminate or tile counters.Usually a fridge that's too small, floors that have seen better days, cabinets that don't measure up, or countertops that hail from a bygone decade. A few will require landlord approval, and some can be installed and removed easily, making them ideal for stealth situations.If you're looking to give your countertops a whole new look but are watching your budget, you can completely transform them for less than 0.Refinishing kits and tough peel-and-stick vinyl coverings are tailor-made for the DIYer, and the results are dead ringers for real granite slabs. Paint laminate tops to make them look like granite, using your creative chops to produce beautiful, durable results you'll be proud to show off.Choose the color that most closely matches your countertop color. Once hardened, you won’t have the opportunity to sand any excess without damaging the surrounding laminate, so fill each blemish carefully, and don’t overfill. For more stubborn stains, try a little nail polish remover on a clean rag (use white rags so you won't get fabric color on the countertop).Other solvents to try include paint thinner, denatured alcohol and acetone. Transform your laminate countertops using paint — the ultimate DIYer’s friend.
As a bonus: You’ll be recycling your countertops while they're in place, keeping your old counters out of landfills and contributing to sustainability.Small scratches, gouges and chips can be fixed with laminate repair paste or a color-matched repair pen, available at most hardware stores and home improvement centers.