Expert Answers: Making Countertops Shine

How do you restore the shine on your kitchen countertops? HANDY has the answer.

Q: What materials and equipment do I need to buff my solid-surface kitchen countertops to a high shine? - Club member Bernie Weinstein, Henderson, NV

A: Although exceptions are not uncommon, most solid-surface countertops are manufactured with a matte finish that isn't naturally shiny. You can renew this type of finish simply by buffing with a fine abrasive pad and water. For higher gloss, even on a matte-finish countertop, several countertop polishes are available. DuPont, the manufacturer of Corian, recommends three common brands: Countertop Magic, Hope's Countertop Polish and Enhance Countertop Magic.

As an alternative to commercial polish, however, you can try using vegetable oil. First, thoroughly clean the countertop with soap and water. When the countertop is dry, evenly spread a small amount of vegetable oil over the surface and buff it with a polishing bonnet on a power polishing tool or an orbital sander. Note: Do not use vegetable oil as a finish on absorbent countertops, such as butcher block, concrete or unglazed tile — the oil will become rancid. Solid-surface material is impervious to liquid, so the oil is not absorbed. (Absorbent countertop materials can be treated with mineral oil.) - HANDY