On Sunday Strider and I tried to catch a tiny nap after church. It wasn't working. The kids were making Ramen noodles for lunch and squabbling over it the whole time. Finally I just got up and came downstairs. I shooed them away and tried to salvage the overcooked noodles so they could eat and I set the pan on my counter next to the sink for about 30 seconds. I held it with one hand while I grabbed bowls to dish it into with the other. Something smelled funny and I picked up the pot. I had burned the counter.
One side of the pot burned the edge while the other burned the interior. I have lived in this house (with the same 80's laminate countertops) since 1997 and I put my hot pans directly on the counter ALL THE TIME. I have never had any discoloration or even the hint of a burn. Until Sunday they looked identical to the day we moved in. My best guess is that our new flat top stove cooks hotter than I am used to, and that it no longer comes off the burner at a temp that's okay to put on this surface.
I am still absolutely in shock and I am totally sad, mad at myself and devastated. Now don't get me wrong, I don't like the counters. Last spring, when we had a little tax money we got estimates on granite and manufactured stone renovations. We choked at the $$$$ prices. There is no way on earth we can replace these. And the laminate wood grain surface means I can't paint it, cover it, or replace just a section.
I can't even bear to go in the kitchen without getting depressed over it and playing the "if only" game. Here is a close up of the worst spot. It's completely bubbled up here and a few pieces have chipped away already. Since it's not just a cosmetic eyesore and the integrity of the finish is compromised anyway I am thinking of sanding the spots. I know it's just particle board underneath, so I guess I'd have to put a lacquer on those areas to protect it. I don't know. At least from across the room people wouldn't be glaringly reminded of my mistake.
Tell me honestly - what would you do? I'll go back to crying and wait for your suggestions.