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Painting a Formica Countertop

Category Kitchen
Painting your old, outdated Formica countertops is a great way to update your kitchen. This is a guide about painting a Formica countertop.
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20 found this helpful
August 13, 2012

My home was a mecca of ugly and strangely colored laminate countertops; hunter green, brown, navy blue, beige, etc.. I set out to paint them to improve their look, thinking "they can't get any worse, can they?" Paint was my frugal friend.
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First I studied granite samples online and did my homework. Then I set out to buy, or in some cases, shop in my own basement for existing paint and supplies. All I needed was a good primer (2 coats), some natural sea sponges, and as many colors of acrylic craft paint (little bottles) as I wanted, at about $1 a bottle, with some on sale for as little as $0.27 cents!

Next, I wanted some glitz, so I bought Martha Stewart glitter. The crowning glory of my supplies that would pull of this look together successfully, was Envirotex Lite. It's a coating that spreads on like corn syrup, and is equal to 50-60 coats of shiny poly. That, along with some inexpensive foam brushes, and tape and drape for cabinets, I was ready to go.

I started with my powder room. It turned out so lovely, that I moved to my master bath. Which was amazing. Moving along, I did my entire kitchen, followed by my upstairs guest bath, and my mother's house too. I'm an addict!

Once you get a good stash of primer, paint bottles, and your glitter, the only new stuff you're buying are the foam brushes (thrown away after each use), and your Envirotex Lite. Total cost for my bathrooms, on average: $25-50. Total cost for my kitchen: $125.

Now, I'm going to share the look with you. Please know that however "nice" they appear online in photographs, the photos just do not do them justice. They are amazing! I swear, while they may not be natural stone, they are prettier than any granite. I encourage you to get out there, use your thriftiness, and cover-up your ugly laminate countertops America! You will not be sorry you did.

By Suz from Belleville, MI

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June 23, 20160 found this helpful

Suz

What did u use on the last one you did that had the gray and white marble look ?

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Questions

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0 found this helpful
July 12, 2016

What tool did you use to get the realistic veining in your marble/granite look?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
March 2, 20170 found this helpful

You can get a special tool to do that with at Lowe's. Some people use feathers to create that look

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0 found this helpful
March 9, 2016

I used the sponge paint technique to create a faux granite look on my counter top. The paint process turned out great and I let it dry for a couple days before I began to apply the top coat.

I am using Minwax polyacrylic for the top coat and when I started applying it the paint started smearing. I watched several videos and thought I was doing everything right. Guess not! Does anyone have any suggestions that might help me?
Thanks!

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

0 found this helpful
February 26, 2011

Help, I have ugly kitchen counter tops. Is there a way to refinish them to look like granite?

By kyazgal from Sun Lakes, AZ

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February 26, 20110 found this helpful

There is a special paint buy I don't know what it is. I also know there are several steps to the process. Ask at your home improvement store.

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Anonymous
February 27, 20110 found this helpful

There are oodles of suggestions if you scroll down to the ThriftyFun archives below and then also go to this link:

http://www.thri  f999197.tip.html

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June 5, 20120 found this helpful

Check out WWW.DAICHCOATINGS.COM for a very cool product. We used it on our old laminate ( formica ) kitchen counters and were thrilled with the results.

It's called the SpreadStone Countertop Refinishing Kit. It's a real stone countertop you Roll on!

Gives you a brand new surface that rolls on like paint. Incredibly tough, no mixing anything together, very easy to work with. It's the closest you are going to get to the real thing for less than $150 bucks.

Everything is in one box and covers about 60 sq.ft. of surface area. We're going to do our bathroom vanity and bar top this time around. The one kit will cover both.

Have fun! - John.

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0 found this helpful
December 5, 2010

How can I easily refurbish an old Formica desk, step by step easy to do, by painting?

By Renee from Perth, WA

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 5, 20100 found this helpful

I have heard that there is special paints for use on counter tops. Check with your home improvement store. They usually have employees that advise you on things like this.

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December 6, 20100 found this helpful

Here are step by step instructions at this link:

http://www.wiki  mica-Countertops

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Anonymous
December 6, 20100 found this helpful

There are excellent instructions right here at ThriftyFun. Even though the instructions are for counter tops it's the same concept for what you're requesting. :-)

http://www.thri  7383663.tip.html

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0 found this helpful
January 24, 2011

What is the best way to paint or recondition a 20+ year old Formica kitchen counter top?

By Dan from Honeoye Falls, NY

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
January 25, 20110 found this helpful

Scroll down to the archives on this page for some information and also go to the following two links for oodles of sublinks to check out for information and ideas:

http://www.thri  =19&act.y=21

http://www.thri  =23&act.y=15

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January 31, 20120 found this helpful

Unfortunately painting them will not solve your problem. It would only add to them. Being that it is in a kitchen it will get allot of use, moisture. things sliding across them. The paint won't stick and will be starting to peel before a months end if not sooner. Formica is very slick and paint will not stick to that.

You would have to sand the surface which would expose the particleboard under. Those spots would soak up way too much of the paint and start to swell and warp. You would never get a nice finished look to those areas. I'm real sorry but the facts are real and I don't like to see folks upset and disappointing over their projects when they should have been told before hand.

They do make a conditioning wax/oil that will bring back some of the color and looks to it. It is called Butcher Block wood conditioner and wax. It penetrates into the surface. You can also do a Lemon Oil treatment to it once in a while and that will also bring it back. I have worked in a Hardware/tool/paint department for thirty five years and have seen and tried many things to do what you are attempting to do and the oils work the best out of all of them.

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0 found this helpful
December 2, 2008

I have been reading all the posts and I am very excited to tackle my countertops, but I need step by step instructions and maybe a shopping list. Does anyone know where I can print one or can give me an idea on how to get started?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
December 2, 20080 found this helpful

Hey Trina This is Gail from Detroit. Put in painting Laminate Counters or Transforming Old formica Counters and you will see all the lovely painted counters. Where are you in Detroit?

I am in Novi. Howdy Neighbor. Gail

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December 31, 20080 found this helpful

Start with a clean counter and Gripper paint

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January 14, 20090 found this helpful

I subscribe to an organizing blog. http://www.take  gesolutions.org/

If you go through this site, there are free home forms, including a master shopping list.

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0 found this helpful
August 27, 2008

If I can paint the back splash of my Formica counter tops with a semi gloss, will I have to prepare them by sanding? The space all total might be 6'x6'. I just want a change, without getting new ones. Thanks for all the help.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I've done this to my daughter's backsplash. It turned out great! You do need to lightly sand the surface. Then, coat it with an adhesive primer, Zin Primer. I used a foam brush to apply several coats of paint. Then, I put on a clear oil- based satin gloss. The oil-base does yellow, which was okay with the color I used. But, oil-base holds up much better around areas exposed to water or food splashes.

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I did not need to sand. I bought a small can of Zinsser B-I-N primer (Home Depot). This stuff sticks to ANYTHING. It is the same product that I used to prime and paint the 1950s pink tile in my bathroom (now a high-gloss white) and the horrid tile backsplash that was in my kitchen when I moved in (now a copper metallic...also from HD)

http://www.zins  asp?ProductID=10

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August 28, 20080 found this helpful

I think I would use an oil base paint for the backsplash. Also use a primer. Make sure u tell the sales person that u are using an oil base paint so they can give u the correct primer. An oil base paint will give u better results. ~Janette~

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December 29, 20060 found this helpful

How do I care for painted Formica countertops? It has three coats of oil-based polyurethane.

Beth from Jacksonville, Florida

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 5, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Beth,

Did you ever get a response to this? If so, can you please let me know how you clean your countertops. I just posted the same question and then came across your posting. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks,

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March 1, 20090 found this helpful

Hi: I'm janitor at my church and also have countertops at home. Not sure what you mean about 'care' of formica, as just washing with your favorite cleaner usually is enough. You can buy a gloss coat for formica at a hardware store if you like. I tried it and found it to be much like car wax. I found turtle wax best on formica high use tables at home. The white formica at church, I have had to bleach lightly and also scrub off permanant magic marker.... and countertop is over 45 years old. So care of formica is pretty simple really. Hope this helped!

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 24, 20110 found this helpful

How do I paint old Formica counter tops?

By oldlinewater from Jackson, AL

Answers:

Painting Formica Counter Tops

Use a product called Prime Eze, sand lightly, and paint on. Let dry, apply another coat, and then paint the desired color. Don't forget to use a sealant on the finished product! The product is sold at home improvement stores that carry paint and supplies.

Another option (I used this one) is to buy the cans of spray that give a stone or hammered metal texture to lamps, ceramics, picture frames, etc., makes for a great color, gives texture and looks brand new! Good luck. (09/13/2009)

By Beau D

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

September 8, 20090 found this helpful

Can I paint my formica countertop?

Jan from Doyle, TN

Answers:

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

April 14, 20090 found this helpful

I am wanting to paint my old white Formica Countertops. What do I need to do to prepare it for painting and what steps can I take to have a smooth and shiny finished product? Thank you.

Jennifer from Pensacola, Florida

Answers:

Painting Countertops

We painted our bathroom countertop that was ceramic tile several years ago in our first home. It looked great compared to the outdated color that was there, however, after a year or two standing water made it start to peel and it was very prone to scratching. We did use a special product made especially for painting over this type of material yet it didn't hold up in the long run like we had hoped. It is worth a try, be sure to not leave standing water on it if it is near a sink and you could always try to touch it up in the mean time until you are ready to replace it. Best Wishes! (10/17/2005)

By Sharon from Merton, WI

Painting Countertops

Here's a previous article that may help:

http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf370385.tip.html (05/16/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Painting Countertops

Use a really good primer and then a coat of melamine paint. (05/17/2006)

By PICO

Painting Countertops

I painted our countertops and they look great. First, use a good ammonia based cleaner on the counters. Then roughly sand the countertops and wash them again. Let dry.

I then applied one coat of KILZ. After that dried, I painted them with black satin paint. When that finally dried, I used craft paints to marbleize the counters with greens, aquas, white and a touch of pink. Minwax acrylic topcoat was applied after paint was dry and I applied at least three coats.


Countertops are shiny, as I used gloss clear acrylic. Have had them for over two years now. No chips, no cracks or blemishes and we throw all sorts of stuff on the counters and kitchen desk counter :-) Hope this helps.
(10/07/2007)

By lj

Painting Countertops

Has anyone tried painting their countertops with crackle paint? (11/29/2007)

By Cindy

Painting Countertops

I have used the rustoleum paints for my bathroom countertops and kitchen. I used the hammered paints which turned our great, it gives them a metal look, then seal them with one to two coats of poly. If only doing a small area I would use the spray paint, it is more efficient but a little messy so don't forget about over spray. (12/13/2007)

By Ashley T

Painting Countertops

Has anyone used the spray paint that looks likes stone? I am in the process of painting my counter tops in the bath and have 2 coats of the bonding primer on so far. If anyone has used the spray paint method how did you do it? (02/28/2008)

By stacey

Painting Countertops

I painted my kitchen laminated counter top and I did the back splash also. For more info contact lordlady210 AT yahoo.Com (09/03/2008)

By AIDA

RE: Painting Countertops

Painting Countertops

I painted my kitchen countertops four years ago, and just finished giving it a fresh coat of spar urethane. We added spray glitter to our countertops, and has a soft sparkle just like granite stone. We absolutely love it, and it is very durable! I would recommend it to anyone, but also recommend you getting specific instructions before attempting such a project. (02/12/2009)

By Laura

Painting Countertops

I painted my countertops a few months ago and sealed with several coats of a water based poly. The counters look great, however, I get white spots whenever something wet sits on it. As soon as it is dry, the spots go away. Any suggestions? (02/19/2009)

By tbonette

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

March 10, 20090 found this helpful

Can I paint formica kitchen counter tops?

Leanne

Answers:

Painting Formica Counter Tops

Yes, you can paint formica countertops but it is quite a process. First you have to clean them exceptionally well with soap and water and then wipe down with alcohol. Then buy a GOOD latex primer such as Bin 123 or anything made by Zinser and apply. Once that is dry, then you may paint. It will take 2 coats probably. You can then do a faux finish if you would like. If you want it to look like granite, go to www.Victorialarsen.com and she has a granite stencil to use. Of course you will have to have many colors of paint to use it. Then after you have painted it, give it at least 3 coats of LATEX polyurethane. Make sure it is latex or it will yellow. Good luck! (01/03/2008)

By Elaine

Painting Formica Counter Tops

I have also seen painted formica counter top, my mother-in-law did this, she had to do this often, about every 1-2 years. The very best way is just to save up your money & have new counter tops installed. When formica is painted, it takes about a year & a half before they really look bad again, even worse then before they are painted. I'm sorry to sound so negative on the subject, but I have seen these refinished counter tops & they just look terrible after about 1-2 years. (01/04/2008)

By Cricket Girl

Painting Formica Counter Tops

I did it once in a bathroom at at previous house I lived in. The counter top was not very big but I lightly sanded it down and then painted. It still looked good when I moved; if I remember correct I think it was about a year or so later. (01/24/2008)

By TXBetty

Painting Formica Counter Tops

After reading the feedback on this site, I did a faux granite finish on my counter tops a couple weeks ago and I love how they turned out. I cleaned them well, and applied Zinser BIN primer and let it dry overnight. The next day I painted the counters with black craft paint from Hobby Lobby (2 large). Next, I applied five different colors using a sea sponge, letting each color dry an hour between: Golden brown, Safari taupe, light gray, Latte, and Earth brown. I then sponged black to tone down the countertops. The last step was applying three coats of MinWax Polyurethane clear gloss, sanding between coats. I did the whole project for about $45. (03/05/2008)

By BarbYo

RE: Painting Formica Counter Tops

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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