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Painting a Laminate Counter Top

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painting a countertop
Painting your old laminate countertops gives your kitchen a brand new look without the expense of buying new countertops! On this page you will find step by step instructions and photos. This is a guide about painting a laminate counter top.


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By 2 found this helpful
November 14, 2008

I just finished painting my kitchen counter top with acrylic latex paint and polyurethene. It was a lot of fun and saved lots of money. I spent a total of $150.00!

Anyone can do it. Here's a picture before I finished the last section. So you can see the color I previously had. I might mention, my counterops were in good shape when I started this project. The hardest part is applying the poly coats afterwards.

I got the granite look I was wanting. Now I can save up for the real thing down the road.

I might mention, that you treat painted counter tops as you would any laminate top. Nothing hot, and you don't cut on it.

It will chip easier if you have kids around. All you'd have to do is sand it, paint it again and then the poly.


  1. Clean with TSP.

  2. Prime.

  3. Apply accent colors one at a time and let dry.

  4. I used water based poly /glossy. We lightly sanded in between, cleaned with damp rag. Dry and put on a layer of (non yellowing) poly until we got the look we wanted. Just make sure your counter is free of defects first.

My cabinets are Aristokraft Spice cabinets/ Oak with Spring Green Paint Color for those of you not able to find a paint color. This green is a blue hue, no yellow what so ever. I love it.

I might mention, I googled "refinishing laminate counter tops" to get the idea.

By Jean from Robards, KY

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By 4 found this helpful
March 17, 2009

Well, I did it! I started with an upstairs bath that no one would have to see if it turned out really ugly, but I am just tickled. I couldn't have done it without you guys. Thanks for all the advice. For those still contemplating it, get the torch! I let someone talk me out of it, big mistake. I nearly hyperventilated trying to get the bubbles out, finally resorted to my hairdryer, then decided to give up, let it dry and sand them out before the next coat.


I used an epoxy paint from Home Depot on the sink. It's hard to work with, but worth the end result. A couple tips:

  • Envirotex will spread quite easily with a square sponge paint edger tool and is perfect for those pesky backsplashes. Just check periodically to correct any sagging until it begins to set.

  • I used a dense sponge roller with a tinted primer for the base which worked beautifully, and smaller disposable sponge paint sticks for tight spaces. I would recommend getting the round sponge wheel for corners.

  • The fellow who posted advice about using stains instead of paint was right. I used gel stain for my darkest color, thinking depth again, and wished I had used ALL stain instead of paint. Some is opaque, some is more transparent depending on the application, just like granite. You can be much more creative and end up with more natural results. You don't even need the glitter when using this.

    Before and after photo:

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By 3 found this helpful
July 16, 2009

I want to say that this site is awesome! I don't know how to get more than one pic on at a time so I will do this in parts so you can see it all. I did 2 bathroom vanities and my kitchen.
  1. I started by cleaning with vinegar and then lightly sanding all my work.
  2. I raised up my sinks because I didn't want a "lip" around them that you get even using tape. This was done by unscrewing from underneath then using two 2 x 4s cut a little higher that the distance from the floor to the bottom of the sink and wedging them in. It didn't interfere with the plumbing at all and I could put the paint and sealer right under the sink.
  3. I used an oil based primer (Kiltz) after cleaning and lightly sanding.
  4. When it dried I put a water based coat of paint on the whole thing then took 3 colors plus metallic gold craft paints with a sea sponge cut into different sizes and started patting away.
  5. When I got what I wanted I used water based varethane for floors to seal it. I did 5 coats lightly sanding in between each application. It can be re-coated after 2 hours of drying time.

I waited a week before I sat anything on them but I don't think I would have had to. It says on the can that "normal walking" can be done after 3 days. Remember, you can put water based stuff over oil but you cannot put oil based over water. You will get bad results if you do.

The pics I have don't really show how pretty they actually are. They shine beautifully and I am using them like I would normal counters. My friends love them and want me to do theirs!

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By 2 found this helpful
February 24, 2009

Let me begin by saying that all these posts were the most helpful information I found or my project. I've lived in my house for 13 years with country blue countertops that I've hated since day one. Not having the funds to renovate and not wanting to paint the kitchen a color that went with country blue, I left the kitchen the color it was when we bought the house.

Recently a decorator/friend suggested we paint the countertops black with the Fusion spray paint and top with polycrylic. She did this for us and the change was inspiring. No more blue! However, this treatment was very fragile. The polycrylic clouded when damp and the paint scratched easily. After reading all of this discussion I decided to use the Envirotex Lite product. I rolled on satin Krylon black latex, waited one day, mixed acrylic art paint, metallic pewter and metallic black, dibbled on with a large art brush, and immediately sponged over heavily with the metallic black again. I topped it all off with black "fairy dust" glitter.

I had about 35 sq ft of counter, used a 1/2 quart of Krylon latex, 1 (2 oz) bottle of pewter and 2 (2 oz) bottles of black acrylic and less than 2 tubes of fairy dust. We used a total of 4 (32 oz) Envirotex kits. I gathered 40% coupons from Michaels and Hobby Lobby and kept the cost of all materials under $100.

I waited one more day and prepared to apply the Envirotex. I was a bit intimidated. I re-read all the posting, re-read the directions and made my husband read them too. It wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated! Working with another person and having a plan made it pretty easy. A few pointers that I believe were helpful:

The end results are stunning! I am beginning to use the countertops and find them very durable. I am being very cautious, but believe the end result will be durable in the long run. No scratches yet and this is much better than the polycrylic finish. I'm not sure why I waited 13 years to take care of a color I hated. I encourage anyone reading this to GO FOR IT! Thanks for all the great advice!

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By 1 found this helpful
April 14, 2009

Well I finally got done with my project thanks to all your post on this page. I was so leery of doing this but it came out awesome. I did need help at the end with the second coat of Enviro though.

Painted laminate countertop.

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Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

January 22, 20170 found this helpful

Creating the look of granite on your countertop using paints can be a real challenge. This is a guide about painting counter tops to look like granite.

Painting Counter Tops to Look Like Granite

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January 17, 20170 found this helpful

You can refurbish your laminate countertops for under $100. Learn how to get new countertops in this guide.

Painted laminate countertop.

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December 29, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about best sealant for painted laminate countertops. Whether epoxy or poly urethane is going to be the best sealant for the countertop finish you want, may best be determined with a test.

Painted Laminate Countertops

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 26, 2009

I need some help. I painted my countertops with granite spray and used a water based poly on top (4 coats). That was 3 days ago. They feel dry to the touch, but are soft enough to leave marks.

What can I do to fix this problem? There is also a few milky streaks when you look just right in the light. Anyone know why? I waited the 2 hours in between that it suggested. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

By Janmarie from IA

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June 2, 20100 found this helpful

I painted my laminate countertops. I did my 14 foot long countertops and they came out good. I started doing my 4 foot counter and disaster hit. I believe i did the same technique as the other countertops. I sand then apply the minwax polycrylic and it keeps crackling. I let it dry for 24 hours then sand down again and the same thing happens when I apply another coat. I have repeated these steps 4 times already.

I believe the coats of clear coat were not fully dry because there was very hot and humid weather even though to the touch it was dry. My question is should I leave the countertop alone for about a week then sand it down then apply the polycrylic or should I sand it down now then wait a week to apply the polycrylic? I'm figuring maybe I could give it some time for the under coats to get hard.

Please help!

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By 27 found this helpful
March 15, 2011

I need to repaint my counter top in the bathroom. It was painted with melamine paint. Do I have to use melamine again or is there some other kind of paint I can use instead of melamine? Also, my bathroom cabinets were painted with melamine, but I don't want to use melamine this time. Any suggestions appreciated.

By Karen

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

I am trying to paint the bathroom countertop, I love the way morgalm did this! What type and color of paint did you use?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 3, 2006

I just bought a house and will need to paint and replace all the floor coverings. My problem is that the kitchen has pink countertops which are in good condition. The cabinets are white. What do I do to make the pink work in the kitchen and how do I make it flow with the rest of the house. I am not sure what color of floor coverings to put in the house.

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April 1, 20170 found this helpful

If you think your green countertop is bad you should see my kitchen floor! lol. I'm looking for diy project to cover my original 1950's light green counter, and then I can plan out the color of tiles for my ugly hunter green/black/notre dame gold colored floor tiles...

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By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2017

I painted my laminate countertops. I sanded and primed. I painted with acrylic paint sponged to look like marble. It looked great. I painted with Minwax spar urethane clear gloss. There is one problem - the marblizing colors are coming off. What am I doing wrong? I am letting it dry completely between coats. Please help.

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March 20, 20170 found this helpful

Could possibly be due to the combo of oil based topcoat and water based paint. They tend to not work well or adhere to each other well. That would be my guess. I used water based on mine and it all stayed fine and I have had no trouble in several years of using them.

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June 4, 20120 found this helpful

My bathroom vanity needs refinishing and I do not wish to replace it. It has been in place for 20 years and has gotten rather discolored.

By Sue M.

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June 11, 20120 found this helpful

Because there are now paints on the market for painting formica countertops, I think you should be able to buy one to do your formica vanity. I plan to paint my melamine cupboards. Formica is a brand of melamine or the other way around.

Good luck

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By 0 found this helpful
March 3, 2012

I am truly working on budget here. I have read the many posts as to how to paint counter tops and am excited. But, I also have an issue with the counter top in that it was not cut straight where the two pieces join at the corner. There is a gap along the length from the back to the front where the two pieces are supposed to join. Anyone have any suggestions on how to fill this gap?

By gailbie

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January 18, 20140 found this helpful

Best product I have used to fill cracks is Bondo. Dries very hard and can be sanded with electric sander. Might need an extra coat of primer on it before the regular priming is done.

Oil based paint and primers are the way to go. Sand between coats and do not apply in humid conditions. Allow plenty of curing time between coats. If your fingernail will scratch it, it's not ready to re-coat. No topcoat should be used. Most varnish type formulas are not water safe. Many will fish-eye when applied over oil based paints.

One note: Make sure your paint is not too thick. It should flow lightly over the countertop.

35 years experience in commercial painting.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 1, 2010

Can you use the counter tops that are painted the same way as the original Formica top? Or are there restrictions?

By Maria from Miramar, FL

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August 6, 20100 found this helpful

The easy answer is that paint simply is not as durable as laminate. That is why people have laminate counters. Some of the suggestions from others may be a better alternative to just painting the laminate. Regular paint will scratch very easily.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 12, 2008

Can anyone tell me how to not get brush strokes in my poly coat when painting laminate counter tops?


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March 14, 20080 found this helpful

I've found using a foam painting brush eliminates streaking. Give it try. Jan, UK

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By 0 found this helpful
October 1, 2007

Is it possible to (step by step and what products) paint my laminate counter tops to look like dark brown quartz?

Lisa Russ from Florence, SC

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October 5, 20100 found this helpful

You can do this with acrylic paint. You must seal it and understand,seal,seal,seal it. I painted a kitchen bar and it still looks fine. However,we only ate at it.When your dealing with surfaces that get wet it's only a matter of time before you must redo it or replace it.

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September 1, 20121 found this helpful

Has anyone tried to upgrade 5 inch glazed countertops?

By Marilyn D

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By 0 found this helpful
July 24, 2011

I see lots of posts here and elsewhere on the web about painting laminate, but none of the photos I've seen show laminate counters with the metal edges, and metal joints between the counter tops and backsplashes.

Has anyone done this? If so, what kind of preparation did you do on the metal? We're thinking of using Giani granite but haven't made up our minds yet. The counter is probably 50 years old, and a sad faded turquoise, so almost anything would be an improvement.

Thanks in advance!

By soup-lady

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful

I think I would tape off the metal strips because they may not take the paint as well. Sand with a fine grit sandpaper before painting.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 6, 2011

How do I faux paint laminate counter tops?

By FURCAR2 from Colonial Heights, VA

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March 7, 20110 found this helpful

So easy! Use an oil based primer first. Then an oil based paint for the base and for the accent colors. I did mine about 3 1/2 years ago and have loved it! Haven't had any problems with it chipping either and we cook 3 meals a day in my kitchen. So, it gets used a lot! I did not put a coat of polyurethane on it either. Someone told me it would be easier to touch up if it didn't have that shiny coat on top. Let me know if I can help with anything! You won't regret it!

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By 0 found this helpful
July 1, 2009

I have a laminate countertop I want to paint. But it has a metal strip along the front and on the inside edge. What do I do with this metal strip when I paint the countertop?

By literarytrvlr from Cincinnati, OH

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

Go to and see their site. you have a mid -century modern kitchen, ours was built in 1947 and the counters are yellow. we have so enjoyed living with some elements of the past. look into it before you change anything. On this site thousands are accessing sites to BUY the strip material and install it. Others are searching to buy old Metal cupboards to put their homes back to the period. notetotel Ontario Canada

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By 0 found this helpful
July 28, 2016

Do you have some different ways to paint my kitchen laminate countertop? I would love some ideas to choose from as far as various looks. I would like to update my kitchen and make it look more modern. Thanks.

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March 11, 20170 found this helpful

I know 4 people who have either painted or had a professional pain their laminate countertop (to look like granite or marble). They held up for awhile, but within a year or shortly after, they started to chip and peel. I know you can get the kits to do this at Lowe's and Home Depot.

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June 20, 20130 found this helpful

I was searching for a durable finish for a laminate kitchen countertop that was texture sprayed. We took on this project of painting the counter top after removing the other paint finish that was thinning and had bare spots. (This was previously done by a professional 6 years ago.) We did not plan on this it was a spur of the moment improvement. Prepared surface was not cleaned after paint was scrapped off with Awesome's Oxygen Power and Mr. Muscle. So, I see that the surface should have been primed with an oil based primer after cleaning with a degreaser. There are some bubbles on the surface where some of the softened paint was. How do I salvage the project, so I can finish with the clear coats of Envirotex Lite?

By Ernie

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April 24, 20140 found this helpful

You have to use latex satin or a semi-gloss enamel for laminate. Here, you can read this. It's details painting a bathroom countertop but it's the same idea:

http://www.trad  oom-countertops/

You have to make sure that you use the right type of paint as well as primer. If you didn't add a basecoat, then that is most likely the problem.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 14, 2013

Decided to give painting my bathroom laminate vanity a try. I've seen so many that look simply beautiful and not like paint at all. Doesn't seem to be working that way for me. I wanted a more soft, blended look and for some reason cannot achieve the desired result.

What I'm wondering is if putting several layers of a polyacrylic will soften it any. Any feedback is greatly appreciated, thanks!

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May 14, 20130 found this helpful

Hmmm. My first impression at first glance is, there's too much of the medium color in there. Perhaps if you use a fluffy piece of sea sponge, take the darker color and the lighter color and very lightly tap the sponge all over, first with the dark, then the light. the dark will add a little more dimension, and the light will soften and blend everything a little more. The very light touch should add just little wisps of paint, to soften and blend the colors a bit more. Also, when you sponge paint, it is always better to squeeze too much out of the sponge than to leave too much in the sponge, it gives you more control that way. Good luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
May 10, 2013

I've used acrylic crafters paint on my laminate counters, is there a wait time before beginning to apply several layers of polyacrylic? (I know it should be at least two hours between coats of the quick drying poly.)

By camy

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October 23, 20130 found this helpful

Are you able to upload pictures of your project? Would love to see what it looks like.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 14, 2013

How do you not use your kitchen counters while the paint dries and the sealer cures? I've been wanting to paint my kitchen counter tops for a few months now, but I don't see how it's possible not to use them while the sealer cures. How do you make dinner? Do dishes? Some of the best sealers take 2 or 3 days to cure. I was thinking about doing each section separately (I have one on each side of the fridge and the one by the stove and sink), but when I get to the part by the sink/stove, what do I do? Also, there's a seam coming up on that section, how do I fill the seam and glue it back down?

By Lisa S.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 16, 20130 found this helpful

Perhaps you can make do for a while and order in carry outs. Do you have a crock pot? You could make crock pot meals. You could eat off paper plates for a while. Perhaps set up a make shift kitchen in another room. Could you wash dishes in the bathroom or laundry room? Where there's a will....there's a way!

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December 7, 20120 found this helpful

Can you faux finish the laminated back splash in the same technique as the counter tops?

By Tara

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December 9, 20120 found this helpful

Yes. Home depot has a kit that will do both at the same time. There is also a company that will do a fantastic job for you for pretty cheap.

http://www.ecor  com/us/Main.aspx

The home depot kit is not cheap and it can be very hard to get it to look like a pro finish so be sure to test a small area first or you will be paying teh big bucks to get it all removed and replaced.

If you live in Ky ask for Jon he is super super nice!

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August 29, 20120 found this helpful

I painted my bathroom counter with melamine paint. It looks nice, but not a granite look. Could I put that look over my melamine and how would you do it? Please help in directing me step by step in doing this. Thanks in advance. My bathroom countertop is in a light grey, my walls are dark grey. I would like some colour on the countertop. I like browns and beiges also could this go with it.

By Bonnie

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August 30, 20120 found this helpful

I found this and may give it a try myself they have it at Lowe's http://gianigra  tertoppaint.html

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