I wanted to share my personal experience and tips for any of you considering doing this. I researched this project thoroughly before I actually took the plunge, and in my opinion, this method produced the best results.
For inspiration, search online for granite colors. Print out 3 or 4 that you like.
With the Rust-Oleum paint, sanding or priming is not required. The primer is built into the paint. When applying the Rust-Oleum paint, use the sponge rollers for big areas and paint brushes for corners and back splashes. Work fast, it sets up quick. Make sure you're in a ventilated area or turn the fan on if you're in a bathroom. This stuff is potent! Let dry (about an hour, maybe 2). If you prefer another coat, you can. I did. I felt better about 2 coats. Let dry.
To create the faux granite look you want, pour only the color of craft paint you're going to be using at the time onto a paper plate. They dry fast. You will have to keep adding paint to the plate. Use a new paper plate for each color. Start however you want. I did light to dark then back to light. You will have to play with the colors to get the look you want. I used the sea sponges mostly. I used the feather duster for the middle color and the chunked out brushes for whenever I needed a different looking texture. Use the smaller art brushes or stencil brushes for the corners and tight spaces. If you mess up on an area or don't like how it looks, don't panic. The craft paint is water base. Wet a paper towel and rub until it comes off. The Rust-Oleum paint will not come off. Nifty!
Once you have the look you want, let it set up for about 20-30 minutes. Come back and rub your hand over it. You will be able to tell it's dry. If it feels a little rough, it's because the craft paint tends to make "peaks" where you have used the sea sponges. I used a 240 grit sand paper and VERY lightly sanded over the counter top. Then I wiped it down with damp paper towels. Make sure all the grit from the sand paper is off. Let it dry.
If you're painting a large area, get someone to help you with the Envirotex. This varnish is not forgiving of mistakes. You will need to work quickly. You will need someone to mix and pour it while someone spreads. The directions that are included in the box tells you everything you need to know. Read them front to back. Twice. Pay attention to the edges and do what the box says. If your fan is still on at this point - turn it off. Close off the vent to whatever room you're in and close the door if you can. This helps with the drying time and keeps stuff from floating in the air and landing on top of the wet varnish. I had a few "cooties" in my final outcome. Cat/dog hair and/or dust. If you're a glutton for punishment, once it's dry, you can lightly sand the counter top and reapply the Envirotex again. I left the master bathroom how it dried, but I redid the middle bathroom and I wish I would have left it alone. It's all up to you.
Once everything is dry (24-72 hours, depending on the temperature in your house), you can start unmasking. The tape that has any dried Envirotex will have to be cut with a razor blade. You can remove the masking tape once its semi set up if you like. I didn't want to risk dragging or pulling the varnish. The razor blade actually wasn't that bad.
I have included before, during, and after pictures. I also did the counter in the built in cabinets in my hallway. You can do virtually any surface you want!
By creativenailchick from Bakersfield, CA
By Suz Jab 1
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.
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
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.
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
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.
July 27, 2011
I am trying to paint the bathroom countertop, I love the way morgalm did this! What type and color of paint did you use?
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:
Before and after photo:
By Grace 1
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.
June 3, 2009
I just finished painting my kitchen/dining room. I also have a pink counter top. I have a snack bar too. I have lots of oak,cabinets and floors. I put up a chair rail, painted it white. The top of the chair rail in dining room is yellow ( Ace Hardware Chilled Lemonade.)This color goes in kitchen over the cabinets. The bottom of the chair rail is blue ( soft denim) It is a jewel toned blue. My door is Gray. Windows are timed in white too. I must say it is beautiful!I wouldn't have put these colors together til I picked the blue for a bedroom. I'm very pleased.
By Darlene 1
I just finished creating faux granite countertops and I'm so thrilled! It was easy and the total cost for each countertop was about $70. Here's what I did:
Rustoleum says the clear coat is heat resistant but I wouldn't put a hot pot on it. I don't think it would hurt it but it might go cloudy. Just use a hot pad. If you're in a situation like me where my countertops were shot it's worth a try. Even if it only lasts a couple years. It's worth it.
I'm a newbie here, but not a newbie to DIY. Somebody's gotta do it. I've spent 2 days reading and looking at all of your beautiful countertops and making notes. Now I'm down to trying to figure out what sealant to use, so would like to take a vote. It's the democratic way, right? I read a lot of you use the enviro-lite, but to some seems intimidating. Since this is my first time, not sure I want to be that intimidated.
Others I've read have used water-based poly, oil-based poly, Parks Super Glaze, and Varathane Diamond, so I guess what I'm trying to determine is which one.
There are so many of you that have done beautiful jobs, but used different sealers. Can we have a vote here please? I'm not "sponging". I'm using Rustoleum's stone spray stuff, if that helps. I'm using a tan undercoat layer first. One more question, does that need to be latex?
Thank you. And glad I found you guys.
By LinDuh_in_VA from Richmond, VA
July 11, 2010
I kind of have the same type question. I have a beautiful medium sized vanity with nice trim detail that has a laminate top, rest is wood. It was an ugly yellow with gold trim so I wanted to re-paint for my 10 year old to put in her room. So, after researching for almost a week, this is what I did. Please bare with me in my lengthy explanation. Starting out with a smooth laminate vanity top already, I knew I had to do nothing to it except make sure it was clean so I put Glidden gripper on it which was white (gray was the only other available color). Went on nice and even, used a "Purdy" brush. I let it dry 24 hours and I first tested the front removable piece of wood that I could screw off and I painted it with "Ace" Premium Enamel spray paint (deep purple).
It was so nice looking the next day, so I sprayed the vanity but I ran out and they did not have that color at the store anymore. So I continued with some left over paint of the same color but in a gallon can, but it was Behr Premium Satin Latex Interior, Exterior paint. Good for wood, etc. I let dry for 24 hours. Again turned out pretty nice but needed a 2nd coat and a nice glossy finish to add a nice final touch. After letting that dry, I used an "Ace" Clear Enamel, but noticed the next day, some parts were shining like glass and others dull and grainy almost as if I painted a wood top with a natural grain. It was really noticeable from a distance, especially in the light. Plus, even though the gripper was evenly applied with a brush and I spray painted it evenly with the enamel, I really wanted the glassy look like some of the spots were but I ran out. So I went back to Ace, told them what I did and asked for a good shiny, clear glossy, easy care finish that I could brush on. He handed me a pint of "Minwax" lacquer. I thought, "Great"! I just saw that online and researched it a bit so I thought I was good to go.
Not! I went home and OMG. I used sparingly but evenly, whew the fumes were unbearable, even though I opened the garage and wore a small mask. I did not want to use another spray can, that was horrible doing that so I used a brush and it showed the strokes so bad and dried to a milky dull finish. Not only that, but as I was painting, it stripped off some the paint to show the gripper so I had to re-paint those spots. It was difficult because I could not bare down like I wanted to because it removed some of the paint but I had to paint quickly because it dries so, so fast. I am also concerened...even after the proper waiting period that it might be hazardous to my daughter having it in her room. I really was just looking to restore an old piece of furniture and work on a little project. But after further research, I see I would need to lacquer and sand, lacquer and sand and repeat too many times. Then seal then sand then buff, etc, etc. Whew! Ok, after that whole speech, I would like to know if I can just get some "Sierra Acrylic Enamel" and top it with that and be done with it to avoid more lacquer or starting over. I am only asking because I have the matching 6 drawer dresser to do also but do not want to go through what I went through. I really want these to turn out nice, but not costly or hazardous. Thank you. Signed, Not an expert. LOL.
3 days later, "The Expert" cost me $9.00 to answer incorrectly, after ruining it, he is now telling me to use MinWax Poly-Crylic. I have already bought the Enamel spray. What to do. What to do! And why did the lacquer bond to the wood part of the vanity after the steps of gripper, then latex but looked different on the laminate after gripper, latex? I mean, see how shiny the legs are. Now what to do with the rest. Sorry so lengthy. I am wore out, as I am sure you are from reading this.
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.
June 11, 2012
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.
By gailbie 1
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?
January 18, 2014
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.
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
August 6, 2010
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.
By janmarie 1
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
June 2, 2010
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.
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.
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!
By sharen 1
Can anyone tell me how to not get brush strokes in my poly coat when painting laminate counter tops?
March 14, 2008
I've found using a foam painting brush eliminates streaking. Give it try. Jan, UK
By Lisa Russ 1
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
October 5, 2010
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.
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!
July 26, 2011
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.
By FURCAR2 1
How do I faux paint laminate counter tops?
By FURCAR2 from Colonial Heights, VA
March 7, 2011
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!
By LucyG 1
Well we did it. We went in head first and painted our laminate countertops. We were extremely nervous to try this, but were already considering replacing them with new ones. We thought, why not try it before we get new ones?
By Pam 1
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
July 27, 2011
Go to retrorenovation.com 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
By Beth 1
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.
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?
April 24, 2014
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:
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.
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!
May 14, 2013
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!
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.)
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.
April 16, 2013
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!
Can you faux finish the laminated back splash in the same technique as the counter tops?
December 9, 2012 Flag
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.
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!
I am getting ready to faux-granite paint my counter. I have blue painter's tape around the walls and sink. My questions is: how well will the tape come off after the Envirotex cures? Is there a trick? I've been looking online, but can't find anything.
September 5, 2012
Usually, you carefully remove the tape while the paint is still wet. When it dries, some paint can peel off with the tape, the tape can lift the paint, or the paint will seal the tape on the wall. Call the company, I've always used plain masking tape, not blue painter's tape.
Has anyone tried to upgrade 5 inch glazed countertops?
By Marilyn D
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.
I am looking for paint which I can paint on top my kitchen work top. It is not shiny, but has a matte finish to it. Please help me find something. I don't want to spend too much money on kitchen worktops.
By sheetal mistry from Leicester
By margy 1
How do you paint countertop laminate to look like stone?
By Margy from Winnipeg, Canada
I need to paint my kitchen counters. What should I use?
By Daniel B. 1
I, on a whim, painted my laminate kitchen countertop without any real prep; it is now chipping. Will applying Minwax polycrylic help? If not, is there anything I can do or am I doomed?
I painted my laminate kitchen countertops using a Giani paint kit. They look fantastic, but I wanted more protection, plus a glossier look, than the poly top coat that came with the kit. I did apply two top coats of the Giani poly, and because I wanted them really glossy, I used Envirotex Lite, a 2 part hypoxy. I'm guessing the reason they turned out all wavey on top, is because I did not sand off the Giani poly coat first. What a mess! Do I have to sand all the way down to the paint, or do I need to take the paint off too, and start over. Then what is a good, really glossy topcoat to use?
Years ago I had painted counter tops in an apartment. I'm not sure what process they used, but if I ever laid a sack of bread or any printed plastic on them it would leave the imprint...never to be removed again. Have any of you experienced this? I'm interested in painting mine, but am fearful of not being able to use them normally.
By Shree L.
I want to try painting my Formica counter tops, and I know there are a lot of kits out there for just that, but it seems like the most important part of the kit is the poly. Rustoleum has a hammered silver spray paint formulated for plastics. Could I use this to paint and then one of the poly coats suggested?
By Jim A. 1
I am moving and I wanted to do some refreshing of my current house. Should I paint my countertops with one of those kits or just go ahead and spend the money on new ones?
By Jim A.
Can you apply Envirotex lite epoxy resin over acrylic polyurethane? The acrylic poly had too many bubbles. I would like to try the epoxy. Any suggestions?
By Jane H
My house was built in 1990 and the laminate countertops are seamless, which I like. The backsplash has a "trendy" metal band at the base and at the top. I believe it is a track so I can't peel it off. Any ideas on how to disguise it? Would caulking it work and if so what kind? Also the banding on the front of the counter is broken. How do I fix that before painting?
I am looking for tips for painting my countertops with Rustoleum paint?
By maggiewest from OH
By Earlene 1
What can I buy to paint a laminated counter top?
By Earlene from DeRidder, LA
By sally 1
I'm considering painting my countertops and either using Envirotex or polyurethane as a top coat. My concern is that I have a cook-top, not a free-standing unit, and was wondering if the heat emitted from that would have any affect on the counter-top? Flammable? Seeing that it would be in direct contact with the counter-top. Thanks in advance.
By Sally from New York
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.
I really hate our countertops but can't afford to replace them. I was wondering if anyone on this site had tried painting their countertop (I saw that it was possible mentioned in a recent feedback). If so, how much does it cost and how does the finished product look? We have a couple spots where there are small holes or dents in the counter, can those be filled before paint is applied?
If anyone has any ideas, let me know.
I've never seen the final results but Christopher Lowell who has a show on the Discovery Channel has instructions for painting countertops:
There are pictures on the site of what it looks like after painting.
There are some more instructions from the Do It Yourself Network:
Susan from ThriftyFun (03/22/2005)
I will have to warn you not to believe everything you see on TV. I seen them paint a concrete livingroom floor and decided I was tired of carpet and stains, and did the same to my floor. No one has a perfect concrete slab unless it was just poured. Mine had cracks and so forth. We filled the cracks, we put kilz on the floor, and we followed all of the painting instructions. We put 4 coats of polyurethane on the floor. We scratched the floor in numerous places while carefully moving our belongings back in. Also, I could not clean the floor in the entryway. It always looked dirty like the dirt wouldn't come up. It looked good on TV, and we obviously thought it would work, but it didn't. Just be careful. Try to get a formica sample that is similar in color to yours and paint it. (03/23/2005)
By suzi homemaker
Jim, these are instructions I took from another list or a web site, haven't tried them myself but I am going to. You could do any color or a faux finish such as granite or marble.
PAINTING A VINYL FLOOR or FORMICA COUNTERTOP:
*** Important to note: Any embossed patterns and lines on your existing flooring or counter will still show. Try to work these patterns or lines into your design.
1. Clean existing vinyl floor or counter well with detergent and water.
2. Sand lightly to remove any glossy spots. In the case of the counter, sand the whole counter.
3. Prepare it for painting by cleaning with TSP to remove the gloss from the vinyl or formica, following the manufacturer's instructions. Carefully follow any recommended safety measures including wearing rubber gloves, safety glasses and a dust mask.
4. Apply Zinsser BIN Primer Sealer to the floor according to directions.
This is a primer that prepares the vinyl to accept paint. Let it dry thoroughly.
The smell can be strong so open the windows and close the room off from the rest of the house while using this product . Let it dry thoroughly.
5. Your floor or counter is now ready to paint You can paint any type of faux finish, tape off areas and design a pattern, or stencil a random or regular pattern or border.
The final step is sealing the paint. Apply three coats of satin or high-gloss non-yellowing polyurethane for the best results and durability. I recommend water-based because it will not change the colors that you use. If you are going to use oil-base, practice the color/poly combination to see if you like the finished color - it really is quite yellow and will turn more yellow as it ages.
If you use waterbased, don't sand between the layers with steel wool. The tiny fibers of the steel wool will break off and rust in the poly, causing little tiny brown spots. I don't ususally sand between layers anyway, but some recommend it. (03/24/2005)
<img src="http://www.thriftyfun.com/feedbackdisplay.lasso?feedback_image=tff7206763" align="right" hspace="10" />I painted my ugly white and scratched formica countertops over 9 months ago and am thrilled with the results. I used Zins bonding primer tinted dark gray and followed with a mix of acrylic black and white paint (craft paint) that I dabbed on a sea sponge and created a granite look on my countertops. Followed with 4 coats of oil based polyurethane (I don't do food prep directly on the countertop anyway without using a plate or cutting board). The finish is amazingly tough and I even dropped a heavy glass bowl from the upper cabinet and it didn't chip! I will attach a picture of the after....I am SO GLAD I tried this... what a transformation in my kitchen! (04/18/2005)
I painted laminated cabinets using a product called Cabinet Rescue. My cabinets were walnut in color and dark. I painted them white as I have a small kitchen. I just followed the directions on the can. It didn't require primer; but it did take three coats of paint. I put no protective cover on the cabinets after painting. After years of use the cabinets are now showing a few bare spots which I know I can paint over. The product comes in quart size and it took three quarts to do 17 doors and 6 drawers. Don't know if this will work on laminate countertops; but worth the check. I would just put a protective coat on top. (10/05/2005)
I painted my bathroom countertops with stratified paint - 2 coats - Did not need to sand or prime -- looked great and just a few little chips a year later that need to be touched up - I even clean it with comet - The only thing is if you have something stored on the countertop -- ex. Vase -- discolorization occurs underneath. (10/14/2005)
By Taste and no money
You can find the directions from Debbie Travis's Painted House by typing this URL.
or by typing faux grainte countertop into the google search engine.
Let me know how it turns out. I've never done it, but am extremely anxious to see how it turns out when an amateur does it. I'm thinking of purchasing a home, but it doesn't have very good countertops in it. Faux grainte may be the solution if it works for you. (11/27/2005)
By Heather (guest post)
I painted my kitchen counter tops about a year ago with melamine paint and I didn't even bother priming first, and the counters look great! I have only 2 minor knife scratches, which I could easily paint over. I used a small paint roller to apply the paint and you couldn't even tell that my counters are painted because they look so good. It was an easy job and cost me under $20 (02/24/2006)
There are Epoxy paints that they use to resurface tubs and tile. These paints are expensive (around $65/gal), but they are tough as nails, require no primer (usually) and most even come with a 10 year guarantee. Don't be confused if you wind up looking at 'boat paints' - they use the same stuff to paint bass boat hulls. (02/28/2006)
I just completed refinishing my 1960's laminate countertops. It cost me about 25 bucks. What I used was Tough as Tile Tub & Tile brush-on epoxy finisher. It only comes in bright white ut I had tint added. It was very easy and turned out perfect. I am attaching a couple of pictures to show the results. (04/23/2006)
I have started to paint my laminated countertops. I read somewhere to use oil-based paint because it was more durable and smoother, so I used an oil-based primer, then I put oil-based gray enamel on it because it said to use a littler color for base. I want it to look like black marble, but now I don't know if I can put the black enamel over the oil-based grey enamel and then streak white enamel through it to create the marble look. Does anyone have any ideas? Help.
Debbye from Kimberling City
I have been remodeling my bathroom and just finished laying my ceramic tile and have been thinking about giving this countertop facelift a try. I have the ugly old laminate countertops. If anyone could please post close-up pictures of how their's turned out I would be grateful! I love the idea of a faux granite or marble finish, but I've never done any faux painting before so that is my biggest fear on giving this a try. Any step by step tips on how to do the faux work would also be appreciated. (08/05/2006)
I tried this. THIS WORKED GREAT. I did a section at a time so I could still use the kitchen. I painted my cabinets white, then used black and white acrylic paint and polyurethane and it looks like granite. Even hubby was impressed. Every1 thinks I got new countertops, I was quoted over $800 for FORMICA replacements... this cost less than $20. THANK YOU! (08/05/2006)
I painted my countertop with Rustoleum EpoxyShield (water based for basements). It looks great! The paint is really strong, but when I added the paint chips, it gave the countertop a rough finish. I used Minwax Water Based Polyacrylic as a clear coat and sealer. It's smoother now, but I noticed that if there is any standing water on the countertop, it will turn into a milky white haze. It will evaporate and turn clear again. I believe that the Polyacrylic is absorbing the water. I'm going to try the Minwax Water Based Polyurethene. Hopefully that will prevent the hazing. Has anyone else had this problem with water based polyacrylic?
My husband and I found a neat product. We were watching TV and saw a commercial for a product called RollerRock by Daich Coatings. It makes plain cement look like stone. We thought that would be fun to do on our patio.....so I went to the website to check it out. Was I surprised. We've been thinking of painting our countertops in the kitchen and bath for a while now. This company makes a product called SpreadRock. It comes in 5 colors and states that it can be used on countertops. It has a granite look without all the extra work. Just prime, coat, and seal. We are excited to try it. It's more expensive than just paint, but hopefully it will last much longer. (08/15/2006)
I'm considering doing this to a condo in Molokai because it's so remote & hard to get materials and/or professionals there.
Before finding this discussion here, when I finally found a technique, I was going to buy a short piece of laminate countertop to practice with. Online you can find a 4 foot section at Lowe's for $34, possibly cheaper at a local store. Home Depot used to carry them in their stores too.
Also I wanted to contribute a couple of links. The previous one for Christoper Lowell no longer works, but you can find his instructions here:
Also, here's the direct link for the Daich products:
Just from the few things I've read already, I think the most important step for durability is to make sure the countertop is sanded so there is something for the paint or coating to adhere to. This holds true when people tile over their laminate countertops.
Debbie Travis mentions that Melamine paint doesn't need a top coat. I'm not sure what a Melamine paint is though. Certainly an epoxy paint would be good, although probably one dimensional by itself without a fauxing technique. Another technique that is being used on these countertops is using them as a base for a concrete countertop, so people might want to research that a bit too.
Well, good luck everyone & don't forget to post pictures (good or bad). Also close up shots would be appreciated! (09/02/2006)
I found another thread on this site with a few more pictures of people's redone countertops. What a bunch of talented people:
Also, I found the site for Cabinet Rescue, mentioned previously:
Guess what? It's Melamine paint like Debbie Travis used. Only problem is that in the FAQ, the Cabinet Rescue people do not recommend it for countertops, floors, or any other place with high usage. But then all the experts say Formica can't be painted over either, hehe. I guess it's a "your mileage may vary" situation. However, it can be tinted and looks like it would be a good application to use for redoing what it's name implies, cabinets.
I am in the middle of painting my countertops right now. All I've done so far is clean them, give them a quick sanding so that the primer really adheres to the surface and have now finished the first coat of primer specifically made for Melamine paints. So far so good. Not a strong smell in the house either. I had a couple of chips out of my old counter top so i just filled them with regular polyfil and sanded them down. Looks good as new. A project that would have cost me a couple hundred $$ to buy new counter tops has now only cost me $40! (09/09/2006)
Can I paint old laminate countertops? If so, what is the best process?
I need help painting laminate counter tops. Already sanded, primed, painted and did 1 coat of water base sealer. I now have brush marks where I used the sealer. I tried to sand and it's chipping the paint. What did I do wrong and how can I fix it? Thanks in advance.
Sharen from Kentucky
You need to use oil base sealer. Water base will not work. I have did mine and they came out really nice. (04/09/2008)
How can I paint laminate counters?
How do I paint laminate countertops?
How do I paint my laminate counter tops?
I want to paint my laminate counter tops. What kind of paint do I use and what are the steps?