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Painting a Laminate Counter Top

Category Kitchen
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.

Directions:

  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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Solutions

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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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Questions

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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 26, 20090 found this helpful

For future reference, when painting standard counter tops you should use a product specifically for that purpose. Here's a link to a DIYer that used Rustoleum's counter top paint:

http://christen  countertops.html

I have no advice on the current problem though.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 27, 20090 found this helpful

If your granite spray is an oil-based paint, that could be the problem. Putting a water-based paint over an oil-based paint can cause bubbling and peeling. If your paint store has knowledgeable employees, they might know how to solve your problem.

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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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

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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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.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes

Answers

March 3, 20060 found this helpful

Using decor that blends the colors of your countertops and other parts of the kitchen/house will help. Curtains with nice designs and detailing and colored bottles are wonderful for this.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 3, 20060 found this helpful

Consider using burgundy with the pink to add another color.. This will give it a traditional look.. For a more contemporary look use beige or brown with your pink countertops.. I say, if it looks like a mistake do it again..

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March 3, 20060 found this helpful

Have you considered black. Black and white squares would match for a kind of retro look. I agree that for a contemporary look that beige or brown would be a good choice. The accent pieces that you use will bring all of the colors together. Have fun.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 3, 20060 found this helpful

You could go really frilly with the curtains and I thinks silver appliances set on the counters would set off the pink.

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 4, 20060 found this helpful

The color chocolate goes well with pink.

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March 5, 20060 found this helpful

You don't have to live with the pink countertops. Home Depot Or Lowes has special paint to redo countertops and make them any color you want. I would repaint them myself or hire a home improvement service that does refacing of countertops or repainting them. Pink is too retro for me. Jill

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 7, 20060 found this helpful

I agree that if you keep the pink, it will need a retro setting. Black and white checkerboard would be "neat-o" and "swell". It's a classic kitchen flooring and would go with any future renovations, too.i

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 21, 20060 found this helpful

We bought our home 1 year ago, and it also has light pink countertops in the kitchen with dark brown cabinets. What I ended up doing is painting the walls gray. Surprisingly, the pink countertops seemed to receed and no one notices them anymore! The other two colors I have in my kitchen are beige appliances, and white table and chairs. It works together in a soft, unobtrusive way.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 27, 20060 found this helpful

Lucky you. I got pea-greeen counter tops in my mobile home, Yuck! I cant afford to replace them right now. Pink does not sound too bad. Could this be a case of "the counter top is always greener on the other side"?

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June 3, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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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.


Thanks

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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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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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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 2, 20100 found this helpful

It all depends. I have sold paint for 10 years and have yet to find a "paint" that is great for counter top durability. Scratches tend to show very easily on a smooth painted surface, so your counters will need to be painted quite often to maintain their appearance.

One product I have found that works great, is a granite counter top paint. The variation in color hides scratches and blemishes in the counter.

I got mine at http://www.granitepaint.com

Let me know if you have any other questions, I would be glad to help.

If you do end up just painting the counters, make sure you use an enamel finish, either satin or gloss in sheen.

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August 5, 20100 found this helpful

I did something so easy & it looks amazing. Everyone that sees it thinks stone or granite. Its called Paper illusions. Its wallpaper. I'm going to post pictures. & I would love to help with any tips you need!

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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?

Sharen

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By guest (Guest Post)
March 12, 20080 found this helpful

When I painted my laminate cupboard doors I was advised to buy a small sized roller specifically designed for enamel/gloss paints, it did a great job and brush strokes were not a concern. An added bonus was that the job was done much more quickly.

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March 12, 20080 found this helpful

First, do the edges with a high end natural brush. Next, roll-on paint with a regular roller, then re-roll the wet area with a special, high-quality low-nap roller for "finishing". To bad you can take it off & spray it!

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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 1, 20070 found this helpful

If I were you I'd call Home Depot or Lowe's and ask them before you attempt the project.

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October 11, 20070 found this helpful

Do a search on here in home inprovement...there are many people who have done it and offer some great suggestions.

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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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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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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

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
Anonymous
July 1, 20090 found this helpful

Put painter's tape on the strip so you won't get paint on it. If you are thinking about painting the strip, you have to use a certain type of paint for metal and sand the strip first.

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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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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May 10, 20110 found this helpful

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

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