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Painting a Formica Countertop

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 Jab from Belleville, MI

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13 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.

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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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

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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:
www.wikihow.com/Paint-Formica-Countertops

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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. :-)
www.thriftyfun.com/tf27383663.tip.html

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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?

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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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By Cathy from Townsville, QLD (Guest Post)
January 14, 20090 found this helpful

I subscribe to an organizing blog. www.takechargesolutions.org/
If you go through this site, there are free home forms, including a master shopping list.

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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.

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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)

www.zinsser.com/product_detail.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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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

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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:

www.thriftyfun.com/search.ldml?q=painting+laminate+countertops...

www.thriftyfun.com/search.ldml?q=painting+formica+countertops...

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December 29, 2006

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

Beth from Jacksonville, Florida

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


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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!

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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, 2011

How do I paint old Formica counter tops?

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September 8, 2009

Can I paint my formica countertop?

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April 14, 2009

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?

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March 10, 2009
Click to read more ideas from older posts on ThriftyFun.
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