Painting a Laminate Counter Top

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 page about painting a laminate counter top.

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March 17, 2009
Before photo of painted laminate countertop.

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: painting counter tops

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July 16, 2009

Before and after photos of a painted countertop.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!

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.

Painted laminate countertop.


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.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

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 Strickland from Miramar, FL


August 2, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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
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.


Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 337 Feedbacks
August 6, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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March 12, 2008

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



By jojo (Guest Post)
March 12, 20080 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

March 14, 20081 found this helpful
Best Answer

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

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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. Painting Countertops to Look Like Marble = light creamy tan countertop



Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
January 30, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

You might have used the wrong sealer. Some recommendations are EnviroTex Lite or Super Glaze.

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

December 30, 2010

I am looking for DIY kit for painting my laminated countertop to look like a marble countertop. Please help.

By Regina James from Lawrenceville, GA


Painting Laminate Countertops

I just finished a Giani countertop in my bathroom and there was virtually no smell. Even the poly coat at the end was very low fume. My bathroom didn't have a window, so I just ran the vent fan and it was fine. Get the kit, you'll love it. (10/14/2010)

By Susan

Painting Laminate Countertops

This was my first attempt at Giani Granite in our small guest bath. The Giani was simple and easy. The bowl treatment is giving me some issues. I still think it looks great and am working on getting the Envirotex part just right. I wanted to start with a small project before I did our kitchen and I am ordering two more kits for that project. The Giani was super easy and fun and I am completely "not" craft/artsy at all! You can do it! (10/14/2010)

Painting Laminate Countertops


By Susan

Painting Laminate Countertops

My "before" picture. Our kids called this "the scary bathroom"! (10/14/2010) Painting Laminate Countertops


By Susan

November 29, 2010

I was wondering if the Gianni Kit for countertops has a strong odor. Do any of the applications have a strong odor?

By Reggie from Baltimore, MD


Painting Laminate Countertops

Yes, they all (meaning any countertop paints) have a strong odor. It's important to do them with adequate ventilation. I recently have redone my countertops with the Rustoleum countertop paint and it was very strong. My other suggestion, from experience it when you paint the counter tops, be very careful with canned goods. If they fall out of the cabinet, it will chip your finish and you will have to do touch up in those spots! Here are before pictures and then the next post of an after. (10/29/2010)

By Amy

Painting Laminate Countertops


Painting Laminate Countertops

How safe is it to apply?

GIANI granite countertop surfaces are safe, water-based polymers and minerals that require the same basic precautions as most water-based coatings.

1) How much does it smell?
GIANI water-based minerals emit less odor than ordinary latex house paint.

2) Does it contain any lead?
No, GIANI does not contain any lead.

As a public service, all paint manufacturers have placed notices on their cans to warn consumers if they are removing old house paint to make sure the old house paint does not contain lead.

3) Is it safe for food?
Yes, once GIANI fully cures, in approximately two weeks, it's safe for incidental food contact.

Note, as with all countertop surfaces, all cutting and chopping food preparation should be done on a cutting board. And if food or liquids are spilled on GIANI, its polymers lock them out for easy removal.

By ashleynfleming

Painting Laminate Countertops


October 13, 2010

How do I paint laminate countertops?


September 13, 2010

I would like to know how to paint kitchen counter tops.

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