Transform Your Laminate Countertops with Paint

Painting your laminate countertops is a cheap, easy way to beautify your kitchen!

Tired of your outdated laminate countertops but not willing to splurge on new replacements? You can completely change the look of your countertops by painting them.

  • Prepare your countertops. Light sanding by hand and washing with water is all that’s needed.
  • Prime with an oil based primer. Apply two coats, allowing for drying time in between. Remember to first cover with plastic or tape all areas you don’t want paint on.
  • Paint, either by rolling on an oil-based paint, or by spray painting. You’ll need at least two coats.
  • Apply an oil-based protective polyurethane finish. You will need four or five coats.

I transformed my plain white countertops into expensive looking countertops that resemble granite!

Prime: After the initial prep work of sanding, I began by using Kilz brand primer. It’s great for covering everything that needs to be covered.

          Apply oil-based primer to countertops

Paint: Instead of using regular paint, I chose a flecked spray paint that looks like stone when it dries. Don’t try to get it perfect on with the first coat. Apply lightly, then wait fifteen minutes to apply again. It may take up to five times to get perfect coverage.

          Apply paint to your sanded and primed countertops

Finish: Once the paint has fully dried, you can begin applying your polyurethane finish. This will protect your color and prevent chips. Apply several coats, allowing ample drying time in between.

I have a well-used home with several children and my countertops are holding up nicely. I love the new look!

See additional resources for Kitchen Renovation Projects on Blissfully Domestic!

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. 30

    I don’t see a date on this (maybe I missed it?). My question is, how long ago did you do this and how has it held up? I see lots of great looking ones done but after year or two, people rarely have great things to say about the durability. I’m particularly curious about yours since it has the texture. I really love the look, just would like to know how you feel about it after every day use.

  2. 31

    This is a great Idea. I have a horrible laminate countertop and I want to fix it rather than replace it. After seeing this I have to ask. I want to use chalk-board paint , mixed with whatever color we end up choosing. Will the polyurethane keep chalk from being used on the countertop and whiped off? should I maybe only do a certain part of the countertop with the chalk paint? I saw on a martha stewart project where she used it on a cabinet door so now I really want to try.

  3. 32

    It looks so beautiful and well-done! The techniques are a lot easier than other those I’ve heard of before. My mom will be so thrilled when I tell her about this do-it-yourself transformation. We both have been planning to do something with our countertops but we haven’t found practical and easier ways. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. 33

    how safe? can kids be around how long to dry? how long to cure full before use ? safe to breathe?

  5. 34

    What brand was the spraypaint that you used for the counters? This looks great and seems much easier than other methods I have seen! Thanks!

  6. 35
    Tiffany Lundin says:

    This looks awesome and makes me hopeful that I can try the same to our new kitchen. The countertops are blue, and I want black granite to match my green and white theme. So can I just go to home depot and ask for this spray paint? Lol I’m so new to this! :-)

    • 36

      Home Depot has them about $9 a can. American Accent is the brand I think, but you can use any stone looking spray paint.

  7. 37

    Thank you so much! We keep crates in our kitchen for dogs that we take in and I’d like to build a farm table/island sort of workspace over some of the crates–but of course, we have no money for it. I’m going to use your idea to create a nice counter top out of some scrap formica I’m hoping to scrounge–I’ll let you know how it turns out! Thanks! –Kim, http://www.IllinoisDogAdoption.org

  8. 38

    Hi-I just bought a house whose former owner replaced all the appliances with high-end stuff but left the 60′s laminates in both the kitchen and bathroom. I was trying to find an inexpensive way to make them look nicer without spending what little we have left after the closing, and someone forwarded this link to me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the look! I had already been thinking of those faux tin tiles-paired with the painted stone, I will now have a kitchen that looks nice everywhere-I won’t have to rob a bank to get the granite look. THANKS!

  9. 39
    connie thornburg says:

    i want mind to look like granite so now what do i do could you please send me a email telling me what to do and the colors that you think would be better that would be so nice step by step what a great idea you have mu email up abovr cany wait to hear from you and get started on this thank you

  10. 40

    Thank you! We’ve replaced the floors in the whole first floor, painted cabinets and replaced a toilet this week. Our budget’s run out but we still had an ancient old countertop. I’m going to try this!

  11. 41
    Annette says:

    Tamra,
    I am so excited about this idea. I have been trying to figure out how to renew/replace my countertops without spending a ton of money. Can’t wait to try it out.
    Thank you for posting this.
    Annette

  12. 42

    Wendi – I don’t know the exact color name, but I used the black with white and tan flecks.

    Mona – No, I did not sand between poly coats. Just be sure to allow plenty of time for drying in between coats!

  13. 43

    Hi. I just came across your site and am in the middle of doing this same project. I have finished spray painting the counters and will begin applying the polyurethane tomorrow. Did you sand between coats of the polyurethane? I’m wondering how that will work since the surface is textured.

  14. 44

    I looked at sprays and dont know which color you used! do you know the color name?

  15. 45
    Marie-Claire says:

    Many thanks!
    Marie-Claire

  16. 46

    Marie-Claire, I believe that I used American Accents brand. Their stone spray paints come in many different colors.

  17. 47
    Marie-Claire says:

    Hi Tamra – bet you’re surprised to be still getting questions on your painted counters feature! I think it’s a great idea and they look terrific :-)

    Can you tell me what brand of spray paint you used?

    Thanks! Marie-Claire

  18. 48

    Wendi – If I remember correctly, I used about 2 cans per counter top section, which are roughly 7 feet in length.

  19. 49

    I love this! I have seen others show how they did their counter tops and thought nothing of it until I saw yours!

    Our counter tops in our new house are light green!

    But how much spray paint did you approx use since there is multiple coats? I have a lot of counter space and just wanted to know what I was in for!

    Thanks so much for sharing. I am super excited and hope my husband likes it!

  20. 50

    OMG!
    I love it!
    I painted my laminate but am not loving it…thinking I need to resand and respray!!! What an amazing idea!

    And I just read the other comments-re the texture, if you want to get rid of it, you could use that epoxy that is equivalent to 20 cats of poly or something-bar coat or some such thing?

  21. 51

    KJ – Yes, the paint I used does have a texture finish. The polyurethane does smooth it somewhat, but not completely. I like the texture, and people who have seen it in real life really like it too. It isn’t hard to wash at all.

    I suppose even more coats of the polyurethane would smooth it out. But if you are certain you don’t want any texture, I think to be safe you should go with a traditional paint.

  22. 52

    I love this idea. I’ve wanted to change our countertops for a while, but we can’t really afford to replace them right now.

    I have a question though. I checked out the “stone” spray paint that our local store had last night, and it was all stone look AND texture. Very gritty, rough texture to it. Is that what you used? And then the polyurethane gives you a smooth/countertop finish when you’re done?

    I feel like it’s a really dumb question, but I have no experience at all w/ polyurethane. I didn’t want to paint w/ that gritty stuff and then find out I’d done it all wrong!

    Thanks.

    KJ

  23. 53

    Tricia –
    The first picture (darker color countertops) is how they look finished. The last picture with the lighter color was taken after I had only applied a couple coats of the spray paint. Don’t try to get the final, dark color with the first application of paint. In fact, the first coat will look terribly blotchy. Wait 15 minutes, then apply again. Repeat until it looks good, then let the final coat dry 12 hours.

    My backsplash was the absolute same white laminate. In the picture above, I applied a thermoplastic backsplash that gives the appearance of the old, antique tin. http://www.acpideas.com/index.cfm?XlinkID=12
    These can be found at Home Depot and are fairly easy to install.

    There was another area that I simply painted the backsplash with a flat tan color. This also turned out great. I used the same process of sanding, priming and painting, except I rolled on paint instead of using the spray. I did not coat with polyurethane, as it was not going to be near water, but you could certainly do so.

    I applied the polyurethane on the countertops with a foam roller.

    Hope this helps!

  24. 54

    Hi there, WOW! What a cool transformation. I am truly impressed.

    A few questions for you:
    in the first pic you show, the counters look MUCH darker than in the more close up shot of the after-painted section. which picture is more true to final color?

    if you had a backsplash that was THE ABSOLUTE SAME old off white laminate…what would you do with this?? I cannot see painting it the same color, it would be pretty dark. would love to hear your suggestions!

    what type of polyurethane did you use? spray or brush on?

    thanks – and again, great new look!!

  25. 55

    What an awesome idea! We were just talking about how it would be nice to redo our kitchen counter tops, but can’t afford it. This would be the perfect solution! I will have to show this to my husband!

  26. 56

    I totally thought they were granite from the pictures.

    I’ve seen a concrete counter top finish over the existing laminate that turned out pretty beautiful as well.

  27. 57

    This looks great!

  28. 58

    I think it would be difficult to fit this project into one day, because of the drying times. For example, although you can apply the coats of paint only 15 minutes apart, you then must allow 8+ hours of drying time before applying the polyurethane.
    If you’re using a spray paint, like I did, be sure to use something to cover the surrounding cupboards and floor. Cover more than you think you need to, as spray paint has a way of traveling! I used plastic that came in a roll.

  29. 59

    Thanks for the how to instructions. Was this a one day project? Any other tips?