When I was buying my first home, I told my realtor that I wanted a home that didn’t need electrical, plumbing, or a new roof. I also told her that I wanted the ugliest house she could find because then I could afford it.
She succeeded. This home was hideous. The countertops were laminate and they were straight out of the 60s. The cabinets were nice back in their day but not now.
One of the first things that I did when I moved into my house was figure out how to paint kitchen countertops to make them look better. I couldn’t afford to buy new counters but I hated the dated look of the laminate. Just look at them!
The orange one is the kitchen countertop and the “marbled” one is the bathroom countertop. I’m not sure what made anybody like these.
So, without the money to completely replace them with beautiful stone, I chose to paint them.
Material Options To Paint Kitchen Countertops
I’ve always thought that the faux stone paint kits look fake and they are dreadfully expensive for those of us who just spent all of our money buying the house.
Instead, I chose to use a Rustoleum Countertop Paint to paint my kitchen cabinets. I think a quart cost roughly $30 and it was well worth it.
Rustoleum Countertop Paint Color Options
There are two base color cans. You select one based on the final color you want listed on the side of the can. I chose the light base since my room is small and dark. That way I could tint it to “Linen.”
One thing to note is that you are pretty restricted to the color options that are listed on the cans. This paint is somewhat picky and required very specific formulas. So don’t go pick a color on the wall first.
Paint Supplies To Paint Kitchen Countertops
After I got my paint mixed, I found the necessary supplies to paint the kitchen countertops. For starters, foam rollers and brushes are a must in order to get a good paint job. Don’t even try to use a standard brush.
A disposable paint tray, some painters tape, a drop cloth, and a pair of gloves were all the other required items. I prefer Frog Tape for the painters tape because I find it sticks better and gives better lines. The gloves are just basic latex gloves.
The Actual Painting Part
I got home and taped off my countertop edges. I normally cut in my edges, that is painting the edges and then filling in the middle, but this paint is tough to clean up so I decided against it.
At this point, I became stupid. I did not realize how much this paint smells. It is an oil based paint product and it smells to high hell and back. Do not use this product without opening the windows first! I almost killed my poor boyfriend before we even got a second date!
After reading the instructions on the back of the can, I put the first coat on and then let it sit for 4 hours. To apply the second coat, I made sure to use fresh foam brushes and fresh rollers. It’s important to use fresh applicators or you will have fuzz stuck to your countertops.
Remove the painters tape while the paint is still damp so that you don’t have to score the edges to get it off. I wouldn’t even try to clean out the rollers or the foam brushes. Just throw them away. Trust me.
The Results…Sort Of?
So the countertops were done…and I didn’t like the color. Don’t get me wrong, it was better than what was there and I did live with it for a year or so.
I even tried painting my kitchen cabinets so that I would like the countertop color more. It didn’t work.
Trying Again To Paint Kitchen Countertops
After living with the “linen” countertops for a year, I decided it was time to change it again. I repeated the entire process of selecting a color, a cool gray this time, getting it mixed, buying the brushes, and taping the countertops.
I decided this time to fix another issue that I had with the first paint job I did. Initially, I hated how the edges of the laminate backsplash looked.
So, I decided to use a paintable caulking to round out the corners of the countertops. This way the old laminate “transition” wasn’t as obvious and it would look even less like laminate.
The Final Results!
The gray was so much better to begin with but I had another idea. I guess technically my boyfriend had the idea. He said we should put glitter on it. Upon reflection, I agreed with him.
So, I went to the paint department (again) and told them about this crazy idea. They loved the idea but the salesperson said that they didn’t have a sparkly countertop paint. Then she showed me a glitter paint she thought might work.
The glitter paint was also from Rustoleum and, no, it wasn’t labeled for use on countertops. I was in uncharted territory!
It is important to note that this product came with silver, gold, or multicolored sparkles. I selected silver because the gold and multicolored looked unnatural on gray paint.
The glitter paint has held up equally as well as the original countertop paint and I’ve been impressed with it. It really did add that extra layer of dimension to my countertops. It I did anything else, I would want a clear layer on top to make my countertops more wipeable and more durable but I have no complaints about how they turned out.
And that’s how to paint your countertops, on the cheap, to turn them from old, terrible laminate countertops to, at least, updated laminate countertops!