How to paint laminate countertops for FORTY DOLLARS! 

So while trying to make my kitchen into something that was more "dream kitchen", I decided that those pinkish brown countertops had to go. Who installs pink countertops on purpose??



After investigating replacing them (too expensive), and even painting them with that faux granite DIY on so many websites (wouldn't match the simplicity of my house... I prefer smooth clean lines), I landed on painting them a solid color.

Did you know Rustoleum has countertop oil based paint  that is only $20 for a can??

And it's NOT that "Transformations" kit (which is $300 for a small kitchen!).

The only hard thing is that you can only use the colors on the box lid, and you don't know if they'll be true in the paint as to the box lid. There is no way to get a sample from the store. Anyways, I chose "canvas" for my kitchen. And it was perfect.

On the top are the colors you can get
 Buy yourself an oil based paintbrush and roller, clear off your counters, and here's how I did it!
1. You'll have to sand your counters. Wear a respirator or dust mask - you don't want toxic plastic dust getting in your lungs. Sand very lightly (I used 120 sandpaper), rough up the surfaces real good. (I taped off my whole kitchen for this... since plastic dust gets everywhere. Also, have windows open and fans blowing to the outside).

2. Wipe down everything with Ammonia or vinegar, or some other degreaser to get rid of any grease or dust, THEN wipe the counters with mineral spirits. This will help your paint glide smoothly and keep it from drying too fast. 

3.  You'll have to paint swiftly, but not too fast, since (it seems to me) that oil based paint becomes tacky quicker than latex. You CANNOT re-brush an area once you're done with it. Your brush marks will look different than the rest of the counter. Tape off with painter's tape or cut in, and paint away!

 See the different colors of paint? Pink is going away already!
For my small kitchen, it took two cans of the paint for two coats. 

*ALWAYS buy two cans for starters, because your paint will dry if you have to run to the store in the middle of the project, and then you'll have GUARANTEED lap marks!

Like this :-(... I had to run to the store for a second can and when I got back, my paint was already tacky :-(
 Brush deliberately, and not too fast. You can't just slap paint on there and expect it to look like latex does. Oil based paint will bubble if you brush (or roll) it on too fast.
4. Let paint dry according to box.  Don't let anything touch your counters. Not even your fingernails.

The instructions say to do a second coat "within the first hour or after 24 hours". Since I did such a thin first coat, I did my second within the hour. It worked for me. To be safe though, for beginners, I'd recommend waiting the 24 hours or a little more - making sure you do thin coats.

5. Do a second coat 24 hours (or more) later. The longer you let the first coat dry, the better.

I finished my counters with only 2 coats; and 6 months later, there were some chips (due to a cast iron skillet that I accidentally dropped); so I would recommend a sixth step: 

6. Do two coats of polyurethane (according to directions on the can). This will really help protect against chips and nicks. I didn't do this step. I am happy with the durability of my counters, but just for that extra extra protection, poly would be a good idea. **MAKE SURE TO LET EVERYTHING DRY 24 HOURS BETWEEN COATS, or you will get bubbles and poor curing. 

It's like fingernail polish - do a thin first coat, let it completely dry, do a thin second coat, let it completely dry, do a third coat if you want a darker color, etc. If you put two thick coats on your fingernails, it will NEVER dry properly and you'll ruin your manicure. Same idea here!


(this is also after I painted my lower cabinets too) 

I love not having pink countertops - for only $40!