Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom on a low budget can seem impossible, but have you ever considered painting your countertops?
You’re probably wondering: can you really paint your countertops?
Yes, countertops can be painted. In fact, painting your countertop is the best way to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom without spending a great deal of money.
Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about painting countertops.
What Kind of Countertops Can Be Painted?
Almost every type of countertop can be painted.
Whether you have concrete, wood, laminate, or ceramic countertops, it doesn’t make a difference.
All you need is a bucket of paint, and you can fully transform your desired space.
Although painting over natural stone countertops is possible, it’s not recommended.
Solid stone surfaces are known for not holding paint well, and you might not like the result.
Instead, try sanding and buffing your stone countertop for a gleaming finish.
How to Choose Paint for Your Countertop?
There are many options available if you’re thinking about painting your countertop.
It all depends on the results you’re after.
Typically, you’ll need a primer, main paint, and topcoat.
A primer is a base layer of paint that creates a uniform surface for your paint.
The type of primer depends on the material of the countertop.
It’s best to consult a pro about it or pay a visit to a paint shop and ask for help.
For example, using a tinted primer will give you the best paint coverage for the least number of coats.
You can use water-based acrylic primer, paint, and topcoat if you want the paint to dry fast.
Water-based acrylic paint has a faint odor, so opening some windows or turning on a fan after painting might help with the smell.
Another option is to use an oil-based primer, paint, and oil-based polyurethane topcoat.
This type of paint usually has a more pungent odor, so it’s not recommended for poorly ventilated areas.
Both the water-based acrylic topcoat and polyurethane topcoat give a beautiful matte finish.
So, a resin topcoat is your best bet if you’re after a shiny, glossy finish.
Tools Needed for Painting Kitchen Countertops
Buying the right tools can make your painting job 10x easier. Here’s a list of the tools and materials you’ll need:
- Paint roller + some foam roller covers (you can also use a sponge for different effects),
- Small paint brush (for hard-to-reach angles),
- Painter’s tape + drop cloth,
- Primer (talk to the seller about your project and ask for recommendations),
- Acrylic paint, spray paint, or marbling paint kit (it depends on the style you want),
- High-gloss topcoat or countertop resin,
- Medium grit sandpaper (200 to 400 grit),
- Electrical sander (optional),
- Gloves, dust mask, goggles, and paint tray,
- Multi-purpose body filler.
Make sure that you’ve got everything you need within arm’s reach.
Set a working station right next to you with all tools and materials.
Once you start applying primer, you can’t stop to run to the store for something you forgot.
How to Paint Your Kitchen Countertop?
Now that you know exactly what tools and materials work best for painting your countertop, it’s time to start.
For the best results, you’ll need to follow the steps below:
Step 1: Prepare the Work Area
Before you start, make sure that the area is well-ventilated. Open the windows or turn on the ceiling fan.
Don’t forget to wear your gloves, dust mask, and goggles.
To prepare your work area, do the following:
- Clear your countertop of clutter and make sure it’s spotless, especially those areas where oils and grease accumulate. Use a strong degreaser for that and repeat the process if needed.
- Use multi-purpose body filler to fill any gaps, seams, or corners. This includes the gapping between the countertop and backsplash.
- Use the electric sander to sand your countertop with medium grit sandpaper. This creates scratches and gives the paint something to grab onto. Using an electric sander will help speed up the process.
- Wipe the dust with a lint-free rag and warm water, or you can use mineral spirit. Then, leave the surface to dry.
- Cover everything that won’t get painted. Using painter’s tape, protect the sink, walls, and cabinets. Additionally, cover the floors and cabinets with a drop cloth to avoid splattering paint.
Step 2: Apply Primer
After cleaning your countertop and protecting the rest of the area, the next step is to start applying your primer.
The primer, also known as the undercoat, is important to apply before painting.
It increases the paint’s durability and ensures that the paint adheres better to the surface.
- Apply an even first coat of primer with a paint roller. It’s better not to use a brush because it might create unpleasant strokes.
- Use the roller from side to side with about an inch of overlapping paint strokes.
- Work fast and never allow the paint to dry halfway through the process.
- Use a small trim brush to paint narrow or hard-to-reach areas.
- Let the primer dry for at least six hours.
- Apply a second primer coat and allow it to dry out completely.
Step 3: Apply Paint
Every kind of paint needs a particular application method.
If you’ve purchased a special paint kit or marbling kit, follow the instructions provided with it.
Marbling kits give you a marble-like finish by incorporating different shades of colors.
If you choose to use acrylic paint, you’ll need to follow the same process as applying primer.
Use the paint roller to apply even overlapping strokes. Then, allow that paint to dry for a minimum of six hours.
After this, apply a second coat of paint and let it dry for another six hours.
Step 4: Apply Topcoat
For extra protection, a topcoat is recommended.
Apply an overcoat with a paint roller using the same technique, and allow it to dry for a few hours.
Then, repeat the process for a second coat and leave to dry.
Now you’re all done, but before using the countertops, remember that you should wait at least 24 hours.
After that, handle the surface gently for as long as 14 days. This is how long it takes for an acrylic topcoat to cure.
If you choose to apply a durable epoxy resin topcoat, there are a few things you should know.
Unlike other topcoats, it’s usually applied by pouring and spreading with a brush.
Some people choose to mix mica chips into the resin topcoat because they give a beautiful shimmer to your countertop.
While the resin topcoat is drying, make sure to remove any dripping spots and blowtorch any bubbles on the surface.
Afterward, allow the resin topcoat to cure according to the instructions provided with the product.
It’ll take around 24 hours to dry completely.
Are Painted Countertops Durable?
Painting countertops is a budget-friendly and easy way to make them look as good as new.
However, is it too good to be true? Are painted countertops durable?
Painted countertops can be highly durable and last for a long time only if done and maintained correctly.
It’s essential to choose the right kind of primer as well as paint and allow each coat to dry completely.
Additionally, it’s better not to use harsh chemicals to clean the countertops.
Using gentle cleaners will prevent discoloration and fading.