Painting the Countertops

One of the first things that I did when I moved into my house was to change the countertops. I couldn’t afford to buy new counters but I hated the dated look of the laminate. Just look at them!

The orange 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.

I’ve always found that the faux stone painting kits tend to look fake and they are dreadfully expensive for those of us who just spend all of our money buying the house so I didn’t want to try them on my countertops. Instead, I chose a single paint color with a much less expensive Rustoleum product. I think a quart cost roughly $30 and it was well worth it.

There are two base color cans and you select one based on the final color you want listed on the side of the can. I thought…”my rooms are small and dark so I’ll choose a light linen color.” I got my paint mixed, purchased my foam rollers and brushes (which are crucial to getting this product to work right so don’t try and use a standard brush) and then went to checkout.

I got home and taped off my countertop edges. 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.

I put the first coat on and then let it sit for 4 hours. The second coat when on over it, using a fresh roller and fresh foam brushes. At this point, I took the paint off while it was wet so that I didn’t have to score the edges.

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. Then, I decided it was time to change it again. Repeat the entire process of selecting a color, a cool gray this time, getting it mixed, buying the brushes, and taping the countertops. I also used a paintable caulking to round out the corners of the countertops so that the old laminate “transition” wasn’t as obvious and they looked even more like stone.

The gray was much better to begin with but I was now a moderately handy homeowner and I had an idea, well my boyfriend (the same one from before) had an idea. He said we should put glitter on it. Upon reflection, I agreed with him. I went to the paint department and told them about this crazy idea and they sold me a product to suit my needs.

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 highly unnatural on a 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!

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