Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Updated Laminate Countertops

The progress in the kitchen has been slow but steady. However, I'm excited to say that the countertops are officially painted. I have been dreaming of Ikea's butcher block countertops but, at this point, I would rather spend the money on other things for our home. I've gotta prioritize, ya know! So what's a girl to do with ugly laminate countertops and a very tight budget? Paint! Rustoleum sells a specialty paint specific for laminate countertops. I have been pondering this thought for almost a year now but was too scared to try it. However, now that the hub and I have been discussing butcher block countertops as a possible option (we could splurge and get them if we really wanted to but why not save a few bucks!) I figure I didn't have much to lose. In all actuality if it panned out for us we could save money!

After making the final decision to go through with the project I went out to the Lowe's by my work and purchased Rustoleum's Specialty Countertop Coating. As you can see on the box, the coat may be tinted to 16 different colors. I wanted to keep the countertops relatively neutral but also complimentary to the soon-to-be white cabinets. With that being said we went with "Light Ash" which is a soft gray color. After reading up on the product I grabbed all of my other necessities. For application you will need a foam roller for a smooth finish, painter's tape for painting of your work space, and a brush with flagged ends.

Because I am a total dip, I did not buy a brush with flagged ends. Instead I used a foam "Poly-Brush" that I had on hand. It worked out for me because I didn't have many areas where brush application was needed, however, I would recommend using a proper brush for your application. I would also recommend wearing gloves, which I did not because as I said, I am a dip. The coating is extremely sticky and hard to get off. It is recommended that clean up be done with Xylene. I personally discarded my rollers and brush after use.

This is what my counters looked like prior to applying the Countertop Coating. They were a light tan color with a speckled appearance. They didn't really fit my particular taste. Here is a close up to give you a better idea of what I was working with...

It's not the most terrible thing I've ever seen but with painting the cabinets I wanted to change up the counter as well. 

As I began applying there were a few things that I noticed. 1) It was important to keep the roller moving all the way from the front to the back of the counter in a fluid motion. (This will help to reduce roller marks.) 2)Keeping the brush relatively wet seemed to help as well. If my roller got too dry it seemed to make the finish appear more spongy. 3) I should roll out the top of the counter then move to my edge to catch any drips.

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as how many coats I would need. I didn't want the surface to appear too goopy (so what if it isn't a technical term!) so I made sure my coats were on the thin side. I ended up doing three total coats and still had paint to spare. The package says 1 quart covers 25 linear feet of average sized counterspace. It doesn't mention how many coats that is for but I was able to apply three even coats and only use 3/4 of the can but we also only have approximately 12 linear feet of counter space (small kitchen!)

I did this last night and the counters can not be used for 3 days so I can't say how well they will hold up but for now I'm loving the change.

Our laminate countertops have gone from yucky speckled tan to a nice clean, chic looking gray. Here is a close up of one of the edges...

While these aren't the butcher block countertops I have been dreaming about I will say they are an improvement. Are they perfect? No. Do they work for me? Yes! Overall this project cost me 30 buckaroos. For 30 bucks I can not complain. After I have had a chance to give these babies a test drive I'll let you know how durable they truly are. I'll also have to break my habit of not using a cutting board! I know, I know. I'm bold.

All in all I'm calling this project a success. And now for good measure here is Before & After shot...

I am one satisfied girl right now! What do you think? Do you have ugly laminate counters you'd like to paint or have already painted?

Oh and I forgot to mention - Make sure you've got some windows open and any little ones in your household aren't around. This stuff was very potent. You may also want to consider wearing a mask!

Thanks for dropping by! I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


  1. Love it Dee! Love the blog to! You should get paid for this!!

  2. Thank you for linking up this great post last week! {Im a lil behind, eeekk!}

    Its party time AGAIN!!! xoxokara


  3. Very beautiful countertops now!

  4. After all this time, how are your counter tops holding up?