Painted Counter Tops | $40 DIY Project

Do you have worn, ugly lamiante counter-tops?

You may want to consider painting them (yes, I said paint) them before you shell out the dough to replace them. It was taboo at one time, but it is now a great alternative to complete overhaul.

Hello and Welcome to my awkward, hodge-podge kitchen.

I guess further explanation is due. I love to remodel, I love to design and I love to dream big.

I like clean lines and I like attractive finishes. If I had my way as a young adult, again, I would probably go to some kind of Architect or Design School. When it comes to my kitchen, my personal cooking area, I despise it, I loathe it and I thought no ‘design’ in the world could save it.

When it comes to typical investment dwellings, you have an inventive beyond aesthetics to build and remodel correctly, with quality material, because you should see a return in one way or another, being use and money in your pocket if you sell.


My house, which falls in the category of ‘the first junker’ for me, is the house my 5 brothers and sisters grew up in.

It was later a way of life for me, as I rented out 4 of the 5 bedrooms. So used and abused through out the years, requiring complete remodels in many rooms; it still is not the sweat equity that makes me sound like a negative Nancy about my negative investment.

It is the actual realization of that is what it is…a negative investment. Like a cup with a whole in it, tricking out water, ever so un-noticed, until the whole cup gone and no one knows where it is.


So maybe you can guess why I did not want to spend $500 or so replacing the nasty counter tops (that literally only have to make it though a couple more seasons, til we move on up…to the east-side) when I would never see even one cent of that back.

So here is what I did:

I started with the typical white laminate that came standard in these ’97 beauties.

I gave it some sanding a fixed some of the major eye sores with some white grout. These cabinets that I have highlighted have actually be joined together from hacked demos from other areas in the house. It’s not perfect, but it is trailer quality.

Well okay, let’s get started.

I was so hesitant about this Rustoleum Paint, which I got at Lowes for $19. I had read a ton of mixed reviews on peoples out-comes. In the end, I decided they were all dumb-asses and were doing it wrong.


All the way through the drying process, I would have some air on it, and I am not kidding! Don’t fret, it will be worth it.

I used these Foam Rollers from Shur-Line – the link is the 10pk for only $9.50, which is a great deal, which is a great deal compared the close to $10 for 8 at Lowes.

I recommend on having a few on hand, in case it starts to dry out at all.

Now on to the Chips!

I found this stuff on the super cheap (gotta love clearance, baby) but you can snag this similar Rustoleum Garage Floor Paint Chips product for around $18.

One of the big success factors in this step is following the box directions and getting that stuff down quickly, before the paint dries.  It will stick and bond, but it will look really weird at first.

I did do the sides, even though most testimonials and reviews I read said no way it would look horrible.

I found the using a large bag to collect and holding a bunch in my hand and gently dabbing big poofs and then flattening the extra down.

So after having to endure the huffer’s delight for the couple days it took to completely be ready for the next step, we had decided to go with a water base polycrylic.

I know, I know, you all are probably screaming oil, but we didn’t have the ability to completely clear house for that toxic cloud.

So in the beginning we all knew we would have to treat this counter top like a piece of treated wood, no rings on the coffee table type of thing.

So I bet you’re here looking for advise..

  • First, you will need to become familiar with the term ‘cutting’ in. I would typically dump around 1 cup or so in a 4ft length of counter top and slowly push it to fill in the perimeter first, all around the wall and backsplash, and then fill in the rest.
  • I found using a new, disposable 3 inch foam brush worked really well for the first few coats, but make sure you finish up with the roller.
  • Cutting the paint around where you taped (carefully and not removing anything) will make cutting the poly and removing the tape way easier.
  • So yes, standing water could be an issue, but it has been motivation for me to clean :)

Update Alert!

Like I said, here is the (really crappy) video I did on how well it is holding up after 2 months. Don’t laugh.

So thoughts, concerns and of course the unpleasant trolls…

I would love to hear what you think and what kind of awesomeness you are doing with your crappy counter-tops.