Can i paint my countertop?

Home remodeling is not easy and can be expensive, but a coat of paint can spruce things up quickly even when you are on a tight budget. Countertops in the kitchen and bathroom are one of the focal points of the room and when they look out-of-date, the rest of the room will too.

Prep the Area

Before you begin your project, take the time to clean the area. Using an ammonia-based cleaner to scour the surface to be painted, pay close attention to corners and seams since these areas often hide crumbs and dust.

Using painters supplies, such as tape and plastic tarps, cover the area surrounding the countertop to protect from over-spray or accidental brush marks.

Smooth Surface

Smooth surfaces do not provide the best canvas for painting. The paint often has difficulty sticking to it–regardless of the number of coats applied. That said, sanding the countertop with a fine-grit sandpaper will give it enough of a texture to “grab” the paint and prevent it from wiping or peeling off. After the sanding is complete, another round of cleaning is in order to remove any dust or residue remaining.

After sanding and cleaning are finished, apply primer to the countertop as a base coat. The primer/base coat should be left to dry completely, for approximately 24 hours. Light colors are recommended for the base color which should be two or three thin coats of paint, with time to dry in between. Once dry, continue with the main color chosen, and again, apply two or three thin coats. When painting is complete, proceed with applying a coat of a latex water-based polyurethane to protect the surface.

Warnings and Tips

After the countertop has dried and is ready to be used, it should be used as intended with only a few cautions. Always use pot holders or trivets on the counter when placing hot pans on it because the polyurethane may scorch.

To clean the newly painted surface, avoid any harsh cleansers, such as those that contain bleach or abrasive chemicals.

Small scratches will appear over time, and when they do they ear easily removed simply through light sanding and another coat of polyurethane.

For a more authentic look, or to make your countertop appear more like a natural stone than a piece of plastic that has been painted, consider using a painting technique, such as color layering or sponging. Either of these techniques will provide more depth and a more authentic look to your color choices.

Stop at a local home improvement or hardware store and choose countertop samples for color ideas and reference material while painting the countertop.


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