Painted Formica Countertop

Painted Formica Countertop
My UGLY formica countertops were just SCREAMING for an Ambush Makeover!  But since I could not take them on a plane to the Today Show so Kathie Lee and Hoda could work their magic, ultimately, the responsibility fell to me!  Yikes!
I removed the purple, green and plaid wallpaper – actually it wasn’t as bad as you might think.  The border was blue and purple and green hydrangeas so it really was quite lovely.  I was on a green and black and white damask kick so I figured – why not?
Once I got the walls and ceiling painted, the countertops stuck out like a sore thumb.   I didn’t want to get new formica and I certainly could not afford a new granite countertop- what is a girl to do when faced with a conundrum of epic proportions?  GOOGLE!
Painted Countertop Tutorial
Here is what I was faced with:  Not completely horrible I am totally thinking Nate Berkus would just be brought to tears.
1 Before Countertops Green Formica With Yellow Pine Trim
BEFORE! YUCKY!

Well I came upon this group of people at ThriftyFun dot com who had PAINTED their laminate countertop to look like granite.  Yes, I said painted!  I was VERY apprehensive about painted countertops and undertaking such a drastic measure;  however, as I looked at the leprechaun green color complete with honey pine trim and shiny brass knobs which only added to their “splendor”,  I thought how much worse can it be?!? 
So, I began researching (I always research) and picked out a “granite” color I think I would like to try.  Alas, I was ready!   As if by magic – here is the result!  Drumroll please….  CrAzY, right?  Yes – it is that amazing and unbelievable! 
2 Painted Formica Countertops To Look Like Black Granite
AFTER! YAY!

Ok, so you can see the before and after pictures, but what about the dreaded “in-between”?? LOL The cost was about $115 for all the countertops and I still have one box left for the backsplashes.

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HOW TO PAINT FORMICA COUNTERTOPS DIY

Supplies:

1. Prepare Your Space

Firstly, I removed the wood backsplash and washed down the countertops so they were very clean.  It is a good idea to use a rubbing alcohol or ammonia to remove any grease and all buildup on your countertops.

Now is the time to to cover and protect your cabinets, sink, stove edges etc.  Using Painters tape, tape off all edges, and cover all surfaces around countertops to protect the cabinets from drips overspray etc.

2. Prep the Countertops

Depending on the state of your old countertops you may need to fill any holes or scratches that you find.  After the filler is dry now is the time to sand your counters, to help the paint adhere.  Be sure to use proper masks.  After sanding wipe your surface thoroughly to make sure you don’t have any dust or dirt that will interfere with adhesion of paint.

Caulk any cracks if you have removed the backsplash (so epoxy doesn’t leak behind or into the back of your cabinets)

3. Prime

Then I simply used a small sponge roller and painted on a white bonding primer which I made gray by mixing in black paint.  Here is a picture of the gray primer just rolled on.

3 Primed Countertops Painted Countertop Makeoaver Step 1

4. Base Coat of Paint

Next add your base coat paint.  (If you want paint kits, check out this post), this will be the main background color.  I simply bought a quart of Rustoleum flat black paint and used my paint roller for the first coat and it was wonderful.  If you need to add a second coat, do that now before adding the texture.

4 Spray Paint The Countertops Black Countertop Paint Makeover

TIP: I made a mistake initially on this step;  I covered the cabinets and everything in sight courtesy of the Chicago Tribune!  I then had the brainiac idea that I would use stone texture spray paint! NEGATORY! It was awful. It worked for others but not for me. So I had to sand that off and begin again.  Don’t try it!  Spray painting in the kitchen… BAD IDEA!

5. Add Texturizing Paint for a Granite Look

For a granite look you need to add texture (we have a marble painted countertop version here) this adds a realistic granite look and some bling!

So, I purchased a can of metallic silver paint and a sea sponge and simply had some fun. I sponged on the silver and then sponged on the black over it and repeated this process until I had a granite look with a little bit of pop!

To help add shine, I took the Martha Stewart black glitter and sprinkled it everywhere while the paint was still a little tacky.

How awesome did this look – I was really getting excited that this just might work! Fingers crossed!

5 Sponge On Texture With Silver Paint

Just sponging on silver metallic paint – its almost impossible to mess up!

6 Adding the Topcoat Epoxy

Then came the final step which had me a little nervous. The final poly coat. I researched this quite extensively to make sure these chemicals could be around food and anything breathing. I am very conscious about chemicals, volatile organic compounds (vocs) and such due to my cancers.

Everything I read about Envirotek was wonderful. No problems and no risks. So, I bought a few boxes at HOBBY LOBBY with my 40% off coupon and was ready to go!

6 Epoxy Resin Top Coat And Onyx Black Glitter

Envirotek and Martha Stewart Black Onyx Glitter – it’s like sugar dust!

Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before starting so you have a clear understanding of what you need to to.

Be sure to check on your cabinet coverings and protections.  I put plastic over the cabinets and cardboard on the floor. I mixed the two bottles and poured it on. Use disposable buckets and sponge brushes – you will throw everything away – even your clothes because it is so sticky.

It was actually kinda fun to move it around and then simply let it dry. I had my blowtorch ready to burst the little bubbles that can form and I only had to use it on a few. It was gorgeous and I knew it was still wet but I had no idea it look almost the same when it would cure completely dry and hard as a rock and so durable!!

I could not imagine so little effort and money could make SUCH a difference! I WISH I had thousands for real granite but I don’t! So this totally works for me! I love it and I still have to do my backsplashes but I know it can only get better!

7 Prep To Pour On Epoxy Countertop Covering All Surfaces You Want To Keep

Always cover cabinets – especially WHITE cabinets!

8 Fiinishing Countertop Epoxy Coat

Finally finished at 3 o’clock in the morning. Takes about 24 hours to dry and about 3 days to completely set and cure.

Here are two more sets of BEFORE n AFTER pictures. This is the smaller counter which is the one with which I started because I thought it would be easier to experiment on being contained. (Actually, this area is not readily seen, so if it was a train wreck, it wouldn’t have been AS noticeable!) 🙂

9 Before Dated Formica Countertops10 After Painter Laminate Countertops To Look Like Granite

I know there are two missing handles – I am still working on the hardware although I like these a lot!

11 Before Dated Laminate Countertops

I switched out the faucet and hardware for bright chrome and painted the wood trim to match the cabinet.

12 After Coat Of Paint Granti Countertop Look Using Just Paint And Epoxy

Try it! Do it! You won’t regret it! And you will be so proud of yourself when it turns out spectacular and people think it is real granite kitchen counter! That is the best part! 🙂

It is like any kitchen countertops and needs to be cared for. You cannot put hot pots on it and it can scratch but you simply have to use cutting boards and trivets like you would with real granite to protect it from stains, etc. If the scratches are deep you can always cover them with another coat. Good luck!

If you like there painted formica countertops, you might also like:
Originally published August 16, 2011/ Updated 10/18/2022
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43 Comments

  1. This is AMAZING! Thank you for sharing. My counter tops are pink…1980’s dusty rose pink. With a little luck hopefully they will look like your very soon.

  2. This looks amazing and I”m trying to convince my husband to do this for us! 🙂

    Any updates on how it’s holding up to wear and tear?

    Thanks!

  3. I absolutely love the color that you chose! Do you remember the brand and name of the colors you used? am looking for a very similar color scheme for my counters.

    1. Hey Jessica, This was a guest post so the original author might not see your question, but there is a link at the top that will take you to thier blog. I am sure they would love to help you out! GOOD LUCK!

  4. I have almost the EXACT countertops except mine are pink! Yes, you read that right. I am dying to paint the countertops black and the cabinets white. This looks great!

  5. Did you paint the wood edges, just wondering if it will stick to wodd as well. Looks beautiful!

  6. Thank you!!! I did this to my ugly countertops and now they’re beautiful! The only downside is the glitter. It doesn’t sparkle after the Enviro Tex was poured. Also, the glitter left a few bumps when it hardened.

  7. Thanks so much! I have white cabinets and ugly countertops (white, red, and blue– good colors, not on countertops!!! Can’t wait to make them look like this!

  8. I too, am wondering how the EnviroTex Pour On high gloss is applied to the vertical edges (lip?) of the counter tops. I too have wooden edges and want to cover them.

    This DIY project gives me courage to tackle our dark, outdated kitchen. Thanks!

  9. I did this too. My countertops were fake wood grain. I used rustoleum black for plastics. It has glitter already in it but I went crazy with the bling! Martha Stewart glitter does lose its sheen in the epoxy. Regular glitter does not. I used silver and fine black glitter. I mixed the epoxy and put the glitter in it. The black lost its sheen but you can still see it. The silver looks great! It also looks like it has depth since i poured twice. Micheal’s has this big glitter that is silver and kinda looks like gold leaf. I found it after but I may do another pour soon since it does scratch easily. Also my guests SWEAR that it is granite! People have asked me to do theirs…..maybe a buisness in the future?????

    1. I did this as well-but I have to say I struggled with the EnviroTek. I have a very dark kitchen so I used a base color of beige with dark grey, silver and chocolate brown as my contrasting “granite” colors. I think on the lighter colors the EnviroTek shows runs more. I really struggled with the back splashes and counter edges because no matter how hard I spread the EnviroTek and how many times I went back to smooth away the “run” marks-it still has runs in the vertical spots. I can see them but I don’t know if others can (you are always so critical on your own work). Also; I used regular glitter; silver, dark brown and cream and I was very generous with it as I read everyone else’s posts on losing the “shine”. Has anyone else tried lighter colors?

  10. I just did this on some pink bathroom formica. Turned our pretty but it did leave lots of bumps from the glitter. At first I thought they were bubbles but the torch didnt work and they hardened to tiny bumps. Any idea on how to avoid this? I would love to do this in my kitchen too, minus the bumps and with the glitter showing up better.

  11. Beautiful countertop re-do! How is it holding up? I am considerting painting my white countertops.
    Thanks!
    Terri

  12. Okay you have talked me into it:) I am going to try and do my ugly counters in the next couple weeks. I also wondered where you got your awesome kitchen lights!

  13. I am overjoyed at discovering your site. I.Couldn’t be more anxious to get started, but before I do, is there anyway on earth a poor ambitious do-it-yourselfer like me could get a 40% coupon ? Wouldn’t I be foolish not ask? Can”t wait to get started If mine looks even half as gorgeous as yours I will be pinching myself. .Please respond (IF YOU CAN) Thanks so very much for sharing……

    1. Hobby Lobby runs a 40% Off coupon in their ad every week. You can clip the ad, or go to the website and print out the coupon, or bring it up on your smart phone and show it to the clerk when checking out.

  14. It looks like amazing results can be achieved with painting formica. I just need to touch up to match a blue denim tie dye look countertop – one small spot next to the sink and the strip in front and in back of the sink. Do you have any suggestion as to best achieve this?

    I appreciate any guidance in doing this. Thanks.

  15. Hi Cassity,

    Do you know anything about this product – EPOXY RESIN CRYSTAL CLEAR? Do you know if it passes the test for the final coat and considering food and breating it?

    Thanks!

  16. Hi Cassity,

    I know it has been a few years since you did this project, but I was wondering if you remember how you kept the top coat from running off the ogee (?) edge of the countertop when you poured it on.

    1. Hi Brooke! This is actually a guest post, so if you’ll head over to the original blog (linked at the top) then you can ask them and hopefully they can help. Thanks!