How To Paint Countertops
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It’s common advice that paint is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to transform a home. But while most people automatically think of painting walls, paint can also be used to makeover countertops, too. By painting countertops, rather than replacing them, you can save a significant amount of money while achieving a new look.
Painting countertops is a good option for countertops in your kitchen, bathroom, wet bar or any other part of the home that are aesthetically outdated but still functional. Although there are many different types of countertops, the best countertop material candidate for painting is laminate.
In addition to interior acrylic paint, you’ll also need sandpaper, degreasing cleaner, primer, dropcloth, painter’s tape, paint rollers, paint brushes and countertop resin. There are multiple steps in the process, which also requires adequate dry time between some steps. However, the actual DIY skills are basic.
Kits designed to help you paint your countertops may offer more upscale design possibilities, such as a stone or granite-like look for painted countertops. With countertop paint kits available for less than $200, the cost to give countertops of faux granite look is a fraction of the cost to replace the countertops with actual granite. If you opt for a solid paint countertops color, the cost will be even lower. That makes painting countertops a budget-friendly and beginner-level DIY job.
Before You Begin
Although painting countertops is a relatively easy DIY job, it is one project that is hard to undo. Be absolutely sure you want to paint your countertops before beginning. Once you start, there isn’t really any going back.
To set yourself up for success when painting your countertops, take the time to adequately clean, repair and prep the existing countertop surface. Gather your tools and materials, and then make sure you are clear on the instructions before proceeding.
When to Paint Countertops
Assuming your countertops are indoors, you can do this project at any time of year. However, considering the countertops will be out of commission for several days while the project is ongoing, it may be ideal to paint countertops at a time of year when you are able to go without access to the space.
Pros and Cons of Painting Countertops
Proper ventilation is the biggest safety concern while painting countertops. If you are unable to ventilate the space while working, consider wearing a dust mask.
This time before you begin painting is your opportunity to thoroughly clean and repair the countertops. Start by using a degreasing cleaner on the full countertop surface. Follow up by applying a two-part epoxy putty to chips or cracks in the countertops. Once the putty is dry, use 150-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface.
Using the palm sander on larger surface areas and the handheld 150-grit sandpaper to reach edges and corners of the countertop, lightly sand the surface. The objective here is to help the paint adhere to the countertop. Avoid over-sanding, which could cause damage to the counters. After sanding, dust off the countertops and then wipe down with a damp rag. Allow the surface to dry.
Use painter’s tape on the edges of the countertop so that only the area you want to paint is exposed. Put drop cloth in place in the work area. Consider also taping drop cloth in place on the cabinets below the countertops to protect the cabinets from any paint that may drip.
Using a paint roller on larger surface areas and a paint brush to reach edges and corners of the countertop, apply one coat of primer. Following the dry time instructions for the primer, allow the first coat to thoroughly dry. Apply a second coat of primer and repeat the dry time before continuing.
Using a fresh paint roller cover on larger surface areas and a clean paint brush to reach edges and corners of the countertop, apply one coat of your selected interior acrylic paint. Following the dry time instructions for the paint, allow the first coat to thoroughly dry. Apply a second coat of paint and repeat the dry time.
If the paint appears patchy or inconsistently applied in any sections, add a third coat of paint. This is more likely necessary if you are painting the countertops a lighter color than they were previously.
Allow the paint to thoroughly dry before continuing. For best results, allow several days for the paint to cure, which will minimize the risk of future chips or damage.
Once the paint is dried and cured, help protect it by sealing the countertops with a resin. The most accurate instructions for how to apply the resin will come from the material’s manufacturer.
However, the general process for sealing with countertop resin is to pour the resin on the countertop and then evenly spread it with a fresh paint roller. While the resin is still wet, clean any drips along the edges and pop any bubbles by blowing them out with a straw. Allow the resin to dry and cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
After stepping back and appreciating your efforts, keep your painted countertops looking great for years to come by cleaning the surface with soft rags and gentle cleaners. If there is leftover paint from the project, keep that in case you need to touch up any sections in the future.
When to Call a Pro
Although the skills required to paint countertops are quite beginner-friendly, the job can be tedious. If you do not have the time available to complete the job yourself, you may be able to hire a professional painter for the job.
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