Can You Paint Kitchen Worktops Without Professional Help?

Let’s say that you know how to organise your kitchen like a pro! And let’s say that you know how to paint your kitchen cabinets (and even laminate cupboards) and tiles. What about your worktop? Good-quality laminate kitchen worktops can last you at least 10 to 15 years before needing replacement. However, unlike cabinets, countertops experience a lot more wear and tear with scratches, burns, stains, etc. If you’re thinking of giving your kitchen a mini-facelift, painting your kitchen countertops can go a long way. And, yes, it’s entirely possible to paint your laminate worktops to look brand new – all you need is to understand how it’s done. 

Wooden kitchen worktop in a modern kitchen

That’s where we come in. Our at-your-fingertips kitchen countertops DIY guide will not only tell you how to go about repainting, but we’ve also added practical tips to aid you to maintain your sparkly new worktops. So, without further ado, let’s go paint your kitchen a new look!

Why you should paint your kitchen worktops

Sometimes your DIY self can feel a little at odds before starting a new project. And, we don’t blame you – there’s a lot that can go wrong with a DIY kitchen project – if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Thankfully, that won’t be a concern for you, not with us around. And, just in case you need a little more convincing, here are some of the benefits you can look forward to with painting your kitchen countertops

Aesthetic Value

It won’t matter if your kitchen cabinets are a startling white and your backsplash game is on point if your kitchen worktops look scarred and stained due to years of use. Because worktops take up quite some space, they’re what your eyes are drawn to as soon as you enter the kitchen area. Painting kitchen worktops can breathe life and make everything seem improved – if you pick the right colour for your space.

Extended Shelf-life

It may sound all punny – but painting your laminate countertops can extend their shelf-life. If your laminate countertop is worn-through due to ageing and use, you can delay having to replace the whole thing through countertop paint because it’ll help seal up the scratches and renew the surface for use again. 

Cut down Repair Costs

Suppose you’re renovating your kitchen, but your worktops look pretty sturdy, and you don’t want to incur the cost of replacing it to have it work with the new scheme. In that case, you can cut down on your repair and renovation costs by painting your worktops to match your home improvement project (kitchen cupboards, kitchen tiles, etc.)- instead of buying brand new from. 

White worktop in a modern kitchen

What paint and colour you should use for your kitchen worktops

You won’t find yourself short on choice when browsing for worktop paints. A quick look through major online retail sites or hardware stores will reveal quite the lineup of countertop painting kits

However, we recommend sticking with renowned brands to ensure you don’t run into any unforeseen issues. Here are some of the kits that are worth checking out:

  • Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations Kit (available in four colours – charcoal, java, onyx, and desert sand).
  • Giani White Diamond Countertop Paint Kit (for buyers interested in the white granite countertop effect)
  • Giani Butcherblock Countertop Paint Kit (for buyers with teak or any other type of wooden worktops)
  • Beyond Paint Countertop Refinishing Kit (available in khaki, ash, bone, and charcoal-liquorice colours with the marble effect)

Colour schemes are tricky things for DIYers to decide. But our word of advice is to go for lighter colours if you’re working with limited kitchen space. On the other hand, if you think your countertops are more prone to stains, it’s advisable to go for darker colours

Preparation before painting your kitchen worktops

Now that we’ve gone over your options regarding paint kits and colours – let’s talk about what you might need in terms of tools and materials before getting to the tutorial

Keep in mind that painting kits come equipped with some tools, but we recommend buying the following items separately, so you don’t have to make shopping trips once you get started. 

  • Clear polyethylene drop cloths
  • Masking tape (aka painter’s tape)
  • Degreaser cleaner
  • Rubber gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Paint rollers
  • Laminate paint kit
  • Protective goggles
  • 150-grit sandpaper
  • Acrylic paint (interior)
  • Paint primer
  • Countertop resin (to work as a sealant)
  • BlowtorchWorking tools on wooden background

Step-by-step tutorial: How to paint kitchen worktops

Now for the fun bit. Here’s what your painting worktops DIY journey will look like. 

Step 1: Adequate ventilation is a crucial step in painting your worktops. Remember, you’re going to be working with chemicals and inhaling such materials in close proximity is not something we’d recommend. 

That’s why ensure all your fans (exhaust or otherwise) are switched on, and the windows in and around the kitchen are open to promote healthy air circulation. If you notice any deep grooves or scratches on the countertops, use an epoxy putty filler to even out the surface and wait for the filler to set accordingly. 

Next, cover your floors and cabinets with the polyethylene drop cloth and secure it in place with painter’s tape. Just leave the work surface you’re going to be working on bare. 

Step 2: Wear your rubber gloves, grab the degreasing cleaner and scrub the countertops thoroughly to ensure you’ve done away with all the dirt and grime. Wipe away the degreaser and wait for the worktops to be completely dry before proceeding with the next step. 

Step 3: Wear your safety goggles and a dust mask. Start sanding your worktops with the 150-grit sandpaper to create a surface that the paint can stick to. Keep your vacuum cleaner nearby to pick up all the collecting debris without any fuss. Once the countertops are sanded and clear of debris, wipe them with a damp cloth to remove all traces of dust. Allow the work surface to dry.

Step 4: Go through your paint kits instructions. Priming is generally the next step after sanding. Grab the paint primer from the kit and apply a thin and even coat of primer. Once the first coat is dry (or after the appropriate drying time has passed), apply a second even coat of primer to ensure the surface is perfectly ready for the paint that’s to follow. 

Step 5: It’s time to start painting. If you’re utilizing a paint kit that offers a granite or marble effect – follow the directions strictly. For example, the Rust-Oleum Transformations Kit comes equipped with a self-adhesive spray (aka wetting agent) and decorative chips

A kitchen worktop with marble effect

Every kit will include varying instructions, and you must follow those to the letter. Pay special attention to blending the paint, applying even coats, and waiting for the appropriate drying time to ensure your paint is seamless. 

On the other hand, if you’ve opted to do it alone and are depending on acrylic paints to colour your worktops, apply an even, thin coat and wait for it to dry. Once properly dry, apply a second coat of the acrylic colour to ensure the paint is thick enough to have covered the original surface. 

Step 6: Once you’ve allowed the paint to set according to the required drying time, it’s time to add the topcoat or countertop resin to seal the surface and ensure the colour lasts. If you’re working with a countertop kit, the top coat will be included, along with applying and drying instructions. 

Conversely, if you’ve used acrylic paint, mix a batch of the countertop resin according to the product’s instructions. It’s best to make a little more than you’ll actually need – because the resin can start drying up pretty quickly. 

Pour the resin on the freshly painted surface and use a foam roller to spread it across the surface evenly. Keep an eye out for drips along the edges and wipe these before they can make a mess. 

Once you’ve covered the worktop in an even coat of resin, use the blowtorch to get rid of air bubbles, but remember not to hold it too close to the surface. Wait for the resin to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

How to maintain your “new” kitchen worktops

DIY projects are all well and good, but if you don’t know how to maintain your painted countertops, you might have to redo the whole project sooner than you’d like. Here are some pro tips you can utilize to make sure the countertops stand the test of time.

Person with gloves cleaning kitchen worktop

  • Clean your epoxy resin coated countertops with a mild dish detergent and a soft, damp cloth like chamois. Avoid using anything that can scratch the resin surface, like scrubbing pads, etc. You can also wipe down the surface with mineral oil once a month to keep the surface shiny. 
  • If you’ve opted to paint your bathroom counter, avoid using any abrasive cleaners on the surface to keep the coat looking smooth. 
  • Epoxy resin is heat-resistant, not heat-proof. Similarly, any countertop paint kit you’ve used to makeover your new kitchen will be heat-resistant to an extent. For that reason, avoid keeping hot pots, pans, or baking trays directly on the surface of your kitchen worktops

Kitchen makeover projects can be a lot of fun – be it redoing your backsplash or painting countertops or cabinets. Nonetheless, the essential part is researching a project thoroughly before embarking on it. Fortunately, we’ve already done the heavy lifting for you for painting worktops with this tutorial – so all you have to do is collect all your tools and get to work.

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