DIY Network

How to Paint a Laminate Countertop

An economical alternative to replacing laminate countertops is to paint over them. Your results will be surprisingly nice if you prepare the surface thoroughly and use a durable oil-based paint and primer.

More in Painting

countertop makeover has dramatic results
  • Time


  • Price Range

    $50 - $100

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Tape off Sink and Clean the Countertop

Tape off the sink or remove it completely.

Clean the existing laminate countertop well with a solution of trisodium phosphate. Protect your hands with rubber gloves.

old laminate countertop painted for fresh new look

Courtesy of James Calloway

Step 2: Sand the Laminate

Sand the laminate to create a rough surface for the paint to cling to, and wipe clean with a tack cloth.

Step 3: Apply Oil-based Primer and Paint

Apply a coat of oil-based ivory primer. Allow the countertop to dry for at least 24 hours. Apply a coat of ivory oil-based paint to the countertop.

Step 4: Sponge-Paint the Countertop

Sponge-paint complimentary accent colors (light gold and ivory) on the countertop for a soft, mottled look. Pour a small amount of each accent paint onto a plastic plate. Dip the sea sponge into light-gold paint, dab off the excess on a paper towel, and lightly sponge paint onto the countertop. When the first coat is dry, dab on the lighter-colored accent paint.

sponge painting gives a soft mottled effect

Courtesy of James Calloway

Step 5: Seal the Surface with Polyurethane

When the final coat has dried for 24 hours, seal the surface with a nonyellowing oil-based polyurethane.