Posted in do it yourself

Paint Your Countertops

On the left are the countertops (island and cupboard) that I painted for under $100. Below is my friend’s new laminate countertops that were part of an extensive home reno project. Cost, about $1100. See any resemblance?! If you want to replace the countertops in a rental or an older home and don’t want to put out the big bucks to do it, consider painting them. Here’s how easy it is:

1. Thoroughly clean countertops with strong soap, or other degreaser and rough up the surface with sandpaper

2. Paint with a good quality primer – let dry for a day

3. Use a small roller to skid on swatches of your first color or two (chocolate brown and black on mine)

4. Use a sponge to dab on your remaining colors (yellow and light brown, my two wall colors)

5. Using an old paintbrush, dip in black paint and by running your thumb along the bristles, spatter the countertops to give an antique effect – let dry for a day (note: be sure you use acres of drop cloths firmly taped or tacked in place because this is a very messy step!)

6. When thoroughly dry (1 full day) lightly sand with the finest grit sandpaper, remove dust with a tack cloth before applying the 1st coat of varnish (matte finish). Let dry for a day.

7. Sand again, remove the dust, apply the 2nd coat of varnish. Let dry for a day.

8. Sand again, remove the dust and enjoy your beautiful new countertops!

See the two photos below for an update on how well the paint has worn over the last 3 years of constant use. The area in front of the sink, chafed by belt buckles and buttons, has not done well. All the other areas look great.


Christian writer and speaker trying to follow God one yes at a time.

18 thoughts on “Paint Your Countertops

  1. I love what you have done but is it safe to put food on the varnish? I have heard that you need “food safe paint” and there really is no such thing. If you have different information I would love to hear it because I love the idea of doing this myself. Thanks.


  2. Wow!
    Thanks for the tip Connie! Our countertops are this HORRID blue colour (think early 90s) and we’ve been humming and hawing about what we can do to make them less so.
    This is a great and pretty cheap idea!

    Thanks again!
    (I saw you speak in Port Elgin at the Chocolate night)


  3. A friend of mine did a similiar thing on her bathroom counter and achieved a beautiful marbled look. Basically did the same thing, minus all the varnish and sanding, but instead of the black ‘splattering’, she used a feather dipped in white paint to paint streaks that produced the marble effect. Easier to do in a bathroom as it doesn’t need to stand up like kitchen counters do, but you are correct – it is much cheaper and looks awesome!


    1. the varathane (varnish) i used is the same as what’s used on tabletops and has nothing in it that would be harmful. Once it is dry it is impermeable.


  4. Hi Connie,
    It really is a great technique but I have to tell you that using varnish is not safe around food at all. I have been refinihsing counters for years and it is tough to find something that holds up and is safe. It is best to go with water born products. I have just discovered a FAB new sealer which will be available soon on my site. If anyone wants the info on that, email me at It is so tough and looks great and it is FOOD SAFE.
    Thanks. Love your site!


  5. Hi Connie! Beautiful counter tops you have! I can’t wait to paint our counter tops. I am wondering why you would sand after the final coat of varnish. Wouldn’t it look scratched?


    1. Varnish always has a few bumps and bubbles so after every coat I always sand it with a very fine sandpaper about 220 grit (black sandpaper). It doesn’t leave scratches but acts more like a polisher leaving the finish silky smooth.


  6. Oh, Connie, How beautiful! That is such a “Proverbs 31” thing to do. Isn’t it funny how ‘safety conscious’ we get nowadays. I don’t put food on my counters anyway! I use cutting boards, etc., and don’t really think twice about most of it except using good old soap & water. Thanks for sharing your talents and reminding us that our spiritual walk is so much more than our designated “quiet time” at the kitchen table!


  7. Hello, just wondering how durable your countertop paint has been and how it is standing up to everyday wear and tear in the kitchen? Thanks!


    1. HI Marie. I will post another photo taken just now of the countertop. It has worn very well — just a few scratches in high use areas. The section that has taken the most abuse is right in front of the sink where (I assume) the belts and buttons on people’s pants have scraped away the paint.


      1. I have not seen this before with our finish. That’s taken quite some abuse. I am interested to hear what products were used. Never run into this with our process but it can be fixed quite easily. Let me know what you used and I will tell you how to go about repairing.


    2. Hi there,

      I have had my counters painted for seven years and they are great. We have refinished probably 200 countertops over the years and it is rare that there is a problem. We have made improvements in the Countertop Transfauxmations process and it is proving to be a big hit with our customers. Easy to follow, lots of color options and we share all our tips and tricks. Love it and have no problems with it. I have 3 children and we USE our counters!


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