When you're considering painting your old kitchen countertops, which type of countertop paint do you choose? There are specialty paints made just for countertops, and some people have even used ordinary latex paint normally used for walls.
If you want to update the look of your kitchen, or your countertops are in good shape but just don't fit the decor of your kitchen, then painting the kitchen countertops may be a good alternative. Let's go over what types of paints are used for countertops.
Using ordinary wall paint can be a cost effective choice if you already have the paint laying around, otherwise it may be a better idea to buy a specialty paint made specifically for laminate countertops. The upside of using wall paint is the enormous color selection when compared to the specialty paints.
If you use a high quality polyurethane top coat most of the worries of durability go away. Just be sure to use trivets and clean the countertops with a non-abrasive cleaner to ensure they last for a long time.
Some folks have had great luck with using ordinary wall paint to paint their laminate countertops. Here is one example of a project using ordinary wall paint with a polyurethane top coat. According to this post the countertops have had many years of use and still look good.
The key to long term durability is to use a quality polyurethane, water based polys don't turn yellow over time. Please note: water based polys can only be used over water or latex based paints, and oil based polys can only be used over oil or alkyd based paints.
Specialty countertop paints are are just that, specially made for laminate, wood, and even metal countertops. There are literally hundreds of different companies who make paint for countertops. What makes these paints so special? Well not much, most are latex or water based paints and are much the same as the paint used for walls.
Where the special properties are with most "specialty paints" is the adhesion to laminates. Laminate countertops are sometimes difficult to paint because of their hard surface.
Proper preparation is essential for proper paint adhesion. All grease and dirt must be removed, and the surface sanded to roughen up the laminate so the paint has a "tooth" to adhere to.
Specialty paints have properties to maximize the paints adhesion to the laminate, and are probably your best bet when painting a laminate countertop. Epoxy type paints are also a good choice. Keep in mind, epoxies are somewhat difficult to work with, prior experience with epoxy is essential for a quality job.
Specialty paints can also give a faux granite finish. Faux granite painting is very popular, because natural granite is popular. The faux granite paints come in kits with many different colors to achieve the granite look.
These kits come with a solid color for the base coat and many different glazes for the veins and color variations that granite has naturally. The kits also come with the tools and materials needed to achieve the granite look, these tools and materials are commonly foam rollers and sponges.
You will need some artistic ability or experience with faux finishes to get the most realistic look possible. But with a little practice anyone can do this technique.
There are also faux marble kits out there and are similar to faux granite kits. The only difference between them is the techniques use to achieve the look of marble, the tools, materials, and the colors used.
I found this great how-to video on YouTube, Kristi does a great job of explaining how she faux paints her countertops. You can also visit her countertop painting page for more information.
How about faux stainless steel countertop paint? Yes there is a faux stainless steel paint on the market. I have never seen or used this style of countertop paint so I cannot attest to it's look or realistic nature but it does deserve a mention, because it's also an option.
Learning the techniques of faux finishing is not too difficult but a book or DVD may help you learn the basics.
If you're not one for faux countertops and just want to paint your countertops a solid color there is also a specialty paint for you. Rust-Oleum makes a countertop paint just for this purpose.
This paint can also be tinted to 16 colors and, according to Rust Oleum, has superior adhesion to laminate countertops without the need for a primer coat of paint. This paint should be available at most home centers, and the tinting needs to be done at the paint counter.
As you can see there are a couple of different countertop paints you can choose from as well as different faux finishes you can have too. If your budget is tight or you simply don't want to replace a countertop that's in excellent shape then painting may be a good option for you. So get out there and try it! After all if you mess up or don't like the look you can always repaint it until you achieve the look you're after.