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Painted Formica Countertop

16 August 2011

Painted Formica Countertop

My UGLY formica countertops were just SCREAMING for an Ambush Makeover!  But since I could not take them on a plane to the Today Show so Kathie Lee and Hoda could work their magic, ultimately, the responsibility fell to me!  Yikes!  I removed the purple, green and plaid wallpaper - actually it wasn't as bad as you might think.  The border was blue and purple and green hydrangeas so it really was quite lovely.  I was on a green and black and white damask kick so I figured - why not?  Once I got the walls and ceiling painted, the countertops stuck out like a sore thumb.   I didn't want to get new formica and I certainly could not afford granite - what is a girl to do when faced with a conundrum of epic proportions?  GOOGLE! 

 Here is what I was faced with:  Not completely horrible I am totally thinking Nate Berkus would just be brought to tears.


Well I came upon this group of people at ThriftyFun.com who had PAINTED their formica to look like granite.  Yes, I said painted!  I was VERY apprehensive about undertaking such a drastic measure;  however, as I looked at the leprechaun green color complete with honey pine trim and shiny brass knobs which only added to their "splendor",  I thought how much worse can it be?!?  So, I began researching (I always research) and picked out a "granite" color I think I would like to try.  Alas, I was ready!   As if by magic - here is the result!  Drumroll please....  CrAzY, right?  Yes - it is that amazing and unbelievable! 


Ok, so you can see the before and after pictures, but what about the dreaded "in-between"?? LOL The cost was about $115 for all the countertops and I still have one box left for the backsplashes.

Firstly, I removed the wood backsplash and washed down the countertops so they were very clean. Then I simply used a small sponge roller and painted on a white primer which I made gray by mixing in black paint. Then the hard part came. I covered the cabinets and everything in sight courtesy of the Chicago Tribune! I then had the brainiac idea that I would use stone texture spray paint! NEGATORY! It was awful. It worked for others but not for me. So I had to sand that off and begin again. I simply bought a quart of rustoleum flat black paint and it was wonderful. But I still wanted some bling! So I purchased a can of metallic silver paint and a sea sponge and simply had some fun. I sponged on the silver and then sponged on the black over it and repeated this process until I had a granite look with a little bit of pop! Then, I took the Martha Stewart black glitter and sprinkled it everywhere while the paint was still a little tacky. How awesome did this look - I was really getting excited that this just might work! Fingers crossed!

Gray primer just rolled on.

Spray painting in the kitchen... BAD IDEA!

Just sponging on silver metallic paint - its almost impossible to mess up!

Then came the step which had me a little nervous. The final poly coat. I researched this quite extensively to make sure these chemicals could be around food and anything breathing. I am very conscious about my chemicals and such due to my cancers. Everything I read about Envirotek was wonderful. No problems and no risks. So I bought a few boxes at HOBBY LOBBY with my 40% off coupon and was ready to go!

Envirotek and Martha Stewart Black Onyx Glitter - it's like sugar dust!

I put plastic over the cabinets and cardboard on the floor. I mixed the two bottles and poured it on. Use disposable buckets and sponge brushes - you will throw everything away - even your clothes because it is so sticky. It was actually kinda fun to move it around and then simply let it dry. I had my blowtorch ready to burst the little bubbles that can form and I only had to use it on a few. It was gorgeous and I knew it was still wet but I had no idea it look almost the same when completely dry and hard as a rock! I could not imagine so little effort and money could make SUCH a difference! I WISH I had thousands for real granite but I don't! So this totally works for me! I love it and I still have to do my backsplashes but I know it can only get better!

Always cover cabinets - especially WHITE cabinets!

Finally finished at 3 o'clock in the morning. Takes about 24 hours to dry and about 3 days to completely set.

Here are two more sets of BEFORE n AFTER pictures. This is the smaller counter which is the one with which I started because I thought it would be easier to experiment on being contained. (Actually, this area is not readily seen, so if it was a train wreck, it wouldn't have been AS noticeable!) :-)

I know there are two missing handles - I am still working on the hardware although I like these a lot!

I switched out the faucet and hardware for bright chrome and painted the wood trim to match the cabinet.

Try it! Do it! You won't regret it! And you will be so proud of yourself when it turns out spectacular and people think it is real granite! That is the best part! :-) It is like anything and needs to be cared for. You cannot put hot pots on it and it can scratch but you simply have to use cutting boards and trivets like you would with real granite to protect it from stains, etc. If the scratches are deep you can always cover them with another coat. Good luck! 

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This project was contributed by one of our fabulous readers! We love to share your projects with this great blogging community. So, if you have projects from kitchen renovation ideas to small bathroom remodels, overhauled and repurposed furniture, spray paint updates you name it please send it in! Thanks for reading Remodelaholic!


megan August 16, 2011 at 7:14 AM  

We actually just did the same thing to our ugly hunter green counter tops this past weekend! We used the Giani Granite kits and it turned out great! I plan on posting pics tomorrow. :) Yours look awesome!

WhichCraft-Liz August 16, 2011 at 8:02 AM  

wow this is awesome! Wish I would've known about this last year before I dropped a load of cash for granite. Its beautiful but soooo pricey! your kitchen looks beautiful!!!!


Jester August 16, 2011 at 8:27 AM  

OMG that looks soooo GOOD!!! I think you just answered my prayers...now just need the guts to pullit off.BEAUTIFUL JOB!

Semper Wifey August 16, 2011 at 10:43 AM  

Wow, wow, wow! This is amazing and definitely something I'm tempted to try! Thank you for sharing! :)


Trying . . . in Pittsburgh August 16, 2011 at 12:45 PM  

Seriously, this is just amazing. And you have made me a very happy woman b/c I have the most hideous off-white laminate countertop (with white appliances, no less) in my 2x4 of a kitchen, and my husband and I have been itching for a cost-effective change, and I think I just found it! Thanks!

Connie @ Sensible-Redesign August 16, 2011 at 3:38 PM  

That is so cool. I love that it is so Shiny!!
That is what makes it so special. Really Good Job. Congratulations!!

Martina August 18, 2011 at 9:47 AM  

Wow! I would have never guessed those weren't legit granite counter tops from the pictures! Ah-mazing. Seriously.

Ruth August 22, 2011 at 11:40 AM  

Love it! I have a quick question...how do you get the edges with the poly?

Sandi September 27, 2011 at 2:42 PM  

An amazing job! My daughter and I are going to try this on her white counter tops. If there are any "don't dos" PLEASE let me know.

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