It really depends on what material your counters are made of. Generally speaking, if you have a laminate or melamine countertop, then they can be painted with most latex paints and finishes without too much fuss. However, if you have a natural stone such as granite or marble in the kitchen area, it is more than likely not going to hold paint for very long and will probably chip and flake off after some time. Some newer formulations of epoxy paints claim to work well on these surfaces but only time will tell how these formulations actually hold up over the years. Saturating the surface with water (i.e., wetting) may help, but you still may end up with a surface that chips and flakes over time (and even the epoxy paints will do this).
If you want to attempt to paint your countertops, I would suggest doing a test patch first to make sure that it works out. You can then proceed from there. If it works well, then go ahead and paint the whole thing. If something goes awry (e.g., chipping), then at least you will know to not attempt such an endeavor again.
What kind of paint do you use on countertops?
There is not one single paint that you can use on every surface. It depends on what countertops you are covering. So, before buying paint, it’s important to think about the following:
What is your budget? What kind of coverage do you need? How big is the area you’re painting? Are there any bumps or irregularities in the counters that might require special attention during prep work for spackling and sanding? Is this a rental property or do you own it? In rentals, you must check with your landlord first before trying anything new because if they don’t like it then you’ll have to re-paint everything when they renew your lease. If it’s your home, then all bets are off! There are several ways to paint countertops, but first I’ll tell you about the oil-based paints that are especially popular for this project.
Traditional oil-based paints contain a high volume of solids (pigment plus “fillers”) which make them thick and even though they come in different sheen levels, they are all fairly glossy. The main ingredient is alkyd or modified alkyd resin. These are long lasting paints with very good coverage properties because the pigments are finely milled to fill any surface irregularities, thus providing an even shine after drying without many coats needed. Oil based paints have excellent durability because they form a tough film on top of the surface being painted that is not easily scratched or penetrated. If oil-based paints are applied on top of oil-based paints, they form a very durable finish even resistant to heat and water.
Oil based paints work well on almost every surface including counters made out of butcher block, wood, laminate, Formica, Corian ®, tile and many other types whether painted before or not because the paint seeps in between the tiles/grout making it impossible to chip. Some householders use them on appliances such as microwaves and ovens because the paint seeps into crevices thus preventing any chips from forming while cleaning. However, this paint is probably one of the most toxic you can find because it emits harmful chemicals that should not be inhaled nor get into contact with your skin.
Many homeowners complain about the smell, which can be rather unpleasant because it’s difficult to get rid of especially if you have a large surface to paint. And finally, this is probably the most expensive type of paint sold for this project but there are some budget brands out there that do just as good a job for less money.
This is by far my favorite type of paint mainly because not only does it claim to be the next generation in countertop paints, but also because I have been using it myself on my own counters with wonderful results. The thing about this type of paint is that it requires the use of a chemical called diisocyanates which are often used in building materials such as urethane foam insulation. This additive makes it difficult for the paint to dry even though you will see the surface becoming dull; it’s not ready yet! You must wait until all moisture evaporates (usually about 8 hours depending on humidity levels) before applying the second coat because otherwise, it won’t be able to adhere properly to a non-dried/tacky surface thus leading to bubbling and peeling especially around edges
Isocyanate paints have an extremely high coverage rate, can cover almost anything including heavily textured surfaces and last much longer than regular paints. They are very thick and creamy in consistency and come in satin and semi-gloss sheen levels just like oil-based paints. The only drawback is that they take a long time to dry (overnight or about 8 hours) because of the chemical additive which tends to slow down the evaporation process.
Isocyanate paints are also available for countertops, but it’s best to use them on appliances such as microwaves, ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators etc. They are mainly used by professional painters who can afford to charge more because of their expertise with this type of paint especially when compared with oil-based paints. Some manufacturers even claim that isocyanate paints make counters “heat resistant” although I wouldn’t put them in the same league as ovens.
They are affordable and come in satin, semi-gloss and high gloss sheen levels just like oil based paints, but take about an hour or two to dry depending on humidity levels (oil-based take up to 8 hours). They claim to offer the best coverage rate which is true because they spread very evenly over any porous surface without many coats needed. Their main drawback is that they emit very harmful chemicals during the drying process especially when combined with other types of paints/varnishes even though you get a fan attached to speed up evaporation.
These are water based paints that require no priming. They come in many different types including flat, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss sheen levels. Most acrylic paints are not recommended for appliances because they take too long to dry (overnight or about 12 hours depending on humidity), but do offer great coverage thus requiring only one coat even on dark colors. They are also very affordable with some of them costing less than $5 per can while offering good UV protection thus making them ideal for outdoor use such as railings and furniture.
However, we need to point out that acrylic paints emit harmful chemicals during the drying process which makes them dangerous to use indoors without adequate ventilation systems in place. This type of paint is perfect if you want a quick project done over the weekend because it dries fast and will last a very long time especially on surfaces such as window frames, signs and wooden tables.
These are usually water based paints that offer excellent coverage rates even though they require more than one coat to fully cover dark colors. They come in flat, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss sheen levels just like acrylic paints and take about 12 hours or overnight to dry depending on humidity levels. They also dry fast when applied in thick layers hence the need for multiple coats which is why we don’t recommend them for appliances unless you want to spend much longer than usual painting your counters.
They are the best choice when it comes to versatility because they can be used indoors and outdoors without issues such as peeling. They are also very affordable and come in a wide range of colors to choose from thus putting them at the top of our list.
How well does latex paint work on laminate/melamine countertops?
Melamine countertops can be painted with latex paint. However, these surfaces are not as smooth as those that you find in most homes and will require a more heavy duty primer and finish combination (i.e., oil or epoxy based). Also, if your melamine is shiny like some of the particleboard ones tend to be, then you may even need plastic primer and topcoat to make sure it holds up; otherwise, you run the risk of the paint flaking off over time. On the other hand, if your melamine countertop has a matte or satin sheen to it without any shine at all-satin oils are especially good at simulating this type of appearance which should work well on these surfaces with latex paint.
Epoxy/Polyurethane Paints are water-based paints that come in high gloss, satin or semi-gloss sheen levels similar to polyurethane varnish and require no priming. They also come in flat, eggshell and matte finishes so you can choose the type of sheen that complements your appliances best. These types of paints are very popular with woodworkers because they offer excellent coverage rates thus being able to cover dark colors with just one coat making them perfect for darker countertops which require minimal preparation work before applying coats of paint on top. They also dry fast at a rate of about an hour or less depending on humidity levels which is why we recommend them for anyone who wants to get the job done in one day.
They are also excellent for painting metals because they dry faster than most oil-based paints making them ideal for outdoor appliances that are exposed to the elements on a regular basis. To summarize, epoxy/polyurethane paints are some of the best when it comes to durability and work on surfaces with high quality finishes such as laminate countertops requiring no sanding beforehand. However, they do have limitations when it comes to colors unless you choose white or off-white which can be paired with any color combination of your choice.
Oil Based Paints are known for being very durable but difficult to remove once applied without causing damage to appliances due to their strong solvents found in low VOC formulations. They come in flat, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss sheen levels just like latex paints and offer excellent coverage rates that can conceal rusting on appliances even without any priming required. However, since these types of paints are solvent based; they dry very slowly compared to other types of paint thus requiring higher humidity levels (60% or above) before applying coats on appliances.
They also need to be applied in thin layers with sanding in between each coat which means you’ll spend more time painting your cabinets than most people but the end result will definitely pay off once completed. To summarize; if you want a quick project done over the weekend then oil-based paints are not for you but if you’re looking for durability then they are one of the best options out there.
Epoxy/Polyurethane Paints are water-based paints that come in high gloss, satin or semi-gloss sheen levels similar to polyurethane varnish and require no priming. They also come in flat, eggshell and matte finishes so you can choose the type of sheen that complements your appliances best. These types of paints are very popular with woodworkers because they offer excellent coverage rates thus being able to cover dark colors with just one coat making them perfect for darker countertops which require minimal preparation work before applying coats of paint on top.
Why you shouldn’t paint countertops?
The only thing worse than painting a kitchen countertop would be to paint it and not seal it. You are fooling yourself if you think paint will stick to the surface of your countertop without primer or sealer underneath, because anything less just won’t last! The oils in food, water, paint thinner and paints all seep into our surfaces weakening them over time. So, if you want to paint your countertops, seal them first. We don’t just mean with a coat of polyurethane either – we know that you can’t reapply a sealer each time you go to do a little painting. No, what we’re talking about is a water-based or solvent-based stone coating that will provide your painted countertop with another layer of protection from the elements.
What do you seal painted countertops with?
Sealing painted countertops can be easy to do. You just have to get the right product that will allow the paint to seal without being too rough or chalky. If you are wondering what sealant you should use on your new painted countertops, here are some options for sealing your paint so it is protected and lasts longer through daily use.
The first thing you need to know is that there are different types of finishes when it comes to sealing paint. There is matte finish, satin finish, shiny finish, etc., but all these types fall under one category depending on how much light they reflect/how much shine they give off after the application of a clear coat.
Types of Sealers for Painted Counters –
Water based clear coats: these sealers are water based and offer a slight shine. They come in different finishes that include matte, satin, or shiny finishes. This type of sealer is good for painted countertops because the finish makes it easy to wipe down when food spills on your counters.
Polyurethane Clear Coat: this is an oil-based product that gives off a shiny finish after the application of a clear coat. You can apply up to five coats with each one creating a stronger hold and longer lasting hold protecting your sealed paint from spots and scratches.
Glossy Polish: this sealant is also similar to polyurethane in that it has a hold factor but instead of being shiny it provides a glossy finish. This is a water-based sealer that is easy to clean and great for high traffic areas of your home like the kitchen.
Oil Base Polish: this sealant is similar to polyurethane but instead of having an oil base it has an oil based finish. It has the same protective properties as polyurethane, but it dries faster than polyurethane because it has an oil base making the application process easier too.
When deciding what type of sealer you need, think about where your painted countertops are located in your home and how much wear they will get throughout the day based on their location. For example, you don’t want to use glossy polish if your counters are near or inside a bathroom because the humidity from the air will cause it to wear off quickly.
For a great finish, choose a polyurethane clear coat if you want a shiny or glossy surface that is easy to clean and won’t chip or scratch easily. It gives a good finished look to most painted countertops.
When sealing your painted counters, make sure you have all your materials ready so there is no excess mess when applying the sealant. This means having newspaper down on the floor, lots of towels or rags wet with warm water for wiping up spills after application, and newspapers spread out over the countertops so they don’t get any sealer from dripping from above onto them even though they are protected by the newspaper.
Make sure everything is ready to go before you begin sealing your countertops.
Start by cleaning the counters fully with warm water and some dish soap to remove any surface dirt or grease so there will be no problems when it comes time to clean the sealer while it is wet. Leave them completely dry before applying the sealant so you won’t have any issues later on when you try to wipe down the countertops after they are sealed.
Take your paint brush and apply a thin coat of clear coat over the entire countertop, covering every inch of space that needs to be sealed which probably means using an entire can depending on how large your counters are. Let this first application sit for about thirty minutes then come back with another thin layer one more time if needed making sure you are using another dry paint brush. The coats don’t have to be thick because this will only cause issues when it comes time for cleaning your counters later on before applying the second coat, so each brush application should be light and thin just enough to cover the entire surface of the countertops.
After allowing the sealer to sit for thirty minutes after application, take a paper towel or rag and go over everything again making sure it’s completely dry. Once that is completed then allow at least ten hours to pass by before doing anything else with these counters which means no wet towels or dishes on them and nothing spilt on them as well until they have completely dried out and cured which could take up to 24 hours depending on how humid the air is in your home.
Wipe down your counters with a microfiber cloth before completely getting rid of the paper towels and rags you used to protect everything from sealer while it dried out. Some will say that if you want to add another coat, allow the first coat to cure for at least three days before applying another one even though it’s okay to apply two coats in one day as long as there is only a short window of time between each application. After allowing a day or two pass by after sealing for the first time, go back over again with a second thin coat to make sure you get good coverage on any spots missed on the first try and to make sure your entire countertop is sealed properly.
Afterwards, let this last coat of clear coat sit for at most another 24 hours before getting out your paper towels and wet rags to wipe everything down and start using them again.
How long will painted countertops last?
Depending on the finish, they can last anywhere from 2-5 years. It really depends on your family’s usage and also how hard you are with it (are you good about wiping up spills immediately?)
When deciding if you want to use PURETECH Paint or other paint finishes, make sure to ask how long it will take to wear off the countertop. This is not something that should be put in place without knowing. Ask your supplier for detailed information before purchasing this type of product.