Saturday, September 3, 2011

How to Paint Your Countertop

I know this post has been long awaited!  I have had many people ask me when I am going to post this, and I have a good excuse.  It has taken this long to get it done!  Yes, this has been a work in progress over the past few weeks.  I will explain why below.

I have disliked the color of our countertops ever since we moved in the house.  The color is hunter green.  It's not a terrible color, it's just that I like to decorate light and bright, and this wasn't helping me.

I didn't think to take a "before" picture til we had piled everything up on the stove and bar stools.   Of course, when thinking about painting the countertops, I did some pretty extensive research, cause that's how I roll.  You can ask Adam.  I research everything.  So I finally landed on this product.  I liked that it was made specifically for countertops and was just a one step process.  Something I knew Adam couldn't argue with. :)

You can read about Rustoleum Countertop Paint here.

We bought ours at Home Depot.  You can get it at Lowes too.  You can only have it tinted to certain colors listed on the top of the box, but they have a fair amount to choose from, and most of the colors are neutral.

We decided to go with Cobblestone.  I liked it because it had gray and tan tones to it, so I knew it should go with our wall color which is "Washed Khaki" by Behr.  Before you begin, here are the materials you will need.

Frog Tape (regular paint tape does not do the job), a small roller with a smooth texture (not rough or semi smooth), a foam brush to do the back lip area (you can throw these away when finshed.  They are about 70 cents.) a face mask (THIS IS A MUST!), a small paint tray, a paint stick to stir, and a paint can opener (not pictured).
This paint has TERRIBLE fumes.  DO NOT use if you are pregnant.  Or if you have a baby in the house.  Or if you are a person.  Ok, just kidding, but the fumes are terrible.  The fumes are not like your average paint fumes.  These fumes have a very toxic smell.  It will linger in the house for at least a week, so if you are having company over before then, you may want to wait.  My husband and I had to actually go stay with my parents for a few days afterward.  We just couldn't handle it.  Or maybe we couldn't be around the fumes because....

Before I just started slapping on the paint, we taped off the countertops first, being sure to tape around the sink.  This is a very important step and one you have to do carefully.  It actually only took us 5 minutes to do.

After doing this, I was ready to get to work, but instead of just diving in, I decided to do a test section.  My test section is actually taken up completely by our massive microwave, so if it looked bad it would be alright.  I mainly just wanted to get a feel for how to paint with the product. 

Ignore the trash, please. :)

Ah, you're quick.  No, I hadn't taped off yet, but I did!  Then I carefully rolled my roller in the paint tray and got to work.  I worked quickly, and I kept the roller going in the same direction.  I didn't go left to right and then top to bottom.  I stayed left to right.  I also used the roller on the back lip, but not on the very tip top.  I used the foam brush for that.  I also used the foam brush to do the sides of the countertop. After the first coat, it looked like this.

No, I didn't panic.  I knew it would take more than one coat for the lighter cobblestone to cover the darker green.  So I let this dry for one hour, and then I added a second coat.  Remember, it is better to do several very thin coats than one thick coat.  You want a smooth, even, and thin finish.

2 coats of cobblestone
So by this point, I bet you notice 2 things. 

1) There is a spot on the countertop that is not covering.  We were puzzled by that too.  The spot felt really smooth.  We think since the microwave had been there, that must be where it gets really hot.  It just didn't hold the paint. 

2)The second thing you might notice, is that the countertop color is now very close to the wall color.  The color did not turn out the color it was supposed to according to the box. 

We were disappointed, but I was determined we would get our money back and choose a different color.  So the next day, we drove to Home Depot (with pictures in our cell phones!) to show them what had happened.  They were completely cool and gave us our money back, and we bought a new color to try.  Afterall, there was no turning back now.  So we decided to give "Taupe" a try.  It was still a neutral just slightly darker.  We knew there was no way it would match the wall color.

This time, Adam took his turn with the paint.  Our sample section turned out very well, so he continued with the rest of the countertops.  He just needed one coat to cover the green since the taupe was a bit darker.  We really liked it! it dried, it took on a pinkish tint....almost like a salmon color.  We were not happy.  It would have looked SO good if it didn't have that tint.  The color looks really good in these pictures.  Trust me, if it looked like this in real life, I would have left it.

You can kind of see the pink tint in the second picture.  Here is a comparison of the countertop with the color on the box.  Not even close.

So, we of course returned this color as well.  They gladly refunded our money, and we tried....another color.  This time, we went with Canvas.  It had a slight tanish greenish tint with a hint of yellow.  I was thinking it would hopefully look...canvas.

Well......not so much.  No canvas here.  But banana yellow?  Why yes, of course.  After 2 coats of canvas to cover up the taupe, here's what we had.

You can still see the pink taupe color in the background!  Oh, and is that a painted piece of furniture in the garage?  I believe it is!
I bet at this point you are starting to wonder how thick our countertops are.  Probably a few more inches thicker than they were!  So...back to Home Depot we go.  The funny thing is, they still had our tinted Cobblestone on the shelf, but it was discounted since it had been used!  Score!  So we bought it back at a lower price.  Half actually.  So in the end, we actually got a reduced price for our paint.  We were refunded each time we bought the paint, and then the last time we were able to buy it for half price.  Sweet!

Now here's the kicker.  After trying all of these colors, we go back with the Cobblestone!  I know, I know, all that work to just go back to the original color.  But if we hadn't tried all these colors, then you would not have known what they looked like.  Right?  See, it's all for the good of blogging. :)  After 2 coats of Cobblestone, here is the final color!

Look!  That spot that wouldn't cover is gone!  I guess it should be gone after several coats of paint.

I love the color!  We still have the Frog Tape on and all that, so look for Part Two to see how it looks without the tape and with all the small appliances and goodies back on the countertop.  I will also let you know how the paint is holding up.  Thank you to those who eagerly waited for this post!


  1. They turned out beautifully! I have been wanting to try that bad its stinky:(

  2. They turned out beautiful! You should have asked to have your gas money refunded too! :)

  3. I LOVE it! I have been wanting to do some type of paint treatment on my counter tops but have been to afraid. It looks like you have about the same amount of counter space as us, did you use the big box or small one?? THANKS!! Oh yeah, congrats!!! :o)

  4. Thank you so much, ladies! I'm sorry I'm just now replying. My blogger wasn't letting me reply to comments for some reason. Bonnie, it was only sold in one size when I got it. I believe it was a 32 oz. can. If I was covering up a darker color with a lighter one, it took 2 cans. If I was covering a lighter color with a darker one, it only took one can. Hope this helps! Good luck!

  5. Visiting from The Power of Paint..have you seen the Giani faux granite countertop paint? I am working on mine right now and will post on them in a few weeks. Check me out too! Great job. I love a white kitchen. It looks so fresh with the new countertop!

  6. Wow did you guys hang in there. I would have been in tears by the second color. Love how you got your first paint at half off. Don't you just love paint.

  7. Thank you for your comments, ladies! Yes, I have seen the Giani faux granite paint. You will have to let me know how that turns out! I can't wait to read about it on your blog! Traci, yes we definitely had to hang in there once we started! We are really happy with the way it turned out though. And getting our original paint at half off wasn't too shabby either! :) Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Hi Amanda,
    I am wondering if you have had time to know how durable the paint seems to be. I am concerned that it will scratch easy or peel off.

  9. I need to update on that, don't I? It's actually been holding up nicely. The only complaint I have with it is that it stains very easily. If you leave a wet glass on the counter that would leave a ring on furniture, it will leave a ring on the counter. It eventually goes away, but it takes a long time. Also, if you get a food stain on the counter, it takes some good scrubbing for it to come off. This might have something to do with me having one of the lightest colors though. As far as care goes, I use a homemade cleaner instead of the store bought ones (it's cheaper/non toxic). You can find the recipe for my cleaner on the blog. I can't say how well the paint would hold up with other kitchen cleaners since I don't use them. I hope this helps!

  10. Becky
    I don't know if you are still there or not, but I am thinking about doing my counter tops. I am just wondering since it has been almost a year how the paint is holding up.

  11. I would like to see cobblestone over white to see what it looks like

  12. I have used this product and waited the 3 days before using it. Before I put anything on it I clicked my fingernails on it and it chipped a little!!! Hmmm I dont know how it is going to hold up to sliding small appliances on it.
    Dont know if it was worth the time.

  13. I used this paint on my countertops nearly three years ago. Although it occasionally chips, I am totally satisfied with it. Admittedly, we chose a dark color (the deep red), which hides a multitude of sins. But the change of appearance was well worth the work and smell.


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