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Home renovations are expensive affairs. The national average cost to renovate a home measuring around 2500 square feet is a staggering $62,000. It’s no wonder that a lot of homeowners are looking at ways to reduce that cost by taking on aspects of home improvement themselves. Painting is on top of that list. However, people tend to make mistakes while painting their homes and end up spending a lot more than they planned for. Here is a DIY guide to painting kitchen countertops that will help you avoid a lot of those mistakes.
Can all kitchen countertops be painted?
Most kitchen countertops, irrespective of whether they are laminate countertops or granite countertops can be painted, touched up, and refurbished. We need to make sure we use the correct countertop paint in each case, though.
For example, when you paint laminate kitchen counters, it is advisable to use water-based acrylic paints. On the other hand, the base coat of paint on a granite countertop ought to be an oil-based paint primer.
Plan before you paint
Planning is of paramount importance. There are multiple aspects that you need to keep in mind before you begin your paint job.
Choose the right color for your countertop. Make sure it’s a color that goes with the color of your kitchen sink and walls. Keep in mind that you need to live with that color for a while, so make sure it isn’t a color that is too gaudy or bright.
It is always advisable to sample the colors you’re choosing with the color of the cabinets and walls in your kitchen, so you’re sure of making the right choice.
Also, make sure the color you choose will go well with the way you plan to accessorize your kitchen as well. Here’s a pro tip. Painting your kitchen counter glossy white will make your kitchen appear larger than it actually is.
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While you could choose conventional colors and finishes, paint manufacturers now have products that can give laminate or wooden painted counters faux granite or stone finishes, so you have no dearth of choices while planning your kitchen countertop transformations.
While buying paint, be sure to buy a large enough quantity keeping in mind the surface area you will need to cover.
Some of these choices are now easier to make. For example, the Giani granite-look countertop paint kit covers 35 square feet of surface area and can be used to paint laminate, ceramic tile, wood, cultured marble, or solid surface countertops.
Rust-Oleum Universal is another paint and primer that can be used on multiple countertop materials.
Plan your painting in such a way that you allow for at least two to three weeks of time without using the counter for the paint to cure.
Tools of the trade
Here’s a list of all the things you’ll need to paint your bathroom countertop.
- Tape, newspaper and plastic sheets
- Paintbrushes and rollers
- Acrylic sealant
Everything you need for this DIY project can be easily ordered online or bought at stores such as Home Depot.
Follow the process
As with all DIY projects, there is a certain process that, if followed diligently, will ensure your kitchen countertop painting project is a success. We’re going to briefly outline that process for you.
1. Clean the countertop
As a precursor to painting, you need to clean the countertop with warm water and soap. Dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth once you’re done.
2. Isolate the countertop
Either entirely remove or tape off your kitchen sink, taps, and other fixtures before you proceed. If you have freshly painted kitchen walls, you may want to tape off the wall area around your countertop as well. You will want to keep them paint-free until you finish your countertop painting.
3. Sand the countertop
Next up, use 150-grit sandpaper to lightly sand the countertop. Use a damp cloth to wipe off any dust. If there’s any damage on your wood or laminate countertop, use a wood filler to fill those gaps in. Sand the countertop and wipe it again before continuing.
4. Prime the countertop
Once your countertop is dust-free, prime the entire surface with a 100 percent acrylic primer. Make sure you choose a primer meant for gloss or high gloss surfaces.
If your kitchen countertop is a laminate top, use a flash bond primer. This will stick to the laminate and will ensure the paint sticks to the laminate as well.
Once the first coat of primer is dry, apply a second coat. Drying time is usually around 30 minutes.
Wait 24 hours to make sure your second primer coat is dry as well before you begin painting.
5. Paint the countertop
Paint over the primer with a couple of coats of latex satin or semi-gloss enamel paint. Make sure the first layer has dried up completely before painting the second layer.
6. Seal the countertop
After the final coat of paint has dried, apply a top coat of clear acrylic to seal it. Make sure to use high gloss or semi-gloss paint instead of egg shell or flat paints. The higher the shine in the acrylic, the better protection your countertop has against scratches and wear.
7. Cure the countertop
The acrylic seal will take two or three weeks to dry. During that period, be sure to not scrub the counter aggressively. Only clean it gently with a damp cloth. Even once the countertop is completely cured, make sure you do not use abrasives like scouring powder to avoid damage to the surface.
Oops, I’ll do it again
Got the color wrong? Or the final coat of paint hasn’t got the look you imagined? No problem! While you may not be able to change it immediately, it’s not a difficult fix either. All you need to do is gently sand the countertop, wipe the dust away with a moist cloth and start again.
Want an estimate for your countertop renovation project?
The world is your palette
One of the best things about DIY projects like painting kitchen countertops is that they don’t cost too much. At an average cost of between $6 to $14 per square foot, you could change the color of your countertops as often as you’d like. That being said, if you follow the process and do the job right, your newly painted kitchen counter will hold up for a fairly long period of time.
Now, don’t you wish the rest of your kitchen makeover was that affordable and easy?