New Countertops on a dime…well, sorta.

If you’re thinking about getting new countertops, but don’t really have the budget for it this is the post for you!  Have you considered countertop paint??

Before, During, & After

Rustoleum sells two different types of countertop paint.  The first, and less expensive, is their basic countertop coating.  It is available in sixteen different colors including, white, black, gray, blues, creams, greens, and browns.  There is certainly a color to match any existing kitchen decor.  You can buy the paint at any local home improvement store including Lowe’s and Home Depot.  The can of paint costs about $20 and covers 25 linear feet (with the typical 24″ depth).  There are some supplies you’ll have to purchase, so plan to spend about $45 or $50 after buying all of the supplies.  This is an easy weekend project.  Go to Jennifer’s blog, I Love Rehabs for some tips on using this basic countertop coating.

The second product is the one I will plan to go into further detail here.  Rustoleum Countertop Transformations  take your laminate or wood countertops to a different level with a granite-look finish.  They have five (5) different finishes.  We used the one in Charcoal.  Using this kit could not be easier.  The written instructions and instructional DVD that are included in the kit were incredibly well done.  They are not at all confusing.  This kit is, however, more expensive than the other kit…by a lot.  The kit costs around $250 plus about $50-$80 in other supplies that are not included.  So, plan on spending upwards of $300.  (We were lucky and bought ours at a store closing, so we got everything for under $200.  Keep your eyes peeled for deals like that!)

When deciding what to do with your countertops, you should really consider what your “dream” kitchen is.  It isn’t worth it to go into debt over new countertops.  If your current ones are just not working for you, then painting them might be a good mid-point while you wait for the countertops of your dreams.  If you’re really just wanting a new laminate, then it may be more cost effective to save your $300 and wait to purchase new laminate tops.  Plan on your painted countertops to last you around 3-5 years if you take care of them.  They could go longer, though.  Just be sure to not use any abrasive cleaners (like Ajax or Comet or steel wool scrubbing pads) and use a cutting board.

Here are some great tips for using the Countertop Transformation kit.

1.  Sand really well.  Corners are really hard to get into, but make sure you do it and do it well.  You need your current laminate to not be shiny at all.  They include one (1) diamond imbedded sanding block.  If you can find a second it wouldn’t be a bad idea.  You and a partner can sand at the same time.  The better you sand, the better the base coat will stick.

2.  Be sure to tape plastic to the surrounding cabinets to avoid splashing paint on them.  I almost skipped this step thinking that I would just be extra careful.  I’m so glad that I didn’t.  The steps require you to move quickly, so you’re not always being as careful about the dripping.

3.  Tape really really well.  We used Frog Tape.  We really liked it and would highly recommend it over some of the other leading brands.

4.  Take care when removing the tape!  The directions have you tape just once and allow everything to dry.  This is not how you typically use painter’s tape.  So you need to really take care and score the area really well.  The video uses a putty knife.  I suppose you could use that, but an Exacto knife or a box cutter (used carefully) might be a better bet.  You want the tape to be completely scored all the way through to avoid bringing up any of the topcoat.

5.  If you get claustrophobic, then wearing the safety glasses & mask might be uncomfortable.  Don’t skip this step, though.  The dust gets EVERYWHERE and you really don’t need to be breathing all of that in.  If you simply can’t handle it, then try to find someone else who can.

6.  LEAVE IT ALONE!  If you have pets or kids, then make sure they’re not around…better yet, in the house…for at least 48 hours.  If you can do it longer, then do that.  Kids will make this job nearly impossible.  Just like any paint or cement project, the longer it takes to dry & cure the more solid it will be.  So leave it alone and let it dry.

7.  Be really generous with the chips.  It is really important to get the decorative chips EVERYWHERE.  Pile this stuff on thick!  It will be ok if you have mounds of decorative chips everywhere.  This is one of those areas that less is definitely NOT more.  It will not hurt to have too much–you cannot have too much of the decorative chips.  Just save a bag for possible touch-ups.  You’ll end up wasting a lot of them and vacuuming them up from your entire kitchen (they get everywhere… and make a huge mess), so it doesn’t hurt to have a lot piled on.

8.  Get a shop vac.  If you don’t have a shop vac, now is the time to invest in one.  Like I said above, the chips get EVERYWHERE and make a HUGE mess.  You will not want a broom and dust pan for this.  I also wouldn’t think it was good to vacuum them up with your normal household vacuum.  You will also want a good brush attachment for your shop vac.  If you don’t have one, get one!

9.  Have a partner help you…or two…or three…Just make sure you have enough supplies for everyone.  (save receipts & packaging for whatever you don’t use)  I cannot imagine having done this project all by myself.  No fun.

I know I wrote all kinds of tips, but it really is so easy.  It is a no brainer because the directions are incredibly easy.  These are just things that might save you a little bit of time while you’re working!  Enjoy!


5 thoughts on “New Countertops on a dime…well, sorta.

  1. Your Countertops turned out Fantastic! Thanks for the link. I have been working on your living room moodboard each night a little bit and I will be done with it this weekend and email it to ya. Hopefully it can give you some ideas to work off of.


    • No problem, Jennifer! I’m so thankful to have found your site and I know others will enjoy it too! 🙂 Thank you for all of your help and your suggestions! I can’t wait to see what you find! 🙂


  2. If you’re looking for a countertop kit that includes everything you need for under $200 take a look at CrystalTop Overlay. Get a true Granite or custom look and finish an average kitchen countertop in one day and start using it the very next day!

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