How to Paint Kitchen Countertops

Painting your kitchen countertop is actually a relatively pain-free method of giving your entire kitchen a quick shot in the arm.

It's less messy than adding new wallpaper and far less expensive than buying new countertops or appliances.

Clean the countertop completely. This means more than just storing away things like toasters and cereal boxes; it means getting out the industrial strength cleaning agents and scrubbing with some serious elbow grease. The fact is that kitchen countertops are collectors of little bits of every single meal you cook, and the remnants build up over time. Paint will not adhere to a countertop that has any grease still on it, so you have to make sure you give it a solid and thorough cleaning.

Sand the counter to make it ready for painting. You can't get the countertop clean enough for painting simply by using liquid cleansers; you must apply medium-grade sandpaper to prepare the counter fully.

Apply a coat of primer to the entire countertop, making sure you cover the edges and any hard-to-reach places. Usually just one coat of primer will do the trick, but allow it to dry completely, giving it a minimum of 24 hours. If the countertop has any obvious cracks or chips, you may want to fill them with spackle before priming.

Use either a foam or synthetic brush to apply the paint. Avoid using oil-based paints unless you are absolutely certain that the countertop will never come into contact with any food. Since most people can't make this guarantee, stick with water-based paint to avoid the potential of harmful chemicals contaminating your food. Rollers are best for applying paint to countertops due to the size and smoothness of the surface, as well as the fact that rollers afford a more pleasant finish. Allow to dry completely and apply a second coat.

Things You Will Need

  • Cleaning solutions Sandpaper Rubber gloves Primer Spackle (if necessary) Water based paint Synthetic or foam paint rollers


  • The best types of countertops to pain are laminate and formica after they have been sanded so the paint will adhere. Wooden countertops are also ideal for paint jobs. Granite and other mineral countertops can be painted, but it is not recommended.

About the Author

Timothy Sexton's more than 10,000 articles have been published on sites ranging from USA Today to CareerAddict, from PopEater to His writing has been referenced in books ranging from "The Reckless Life...of Marlon Brando" to "Brand New China: Advertising, Media and Commercial and from Scarface Nation to Incentive!"