Can You Paint A Laminate Kitchen Worktop? – Everything Explained
Did you leave a hot pot on your old laminate worktop, and now it has a burnt ring? Perhaps it’s become stained or simply looks horrible, even though it still provides a functional surface.
If only you could paint it like your lounge walls and hide all those cosmetic scars. Guess what? You can paint a laminate kitchen worktop!
In this post, I’ll explain how to paint a laminate kitchen worktop, what you need to consider and whether it’s the right choice for you.
Let’s get into it!
In a hurry? Here’s the key takeaway:
🎨 You can paint a laminate kitchen worktop to refresh its appearance cost-effectively and quickly, but it’s a cosmetic solution that won’t last as long as genuine materials. Proper techniques and paint selection are essential for the best results.
Read on to learn more…
Can You Paint A Laminate Kitchen Worktop?
Yes, you can paint a laminate worktop (countertop). However, you will need special paint that is designed for the project, typically acrylic or speciality countertop paint.
Painting your laminate countertop is often a cost-effective method to give your kitchen a refreshed appearance without the expense of replacing the entire countertop.
However, remember, it’s a cosmetic fix. Any existing damages won’t be repaired by painting alone. While it’s a quick solution, it doesn’t provide the long-lasting durability or the authentic look of materials like stone or wood.
If done properly, though, it can be a valuable interim solution, especially for those on a tight budget or in rental properties.
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Advantages Of Painting A Laminate Worktop
- Cost-Effective Renovation: Painting a laminate worktop offers an economical alternative to a full replacement, making it an attractive option for those on a budget or seeking a temporary solution.
- Quick Transformation: The entire process, from preparation to the final coat, typically takes just two days, making it a swift solution for kitchen updates.
- Customizable Aesthetics: Homeowners have the flexibility to choose from a vast array of paint colours. Furthermore, creative techniques can be employed to introduce specks, marbling, or other designs to mimic the appearance of pricier materials.
- Ease of Maintenance: Painted laminate worktops are straightforward to clean. With proper care and the right type of paint, they can resist stains and remain hygienic.
- Environmentally Conscious: Opting to paint rather than replace reduces waste, preventing the disposal of large worktops in landfills. This choice supports eco-friendly home renovations.
Disadvantages Of Painting A Laminate Worktop
- Authenticity in Appearance: Even with the best painting techniques, a painted laminate worktop will not achieve the authentic look and feel of genuine stone, wood, or untouched laminate surfaces.
- Cosmetic Solution: Painting addresses only the surface aesthetics. It won’t mend structural issues or damages in the worktop. Any existing dents, cracks, or other imperfections will still be present post-painting.
- Durability Concerns: While painting can extend the life of a laminate worktop, it’s a temporary solution. Over time, the paint may wear off, chip, or become stained, necessitating another repaint or a complete worktop replacement within a few years.
- Lingering Odor: The distinct smell of paint can remain in the kitchen for a week or two after the job. Proper ventilation is essential during and after the process to disperse the smell and ensure a safe environment.
- Preparation and Material Choice: To ensure the paint adheres well and lasts as long as possible, meticulous preparation of the laminate surface is necessary. Additionally, it’s crucial to select the right type of paint and sealant suited for kitchen worktops.
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What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On A Laminate Kitchen Worktop?
When painting a laminate kitchen worktop, it’s essential to use the right kind of paint to ensure adhesion, durability, and a good finish.
Primer: Begin with a high-quality bonding primer. This type of primer is designed to adhere to slick surfaces like laminate. It provides a solid foundation for the paint to stick to.
Acrylic Paint: After priming, use a high-quality acrylic paint. These types of paints are durable and provide a smooth finish. For kitchen worktops, consider a semi-gloss or satin finish as they’re easier to clean and more resistant to wear than matte finishes.
Specialty Countertop Paint: There are paints specifically designed for countertops. Brands like Rust-Oleum and Giani offer kits that mimic stone finishes. These speciality paints are formulated to be durable and resistant to common kitchen spills and wear.
Clear Protective Sealer: After painting, consider applying a clear protective sealer to protect the painted surface. Choose a food-safe, non-yellowing polyurethane or epoxy sealer. This additional layer will provide extra protection against stains, scratches, and wear.
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How To Paint A Laminate Kitchen Worktop
- Laminate paint and primer
- Small paint rollers
- Sanding blocks
- Paint tray, tape, protective plastic
- Ventilator mask
- Vacuum, broom, sponge, bucket
Now that you have all your supplies, you need to prepare the room. Remove everything from the worktop surfaces. Take any open food out of the room or have it stored in sealed containers.
Use protective plastic film and painter’s tape to protect your cabinets, splashback, sink, and floors. Open the windows and turn on the exhaust fans.
1. Clean, Sand, Clean
Wash down the entire worktop surface. Then use a sanding block or power sander to buff the shine off the existing laminate surface. If you have any major chips, fill them in using a countertop epoxy.
Vacuum up the dust and wipe it all down again with a damp cloth to get the last of it.
2. Apply the Primer Coat
Even if the paint you bought says it does not require an undercoat, do it anyway. The primer is designed to bond to the scuffed laminate and provide a surface to which the paint will adhere.
Skipping the primer coat may result in peeling or bubbling paint. If you are making a bold colour change, it will help to block the old colour. Let dry according to the label.
3. Apply the First Colour Coat
Use your roller to apply an even coat of the worktop paint over the entire surface. A small angle-tip brush will provide good coverage against the back corner.
A smooth or foam roller delivers a sleeker finish when it dries. If you use a roller with a fluffy finish, your worktop will be textured.
4. Apply the Second Colour Coat
After the first coat is dry to the touch, you can roll on the second coat. Make sure to cover the entire surface again even if it looks good, otherwise, you will see a sloppy second coat when it dries.
5. Add Marbling, Flecks, or Streaks
Before the second coat dries, you will need to add any flecks or designer elements (if you want). Some resurfacing kits include a dispenser that flings an even but random layer of flecks.
Marbling takes an artistic eye and a palette of similar colours to create organic movement.
6. Apply a Clear Acrylic Coat
The final clear coat seals in your flecks and provides a durable working surface. Leave it to dry for at least as long as indicated on the packaging.
If you place anything on the worktop before it dries, you will have jars stuck to the surface and permanent rings.
Is Painting Your Laminate Worktop The Right Choice For You?
Painting a laminate worktop is an economical and swift solution for those looking to refresh their kitchen without a complete overhaul. It’s an environmentally friendly choice that offers customization in aesthetics.
However, it’s primarily a cosmetic update and lacks the authenticity and long-term durability of genuine stone, wood, or new laminate. If you’re seeking a short-term, budget-friendly facelift that can handle the post-painting odour, it might be the right choice.
However, if you desire a long-lasting and authentic finish or need to address structural issues, it may be worth considering other renovation options.
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There you have it! Everything you need to know if you are considering painting your laminate worktop.
While painting your laminate worktop won’t give you a designer look or any more function or durability than your original laminate surface, it can be a great quick win to refresh a tired or worn-out worktop.
It’s a cost-effective and DIY-friendly option if you want a quick change or a temporary solution to that tatty old laminate worktop.
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Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.