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 the edges are chipped. It 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 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!
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Can You Paint A Laminate Kitchen Worktop?
Yes. You will need a special paint that is designed for the project, typically acrylic or enamel based paint. Latex paint designed for your walls will not adhere to the laminate surface and may bubble and peel over time.
Painting is an affordable and fast way to get rid of dinged and dirty worktops without demolishing the entire kitchen.
Is Painting Your Worktop The Right Choice For You?
Painting the worktop instead of replacing it is a great choice when you simply want to breathe new life into your kitchen without blowing up your whole world. You will need to clear out of the kitchen for a few days to apply the paint and let it fully cure, but that beats weeks of upheaval when replacing it.
Even laminates that are 20 years old have plenty of life left in them. They may have scratches, chips, or discolouration that you just can’t hide. Painting the worktop will bring back that like-new look, help to hide blemishes, and give you a few more years before you have to rip it all out.
You may spend up to £100 on paint, brushes, and supplies. When you compare that to £500 needed to replace just a small worktop, it’s a win-win.
You can easily clean a painted worktop using your usual kitchen cleaning supplies. It is the same type of paint used on boats, so it will stand up to plenty of abuse. It can stain and scratch. But once the worktop is painted, it is easy to give it another fresh coat and erase those stains.
It will not look like wood or stone or even laminate. It will look like a painted surface, so it may not be the best choice when you are upgrading to a luxury modern design. However, when dressing up your flat on a limited budget, it’s a wallet-friendly choice.
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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 painters 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.
Advantages Of A Painting A Laminate Worktop
- It is an affordable means to updating the kitchen.
- The fast job only takes two days from start to end.
- You can use any colour of paint and add specks or marbling.
- It is easy to clean and maintain.
- Eco-friendly! No large worktop ends up in the landfill.
Disadvantages Of A Painting A Laminate Worktop
- It will not look like a stone, wood, or laminate worktop.
- Painting will not fix a broken worktop. It is only cosmetic.
- It will only last a few years before needing a new coat or full replacement.
- The smell from the paint may linger for a week or two.
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What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On A Laminate Kitchen Worktop?
You will need to buy enamel or acrylic paint. Some are available as water-based paints for easier cleanup. Those also tend to have less smell.
Read the label of any paint you are considering and look for one designed to work on cabinets and/or laminate surfaces. It will likely recommend a primer, too.
There are spray paint applications, but unless you are willing to tape and cover all your cabinets and floors, that is not a great option.
Some popular products include Rust-Oleum, Bedec multi-surface paint, Johnstones Tile Paint, and Giani worktop paint kits.
Can You Paint A Wooden Kitchen Worktop?
Yes. Look for paint and primer that is designed for painting cabinets and furniture. First, sand the worktop to open the grain. Apply a primer to seal the surface and provide a key so that the paint will stick to the surface.
You will want to apply about three coats of paint and apply a final seal coat of clear enamel or acrylic. Best of all, you can add colour, specks, or marbling for a modern appearance.
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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 around 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.