Saturday, May 14, 2011

How I painted the counters

I have gotten lots of requests for a tutorial on my counter tops.

The idea to paint my counter tops first came from the blog world. I had seen many success stories and lots of tutorials. I will admit that I did not follow any one exactly. I mixed methods and made some up as I went along so please feel free to do the same.

- sandpaper
- 4 paints
- Sponge roller brush
- paint sponge
- Paint tray
- Lots of plastic baggies (like the Wal-mart kind)
- patience (it took me about 5 days)

The very first step was choosing the “granite” color. I did this by going to the home improvement store and scouting out their granite sample chips. I took some home and decided which one I liked. Then, I really, really looked hard and wrote down all the colors I saw. Then I matched them with paint chips. I chose four colors: tan, dark tan, brown and white. The paint guy recommended I used a mixture of glossy and satin finish. Both are easy to clean.

At home:

  1. clean and degrease your counter. This is really important. I must not have a good enough job because there are spots that did not accept paint.
  2. Sand your counter tops until the shine comes off. I used 60 grit sandpaper but having a sander would be amazing!
  3. Wipe down your counter to remove all dust from sanding.
  4. Pick your base color.(Mine was the tan) and paint the counter top. No going back now!!!

Hint: to same money and time, I used a tip that my dad taught me for painting. I put grocery bags over my paint tray so that it is easy to go from one color to the other without cleaning it out every time.

  1. Let that dry. I left mine overnight.
  2. Pick the next color – I chose darker tan. This is where the fun comes in. Dip the sea sponge in paint and lightly sponge everywhere! The thickness is up to you but try to be even – as in not large clumps here and there and emptiness in other places.
Let that dry.

5. Now go brown. If you thought that was fun/scary this will be super fun/scary. You are going to grab a plastic bag and crinkle it as such.
6. Then….dip it in paint and dab all over the place! ( I know I know…I hate randomness, too)
7. Let that dry. You may like it already, I did. I fact I struggled for 2 days deciding if it needed another color. Since my cabinets were going white, I decided to add a bit of white using the baggie method again.
8. Let that dry.
9. This next step is a very important step. And this is where every tutorial differed. You need to coat the top with a polyurethane or something like that.

*beware, it can smell up the house so do not do this if you are hosting a party, or in my case,Thanksgiving.

This is what gives it shine and protection.

I went with Minwax Satin Polyurethane. It was so simple. I just used a roller sponge brush. And put three coats on allowing it to try between coats. Three may sound like a lot but it was NOT enough.…I would do 5 if you are able.

This process took me about 5 days. The whole thing cost me about $30.
- White paint (1 gallon, I used it for my cabinets too)
- $8 Tan paint (1/2 gallon)
- Brown paint - $0 ( I had it from painting the walls)
- Dark tan (1/2 gallon) $5
- Sponge brush - $3
- Baggies - $0
- Sea sponge - $4
- Sandpaper - $1 (I get mine at the dollar store)
- Paint tray - $1 (dollar store as well)

This is the picture of the finished product. I painted the cabinets too. That's another post for another day :)

If you decide to do it, let me know how it goes. Email me or comment if you have questions along the way. Good luck!


  1. this is unbelievable, wow, I have wanted to tackle the same counter project in the past, and I'm usually not afraid to do anything, but this is beautiful. i hope you dont mind, i will be posting this on my blog, so hopefully you can have more followers. I am following you for sure!!!!

  2. I am planning to paint my counters also but was going to go with one of the kits out there which is a bit more expensive than 30.00. You've got me re-thinking this now because yours turned out so beautiful! I like how you chose your paint colors because I think that's probably one of the hardest parts! Bookmarking your page and following you!

  3. That looks amazing! I'm debating on whether or not I'm brave enough to paint mine... :)

    I'd love it if you linked this to my party, here's the link:


  4. Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! You did a fantastic job painting your counters.

    Have a great week,

  5. This looks so good!!! I've been wanting to do this too, but have been chicken, you may have given me courage! P.s. found you on Ask Anna's link up and am your newest follower!

  6. Great Job! I have a small/odd serving area in the dining room that needs this. Thanks for sharing!

  7. This is just absolutely beautiful. I finally got my kitchen like I wanted it (granite counter tops, oak cabinets, tile on the walls between and on the floor -- and then we moved. Now I have an ugly kitchen again, and I'm not sure I want to go the expensive route again! Thanks so much for posting this. It's my first time visiting your blog and I'm impressed.

  8. It looks great! Really looks like the real deal, awesome job!

  9. I'm LOVING your cabinets!! They look amazing! Now I just wish I could hire you to do looks scary! =)

  10. What an awesome job!! It looks fabulous! How does it hold up to heat, scratches, etc?

  11. Wow this is great! I seriously need to do something with my counter tops! I'll put this on my "to do list" :)

  12. Your counters came out great! I need to fix up mine. I will definitely use your technique!

  13. I'm curious to know how it holds up too. I know some people do a poly-resin coating on top (which seems MUCH harder to do than painting polyurethane. Is it holding up well?
    It looks BEAUTIFUL!
    Great job!

  14. WOW!!!! I think I might try this in my bathroom!
    Thanks for sharing! I'd love for you to come link up at DIY Thrifty Thursday at

    Thrifty 101

  15. What a beautiful job! Is all the paint latex (water) based? I painted countertops once...but used some stinky oil-based stuff that took forever to dry! (And it didn't look nearly as good as yours!)

  16. I painted the countertops in my laundry room and in the adjoining bathroom. I love mine too. The countertops in the bathrooms aren't holding up as well as the laundry. I think because there is sitting water by the soap dispenser but maybe I didn't sand and clean as well as I should have. I want to redo them. I'm going to do it your way because your turned out much more lovely than mine. Wish your tutorial was around when I did mine.

  17. I lurve how your countertops turned out.. This might be what I need to do since remodeling my kitchen professionaly might be out of the budget for a while.


  18. Holy cow, that looks fabulous!!!!

  19. I didn't even know this was possible. The countertops look amazing! I'm a first time visitor and found you at DIY Show Off. I'm also your newest follower. You have some great stuff on here that I can certainly use for my home projects. :)

  20. OMG! No way! I am soooooo doing this! That is fantastic! I am now following you! :)

  21. I had to check this out. I was just sent a free kit to do this and review on my blog with a granite coutner tops from Giani. It says it takes 14 days to cure so we are waiting until after the holidays. Hope it turns out as nice as yours. Would love for you to link up at Bacon Time, Anything goes linky.

  22. This looks amazing!!! We are building a bar downstairs in our basement and I am totally gonna try this!!!

  23. Amazing! I've been struggling with my old countertops. This would be the perfect solution. Thank you for sharing!

  24. I did this about 5 years ago and my counters still look great. neO tip. Rather than sanding, clean well and then use BINZ primer (no need to sand). I had no trouble with the counters accepting paint and they were in bad shape. Everything has held up and no problems since the day I did them.

  25. And this is safe enough to eat off of?
    Wow love it! I am so doing this...I may try it in my bathroom...just hope it will hold up as well as a kitchen counter top will

  26. My cabinets were sponge painted hunter green and white... I have nothing to loose but the time. Thanks for sharing!

  27. I see its been a year since you painted your counter top can you tell me how well its stood up to the test of time?

    Im doing a test board right now to make sure I know what Im doing but, Yea just wanted to see how long this will last.

    Renee K
    St Louis, MO

  28. I am going to try this.. I love the step by step instructions, but also wanted to see your info for painting the cabinets... Can you post the link for that? Would love it...

  29. This looks fantastic! I am hoping you can tell me how this has held up since using the counter tops daily? Is there any specific type of paint to use, or specifically the polyurethane?

  30. The countertops look awesome. I'm in the process of painting mine. FYI. ..polyurethane will yellow. Polyacrylic won't.

  31. Absolutely gorgeous! I'm definitely going to do this..following your directions. May start in the bathroom first but all my counters need a big change and this is something I can afford, plus I love DIY.

  32. Hi!! I found this post over a year ago and I was inspired to paint my own counters and use your technique!! They turned out fabulous!! I'm linking you up in my blog post about my kitchen and counters. I wanted to make sure you got credit as my source!!! Thanks for a great tutorial!