DIY Countertops

August 24, 2020

Welcome Back!

This month’s DIY project is updating those ugly 80’s laminate countertops. You might be saying why not just replace them? Good Question. The answer is… Eventually all 4 bathrooms (that’s right) 4 bathrooms and the laundry room will be remodeled but since it’s not in the budget to remodel right now and while I’m waiting I just can’t look at those outdated countertops anymore…!

Max Waste Services - Just Talkin' Trash Counter tops
Max Waste Services - Just Talkin' Trash Counter tops

You don’t want to have to redo a project because you wanted to “hurry” and get it done.

In my “mini redo” of the bathroom,  I’ve already painted the walls, trim, baseboards, and doors and stained the cabinets but I’ll show you that another time. Today I want to focus on how to transform the counter-tops.

Items you will need for this project:

  • 3’ smooth roller (2-3)
  • 2’ foam paintbrush (2-3)
  • Painters tape (width depends on how messy of a painter you are wink)
  • White Cleaning Cloths Mineral Spirits (If you will be cleaning roller covers and brushes)
  • Paint Pan
  • Respirator or Mask
  • Rust-Oleum® Countertop Coating 
    Max Waste Services - Just Talkin' Trash Counter tops

Make sure you take the time to choose your color. I painted the counter-top in my laundry room with the Linen and decided that with the colors of my walls and the white trim the counter-top looked washed out.

I wanted my counter-tops to stand out and not blend with the room. Think about what your preference is and then choose your color from there.

Max Waster Service - Home Depot Rust-oleum

As you can see in the picture I choose Pewter. This was more the feel I was going for.

Try picturing in your mind the look and feel you’re going for then choose colors and decor. It’s not a race take your time and really get a feel for what you want.

You don’t want to have to redo a project because you wanted to “hurry” and get it done.



Max Waste Services - Just Talkin' Trash Counter tops
Max Waste Services - Just Talkin' Trash Counter tops


You will need to sand the laminate to get the gloss off. Now don’t go out to your favorite home improvement store and buy coarse sandpaper you’ll regret that. You will need fine grit sandpaper for this project.

I used 180 and 220 grit which is fine grit. You’ll have to put a little muscle into it but a light sanding is really all you need to do.

Once you’ve sanded your countertop wipe it down with soap and water and let it dry. Once it’s dry, step back and look to see if you see any shine on your countertop. If so sand a little more where you see the shine then wipe down with soap and water again

Taping & Caulking

Tape around the edge of your sink and around the backsplash where your countertop meets the wall. If you have caulk around your backsplash and wall, now is the time to decide if you care whether or not you want to or need to recaulk or if you don’t recaulk if you are ok with painting the caulk. If you don’t want messy paint on the caulk you’ll need to make sure you take extra time and tape the caulk really well on both on the backsplash and around your sinks.

All the caulk around my sinks and backsplash needed to be removed. It was cracked, yellowed, and frankly just gross so I removed the old caulk and recaulked everything after I was done painting the countertops.

Now for the fun part…. Painting the countertop!

When getting started make sure the room is well ventilated and that if possible wear a respirator or mask. The paint is very strong and very smelly; If the room is not ventilated you will be inhaling toxic fumes which could make you very sick.

Next, make sure you have enough time to do the whole countertop. The Rust-Oleum® Countertop Coating/paint is not like latex paint. You’ll need to work quickly but carefully. I’ve re-done countertops using the Rust-Oleum® Countertop Coating/paint my other homes and learned that if you stop halfway through you’ll have uneven paint and will be very unhappy. cry

Now that I’ve told you the scary part lets get to the fun part. I always start by trimming the area around the sink and backsplash.

Thin coats are your friend.

The thicker the coat the harder it is to work with the paint. You don’t want to keep going over the paint with your brush and roller. This is what causes lines and makes the paint look uneven. So keep it light. Several coats are better than one or two thick coats. Also, use smooth long strokes when possible this will keep the paint smooth and even.

Unlike latex paint that you paint your walls with you do not want to keep going over the same area you’ve already done. Once you’re done with the trim take your foam roller and roll the rest of your countertop.

Keep in mind you’re using a foam roller which sucks up a lot of paint –  so really make sure you are being mindful of when you’re roller needs more paint.

Again use smooth long strokes and this will keep your countertop from looking uneven and having lines


Since you’ll need to paint several coats follow the instructions on the back of the Rust-oleum can for re-coat times.

This is another reason I told you to make sure you have enough time. You can re-coat in an hour or you’ll need to wait another 24 hours before you can put on another coat. Make sure you follow the instructions for re-coat times. If you try and paint over the paint when it’s not ready your roller will stick and you will get the uneven look and lines in your paint. Again I’ve learned this the hard way on the other countertops I’ve done.

I can’t stress enough that you follow the re-coat and dry times on the back of the can. If you set anything on the countertop before it’s dry it will stick and leave a mark.

Now that you’ve got your countertop(s) painted if you need to caulk, now is the time.

Cleanup is a lot of work with this paint and frankly not worth it so I throw away the roller covers and brushes in-between coats. This is totally up to you but for me, the little cost to throw away is well worth it.


Congratulations – You’ve done it!

I had previously “decorated” & “zhushed” those spaces just trying to hide those ugly countertops;  but, alas, even with the pretty stuff I just couldn’t live with those old, outdated countertops! smile  The updated countertops make a world of difference!

Doing a DIY Project such as “painting” your countertops gives an inexpensive – but really GREAT looking outcome!

For more DIY projects – news & community updates – please be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter below!

Happy DIY!


Terri & Scott Pettit

Terri & Scott Pettit

Owners - Max Waste Services

Max Waste Services - Just-Talkin'-Trash

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