One of the most frequently asked questions I receive here on the blog is about how the Giani Counter top paint kit I used to paint laminate countertops in my kitchen have held up. Most readers want to know about the painted countertop durability.
I am answering these questions and even showing how to repair the dings and damage that may happen to the painted counter surface over time.
I want to show the main reason I am writing this post about how the painted countertops in my kitchen have held up.
When I gave my kitchen a budget makeover instead of a full remodel to keep the cost down, I painted everything including the kitchen cabinets. I also decided to keep the existing circa 1970 JennAir cooktop.
All was good until earlier this year when using the cooktop we noticed the entire surface would become red hot. We needed to replace it.
Hello shiny and new KitchenAid ceramic/glass cooktop. I love the sleek design.
So what’s the problem?
I had painted the kitchen countertops with the old Jenn Air in place. When it was removed the new KitchenAid cooktop was smaller and a section on the front of the unpainted section of the countertop was exposed.
Not only this, but when the installer was putting in the cooktop, I was cringing as I watched him making the opening in the counter larger and made cut marks with the jigsaw he used along the front edge of the counter.
Once the new cooktop was in, I had to figure out the best way to fix the painted countertop in front of it. It was the first major damage to the painted countertops and I had to come up with a lasting fix.
After some thought I went with how I go about painting furniture. Sand, clean, prime, light coats of paint and then seal.
I fixed the scratches and damaged area of the counter. I took photos and even made a video (below) or viewed on YouTube of the process I used to fix the damaged painted finish.
This should help others know how to fix any dings, dents, worn or peeling areas in a painted countertop or fix painting mistakes so they will blend in and the painted counter will look “good as new”.
The tricky part was getting the sealer to blend with the existing sealer that was on the counters from when I painted them 3 years ago.
Instructions: How to Repair Damage on Painted Kitchen Countertops
If you are reading this and want to know how I initially began painting laminate countertops in your home, you can find the how-to in this post: How to Paint Kitchen Counters to Look Like Carrara Marble.
When repairing painted countertops, you can use paint leftovers from your countertop painting kit that comes with paint, but you don’t need a kit to paint kitchen counters.
I had paint left over from my kit when I previously painted my counters. I used it to repair the paint around the new cooktop.
If you don’t have leftover paint, you can use any brand of latex acrylic primer/paint or acrylic craft paint to paint a counter and/or fix damage in the painted surface.
Overview of Painted Laminate Countertop Repair Steps:
- When you sand, paint and seal you want to go over the damaged edges where the good part of the painted counter meets the damage. This way the fix looks more seamless.
- Sand the entire damaged area to smooth out all layers of paint to the laminate/Formica and also to remove any ridges in the paint where the damaged area meets the non-damaged area of the counter around it.
- Re-paint and seal brushing out over the damaged area onto the good sections around it about an inch or so.
- Dab the brush to apply the sealer so you don’t create a line that will be seen once the sealer is dry.
supplies, materials and products needed:
- Giani White Limestone paint from kit or acrylic latex paint
- White primer – I used KILZ 2
- Minwax Polycrylic in Gloss finish
- 100 grit sandpaper
- Fine-tipped paint brush
- Small flat paint brush
- Small section of a sea-sponge
- Rag, water and dish detergent
- Optional: painter’s tape
Time needed: 2 days
- Sand Over Damaged Surfaces
Using 100 grit sandpaper, go over the surface to smooth any ridges where damage meets the intact paint, dings, or dents.
- Clean Surface
Clean the counter surface with hot water and dish detergent to remove any dirt, grease and the sanding grit.
- Mask Area With Painter’s Tape
If fixing the painted surface around an object on the counter, mask it with painter’s tape to protect it from getting paint on it.
- Apply Primer
Using a small paint brush, lightly dab primer onto the surface and over the damaged edges to work it into the surface and cover the entire damaged area. Let dry.
- Apply Coat of Paint
Once primer is dry, apply a light coat of paint to the area using a torn piece of a sea-sponge to feather the paint out and over the edges of the damaged area. Using the sponge lessens the look of brush strokes. Let dry. Repeat by adding another light coating if more coverage is needed. Let dry.
NOTE: If you painted your countertop to look like marble and added veins. You can add a few now to help make your fix look seamless. You can see how to do that my countertop painting post linked above. Apply them just like you did when you initially painted the counter. Let them dry and then proceed with the sealing step.
- Apply Clear Sealer
I used Minwax Polycrylic in a gloss finish to seal the paint. Use a small paint brush and apply a thin layer making sure to cover all the newly painted area.
NOTE: To get the sealer to blend in around the edges of the damaged area, dab the brush over the areas where the new paint meets the older painted finish, going over on to the existing poly just a little. Let dry. Repeat with a second light coat, Let dry.
- Wait 24 – 48 hours
After the second coat of Polycrylic is applied and it is drying, try not to use the area for at least 24 hours. After this time, be gentle with the area for a few days as the paint and sealer cure.
I recently bought the framed lettering – Eat Good Food at Hobby Lobby. It’s a good lifestyle reminder.
I have it leaning on the backsplash, but plan to hang it with Command Brand Strips on the side of my fridge.
How Have My Painted Kitchen Counters Held Up?
I painted my kitchen countertops 3 years ago using Giani Countertop Paint. You can read how I did it in this post: Painting Kitchen Counters to Look Like Carrara Marble.
The counters have taken some abuse, but after 3 years – the paint on the counters still looks good.
While I was fixing the counter in front of the cooktop, I also used the same steps to fix this corner that has worn. It is right near the kitchen table. When we get up from the table we often hit the corner with a hip as we pass, hence the wear.
Would I Paint a Countertop Again?
For my time and effort, painting my kitchen countertops was one of the best budget DIY decor projects I have ever done.
I am more than pleased with how the counter top paint looks and it’s durability. I would use it again to paint a counter in a heartbeat.
Do You Have to Use a Kitchen Countertop Painting Kit When Painting a Counter?
When painting a kitchen counter there are many paints that you can use that will give you the same results as a kit. So the answer is no, you do not need to use a countertop painting kit.
I painted another countertop with KILZ primer and craft paint. You can read how I did this in this: countertop painting tutorial. I used paste wax to seal this painted countertop and it is going on 8 years and still looks wonderful. It even gets wet!
The key to getting a lasting durable finish for a painted countertop is to make sure the surface is sanded, very clean and dry and when applying the primer, paint and sealer to do so using only light coats. Letting each one dry for 8 hours before applying the next coat.
Use a brand name water-based primer like KILZ Max. Roll this on with a small flocked roller with rounded ends. Then apply latex acrylic paint. You can even use acrylic craft paint. Seal with Minwax Polycrylic in a gloss finish.
Painted Countertops Tips
What is the best top coat for painted kitchen counters?
Minwax Polycrylic in a Gloss finish. It is water-based, dries fast, and will not yellow over time.
You can also use an epoxy or resin. This is what some kits now include. Just make sure that they are water-based so they don’t yellow over time.
What kind of paint to use to paint a kitchen countertop?
If not using a countertop painting kit, the best paint to use would be KILZ Max primer and latex acrylic paint.
If you have any questions about how to paint a kitchen counter so it is durable and lasts a long time, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.