How to Fix Dings and Damage on Painted Kitchen Counters
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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.
Dabbing the sealer on over the outer edges of the damaged area and onto the existing finish is how I did it.
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.
I just hope I can find this brand name water-based primer KILZ Max in our place. I will try to do this for the kitchen.
Hi Diane! I am so happy that I stumbled across your post here! I have recently painted my countertops using Giani Marble and they are currently in day 3 of curing. I got everyone out of the house when it came time to applying the epoxy top coat. As you know, it has to be applied in a rather speedy fashion before it sets up.
I had completed two 6ft sections when I noticed out of the corner of my eye, my cat in mid-air leaping up on the counter. This was a first. I screamed “NO!!!!” but it was too late. She took off running through the house with her feet coated in epoxy. I had to get to her to remove it before she started licking her paws as it would have poisoned her and hardened on her paws. Removing it was no easy accomplishment but I was successful. The countertop in that area, not so much.
I proceeded to try to repair some of the damage but the epoxy was already starting to set. What I ended up with is basically a blob of epoxy poured in to the small damaged areas where here feet were. It is not attractive.
My question to you is how should I proceed to repair this once it is fully cured? I contacted Giani and they sent me a list of about 5 different grits of sandpaper to order, a polishing solution and a polishing cloth to order off of Amazon which I have. I’m wondering if that doesn’t work can I just lightly re-sand the spots and use the Minwax? I like the fact that you don’t have to work so expeditiously with the Minwax and I’m hoping that it is compatible with the Giani epoxy. There are also a couple of areas here and there that are “dry spots” that will need some extra coating.
Thank you for any tips you may have.~Jackie
Hi Jackie –
You now the saying… That Darn Cat…. sorry that yours jumped up on the counter as the epoxy was setting. :-( I have a cat and know whenever I am doing a project, he needs to come see what I am doing.
Using the Minwax Polycrylic may work, but I am not sure how it will adhere to the edges of the epoxy that are around the damaged areas. I would follow what Giani suggested to do. Really sand the area smooth using the sandpapers. Dab in some paint if needed if you sand down to the black base coat. Once this is dry, you can add a light coat of Minwax Polycrylcic and let it dry. It dries fast – 30 mins. Then apply a second light coat. It should work, but I have not done this myself with epoxy as I fixed my counter using the Minwax Polycrylic that were originally sealed with it.
With a little work though, I think you can get the spots to look better and blend in well.
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reply to comment
Hi! Thanks for this post as I will use it in the future. I just painted my countertops using a kit and it turned out wonderful. However, the colors were not quite what I thought they would be and it’s a bit too brown for my particular tastes (I like lighter colors with a mix of dark here and there). So I was wondering if I could simply repaint the counters with another kit using the same prep method (sandpaper, washing it, etc.). Any words of wisdom? Thank you!
Hi Kellie – Anything can be painted again and you can repaint your counters, but I would wait to make sure the paint is cured. Waiting will make the surface harder so when you sand you don’t make a mess and cause the paint to come off in spots where the underside wasn’t cured. If you can sand the surface so it is even then you can paint again. The layers of paint will be thick so I would make sure to only apply light coats.
You may want to contact the customer service at Giani Paints. They would probably tell you exactly what can be done. You can contact them here: https://gianigranite.com/pages/contact
You are an artist and a wizard!
Thanks Sue – Doing DIY is how my brain is wired. I can’t do anything when numbers are involved, but visual stuff like this, makes my brain happy to do.:-)
Wow, so thorough I feel like I could do it too? It looks really great. I wondered how you made it marbled looking too. I guess that wouldn’t be necessary for that small spot but would love to hear it.
Hi Andrea –
I didn’t add any new veining/marble to the repaired area, but I would have if I thought it needed it to look seamless with the rest of the counter. Using the sponge to apply the paint, does add the look of marble since it adds a flat texture which does make it appear like marble.
Do you have a painted countertop? Did you use the Giani kit or use something else?
I live in a 50’s rancher that still has the original stove top, installed in 1954. The oven was replaced 7 years ago, but because the stove top still worked very well, I left it. I had granite countertops installed back then, and I shudder to think that one of these days in the not too distant future, I will have to replace the stovetop (only 2 of the gas burners work). I would love to eliminate it altogether and install a conventional stove, but I would lose all my cabinet space. It’s a dilemma.
I feel your pain. :-) One thing changes for the better, but then you have to deal with what that change means for everything around it. I hope when you do have to replace the stove, it doesn’t cause you to lose precious cabinet space.
I really love your countertop! I have a couple of questions. Did you do any marble effects where you repaired? My countertop is formica with a wood edge. When you say sand first do I sand the formica too? I want it to look like marble all over & hide the wood edge. Thanks so much!
Hi Sherry –
When you sand, you want to get the Formica also, the primer will stick better. If you are going to paint the wood edge, then sand it also. One painted, you won’t be able to tell the difference between the two.
Sand the entire damaged area to smooth it out and also to remove any ridges in the paint where the damaged area meets the non-damaged area around it. When you sand, paint and seal you want to go over damaged edges where the good part of the painted counter meets the damage. This way the fix looks more seamless. Sand a little past the damaged edges and then 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.
Thank you for mentioning the marble effects. I was so focused on making a video and getting all the steps, that I forgot to mention the veining. I didn’t add any veins, but I would have if the repaired area looked different from the rest of the counter.
If the repaired area on your counters would look more seamless with veining, then after the step of sponge painting the paint on, let it dry and then add veining just as you did when you first painted the counter. Let them dry and then seal.
I can’t remember if I ever shared this with you when you first did the countertop makeover …
Your “wood” cutting board insert to the left of your cooktop looks like the Vance Industries Surface Saver I had/have in my previous and current homes. If you are interested in replacing the wood-look section with something that blends in more with your countertop, you might be able to get a replacement insert here:
I had 2 of the white Surface Savers with the stainless frames in my previous kitchen that had white countertops and loved them so much I wanted them in my current home. In this house, my countertops are black so, for this kitchen, I got the black insert with the black frame. While you would not likely want the black in your kitchen, I just want to tell anyone who might be interested in the black, I DO NOT recommend the black frame, especially if it will be placed close to the sink and/or exposed to water on a regular basis . The black glass is fine but I’ve had 2 of the black frames rust out in less than 9 years. The company claims the black frames are painted stainless steel but I suspect they don’t use stainless for the painted frames since real stainless shouldn’t rust. The unpainted stainless frames in my previous home never developed a single speck of rust, even after more than 15 years.
Hi Shari – I don’t think you mentioned the in surface savers before. They look nice. Initially in the frame was avocado green texture glass. I didn’t want that so I had butcher block cut to size when I made over the kitchen. It works fine, but knowing that the framed section is an actual product that is still around has me excited. I would love having white. I am going to check out the website now. Thanks for taking time to tell me. :-)