Paint a Formica Countertop
LESLIE: Trish in Washington, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
TOM: Well, I’m hoping that you can help me with my counters in my bathroom.
TRISH: They’re Formica and I hate them.
LESLIE: (chuckling) OK.
TRISH: I want to paint them a different color, so I’d like to know what to do for prep work and what kind of paint to use.
LESLIE: OK. Well, there are a couple of options. If you’re looking to do just a very simple, solid-color paint, Rust-Oleum has a kit – I believe they call it their counter paint – and it comes in a quart and they have, I don’t know, 10, 12, 15 different colors: really great neutrals, some interesting taupes, some blues, some yellows; a lot of great choices there. And the kit tells you everything: how to prep it – it even includes the prep materials. So that’s sort of like a one-step wonder.
The only downside is you’ve got to let this stuff cure for like three days before you put anything on it, before you get it wet, so that’s probably going to be a similar situation with whatever products you’re going to use. So if this is your only bathroom, you’re going to be putting it out of service for a little while.
There’s also another company called Modern Masters and they have a really, really authentic, beautiful-looking granite kit for Formica so you can make it look like granite. There’s another company called GIANI that has a granite paint; a little bit more sort of homespun in the look of the granite. It really depends on your technique with both the GIANI and the Modern Masters, so you kind of have to practice your technique. Both are available in several different granite styles.
Of course the other option is that you can relaminate the countertop with new Formica and that’s a fairly simple project that a handy man can do in a couple of hours. So there’s a lot of good options there that you don’t need to be afraid of. But again, the cure time for the paint is 24, 48, 72 hours; depending on which one you go to.
TOM: Yeah, and the more humid the day, the longer the cure time, too.
TRISH: Oh, of course. (chuckles) Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Trish. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.