Formica Countertops Faux Finished

by THAT Painter Lady

I have a friend that had her Formica countertops faux-finished to look sort of like a taupe stone.

All I know is that after a few colors were applied, the surface was sprayed w/alcohol to “blur” the finish & create an interesting design.

A protective polyurethane-type finish was then applied over all.

It looks really cool & very professional.

Does this sound familiar? My concern is that the finish wouldn’t hold up to active cooks.

Your input/opinions are welcomed!

Hi pkme

I have two things to say about painting Formica – laminate counters or cabinets.
1. Over 10 years ago I had my laminate counters “sprayed” with a refinishing color by a professional. He sanded and cleaned the laminate to remove and foreign particles and rough up the surface enough to bond with the paint. The bathroom counter still looks new. The kitchen counter is just now starting to show some scratches and stains… But after 10 years I can live with that. The process cost me about $150.00 back then. I think I got a good deal.

2. I have faux painted several laminate counters over the last few years. (of course, I am going to get my own counters painted… someday) and the process is easy and the results are beautiful.

The alcohol is used to create natural looking “bleeds” and blending of the colors.

When I had my counters painted it was a “temporary” fix until I could replace them. Of course… they looked so good, I still haven’t replace. But… the idea is a painted finish is a fix… not something your going to do just before you’re ready to sell your home. I just can’t imagine that anyone would think it was so cool to purchase their new home with “painted” counters. It may look great to you and I, but your real estate agent might faint trying to explain this to potential purchasers.

That all said… the last faux finish on a counter I painted was for a commercial bar. Now… they wanted guarantees that the finish would last. The surface was sanded and primed. The painted finish is several layers and the the sealer is another several layers. This finish may get wear marks but it will never scratch down to the subsurface unless some one uses a knife or they set a scalding hot pot on it.

Here is another observation:

If I had to fix a damaged counter of “real” granite, I wonder how that would be done and how much it would cost?

If I had to fix a bit of damage on a faux painted counter… I would do a bit of sanding, cleaning, painting and layer on a new coat of sealer. I am sure that this is a cheaper and quicker alternative. So an active cook might have a bit of scratching around the stove or chopping area ( use a cutting board for goodness sakes)… it’s a simple once a year process to do some small repairs if needed.

Hope this clears up some of those nagging questions about painting laminate???

I’m here for you!


Victoria Larsen recently wrote about another faux granite painting on Formica counters… success story. You won’t believe how this gal changed her mauve kitchen counters into luxurious black granite counters with just Primer, Paint and Sealer!

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