Rustoleum Painted Countertops and Floors: Months Later

Remember when I painted my kitchen countertops?

painted kitchen countertops

Remember when I experimented with the same paint on my bathroom’s linoleum floors (and gave me a break from the horrible yellowed pattern)?

Want to know which one held up better?

I’ve put both the kitchen countertop and master bathroom floor through pretty rigorous testing (walking on, cutting on, dropping things on, etc), and here is what they both look like after several months of being subjected to Ugg-duck use:

painted kitchen countertops

Countertops

Scratch marks:  While I don’t think it’s wise to cut directly onto your countertops (especially if you’ve painted them, which might leave little flakes of paint in your food), I did try out a knife or two on the countertop surface.  Charlie had a respiratory infection which required that I give her half a pill every eight hours (my guess is that they decided on half of a pill instead of just making one pill=one dose simply because they think someone cutting up pills for a dog is hilarious).  Being the lazy person I am at 3 AM cutting such pills, I just used a large knife to snap them in half, straight on top of the counter.  As you can see, the painted surface of the countertop did not survive:

Paper residue:  Sinks get wet.  Sometimes paper is nearby.  Or a plastic grocery bag with ink on it.  Either way, sometimes something gets wet and will sit on your countertop.  And if you’ve painted your countertop, you might find that the ink or wet residue leaves a few blemishes behind.  And these blemishes do not come off of the paint surface easily.  Consider them stuck unless you want to scrape the paint off and reapply.  Given the strong smell of the paint, the fact that I’m replacing the countertops anyway, and my laziness (reason #3 is pretty persuasive), I’m not going to bother.

Floors

Scrach marks:  Maybe it’s because it’s the floor, but the scratch marks were far less noticeable on the bathroom linoleum.  It also handled the onslaught of dropped tools (taping knives, screwdrivers, etc) as I began tearing at the wallpapered walls and old miniblinds.

Paper residue:  Wallpaper removal is a messy, sticky, unpleasant task, and cleanup wasn’t really a priority if a small amount got stuck to the floor.  So that means the wet pieces of paper stuck to the painted surface in the same fashion as what I saw on the countertops.  Perhaps it’s because I was less worried about the surface, but I didn’t notice it as much.  Cleanup was just as difficult to get the little dried flecks of paper off of the floor as the countertops, but I guess I just didn’t care.  What wasn’t difficult to get up?  The blops (I use “blops” instead of blobs because that’s pretty much the sound it makes hitting the floor) of joint compound that was indiscriminately thrown about the room in an attempt to get a smooth finish on the wall.

My thoughts

I like the way the paint bonded better to the floor than the surface on the countertop., but that doesn’t necessarily mean that either option is really any better than a temporary fix for an eyesore that you eventually plan to replace.  I think that a lot of it has to do with the texture of the materials that they were sticking to; the countertops were a smoother, harder surface than the soft linoleum, which may have influenced the ability for the paint to fully stick without scraping off so easily from the floors (both were thoroughly cleaned with the same cleaning agents and the same roller/brush combo use to paint, so I don’t think it was an application issue).

As for the paper, I simply don’t think this product stands a chance against glue/paper residue when it comes to long-term use.  I mean, I absentmindedly sort bills, tear off can labels (ex: Campbell’s soup cans have recipes on the back, which I try to look at before throwing them out), and in general, just toss things onto the countertop without much concern.  The paint is meant to stick to even the most difficult of surfaces (laminate, melamine, etc), so it’s understandable that something like a can label doesn’t stand a chance for easy removal; once it’s stuck, it’s stuck for good.  Bonding ability is the reason I bought the paint, but is also unfortunately the reason that I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend because it can’t possibly distinguish between desirable surfaces to stick to and undesirable ones.

Granted, this experiment cost me $20, and I was glad that I did it.  But if this were the permanent solution for my counters, I think I’d be disappointed that retouching would be necessary, and so often for a high traffic area like the kitchen counter.  I still think this product is a good one if you are looking for a temporary change and just can’t stand to see those 80s floors anymore, but think twice about a one stop solution here.  Rustoleum sells a more expensive kit for painting countertops that I chose not to try, but is probably a more viable permanent solution if replacing really isn’t an option.

And of course, these opinions are based solely on my own counters and floors, so they may not even have the same results as other people might experience.  If you’ve used this paint yourself, feel free to weigh in.  What did you like about the results?  Did it hold up better for you than it did for me?  Did you notice a paper issue like I did?

2014 Update

After a couple of years, I finally replaced my kitchen counters with inexpensive butcher block, and I LOVE them! You can catch all of the details of the install here:

** I was not compensated in any way for using this product.  I just like trying out new things and saving my readers the uncertainty of trying out an unknown product.  Word of mouth is the sincerest form of advertisement, and you will get nothing but 100% honesty from products that I try.**

Comments

  1. Paul Cassinn says

    Been there and done that too Sarah.

    We tried painting our countertop as well and it was pretty much a disaster! We first used a solid color (black) and it looked great for a few days, but then the scratches started to appear, and they became the first thing you saw whenever you looked into the kitchen.

    We ended up redoing our countertops with a product called the “SpreadStone Countertop Refinishing Kit” made by a company called Daich Coatings. This stuff was a coating made of real stone that you just rolled onto the surface like paint to turn your laminate into a stone countertop.

    We were skeptical, but the reviews were good, it looked easy to do and the price was right. We also liked the fact that this was a new stone surface and not paint, so we gave it a try. We are thrilled with the results and would recommend Spreadstone to anyone. Our countertop looks like granite and it has been there for more than a year with NO problems.

    If anybody wants to check this stuff out it’s at daichcoatings.com. They have a great video there that shows exactly how it is done. Thanks, Paul.

    • Lisa Hansen says

      HI- Can you send any pictures to my email: lahansen@cableone.net after using your daichcoatings paint? I’m so very interested. How is the durability and quality of doing this project? How long has it been since you’ve done this?
      Thanks for your input, I’m so glad to find this idea!

      Sincerely,
      Lisa

  2. Deborah Orth says

    After you use the countertop paint you let it cure for 3 days then put a coating of spar urathane on it to protect it will last for years I have done all my countertops like this and also did a faux finish before the urethane and they look like real granite.

  3. Lautie says

    I am happy to hear all the different views as we are about to redo our counter tops this very same way. Thanks :-)

  4. Juli says

    Thanks for the honest analysis! Very helpful to find both the pros and the cons and to see picture/updates after wear and tear.

  5. Jo says

    Thanks for the pics! I have the exact same counters and I’m looking at the same products, too. I have to buy a mismatched counter to complete the U we created when rearranging the cabinets; the U is currently using that countertop plus a cabinet door. I have been using that door as a countertop for 7 years and this is the year to eliminate it!

    • Sarah says

      Wow! Lots of luck with that. I’ve got my head swirling around kitchen ideas too!

  6. Mandy says

    So I redid my counter tops. I went the even cheaper route and did them completely myself. I used this stuff called paint minerals and a sea sponge. I sanded only a little. Then dabbed my sponge all over. Then covered the top with 3 coats of Poly semi gloss. It hasn’t chipped, scratched or ANYTHING. I clean with normal “green” cleaner and its fine. Just thought I’d share.

  7. LaVerne says

    Thanks for sharing this great information. i’m ready to get started with painting the countertops.

  8. Jessica Bosari says

    I’m looking into this for the kitchen in a house I’m renting. I think what went wrong for you is that you didn’t put a topcoat on the paint. According to this tutorial from HGTV, (http://www.hgtv.com/home-improvement/painting-your-countertops-for-a-new-look/index.html) you’re supposed to finish the countertop paint with two or three coats of clear acrylic and let it cure for 3 weeks before you subject it to heavy use. I’ll be you would have had no problems with that approach. I know you have other plans for this counter and didn’t care about the long-term outcome, but I thought others might want to know if they are thinking about this for a long-term solution. Great job, by the way!

  9. The Butler says

    This was exactly what I needed. I actually googled “use laminate countertop paint on vinyl flooring” and after being sidetracked by pinterest results I landed on this site. I have a miniscule enough master bath that I can use the $20 can for the vanity countertop and the floor. I greatly appreciate that you’ve reviewed how they withstood normal use over time and other reviewers experience that the 3 coats of poly make a world of difference in durability. I am redoing much in an effort to put my house on the market but everything is under the expectation that I may not have success selling it and don’t want to make changes that make me hate the house even more than i already do :) So thank you – to you Sarah and all your reviewers!

  10. Nichole says

    I am thinking of painting the floor in my kids bathroom, doing a grey and white print thing. Do you think it would last the 6-12 months I want before redoing the entire bathroom?? THANK YOU!

    • says

      Yes, I think it would last that long; it did for me. But it’s definitely only an in-between type of treatment; I wouldn’t recommend it permanently, so it sounds like your situation is a good match. Good luck!

  11. laurie says

    I used the counter top paint. My counters are now scratched, stained & chipped. Is there anyway to remove this paint, without ruining the laminate underneath?

    • says

      Considering that it’s an epoxy paint, I’m not sure what kind of effort would need to be done to remove it. I only painted mine because I knew I’d eventually replace the counters with something new (see that here)

  12. Kristin says

    I have a disgusting old kitchen vinyl floor that I can’t stand to look at any more. Kitchen remodel will not happen for a couple more years. Just wondering about the paint on the floor, were you able to keep it clean easily? Obviously, the kitchen is a pretty high-traffic area, so I’m curious about how the paint cleans up. Enjoyed reading about your experiment!

    • Marla says

      I have painted floors. Wood and old lineoleum with regular paint. They lasted YEARS with several coats of poly on top. If I had put a new coat of poly on ever couple of years I think they would have lasted indefinitely.

  13. Fran Daniels says

    I have a question for you and would appreciate any help you can give me. We are going to paint our counter tops with rustoleum counter top paint in black and I would like to add some sparkle to them as in black granite. I can’t find any thing like I have in mind. Would like it to be flecks of sparkle. All I can find is a real fine silver stuff you add directly to the paint. Any suggestions would be of so much help. Thank you in advance.

    • says

      Not sure of anything that you can use with that… you may want to try a different paint product altogether (I think it actually has Granite in the name). Here’s another tutorial I found doing a simple Google search and it looks like they used actual glitter! Good luck!

    • Jason says

      Just sprinkle in metallic flake and put a top coat over it, or mixe the flake with a clear top coat. This is how painters give cars a metallic finish. I advise practicing on something before to get the technique down.

  14. Roger Mose says

    I have to say I am really happy I came across this post. A friend of mine wanted to but and use this on her bathroom counter tops and I will share this with her so she can decide NOT to use it. In my opinion, it doesn’t seem to work that well…

  15. Laura says

    Not sure if this has been mentioned or not, but I painted my counter tops with the Rustoleum paint and coated it with about 3 coats of polycrylic, and so far it has held up great. No scratch marks at all.

  16. Jason says

    Rule #1 – when painting, prep is everything. You didn’t prep at all. The surface to be painted needs to be scuffed or deglossed prior to laying the paint down, and ideally it needs a primer…the pics you posted are exactly what happens when the paint has poorly bonded with the material over which you put it. Keep this in mind for next time – prep, prep, prep!

    • says

      I agree with you 100% about prep being key; it’s definitely rule #1! But actually, a degreaser/deglosser WAS used (click back on the link toward the beginning of the post about painting the bathroom floors for more details).

      Since this was a follow-up review of how experiments go awry (or can be done in different ways – such as using a “countertop coating” for floors after first trying it on my counters), it seemed best to give an account of how things played out by following the instructions on the back of the product itself… which had little to no mention of scuffing the surface, applying primer, or treating with topcoat other than cleaning it extremely well to ensure no grease or other residues exist (it’s been three years since this post, so I’m mostly going from memory at this point…). While it doesn’t really negate that roughing up a surface + primer are good ideas if you really want to keep ANYthing painted for the long haul, I wanted to see what would happen if I just took the box’s claims as-is off the shelf.

      As I mention in the post, if you’re really going for something long-term, you’re probably better off with an actual countertop coating kit, which includes a multi-step process that’s been proven to work in sequence together (with things like flecking, topcoat, etc. included in it). That way, you’re sure that nothing is left to chance (after all, not all deglossers and primers are created equally, either). For a mere twenty bucks, this little experiment proved to be well worth it in the end for the sake of “does it really do what it says?” – especially when you can see them play out on my house and not your own!. At any rate, it’s no surprise that it was nothing more than a temporary cosmetic fix before undergoing a more permanent change (the laminate counters were replaced last year with an oiled walnut butcher block, which I LOVE – so if you haven’t seen them yet, be sure to grab a glimpse on the house tour page!).

      Thanks for commenting! As you say, if anything can be learned from this: prep, prep, prep!

  17. Michelle says

    I really appreciate the time that you put into showing your before and after photos of this project and the information you wrote. My countertop is indestructible, probably 50 years old, but it has no glossy finish anymore. A drop of kool aid has to be bleached out! I almost bought the Rustoleum countertop paint today. Your informative website has changed my mind. I’m sorry you did all that work only to be disappointed. On the bright side, for every person who leaves a comment, there are probably a hundred more that you have helped! Thanks again.

  18. Katie says

    Have you considered waxing the surface with Pledge or dusting it with baby powder to get rid of the stickiness?

  19. Amy says

    My mother painted the counter about 15 years ago. My dad thought she was nuts. Just in the last year or two had it stayed to show it’s age.

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