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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)?

Rustoleum Painted Countertops

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

Rustoleum Painted Countertops and Linoleum Floors: Months Later

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:

painted countertops
painted countertops after

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.

painted countertops before after

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.**

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92 Comments

  1. Thanks for this update and writeup! I'm always interested to hear how DIY solutions like this hold up to daily wear-and-tear, especially in high-traffic areas (like flooring and the kitchen countertops).

    ~Chelsea

  2. Thank you for sharing your findings, I've been debating using the rustoleum system on my kitchen counter tops for a while now so this was a very helpful post. I never even thought about paper residue and stains, maybe I'm just better off saving for new countertops.

    1. I too have used Rustoeum Counter top paint – on more things than just in my kitchen – BUT my mom and I have found a much better and just as cheap of a fix. I blogged on my mom’s counter tops today – http://www.kammyskorner.com/2014/01/painted-faux-granite-counter-tops-with.html. Oh, and the HORRIBLE SMELL isn’t there with this method!!!! Wow, Sarah isn’t kidding when she shows the mask needed…. :) Also, I painted the porcelain counter top on my bathroom vanity: http://www.kammyskorner.com/2014/01/painting-porcelain-vanity-countertop.html

  3. @RebeccaFor me, knowing what I know now, it's a bigger deal for the cure time (3 full days) and the stink factor that would keep me from doing countertops again. The $20 is a great price for a quick change, no matter how long it takes to save up for those new counters. But I'd do it in a heartbeat with ugly floors. Yellow linoleum is just THAT awful!

  4. I'm living in an apartment where they painted the counter tops right before we moved in. I'm not sure what they used, but it could have been the same paint you tried. It's been almost two months and the counters still smell toxic. I've tried scrubbing them, airing out the apartment, etc, but can't get rid of the smell. Did you have the same issue? What did you do?

  5. @Staci
    Are you sure it's just the counters that smell? Could it be from other sources (the smell from the paint on the counter could have soaked into the nearby carpet in the way that odors can seep into yogurt and milk)? I've been in newly remodeled apartments before where the new carpet simply reeks of that plasticky-factory smell. As for odor coverage, I've had luck with my dog and those Fresh step deodorant solids (they last 6-8 weeks). Regardless, if it's an apartment, I'd definitely report it to your landlord or management company; toxic smells for months are no good, and they have an obligation to address your concerns.

  6. Hi! Found your blog while looking for info on painting countertops. I found another site that said that after painting them, you should also seal them with THREE coats of polyurethane…I wonder if you would have seen better results that way? Either way, $20 is not a bad investment! :-)

    1. Sealing them is not necessary with Rust-Oleum. The Sealing is only necessary if you’re using a regular paint. Trouble is that the Sealing products smell MUCH worse and is more toxic than the Rust-Oleum.
      I just set a fan to blow straight through the room and that helped a great deal with the smell. No big problem for me.

  7. I found this while researching the idea of painting the counters in my home. I am inerested in the idea and found this information very helpful. I now know I need more information about products befor deciding what to use, both in cleaning before and in the sealing after.
    I know I will find as much information as I can before doing anything at all so I don't waste money my or risk being so disappointed with the results. I just can not afford to replace the counters so I need to make sure the choice I make is the right one. I thank you for the helpful information you have olaced here. It is very useful to those of us who care enough to do read what you cared enough to take the time to share with us So thanks again for sharing.

  8. Thanks for trying this out for us all. I have been going back and forth on this product. I too am going to change out countertops so thought why not paint them for a while and see what it is all about. I have wasted $20.00 on much dumber things.

  9. I just painted my counter tops with this same product it looks great! so far so good it was very easy to use and for only 20.00 can't go wrong. This is a quick fix for a cheap price, I'm also planing on saving for new counter tops but this works for now.

  10. This upddate is great! I have been looking for countertop options. I think I may spend the $20 and try this to work for a temporary solution, but I will do as someone advised and I will put on the 3 coats of polyurethane. I know in other projects this has made a huge difference!

  11. I have also read that you need clean the counter tops, then sand to roughen them up a bit and then clean again before you put on a coat of primer, before the actual paint goes on. And I also have read that a coat (or three) of any sealer like polyurethane makes the paint shine, easier to clean and more durable! I would like to eventually replace my countertops but since I don't know how long it will be I am going to do the extra steps. I think your counters look awesome for only a $20 investment! Thanks for the info and pics, now I want to just get started! :) oh and PS my counter tops are probably the same color as your bathroom floor were! Lol I still don't know what the people were thinking when they built this house! :)

  12. I used the rustoleum on my counter tops and it looked great for a while. A very SHORT while. After a few months it started chipping all over. When I picked up the blender, for example, it pulled up paint. If I had it to do over I would sand the counter top before applying the paint and use the polyurethane top coats. Meanwhile that three day cure time is preventing me from tackling it again.

  13. Last year I used Rustoleum countertop paint on my bathroom counter. I sanded first, applied the paint, then immediately applied the chips for a garage floor (they looked like the ones in the $250 kit, but I bought separately), then I scraped off the excess and let dry for a few days. Then applied 3 coats of polyurathane. It turned out incredible! I also used the paint on the blue tile around the tub. Again… great! Now am thinking of trying it on my laminate floor in living room! :)

    1. My husband walked out on me, so…… I spray painted my kitchen work tops ( as you do) I sanded the tops just roughly didn’t cover anything at all, didn’t wear a mask, so eager was I to transform my life with the noisiest can of paint in history. I decided I wanted a shabby chic French kitchen style, so I chose a jolly pale yellow for the counter tops and emulsioned my cupboard doors in a buttermilk cream( that’s the colour, not actual buttermilk cream) with a pale lavender for the inset piece in the doors…. I now have, a yellow cooker, cups from the mug tree daintily tinted yellow, a faintly speckled yellow floor, and two huge black holes where the kettle silly little rubber feet stuck to the paint…. and a cough!! Worse still… I hate it, I have to pretend to my bewildered family that I love it and it’s just what I wanted.. I wish I’d spray painted my creep of an ex, after a light sanding…. But I’m committed now( or should be)….. just need to know how to fix it, like the colours, hate the chipping etc…. what can I put on it to seal it apart from a blanket..

      1. You might want to consider a kit than the $20 paint item I bought. The kits are pricier, but they contain multiple steps that change the color, seal, etc. I grabbed these links off Amazon (affiliate) and they appear to both have pretty good reviews: Rustoleum is one and Giani is another. Good luck!

  14. Did you use a polyacrylic top coat? Ive been researching A LOT on doing this, as my counters are the ugliest orange 70's color you can imagine. I've seen some people say they have used it.. and others didnt mention it.

  15. I have used this product and was very disappointed. My crock pot legs melted the paint, it chip scratched and did not hold up at all. I have now painted my counter top and am going to poly over it. Years ago I used a melamine and it worked great just can't find the product anymore. Love your site

  16. Thanks for the info. That's what I intend to do is use it as a temporary fix til we can afford the several thousand needed to properly redo the kitchen. This really helps the rest of us when you show off your skills ;). I get braver every day… seeing the results of a little hard work and a few dollars…

  17. Hi Sarah, I came across your website when I was researching painted counter tops. I redid my kitchen a bit. i painted my very ugly wooden and gold cabinet handles for pennies by using a metal colored paint. I sanded my handles and painted them. It made the biggest difference in my kitchen and now my kitchen looks like a cute country kitchen just by painting my very ugly hard ward. The former owners painted the cabinets white, which I just updated white and put down peal and stick flooring. i now love my kitchen and so do my guests. I'm always amazed that a small thing can make the biggest difference.

    1. So true, Kim! Nothing like a can of paint to really transform a space. White cabinets were a classic choice, too. I'd love to see pictures if you have a before & after!

  18. I plan on re-doing my countertops for a quick makeover and temp. fix..I am excited to get started..I enjoyed reading and learning think I did enough research to get my project started and my kitchen looking alive again..ty :)

  19. You can also use peal and stick flooring on counter tops.
    And also use it for a back splash behind sinks. Just scruff up counter tops with sand paper first.

  20. Thanks so much for the great info, especially the recap. I read some pretty negative reivews on this product, but am still considering it and your blog was very helpful! Especially the recap! If I do this, I'll probably be living with it for two years. If I don't, I have to paint the walls a color I'm not excited about. It's a bit of a rock and a hard place but I'm going to look more into peal and stick as well as applying a sealer to this product.

  21. 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.

    1. 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

  22. 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.

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

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

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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!

  29. 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!

  30. 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!

    1. 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!

  31. 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?

    1. 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)

  32. 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!

    1. 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.

  33. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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.

  34. 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…

  35. 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.

  36. 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!

    1. 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!

  37. 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.

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

  39. 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.

  40. Thanks for this review. I’m in the process of using this product on our countertops, and I think it’s imperative to use a polyurethane or some sort of protective finish after this paint. We’re using the Parks Super Glaze. It is supposed to add heat protection, waterproofing, as well as maximum durability (not bad for $20 if it works). I will let you know how it turns out

    1. Regular cleaner, whatever I was using at the time. The paint would lighten in color when wet but darken again when dry.

  41. Perhaps polyurethane to seal the paint would have helped both countertops and floor. I’ve removed carpet and vinyl flooring from the cement slab of entire houses and painted the cement to look like marble tile. A neighbor copied, doing a brown stone look. I filled the holes from carpet tack strips with joint compound and rolled on several coats of water-based crystal CLEAR (it MUST be clear or it will ruin your project, and MinWax’s clear is not clear) polyurethane to protect the paint. Don’t like the look? Just paint over it, including painting over the polyurethane and then reapplying it when you get to that point. The only drawback is that the polyurethane is very slippery when wet so put throw rugs in the bathroom, in front of the kitchen sink, and inside the door on a rainy day. Let me know if anyone wants complete directions.

    1. I also pulled up my carpet and used industrial strength paint on my concrete floors and my kitchen linoleum and then put several coats of polyurethane approximately 8 years ago. I need to know how to prepare my linoleum to repaint over polyurethane. Although it has all held up really good except for three spots on the concrete which as peeled off.

      1. If I understand you correctly, then it should be fairly straightforward. Keep in mind that I haven’t done exactly what you describe to any of my own floors, but I’d imagine that it’s much the same as you would prepare to paint over a poly’d surface elsewhere: clean the surface thoroughly with a TSP/deglosser. Then, rough up the surface a bit with 220 grit sandpaper. The whole point of both of those things would be to help the new paint grab a solid hold on the existing surface. Caulk any damaged areas, then prime with normal latex primer (I like Zinsser). Then paint with porch & floor paint.

    2. Could you please share your process of using polyurethane on the countertops? I have no choice right now BUT to paint my laminate countertops. Just bought a new place & the remodel $$ has to go elsewhere for now. Thank u!

  42. Too early in the morning to be funny… I’m about to paint kitchen counters. Don’t have it in me to take on new counters after the floor tile job from hell.

    I’m planning on using the same paint but then covering with poly basketball court finish. It’s a super tough, clear final coat.

    Thanks for your info…

    Bill M
    Vero Beach FL

  43. My tenant was very creative with projects but one failed.
    She used rustoleum textured spray paint on the kitchen counter tops.
    Cute idea but …. I guess she did not seal the paint cause all around the sink the spray paint has peeled off.
    How do I remove all of the textured spray paint without ruining my countertop in the process?

  44. I want to paint my kitchen countertop. The previous owners to this 1980s home had painted it blue a long time ago and its scratched up as well as chipped and come off near the sink and other spots. It looks awful and makes my kitchen look messy. I was wondering if I could just repaint over it? Will it look fine or should I do something with where its all come off, chipped and scratched? I can’t seam to find much on repainting the countertops if paint is coming off scratched or chipped. Hope to hear from you soon. :)

    1. I didn’t deal with the same issue personally, but anything that is peeling is separating from the surface, so you’re not going to be able to fix that by painting over it. The best you can do is to sand it properly so that you can get off all of the chipping and flaking as much as possible, then probably seal it (not sure what sealer you should use, but you can ask your local hardware store for product suggestions). Then, the surface would be more likely to take on new paint.

  45. I realize this is a futile post since you already renovated your counters. The similar yet different product, Counter Transformations, also from Rustoleum, includes a clear coat sealant. I think that would have been a better product to go with.

    Also design wise, as an interior designer, I would have suggested leaving the faux wood top and paint the cabinets light. You have nice appliances and sink, the old wood fronts make them look out of place.

    1. True, it probably would have given better results, but back in 2009 when I did this, I hadn’t seen anyone try this product out yet, so it was well worth the gamble. I mentioned it in the post, but the product you’re talking about costs 1250% more. This was a $20 product, while the Counter Tranformations kit is around $250. For that kind of money, I’d rather save it and spend it later on the better counter replacement. I pretty much wound up doing the dark butcher block/light cabinet look once I finally got the budget to replace, and it looks SO much better than this little experiment ever did!

  46. Hi! We used the exact same product on our kitchen counters a few years ago. We bought a cute little fixer upper that had purple countertops. PURPLE! What were they thinking?! Anyways, we experienced the same little nicks, scratches, and paper/water spots as you did. It was better than purple counters and definitely met the need until we were ready to replace them. It also worked well in the half bath that my kids used. It seemed to hold up better in there…perhaps because not much ever sat on the counters? It’s definitely a decent option for a temporary fix. Enjoyed your review!

  47. hi i live in a apartment that the counters r painted and i dint know that when we moved inn 6 months ago now the paint has absorbed every small paper to even a print on a coupon and my counter tops look ugly. how do i fix this? the apartment people say they r gonna re-paint it.Wich dosent seem like a wise idea given that its gonna create the same problem. can u advise anything other than remodeling. which is not my preferred option

    1. You could suggest trying a concrete overlay (they have products like that now) or doing a different type of countertop coating kit, which includes a sealer on top of the paint. Both of those projects would be more expensive than just another coat of paint, which is probably why your apartment people are wanting to do the least expensive option. I don’t know how your lease agreement works, but ultimately the property owner usually has the decision for what to do when repairs are needed, not the renter, so you might not have much choice, but you can always make a suggestion!

  48. Next time you want to paint a vinyl floor just use regular porch and floor paint….or even primer with regular latex wall paint. I did it and it lasted for years without any of the issues you mentioned :-)

    1. I’m glad I tried it as an experiment, but if there’s a next time I’ll definitely try something different. I’ve seen tutorials on the porch and floor paint before and I hear it works great! Thanks for sharing.

  49. Did a similar process on bathroom countertops in a rental trailer that needed an update. 1st layer was chocolate brown; 2nd layer was gold dadded on with a sea sponge. Next I covered it all with 3 layers of polyuratene. This made it very durable. No chips, scratches, or peeling and NO water damage. If you’re doing all that work. Why not make it last for a while. Good luck on your projects.
    Miss Vicki

  50. Glad I read this,because I was thinking of doing my bathroom floor and kitchen countertop. I’ve changed my mind. Too much of a hassle. Thanks for the heads up!

  51. Hi there!! ???? Thank you for the “down to earth”, easy to understand (aka; NON-Contractor ‘language’????) info & instructions!!

    I wanted to share an inexpensive, SHORT TERM (until we’re able to save up for a “REAL” countertop) idea that I’ve used in the past..
    Self adhesive Shelf Liner comes in MANY colors, with/without patterns… If you take your time, measure well & use a T-Square (to keep the liner straight & even), you can apply it to countertops!! If your careful, the seams are ALMOST invisible!!
    The second step is to use MARINE grade Varnish… That way, water, food, coffee, wine, etc… won’t damage the countertop!! The ONLY thing to be mindful of, is placing HOT items (pots/pans, etc… directly from oven or flame) onto the varnished countertops!! It will NOT end well..!!????

    This is a simple, fairly easy DIY project that can ‘spruce-up’ your counters, until you are able to replace them!!

    Thanks again for your DIY info!! You make the projects you tackle seem easy as well as “DO-ABLE” for the ordinary Super-Woman of the house!! ????

  52. I used Rust-Oleum Counter top paint on my counters 12 years ago. I was desperate to cover 16 feet of avocado green counter, plus continuous backsplash(Barf!) I prepped the counter with a bleach product to be sure all grease was gone. I chose the wheat color. It went on very smooth and easily. It only too one coat, less than one can of paint for what amounts to about about @ 60sq. feet. I started a second coat but found it was not going on as smooth, just didn’t look right so I stopped. This has been on for 12 years and I just starting to show some nicks.
    However, I do use a cutting board. Also, the print on plastic bags will stain it if they are set on a wet spot. Bleach will take it off with patience and a smooth cloth.
    I highly recommend this product. I just wish there were more color choices.

  53. I know this blog is from several years ago, however I just discovered it! We painted out countertops yesterday with the Rustoleum paint. They look great so far! I see many comments suggesting 2-3 coats of poly top coat. Does anyone have a reccomendation of which top coat to get?

  54. I did my counters about 5 years ago. I used 4 shades of basic Rustoleum counter paint and sponged it on for a sort of stone look. It’s held up pretty well for a $20 fix. It’s starting to show some wear in the area that gets the most use. I do have glass cutting boards over the heavy use areas. Bleach has worked to clean up any stains. Like others said, it’s not really a permanent solution, but it does look better than the fake butcher block laminate underneath. I’m considering adding an acrylic sealer after I do the touch up, probably a thick bar type sealer.

  55. I just spent the weekend in a 5 star B&B in Chicago. Yup, the owner’s probably spent over $1 Million on top end renovations. Maybe more. You know the type, using real craftspeople to re-create all things old – like the windows, doors, brass hinges etc. So, now I come home to yet another “project” with Old World “charm”, but that I never seem to have the time or money to really fix up. Yesiree, I feel like a loser today. Should have married a rich hotel executive like my parents wanted 40 years ago! lol How do you handle “house envy?”

  56. I just stumbled on your blog and I realize you’ve probably moved on from the post here …but I wanted to let you know that I painted both my 1970’s gold kitchen floor and highly stained bathroom floor in our former house. They were both vinyl. They lasted for years! What did I use? Well surprise!!! I cleaned them and used porch and floor latex paint. It’s amazing what that stuff can withstand….and little to no odor.

    As to cutting on a formica/laminate countertop with or without them having been painted…that is a bonafide “no no” anyway. Get a cutting board ;-)

    I looked at your kitchen pic “afters”. Nice job!

    1. Thanks! And yeah, I wonder if anyone really ever tries to cut on countertops anymore. Even with my new butcher block counters I still use a cutting board for all food prep.

  57. Several times in her life, my mother (a still-active 93) has “renewed” old, stained linoleum that wasn’t worn through by painting it, then applying at least four coats of polyurethane. This has been a marvelous success, and she has these refreshed linoleums in high-traffic areas of her house. A random pattern of other colors of paint (like sponge-work) hides a lot of dust if she hasn’t vacuumed recently.

    We are thinking about doing something like this to the old asbestos tiles on the basement floor at our church, which could be a great stop-gap measure until such time as we can put aside enough money to invest in battleship linoleum. (We sure can’t afford to turn our church into a haz-mat site for removal of said tiles.)

  58. Sarah, you’ve inspired me with the linoleum floor paint, and my disgusting kitchen countertops! On a big time budget so I will invest in the Rustoleum!

    Thank you,
    Corinne

    1. Glad to hear it, Corinne! Lots of luck on your project and definitely read through the comments on this post… after my experiment, readers came through with lots of other suggestions for how to prevent some of the issues I had!

  59. Hi Sarah, Stacy here in northern Canada. We bought a place that looks over a beautiful lake but needed serious work. Hoarders, smokers and dog and cat owners. You do the math. The whole place was painted in several layers of think red brown stain. Really bad no wonder no one bought it. We got them down 35,000.00. Worth it for sure. But now we are just getting to the real fun stuff new kitchen on a dime. So I hear you. Thanks for your pics and your great advice. Love it.
    Dennis and Stacy Up NORTH

  60. Hi,
    I painted my son’s countertop with Rust-Oleum on Wednesday. He is coming home on Monday. I when would it be safe to put back appliances – keurig, toaster, knife holders, etc? Do you recommend putting something under the stuff and if so, what would you recommend. I have to remove some paint on the stainless sink. I read that acetone would work. Anything else? Hoping you see this. Thank you.
    FYI future users…I used a cheap mask and readers. I had dark red marks on my cheeks where the mark did not cover and coughed for a few days. The paint has a very strong odor. The odor lessened after a few days. I will open more windows today.

  61. OK, WAS thinking about this. BUT!!!! husband is on oxygen, SO, back to the original though REPLACE…………… no odors for months, dust but I can put up plastic and keep him out till done and cleaned up. Thank you so much for this information. Jeane

    1. So glad you found it helpful, Jeane! The smell is definitely not the easiest part, so at least you know!