Painting countertops is like painting plastic laminate. To successfully paint any surface, follow these basic rules.
1. Completely clean the surface. This will remove any waxes, loose dirt and grime.
2. Lightly sand glossy surfaces to break the shine. This will improve bonding of the primer. Many primers are for glossy surfaces but a light sanding will provide some bonding insurance without a lot of effort.
3. Use a rag dampened with the same solvent as the primer for a “pre” tack rag to remove most of the dust from the sanding. Then change your shirt and wash exposed skin to remove dust from your body. Then tack-rag the surface again just before applying the primer.
Use a primer rated for the job. Bonding to plastic laminate and providing a foundation for the finish is very important. Three respected products are B.I.N. Primer Sealer, Cover-Stain primer and XIM Primer-Sealer-Bonder.
There is nothing dumber than having a job peel because you saved a few bucks on the primer. Bonding to the old surface is key to getting durability out of this job.
Choose a finish with a resistance to moisture, chemicals, and abrasion. Valspar, among others, makes industrial enamels that are very durable. We use it on our shelving at the hardware store with very good results.
The finish paint is not a product to save money on either. The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ may mean a finish that will last up to eight years or more.
Your enemy with any applied finish is its susceptibility to scratches produced by abrasive cleaners. These finishes will not be as durable as the old plastic laminate you were used to. If you choose your cleaners carefully you will enjoy that renewed countertop for years to come.