How To Spray Paint Countertops

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Last updated: October 5, 2023

Learn How to Spray Paint Countertops Made from Different Materials in this Guide

How to spray paint countertops

Interior décor keeps evolving, and no one wants to be stuck with an outdated countertop. The common misconception is that you must spend lots of money to achieve a modern kitchen or bathroom countertop look. On the contrary, countertop renovation isn’t as arduous.

You can give your countertop a fresh look with spray paint. Spray painting laminate, wood, stone, or solid-surface countertops upgrade them and make the surfaces more appealing. Spray painting countertops give you a variety of color schemes to work with, it is an easy DIY project, and the icing on the cake is the budget-friendly bit.

In this post, we equip you with the information needed before commencing the project. Read on.

How To Choose the Right Paint for Your Countertop

To spray paint countertops, you should be able to sand the surface. Sandable materials include wood, ceramic tile, concrete and laminate countertops. Spray paint doesn’t adhere to natural stone, solid surfaces, and quartz countertops.

Here is how to select the best countertop paint:

  • When shopping, don’t go for cheap. Alternatively, shop where professionals get their paint. Such shops provide vast selections of paints and primers. Also, the staff is well conversant with paint and can offer guidance.

  • If you plan on using oil-based spray paint, buy an oil-based primer and the water-based one for water-based paint. Similar paint and primer provide good adhesion and durability.

  • Confirm whether the paint you picked is a food-safe spray paint if the countertop will be in direct contact with food.

  • Buy extra spray paint cans to avoid running out of paint during the project.  

  • There are companies like Rust-oleum with a countertop spray painting kit. If the kit isn’t within reach, buy good-quality spray paints, primer, and a top coat. The end results will be more or less the same.     

How To Spray Paint Countertops 

Here is a detailed procedure on how to paint your countertops like a professional:

Supplies 

  • Painter’s tape.
  • Newspapers.
  • Orbital sander or sanding block.
  • Protective gear.
  • Tack cloth.
  • Drop cloth.
  • Plastic sheets.

STEP 1: Research and decide if it’s worth the risk 

Research creates awareness of what you are getting yourself into. Find out if the type of material on your countertop can be spray painted. Decide what look you want to mimic. Options to choose from include marble, high-end stone, or even a textured surface. 

After you get past this step, you are already committed.    

STEP 2: Prep the countertop for painting

Spray painting is messy, so you protect areas you don’t want paint on. Tape plastic sheets or cover the sink and backsplash with newspaper to protect them from overspray. Also, lay down drop cloths or old bedsheets, as the paint can drip and ruin your floors.

For those working on a bathroom countertop, use an Exacto knife to remove any caulking present. Cover the faucet and drain or remove them and tape the drain pipe. This prevents anything from going down the drain and the sewer gas from filling your room.

STEP 3: Clean and sand the surface 

Scrub the countertop with a cleaning solution and remove any oil, grease, dust, grime, or dirt. Countertops can accumulate build-up over the years. Avoid using ammonia-based cleaners, especially on granite or laminate countertops. Let the surface dry before you begin sanding.

Once the surface dries, you will notice it forms sand dust. Work on the countertop with an orbital sander to save time, or use a sanding block if you don’t have power tools. Start with coarse sandpaper and then finish off with fine-grit sandpaper. Wipe the dust with a tack rag or damp cloth with mineral spirits.

STEP 4: Apply the primer and let it dry

Apply two coats of primer to the countertop, giving them time to dry. The drying is indicated on the paint can. Priming helps magnify any imperfections underneath that need rectifying before adding the paint. Also, priming promotes better adhesion between the paint and the countertop surface.

STEP 5: Spray paint the countertop and let it dry

Now it’s time to paint! Shake the spray can thoroughly for the paint to mix into an even consistency. You’ll have to keep shaking the can constantly as paint to achieve an even texture.

Start spray painting from the back toward the front. If you start from the front and work toward the back, the spray mist covers the back before you paint it, making the coat heavier and uneven.

Two coats of spray paint should be enough, but if you decide the countertop could use additional coats, go ahead. Let each coat dry for 15-30 minutes before adding subsequent layers. Keep the coats light and even.   

STEP 6: Apply a clear coat

Seal the paint job with a clear coat. You can use epoxy spray paint to protect the paint from chipping, scratching, or painting. A clear coat makes the paint job durable and makes the surface glossier.   

STEP 7: Let it dry 

Let the project dry for at least 24 hours. Allow the area to have a free flow of fresh air and moderate temperatures for proper drying.

STEP 8: Re-caulk

Re-caulk the areas between the countertop and the wall to keep water off. When applying caulk, make sure to put on latex gloves. Caulk the edges, dip your gloved finger in water, and smooth the caulk. Repeat the process till the edges are covered. Let it dry.

STEP 9: Re-attach the faucet

Re-attach the drain and the faucet. Remove all the painter’s tape, newspapers, and plastic sheeting used on your project.

STEP 10: The countertop is ready for use 

Enjoy your newly painted countertop.

How to Spray Paint Laminate Countertops 

Laminate countertops are pocket friendly. However, often you don’t get them in the style you prefer. That should not deter you from getting the countertop for your bathroom or kitchen. 

You can always spray paint it to fit your theme and add texture to the surface.

Here is how to go about the transformation:

Requirements

  • Drop cloth.
  • Painters’ tape.
  • Plastic sheets.
  • Newspaper.

STEP 1: Clean the surface 

Wipe the countertop and its surroundings to remove dust, dirt, and grime. Any foreign particle left on the surface affects how well the paint binds to the Formica or Wilsonart countertop.

STEP 2: Prep the workspace 

Cover any surface you don’t want painted on with plastic sheets or newspapers. Tape the areas with painter’s tape, not masking tape; it loses track afterward. Protect zones like the faucet, sink, walls, and cupboards. Also, spread a drop cloth or use old bed sheets to protect your flooring.

STEP 3: Sand the countertop and remove dust 

Sanding is not an optional step. Use 180-grit sandpaper to scuff up the surface without leaving noticeable scratches. Sanding adds durability to the paint job by enabling the paint to grip better on the countertop.

STEP 4: Apply primer and let it dry 

Apply at least two coats of primer and let it dry. Priming helps conceal any imperfections and makes the painting smooth and even.

STEP 5: Spray the countertop and let it dry

Shake the spray can to mix the paint before and during use. Spray light coats moving from end to end of the countertop. Keep an even distance and pressure when spray painting; feel free to overlap.

If you notice certain underlying spots are still visible after the first coat, don’t add more paint to them, as they get covered as you add subsequent coats. 

Let each coat dry for about 30 minutes-2 hours before adding another layer of paint. Let the painted surface dry overnight.    

STEP 6: Seal the paint  

Sealing is a key step for a better outcome. The clear coat leaves the surface looking shiny and protects the paint from water or heat damage and knicks or abrasions due to heavy traffic. Confirm with the hardware store attendant which clear coat works best with the paint without altering its color, texture, or appearance.

Best Spray Paint For Countertops 

The Rust-oleum countertop spray kit isn’t available locally. Here are some spray paints available on Amazon or in stores near you:

Rust-oleum American Accents Stone Coat Spray Paint

  • COLORS AVAILABLE: The textured spray paint is available in red rock, slate, pebble, granite stone, black granite, gray stone, mineral brown, sienna stone, travertine, and bleached stone. Whichever type you settle on, the paint leaves the surface looking natural and feeling real.

  • APPLICATION: Apply light coats till the whole countertop is evenly covered. Apply a layer of primer as the base coat and a clear finish as the top coat to make the paint last longer. Each spray can give coverage of 12 sq. ft.

  • SURFACE RECOMMENDATION: The spray paint adheres properly to wood, metal, ceramic, or stone surfaces.

  • DRYING TIME: Each coat dries to touch within 30-60 minutes.

Montana Cans Marble Effect Spray Paint

  • COLORS AVAILABLE: The spray paint comes in shades like silver, gold, black, red, blue, white, and pastel green. The paint mimics a realistic marble effect. You can mix the paint with other contrasting colors on the background for a bold look.  

  • APPLICATION: The paint is easy to apply. Shake the can for 2-3 minutes before use and keep shaking during use. Note that this spray paint isn’t food-safe.

  • SURFACE RECOMMENDATION: It works on porcelain, ceramics, wood, glass, metal, stone, cardboard, canvas, and acrylics.

  • DRYING TIME: Give the paint 24 hours to cure fully.

Rust-oleum Chalked Spray Paint

  • COLORS AVAILABLE: The chalked spray paint offers matte clear, farmhouse red, chiffon cream, coastal blue, and linen white.

  • APPLICATION: It is an oil-based formula with superb adhesion. A single coat is enough, but you can add up to five coats depending on your preference. It dries clean with a vintage or timeless look. Also, you can use the paint with minimal prep work.

  • SURFACE RECOMMENDATION: Spray painting chalk paints is easy and the paint can adhere on metal, glass, wood, ceramic, and canvas surfaces.

  • DRYING TIME: Chalked spray paint takes 20 minutes to dry to touch and 24 hours to cure.

Spray Paints To Use On Countertops

When selecting suitable spray paints, you must pick one that is water and heat-resistant. Also, the paint needs to be durable and withstand heavy traffic with minimal wear and tear. Below are some paint formulas you should go for:

Acrylic spray paint

Water-based acrylic spray paint adheres properly on laminate countertops. The paint is non-toxic and eco-friendly as it contains low levels of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). It is easy to apply and dries in no time. Acrylic paint is easy to clean with water and doesn’t fade or crack over time.

Epoxy spray paint

Epoxy spray paint is tough and incredibly durable. You don’t need to prime your countertop because epoxy spray paint is self-priming. It is highly resistant to heat, chemicals, and water exposure, making it ideal for a kitchen countertop. Due to its amazing qualities, epoxy spray paint is pricier than the other formulas.   

Stone spray paint 

The idea of the stone spray paint is to mimic the real natural stone appearance and texture. Shake the can before and as you spray to ensure the stone-like granules are evenly distributed on the countertop. Also, you add a top clear coat that retains the stone texture underneath and doesn’t change the paint color as well.

Chalked spray paint

Chalk spray paint is the ultimate choice if you are going for a matte vintage finish. It is water-based; hence it is less toxic and dries faster. You don’t require much prepping when applying chalked spray paint. It cleans easily with soap and water, is durable, and gives your countertop an old-school charm.  

Chalkboard spray paint

Chalkboard and chalk spray paint are different formulas you can confuse. Chalkboard spray paint gives surfaces a smooth slate finish that you can write on with chalk. The paint option is ideal and a fun option if you have kids. The spray paint is long-lasting, easy to apply and durable.  

Mistakes To Avoid When Spray Painting Countertops

As you go down this road, you are bound to make mistakes. Let’s highlight some avoidable errors for a successful project:

  • Skipping sanding. If you don’t sand the surface, the paint job will flake and peel quickly. Sanding roughens the countertop enough for the spray paint to adhere to the surface. Sand between every two paint coats to remove any bumps, drips, or imperfections.

  • Not priming. Some spray cans come with instructions not mandating a primer as the base coat. However, it is wise not to skip applying a primer. The primer acts as a binding agent between the spray paint and the countertop.

  • Choosing the wrong paint. Get a paint kit that works on your countertop. For instance, water-based acrylic spray paint merges well with laminate countertops. Once you clean, sand, and prime the surface, epoxy spray paint adheres better on tile and granite countertops. If you are unsure what spray paint to use on your countertops, consult a professional.  

  • Applying brush on primer. Avoid this mistake at all costs. Once the primer dries, the brush marks remain visible even after several coats of paint. Work with a spray-on primer for better results.

  • Not shaking the spray can. The paint’s consistency gets uneven if you don’t rattle the spray can before and during the job. Especially when using stone textured spray paint, some parts get more stone grains than others.

  • Using masking tape instead of painter’s tape. Masking tape has less tack and loosens before you finish your project. That can lead to overspray on areas you don’t want paint on.

  • Not wearing protective gear. Spray paints contain toxins harmful to your health if you inhale or get in direct contact. Wear a respirator, goggles, and rubber gloves. Also, work in a well-ventilated area.

  • Painting from the front to the back. Making this mistake will cost you as the spray mist lands on the zone you are yet to cover, making the coat on that area heavier than the rest. Work from the back towards the front.

  • Picking random sealers. The type of top coat you use must preserve the underlying paint color and texture. Finishes like polyurethane can alter the overall look.     

  • Not re-caulking. You must re-caulk the necessary areas to prevent water seepage into the spaces between the walls and counter.

Pros and Cons of Spray Painting Countertops

There are two sides to a coin, and the same applies to spray painting countertops. Weigh the pros and the cons and decide whether to proceed with the project.

Pros 

  • Durability: Spray paint can last between 2-5 years. Adding a top coat makes the paint last longer.   

  • Ease of application: spray paint is easy to apply. You require no technical skills, just a little practice, and you are set.

  • Versatility: Spray paint is available in different formulations and has a vast color scheme. You have a wide array to choose from depending on your style and taste.  

  • Affordability: Spray painting countertop is the most pocket-friendly way of upgrading or customizing your spaces. The paint is affordable, and there is no need to source labor; you can DIY the project.  

  • Drying time: Spray paint is quick drying and cures faster. Your painted surface is ready for use in 24-48 hours.  

Cons

  • Limitations: Spray paint works best for smaller projects or decorating surfaces. It doesn’t hold well with larger projects like a countertop. Countertops are exposed to water, heat, and heavy traffic, and the paint will chip or scratch with daily use.  

  • Maintenance: Spray paint is high maintenance and requires a fresh coat now and then to maintain its look. Heat, water, chemicals, and heavy use create surface abrasions or wear and tear.  

  • Longevity: Spray paint is the least durable than brush or roll-on paint. With time it tends to peel, flake, and scratch, necessitating touch-ups.  

  • Preparation: Surface prepping is the most tasking bit yet the most essential. Preparation involves cleaning, sanding, and priming. Good prepping yields great results.

How To Maintain Spray Painted Countertops

The secret behind an attractive and durable spray-painted countertop lies in its maintenance. Here is how to care for your painted countertop:

  • Use a chopping board when cutting on top of the painted countertop.

  • Don’t place hot items directly on the countertops. Use trivet mats or coasters to protect the surface from heat marks.

  • Don’t use cleaners with alcohol or any aggravating agent, as it causes the paint to chip or peel.

  • Invest in a quality sealer. A topcoat protects the underlying paint form, scuffs, stains, chips, and scratches.

  • Don’t expose painted countertops to heavy usage or traffic, as it increases the chances of wear and tear. Apply spray paint on low-traffic countertops for longer durability.

  • Give the newly painted countertop at least two weeks before using water and cleaners on the surface.

  • Always wipe the surface with a soft rag or sponge to prevent scratch marks.  

  • Clean up any spills and stains immediately to prevent permanent staining on the countertop.

  • Dust off the painted surface as the accumulation of dust and dirt makes the paint appear dull.

The approach of cleaning lies upon the paint’s sheen. Be gentle for flat or matte spray paint, as excess scrubbing will mar the coat. Satin or eggshell is much easier to clean. Semi and high gloss paints can handle a scrubbing and are more stain resistant.  

FAQs: How To Spray Paint Countertops

Below are well-researched answers to the commonly asked question on spray painting countertops:

What kind of spray paint can you use on countertops?

Use can use either water or oil-based types of spray paints. Some options to work with include acrylic, epoxy, stone textured, chalked, and chalkboard spray paints. Your choice of spray paint depends on your preference, budget, and paint’s sheen.  

How many coats of paint on the countertops?

2-5 coats of spray paint are enough to cover the countertop. However, it is a personal call on the number of coats to apply. Give each coat about 20 minutes to dry to the touch before adding subsequent layers. Let all layers dry and cure for 24 hours.

Do you need to sand the countertop before painting?

We highly recommend that you sand your countertops before spray painting. Sanding roughens up the countertop surface giving the paint something to bind to. Sanding also helps you perfect the rough spots before painting. Use a sanding block on small areas and an electric sander on large countertops. You can rent from the local hardware store if you don’t own power tools.

Can you spray paint kitchen countertops?            

You sure can. Spray paint is an affordable option to give your countertop a makeover. There are spray paints that can mimic marble or natural stone appearance. Spray paint allows you to give your bathroom or kitchen a fresh look without breaking your pockets.  

Can you spray paint, Formica?

Yes, you can spray paint Formica or laminate countertops. It is much cheaper to spray paint the countertops than rip them out and replace them with new ones. Oil-based paints are superior as they offer more protection against wear and tear. However, the popular choice is water-based spray paint, following its less toxic nature.

Can you use rust-oleum spray paint on countertops?

Rust-oleum has spray painting kits for countertops. If the kits are not at your disposal, the other option is to use rust-oleum spray paints. Rust-oleum offers a vast option of oil and water-based spray paints. Also, the company has stone textured spray paints like slate, black granite, gray stone, mineral brown or sienna stone, and the paint mimics the natural stone appearance.  

What is the best paint to paint for countertops?

The most recommended is acrylic paint. This is because its water-based nature makes it durable, water, heat, and abrasion resistant. Acrylic paint contains low levels of VOCs, making it less toxic with low odor. The paint is quickly drying and cleans easily with soap and water.

Summary: How To Spray Paint Countertops

It is important to understand that not all countertops can be spray painted. The best options for spray painting are porous surfaces like wood, Formica, concrete or ceramic. Countertops like natural stone or quartz are notorious for binding with paint. Spray painting is much simpler if the surfaces can be sanded and buffed. Consult an expert on whether you can paint your countertops.

During the project, your kitchen or bathroom will be out of bounds. If you are a newbie to spray paint, consider seeking professional assistance, which is much faster. However, you can get started if you have the time to DIY and are confident in your spray painting abilities.  

In this post, we detail a step-by-step procedure on how to go about the project. We also highlight mistakes you will likely make and how to counter them. Follow the information above and be confident while spicing up your kitchen or bathroom countertop. Share your experience in the comment section down below.

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