When we purchased this house in 1988, we hated the already out-of-style master bathroom. Of course, like most first-time homeowners, we ticked off a list of things we were going to change to make it “ours.”  Then reality set in.  The financial burden of owning a house,having two kids, and paying fo full-time daycare costs meant there was very little left over for extras like a new bathroom counter.

Now the kids are grown, and it’s time to do something for ourselves. Granted, in the next 10-15 years we’ll be selling the house, so what we do now needs to be cosmetic only because there’s no point in doing a full knock-it-down-to-the-studs makeover that would be out of date when we are ready to sell.  So today I bought a can of Rust-Oleum Countertop Cover and went to town painting that bathroom counter.  Yes, the blue color above is the countertop we’ve lived with for 22 years. Yuck!

I chose the Rust-Oleum Countertop Cover product specifically because claims to “renew laminate surfaces” and be moisture and scratch resistant – precisely what I needed. It also claims to be washable plus moisture- and chemical-resistant in a one-and-done, one-part epoxy acrylic paint. It also promises to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew, two problems nearly every home in the Pacific Northwest has to deal with.

The product comes as a tintable base with a satin sheen that can be tinted to one of sixteen different colors including both lights, darks, and trendy neutrals. Choose from Ivory, Canvas, Haystack, Wheat, Taupe (the color I chose), Earth, Cobblestone, Putty, Light Ash, Gray Mist, Pewter, Palest Blue, Coastal Blue (very close to our original color!), Meadow, Olive, and Rosemary.

How to paint your Laminate Countertop

Yes, the blue color above is the countertop we’ve lived with for 22 years.

How to Paint Your Laminate Countertop

Prep was easy. I just washed the counter with an all-purpose spray cleaner and allowed it to dry.  No etching or other chemicals were required to help the paint stick to the counter, which I appreciated because it meant less time and fewer chemicals to handle.

Using painters tape, I taped off the chrome trim and started with a standard paintbrush on the vertical areas (though you could certainly use a foam brush) and finished with a smooth roller on the horizontal surfaces to avoid brush marks.  Unlike wall painting, I used long strokes all in the same direction to be sure my finish was completely smooth.

It took under an hour, stunk to high heaven, and probably killed off a few of my lung and brain cells, but it’s done, and the 30+-year-old laminate counter looks pretty good, especially for an investment of just $14.99.  

I would suggest a mask to minimize any exposure and definitely make sure you’re painting in a well-ventilated area. You’ll also need to have mineral spirits on hand for clean up, and it’ll take 3-days to dry completely.  During that time your house will smell toxic so I suggest choosing a time of year where the outdoor temps stay above 60-degrees so you can keep your windows open.

Bathroom remodel on a dime

Bathroom remodel on a dime (well actually $14.99).

My painting job was not perfect, and I should have taken the time to tape off the sink before I began. Unlike latex paint, this Rust-Oleum Countertop Cover paint is meant to stick, so it is impossible to remove from the edges of the porcelain sink where I overpainted. Lesson learned!

Never-ending Home DIY – The Joys of Owning a Home

When the countertop is dry, I’m considering removing the chunky Mediterannian-style handles and painting the cabinets black. I’ll be replacing the knobs, probably with brushed stainless steel, and maybe repainting the walls with Martha Stewart Living Low VOC satin paint in the color Rice Paper (a pale yellow with a hint of green) that I picked up today for my craft room.  We’ll see how I feel about it after the  Rust-Oleum Countertop Cover dries completely. Keeping my husband from using the countertop for the next three days while the paint cures is going to be the hardest part of this job!

I’d still love to replace the floor, but it seems silly since we’ve lived with it so long and we want a new floor for the next owner. Oh well, at least I don’t cringe every time I walk into the room now that the counter is no longer bright blue!

Do you ever feel like the home projects in your head are endless and they never seem to get done in real life? Me too! 😉

So much to do, so little money 🙂

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