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Can You Paint Bathroom Countertops? Facts & FAQs

Wood Countertop

Are you tired of looking at that same old bathroom countertop? Are you in the mood to give your bathroom a quick update? If so, you might be wondering if it’s possible to paint your old countertop. The answer, thankfully, is yes. While it’ll require at least one trip to the hardware store and a few steps to complete, it’s totally possible to update the look of your bathroom by painting your current countertop. Read on to learn more about this fun DIY divider

How To Paint Your Countertop

First, you’ll need to get rid of anything on the countertop like brushes, razors, and personal items. Don’t worry about removing the fixtures or trying to pry the countertop loose. It’s a time-consuming process that you might not be able to complete on your own, and there’s a good chance your countertop or cabinet might get damaged in the effort. As long as you’re careful and tape the area before you start painting, everything should work out fine!

Next, clean the countertops with a product designed to cut grease, then grab your sander and get to work. You’ll need at least two passes to remove all the material, maybe more depending on what your current countertop is made of. Apply masking tape to any surfaces you want to protect, like the faucets and the area around the bottom of the sink.

Use a brush to apply a water-based primer, let it dry, and then make a a quick pass with your sander. Give your countertop 4–5 coats of paint, making sure to let it dry completely before getting started with the next layer. Finally, hit your new paint job with a coat of clear polyurethane. Let that dry, apply a second coat, and you’re done.

yellow paint in a can and brush
Image Credit: Sofia Iartseva, Shutterstock

Are There Any Extra Steps I Need to Take if I’m Painting Over Laminate Countertops?

No. Follow the process listed above, but you’ll need to spend extra time getting the old surface ready to go. Laminate can be difficult to paint over, and prepping it for painting is critical to getting an attractive, lasting result.

To get your laminate countertop ready, use 220 grit sandpaper to scratch the surface you’re going to paint. Don’t try to remove the laminate. You only need to create enough roughness for the primer and paint to adhere properly.

And by the way, Formica is a specific brand of laminate. If you’re wondering if you can paint your Formica countertops, the answer is yes—just follow the same steps you would t for resurfacing any other laminate product.

What About Marble Countertops? Can I Paint Over Those?

Yes, it’s possible to update your marble countertops with a new splash of color. When it comes to marble, you’ve got to get the surface clean, or your primer won’t stick. After you’ve given your countertop a good cleaning, gently sand away any dings, and consider using an acrylic resin epoxy filler to even out any scrapes. Paint, let your masterpiece dry, and apply a few layers of acrylic to seal everything.

Most people who paint their marble bathroom countertops use either chalk or epoxy paint.The former provides a matte look while the latter delivers a sparkly shiny finish. Many hardware stores carry marble bathroom counter painting kits that include all the products you’ll need from start to finish, making this a super easy DIY project.

Marble countertop and apron from ceramic mosaic tiles
Image Credit: Fotiy_Svetlana_Shutterstock

How Long Will The Entire Project Take?

It can take some people two weeks to entirely complete the project, particularly if you’re working and taking care of other responsibilities at the same time. Drying time is the biggest issue when it comes to this project. You’re going to be applying multiple layers of paint, each of which needs to be completely dry before continuing. Most experts suggest giving oil paints at least 24 hours to dry before adding a new coat. You should be fine after about 3 hours if you’re working with water-based paints.

Even once all the painting is done, you still won’t be able to use the countertop with impunity. You’re going to be sealing your paint job with a product like clear polyurethane. While polyurethane dries in about 24 hours, it usually takes at least 30 days to cure.

Curing is the process of natural hardening that products like paint and sealants go through, and it takes time to complete. Some acrylic sealants require up to 2 weeks to harden,. and you really shouldn’t use your bathroom countertop until the sealing process has run its course. Otherwise, you risk having to do the entire job over again as your new paint begins to peel.

house divider

What About Safety Precautions?

If you decide to use a palm sander to zip through the initial part of the project, make sure to wear safety glasses and keep your hair out of the way. And don’t forget to wear a dust mask.

You’ll need to give the dust a few hours to settle after you’re done sanding. And unless you have power-vac sander attachments, you’re going to have a large mess to clean up..

Fumes from the paint, resins, and sealants can be toxic if inhaled. Open a bathroom window before you start working and allow it to stay open as you sand and paint. If you’re working in a space without window access, take frequent breaks and give your newly painted bathroom at least 48 hours to ventilate after you’re done painting.

Featured Image Credit:, Shutterstock


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