Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spray-Painted Bathroom Countertop

Yes, you read that correctly.  Spray-paint. 

This week I finally finished the countertops in the kids' bathroom.  The old countertops were white laminate, original to when the house was built.  They were in great condition but just seemed dated and boring.  Of course I would have loved to have granite or even new laminate put in but I thought I would try a much less expensive mode first.  I secretly thought that if I messed it up good enough we would have to get new ones FAST.

  But, overall I am really happy with the way these turned out and they were SUPER cheap.  I have not finished organizing and decorating the bathroom so the pics are not great but they do show a good before and after of the countertops. 

So here's how I did it.

Let's start with a before photo, shall we, white laminate with a white laminate backsplash.  I wanted to remove that backsplash and tile the wall but it seemed too much to do for now.  Maybe later.

I used these supplies:
120 grit sandpaper
Rust-Oleum Mulitcolor Textured Spray Paint
(This one has the textured look I was hoping for.  I did not really want a smooth
surface laminate look.)
MinWax Polyurethane Clear Semi-Coat (OIL BASED)
Small foam roller
There is a can of primer in this picture but I did not do a priming step.  It just wasn't necessary.

A close up of the surface before.

First, I sanded.  Really lightly sanded.  Took a whole minute or two just to rough the surface a bit.  Seriously, you don't have to put much effort into this. 

Next, I covered the cabinet and mirror and began spray painting the countertop.  I must admit I was plum excited to spray that first bit of spray paint onto the top but then I got downright nervous about what I had done when it looked like this. 

Really I thought my hubby was going to kill me when he came home and saw what I had done.  I was smart enough to cover the sink and fixture so that we wouldn't have to replace them later due to paint splatter.

Luckily, I got a few good coats on before he came home so it looked presentable.

For most of the day, I would spray a coat, give it an hour to dry then go back in for another coat.  I am not sure how many times I did this but ended up using about 4 cans of spray paint.  Each time it covered more, looked darker and better. 

When I finally got good coverage and was happy with it.  I gave it a day to dry really well. 

Then I came back with the poly.  I knew it would need to be coated well since it would be a highly used area with the kids and water would be involved.  I made the mistake of using the same poly I 've used in the past which is water-based.  Don't do that!! When the counters got wet they showed white water spots.  So I had to research a bit more and figured out that I needed to use an oil-based poly instead. 

 I used the roller and a brush to repoly the surface.  I did this twice and let it dry at least a day before we started using it.  This time when we got it wet there were no water spots and I could also spray cleaner on it to clean the countertop without any funny film appearing. 

Here is a closeup of the surface after completion.  It is rather durable.  I am so pleased!

I am approximating here but I think this is very close to the cost breakdown on this project.
4 cans of spray paint at about $4.00 a can = $16.00
1 can poly ( I didn't even make a dent in this can so I have plenty left.) = $14.00
I had everything else at home but if you did not you could figure another $10.00
So total cost: $40.00

$40.00 and a newish bathroom counter.  I like how the new darker color makes the sink and fixture look new too. 

I actually am planning to do the same thing in our master bathroom but maybe use a different color.  So there you have it, a $40.00 counter top update using spray paint.  That stuff is so versatile.


  1. And since you are a pro now, you are available to help the rest of us with this super easy and inexpensive project! I love it!

  2. Just started my counter refinish project! I was so excited when I stumbled across this on Pinterest. I had been at the store looking to get a new counter top but ours is apparently not a normal size and it was going to cost at least $150 for a custom one. Our counter is BARELY bigger than the sink. It is tiny. I was so bummed about it, came home and got on pinterest. There, right at the top, was this project! So excited about it!!! Thanks for the tutorial. I can't wait to see how it turns out. First coat looks good so far!

  3. Isn’t it great that you were able to get new a bathroom countertop for only $40? Haha! That looks really nice. I think it’s pretty convenient that you used spray paint, rather than the conventional one because you don’t have to worry about getting your hands dirty from dabbing paints. Nice job!

    Ensi Hodzic.

  4. Did you have any trouble getting a smooth finish with the poly? I have been practicing this technique on a few pieces of scrap laminate. I using a smooth black finish spray paint with a little shimmer metallic look. The spray paint comes out beautifully, but when I poly'd with the foam roller it left little bubbles. I switched to a foam brush and it left brush marks. I don't know if I am overworking the poly, or if it is just more noticeable since I am using a flatter finished paint, but I must have a smooth finish since this is going to be used for a drawing surface. Any suggestions? Anyone ever try poly in a spray can?

  5. Do you think this procedure would work on the sink itself? Mine is all one piece and I don't want to paint it white or cream!

  6. Do you think this procedure would work on the sink itself? Mine is all one piece and I don't want to paint it white or cream!

  7. How well has this held up? My husband is worried it's not very durable.

  8. How well has this held up? My husband is worried it's not very durable.

    1. the key is what she said about the oil based poly. A good 3 coats of this, with a very light sanding with 120 or 220 between coats and it will be VERY durable :)

  9. Nice blog for bathroom worktops.We are also the provider of bathroom and kitchen worktops in the UK.

  10. Thank you for sharing this interesting and informative article, painting with airless spray gun will be faster and more interesting!

    Airless Spray Gun