If you plan on clear coating or painting formica, arborite, ceramic tile, or wood counter tops, rest assured that virtually every type of surface can be coated.

As long as the proper painting and coating procedures are followed, and the best paint products for the job at hand are applied you will have few problems.

Below are how to instructions for coating or protecting your kitchen and bathroom counter tops.

If your counter top is made of glass, porcelain or ceramic tile, use this painting ceramic tile link to assist you with your kitchen counter top, painting needs.


The first thing you need to do is visit your local paint supplier. I would suggest using a paint store that specializes in selling only paint products. Painting formica, arborite, or tile, counter tops, are one of the most difficult surface areas to have paint stick to.

Due to the problems you may incounter, it's imperative to use only top of the line paint products, along with getting help from a knowledgeable paint supplier. By using well informed sales staff, you will receive the best product and application advice, to go along with the tools needed and job procedures to follow.

First, purchase the specialty primer, paint coating, tools and equipment your going to need for the job at hand.

After making your purchases, mask and cover all areas around your counter top (floors, walls etc.,) that you do not wish to get paint on. With brush, roller cage and roller cover ready, fill a tray and pour some primer into a cut can.


Sand the counter top with a palm sander and sand paper that's recomended by your paint supplier. Once your counter top is scuff sanded and dusted, cut and roll on your primer. Be sure to apply primer that's specifically formulated for painting formica, tile, or the type of counter top your coating.

After the primer dries, fill any cracks with latex caulking or filler, use as little as possible of either (re-apply if needed), then wipe excess away using a clean damp rag. Try not to over wipe. Sand level and smooth if needed. Add more primer to all the areas that have been filled and caulked, or where you can see that the primer is thin.

Once the primer is dry, sand the counter again, use a finer sand paper and try not to sand through the dried primer. If you do sand off some primer, be sure to touch up with more primer. Once the primer is dry, add another coat of primer, then lightly sand your counter top again. Dust after sanding and touch up bare areas as needed.

Your primer is the most importaint part of the painting formica or tile process, try and do the primimg, dusting and sanding to the best of your abilities.


Refill the tray, (be sure it has a new liner) and use a different cut can (1/3 or so full) of paint. Apply 2 or 3 coats of the color you have selected. Use the tools and products, that your paint store dealer recommended, for painting formica, tile, or the type of counter top your coating.

Sand, then dust between each paint application. When sanding, try not to sand through the paint itself, touch up if needed.


Use products that are recommended for painting formica, arborite, ceramic tile, wood or the type of counter top your coating, doing so will always have the best end result. Counter tops are high traffic areas and tend to be situated where hummidity can be a problem.

Surfaces with a large amount of cracks or holes, should probably be replaced with new counter tops or formica covered cabinets.

Ask your closest home improvement center, for advice on replacing a counter top or bathroom cabinet.

As a final note, I dis-like melamine paint, so I don’t use it very often, when possible, try and have your paint store give you a product that is comparable to melamine.

The top coat on my counter top, used to be a high quality waterborne paint. My family and I where very carefull with the counter top for the first 30 days or so, and hot appliances needed a heat resistant mat under them, but it still worked out very well, and I didn’t have to use a nasty oil based product. I do recomend an oil based (alkyed) primer though.

If on the other hand your looking for a like new top quality painted finish, you will need the help of a professional. In such a case, s/he would most likely use a specialized sprayer and an epoxy or powder coat product.

Wood counter tops, should in most cases be sanded out, using the proper sanding process (ask a wood supplier)and then oiled with a food grade oil that's made specificly for a wood type kitchen counter tops.

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