What is Quartz?
Quartz is an engineered stone made from roughly 90% ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments. This combination creates a material that is non-porous, stain-resistant, and heat-tolerant – plus, it can be molded into a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Unlike natural stone, quartz does not need to be sealed. The resins fill in the pores between the quartz particles, creating a material that is impervious to moisture. This prevents stains from penetrating the surface. It also makes quartz very low-maintenance compared to granite or marble.
The Problem with Painting Quartz
Painting any countertop surface comes with risks. With quartz, however, there are some unique challenges:
Paint May Not Adhere Properly
The resins in quartz create an incredibly hard, non-porous surface. This is great for durability – but it makes it difficult for paint to bond. Most paints require some porosity or texture to grip onto. The ultra-smooth surface of quartz often causes paint to chip, peel, or scratch off easily.
Paint Could Damage Quartz
Some paint strippers and thinners contain chemicals like methylene chloride that can eat away at quartz resin. So you may end up damaging the integrity of your counters while trying to prep or strip the paint job.
Paint Obscures the Pattern
One of the desirable features of quartz is the unique colors and patterns available. Painting over quartz obscures these attractive details under a coat of opaque color.
Voids Any Warranties
Most major quartz manufacturers warn that painting your counters will void any warranties. So any problems that arise afterward will not be covered.
Alternatives to Painting Quartz Countertops
Instead of painting, consider these options to spruce up tired quartz:
Clean the Counters Thoroughly
Quartz is stain-resistant, but not stain-proof. Thorough cleaning with the proper products can help remove superficial stains and restore its original appearance.
Reseal the Seams
If moisture has penetrated around the sink or seams, consult with a countertop pro about re-sealing those areas.
Add New Hardware
Replace old faucets, sink strainers, and knobs with new hardware in an on-trend finish. This can freshen up the whole look.
Update Backsplash Tiles
Retiling the backsplash provides an easy facelift for a fraction of the cost of new countertops.
Flip Direction of Island
Turning the layout of your kitchen island 90 or 180 degrees can provide a new perspective.
Add Quartz Cleaner/Protector
Using a dedicated quartz cleaner and protector can help keep your counters looking like new.
Painting quartz counters is risky, damages the material, voids warranties, and covers up the inherent pattern and beauty of the stone. Instead, thoroughly clean, maintain, and protect your quartz. Small updates to hardware, backsplash, or layout can freshen the look. With proper care, quality quartz countertops can look amazing for many years without the need for painting.
Frequently Asked Questions about Painting Quartz Countertops
Can you use any paint on quartz?
No, you cannot use just any paint on quartz countertops. Paint does not properly adhere to the smooth, non-porous surface. At best, the paint will chip and scratch off easily. At worst, harsh paint strippers and thinners could damage the resin in the quartz.
What kind of paint adheres best to quartz?
Most paint does not adhere well at all to quartz. Some specialty coats designed for metals, ceramics, or automotive use may fare better than regular wall paints. But there are no guarantees, and most manufacturers advise against painting quartz surfaces.
Is it okay to use spray paint on quartz?
Spray paint is not a good option for painting quartz counters. The tiny paint particles in spray paint do not bond well to the hard, slick surface of quartz. It would easily scratch off with regular use.
Can you use acrylic paint on quartz countertops?
Acrylic paint, commonly used on canvas or wood, is not suitable or recommended for use on quartz counters. Like other paints, acrylic does not bond well to the non-porous quartz material. The paint would peel and chip off quickly.
What kind of primer adheres to quartz?
There is no primer specifically designed for use on quartz. Primers aid paint adhesion by penetrating into porous surfaces like drywall. The impervious resin coating of quartz counters leaves nowhere for primers to gain purchase. So they perform poorly.
Is it possible to get paint to stay on quartz counters?
There is no known paint product that can reliably adhere to and last on quartz over the long term. The resin material is engineered to resist penetration from liquids, stains, and debris. This same property makes it nearly impossible for paint to properly stick to the surface.
Can painting quartz void the warranty?
Yes, painting quartz counters will almost certainly void any manufacturer’s warranty. Altering the surface in any way – painting, staining, excessive heat – makes damage from that point uneligible for warranty coverage. So exercise caution before painting.
Is it worth trying to paint ugly or damaged quartz?
In most cases, no – painting damaged or dated quartz is not worth the effort or risk. Between poor adhesion, potential damage from chemicals, obscuring the pattern, and voiding warranties, it is better to just replace the counters. Or better yet – clean, maintain, and protect your existing quartz.