Quartz countertops are an increasingly popular option for kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects. Made from ground quartz crystals combined with resins and pigments, quartz counters are praised for their durability, low maintenance, and stylish appearance. But like any surface, quartz countertops are subject to wear and may start to look dull or dated over time. If this happens, can you paint quartz countertops to refresh their look? Let’s take a deep dive into the do’s and don’ts of painting quartz.
An Introduction to Quartz Countertops
Before we look at painting quartz, let’s quickly review what these counters are made of and why they’re so popular:
- Composition – Quartz counters are engineered stone, made from approximately 90% ground quartz crystals combined with polymers and pigments. The exact formulation varies between manufacturers.
- Appearance – Quartz counters come in a wide array of colors and patterns that mimic natural stone like marble or granite. The resin binding allows more versatility than natural stone.
- Benefits – Key benefits of quartz include durability, stain resistance, low maintenance, and consistent color/pattern. Quartz counters are non-porous and ideal for busy kitchens.
- Cost – Quartz lands between natural stone and laminates price-wise, starting around $50 per square foot installed. More exotic styles can cost over $100 per square foot.
With the overview out of the way, let’s dig into the central question: can you paint a quartz counter to change its color or pattern?
Can You Successfully Paint a Quartz Countertop?
The short answer is yes, you can paint a quartz countertop, but it involves careful prep work and the right paint to ensure success. While painting quartz is doable, there are also limitations to be aware of.
Some key considerations if you’re thinking about DIY painting a quartz counter:
- Quartz is non-porous – With a tightly sealed surface that resists staining, painting quartz can be tricky. Proper prep and primer are vital.
- The finish may not be perfectly smooth – Unlike factory finishes, painted quartz likely won’t look and feel as smooth. Fine imperfections may be noticeable.
- Darker colors show imperfections more – Painting to a darker color will highlight any minor pits or scratches more than lighter paints.
- Paint may not adhere uniformly – Sections of quartz can absorb paint differently, leading to slight variances in color consistency.
- Re-painting is difficult – If you don’t like the results after painting quartz, it’s extremely hard to remove the paint and start over.
While these factors present challenges, none are dealbreakers for a successful DIY paint job. It comes down to setting proper expectations and following best practices.
Step-by-Step Process for Painting Quartz Countertops
If you understand the limitations and decide a painted quartz counter is what you want, here is a step-by-step process to follow:
- High-adhesion primer for slick surfaces
- Acrylic paints designed for countertops
- Angled paint brush for cutting in
- Paint rollers (1/4″ nap recommended)
- 220-400 grit sandpaper
- Tack cloth
- Blue painter’s tape
Proper prep work is absolutely vital for painted quartz counters to ensure the paint adheres:
- Clean – Use denatured alcohol to remove all dirt, grease, dust, etc. from the quartz. Get into crevices and seams. Any debris left can ruin paint adhesion.
- Sand – Lightly scuff the entire surface with 220-400 grit sandpaper. This slightly roughens the slick quartz so the paint can grip.
- Clean again – Wipe down the counters again after sanding to remove all sanding dust.
- Apply primer – Use a high-adhesion primer formulated for slick, non-porous surfaces. This gives the topcoat paint something to bond to. Apply according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Pro tip: Never skip the primer! Priming is mandatory for getting paint to properly stick to quartz.
With the quartz prepped, you’re ready to apply paint:
- Cut in edges – Use angled brush and painters tape to cleanly cut in around edges, seams, and backsplash. This prevents drips and bleeding.
- Roll on first coat – Apply the first layer of paint using a lint-free roller with 1/4” nap. Work in small sections.
- Dry and cure – Allow the paint to dry and cure fully per manufacturer’s guidelines before adding another coat.
- Lightly sand – Use 400 grit sandpaper to lightly smooth any droplets or imperfections between coats.
- Wipe clean – Carefully wipe the counters down again with a tack cloth to remove all sanding debris.
- Apply second coat – Roll on the second layer of paint to achieve full coverage and uniform color.
- Dry and cure – Give the paint several days to fully harden before regular use. Avoid water exposure until completely cured.
Achieving Best Results with Quartz Paint
Here are a few pro tips to help your painted quartz counters look their best:
- Stick with matte or eggshell finishes – glossier paints show imperfections more.
- Darker colors are riskier than lighter hues. Whites and grays are safest.
- Expect to use at least 2 coats of paint, sometimes 3 for dark colors.
- Carefully check for gaps in coverage after the first coat and touch up as needed.
- Proper prep and priming helps create a flawless look that appears factory-finished.
Common Questions about Painting Quartz Countertops
Many homeowners have additional questions about DIY painting their quartz counters. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
Is all quartz paintable or only certain brands?
Most major quartz brands like Caesarstone, Cambria, Silestone and Viatera can be painted, but always check with your manufacturer first. Some cheaper quartz may not accept paint well.
Do I need special supplies for painting quartz?
Yes, it’s vital to use a primer and paint designed specifically for non-porous kitchen/bath surfaces. General all-purpose paints likely won’t bond well without proper adhesion promoters.
Does painted quartz need to be resealed over time?
No, since quartz is non-porous, sealers aren’t required. The polymers in the paint provide protection. As long as the surface is kept clean, the paint should not require maintenance.
Can I paint just part of my quartz countertop?
It is possible to paint only certain sections, but this can create an uneven look with the original color peeking through in parts. For best results, paint the entire continuous surface.
Is it okay to paint a quartz sink or backsplash?
Painting quartz sinks, tub surrounds, and full height backsplashes is fine as long as proper prep and paint are used. Exercise caution painting near food surfaces.
How long does painted quartz last compared to a new quartz counter?
With proper prep and application, painted quartz can last 5-10 years before needing refreshed. Eventually the paint may peel or lose adhesion. New quartz counters last upwards of 15-20 years.
Signs You Should Repaint Your Quartz Countertop
If your painted quartz starts showing any of these signs after a few years, it’s probably time to refresh the paint:
- Visible peeling, cracking, or chipping of the paint
- Discoloration, yellowing, or loss of gloss in areas
- Food stains and grease that won’t wipe away
- Noticeable darkening or damage around high-use zones
- Paint wearing thin on edges and exposing original color
- Overall dull, uneven, or worn out appearance
Thankfully, repainting is straightforward if needed. Lightly sand, clean, prime any exposed quartz, and apply 1-2 new coats of paint.
Other Options Beyond Painting Quartz Countertops
Painting can be a cost-effective way to update your existing quartz counters. But if you decide a painted finish won’t work well for your space, what are some other options?
New Countertop Overlay
Overlaying new quartz or other solid surface material right on top of your existing counters is popular. This avoids demolishing the original counters. Countertop overlays typically cost $40-100 per square foot installed.
New Countertop Replacement
For a total transformation, replacing the countertops with brand new slabs is an option. New quartz starts around $50 per square foot. Other choices like granite, laminate, concrete, or butcher block have different price points. Professional installation is recommended.
Some companies specialize in resurfacing existing counters using new liquid finishes and aggregates that resemble natural stone. Resurfacing costs $70+ per square foot depending on materials and process used.
Tile or Mosaic Backsplash
Adding a new backsplash is an easy upgrade that transforms the look. Tiles come in endless colors, shapes, materials and prices. Pro backsplash installation typically runs $10-25 per square foot.
Professional Painters for Quartz Countertops
While DIY quartz painting is certainly doable, many homeowners opt to hire out the work to get professional results. Some benefits of using professional painters include:
- Expert skills prepping and painting tricky surfaces
- Ability to spray paint for a smoother finish
- Access to commercial-grade paints and primers
- Better uniformity and consistency in the finish
- Experience with which techniques work best
- Proper training and tools to paint safely near food surfaces
Hiring pros typically costs $200-500 per day depending on location and project size. Be sure to vet any painter’s experience working specifically with quartz. While pricier than DIY, professionals can save time and frustration achieving the perfect painted finish.
Quartz countertops are built to last, but after years of use, their color and finish can look worn and dated. Refinishing options like painting offer an affordable alternative to replacing the counters. With proper supplies, diligent prep, and careful application, quartz can successfully be painted to give these hardworking surfaces new life. Just be mindful of the limitations and extra care painted quartz requires. By setting realistic expectations and following best practices, your painted quartz makeover can look beautiful while avoiding common pitfalls. Let your creativity run wild with paint to transform your quartz into a custom look that suits your unique style!
Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Quartz Countertops
Painting quartz countertops to refresh their look is growing in popularity. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about painting quartz:
Is it hard to paint quartz yourself?
Painting quartz is reasonably difficult as a DIY project. The non-porous surface requires extensive prep work to ensure paint adhesion. Patience is also needed to apply multiple coats for full, even coverage. Hiring a pro is recommended if you want an expert paint job.
Does painted quartz scratch or stain easily?
Paint provides some protection against scratches and stains. But painted quartz is still vulnerable to cuts, abrasions, and damages – especially darker colors. Using cutting boards and avoiding spills is important.
What kind of paint adheres best to quartz?
Look for paints specifically formulated for use on countertops and high-traffic floors. Acrylic alkyds, epoxies, and urethanes bind well to non-porous floors. Always use a primer made for slick surfaces.
Can you paint over quartz to look like marble or granite?
Yes, there are paint additives that create natural stone-like finishes in various colors. Metallic glazes can also mimic stone and granite. Multiple coats are needed for the full effect.
Is painting quartz a permanent solution or temporary fix?
Painting quartz can last 5-10 years if properly prepped and applied. But it is not considered a lifetime solution like new quartz. Plan to refresh painted counters every decade or so.
What prep work is required before painting quartz?
Thorough cleaning, sanding, and priming are musts. Every trace of debris must be removed for paint to adhere well. Scuffing the glossy finish allows the primer and paint to bond.
Should you hire a pro to paint quartz countertops?
For most homeowners, hiring a professional painter is worth the investment to ensure proper prep, high-quality paint, and expert application. Their skills and tools yield superior results.
Can you paint quartz yourself and get an smooth finish?
DIY painted quartz probably won’t look and feel as smooth as factory-finished quartz. Imperfections in application may be noticeable. Spray painting has a better chance of smoothness.
How long does painted quartz take to fully cure?
Allow a minimum of 3-5 days for painted quartz to cure before regular use. Some paints take up to 2 weeks to fully harden and become scratch resistant. Exercise care while curing.
Is it okay to paint a white quartz counter a darker color?
Yes, you can safely paint a light quartz counter a darker shade. Just know darker colors show imperfections like swirl marks more. Extra prep and coats help achieve an even finish.
5 Tips for Painting Your Quartz Countertop Like a Pro
Painting your own quartz countertop can save thousands versus replacing it entirely. But as a DIY project, it takes special care and techniques to look flawless. Here are 5 pro tips for painting quartz counters like an expert:
1. Use painter’s tape for ultra sharp edges – Avoiding drips and messy edges takes patience. Use high quality painter’s tape to protect adjacent surfaces. Remove it immediately after painting before the paint dries.
2. Sand lightly between coats – Lightly sanding with 400 grit after each coat ensures the next layer bonds tightly. But stay gentle to avoid scratching through the paint.
3. Apply thin coats – Thick globs of paint lead to an uneven finish. Apply thin, even coats for a smooth look, building up gradually. Let paint fully dry between coats.
4. Maintain a wet edge when rolling – Hold a “wet edge” by overlapping rolls and working in sections. This prevents lap marks and inconsistencies in the paint.
5. Finish with a satin or matte topcoat – Glossy paints accentuate imperfections on quartz counters. Satin or matte finishes help create an ultra-smooth painted quartz look.
Proper materials, lots of patience, and meticulous painting techniques allow you to paint quartz counters with outstanding results. Take your time and don’t rush the job – your beautiful painted quartz makeover will be worth it!
How Long Should Painted Quartz Counters Last? Expect 5-10 Years
After putting in the work to paint your quartz counters, how long should they last before needing refreshed? Here’s a look at typical lifespan:
- With proper preparation and paint application, painted quartz counters typically last 5-10 years before needing repainted.
- Certain sections like around the sink may show wear sooner. Plan to spot paint high-use areas as needed.
- Harsh cleaners and chemicals can deteriorate paint prematurely. Use only recommended quartz-safe products.
- Lighter colors tend to last longer than dark, vivid paints. Pigments break down faster with UV exposure.
- DIY paint jobs often require refreshing sooner than professional spray applications. Skill impacts longevity.
- Keep painted quartz pristine by using cutting boards, avoiding abrasives, and addressing spills quickly.
- Expect to repaint eventually as adhesion fades, paint discolors, or sections peel or flake off.
So while not permanent, painted quartz offers cost-effective refreshment for 5-10 years. With some maintenance and spot painting, you may be able to extend the life even longer before a full repaint. Enjoy your updated look!
What About Painting Other Quartz Surfaces Like Sinks and Backsplashes?
Beyond countertops, homeowners sometimes want to paint other quartz surfaces like sinks, tub surrounds, and full backsplashes as part of their kitchen or bath remodel. Is it possible to paint these other quartz elements?
The short answer is yes – quartz sinks, backsplashes, tub surrounds, walls, and other hard, non-porous surfaces can be painted by following similar preparation and application techniques. Here are a few tips:
- Be sure to scuff sand, clean, and prime thoroughly before painting. This helps the paint grip.
- Spray painting tends to yield a more flawless look on vertical surfaces than rolling paint.
- Exercise great caution when painting quartz near food prep areas. Use only commercial-grade, non-toxic paints approved for kitchen surfaces.
- For sinks, a specialty tub and tile refinishing epoxy paint is best to withstand frequent water exposure and cleaning.
- Pay special attention to cutting in crisp edges along borders and seams. Frog tape helps create sharp paint lines.
- Expect to do multiple thin coats for full, even coverage on all surfaces.
With care taken to prep, prime, and paint properly, plus using the right water-resistant paints where needed, you can change the color of surrounding quartz surfaces to match your new painted countertops.
Can You Use Quartz Paint Additives to Create Faux Finishes?
In addition to basic paints, some specialty additive paints allow you to create unique faux finishes on quartz that mimic luxurious materials like marble or granite. Here’s an overview:
- Metallic glazes – Add brilliant metallic particles that shimmer likemother of pearl and natural