Painting your outdated laminate or tile countertops to look like quartz can transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom on a budget. With some preparation and the right materials, you can achieve the look of real quartz at a fraction of the cost.
What You’ll Need
- High-adhesion primer – Helps the paint adhere to the countertop surface
- Countertop paint kit – Contains special paint formulated for countertops
- Paint brushes – For cutting in edges
- Paint roller – For quickly coating large surface areas
- Paint tray – To hold the paint while rolling
- Foam rollers – Help create a smooth finish
- Sandpaper – To scuff up the surface for better paint adhesion
- Rags – For wiping away excess paint
- Painter’s tape – For masking off edges and boundaries
- Drop cloth – To protect surrounding surfaces from drips
Prep Work is Key
Proper preparation is crucial for getting an evenly painted finish that mimics natural quartz. Here are the key steps:
- Clean the countertops thoroughly with a degreasing cleaner to remove any residue. This allows the paint to adhere properly.
- Sand the surface with 220 grit sandpaper. Scuffing up the top layer helps the paint grip. Focus on any exceptionally smooth or glossy areas.
- Fill any cracks or holes with spackle and sand smooth. This prevents imperfections from showing through the finished paint job.
- Remove any caulk around the countertops and backsplash. You’ll re-caulk after painting with a color-matched caulk.
- Tape off edges you don’t want painted like walls or cabinets. Use painter’s tape for sharp edges.
- Apply the primer using a paintbrush to cut in edges and a small foam roller for large areas. Let the primer dry completely.
Choosing the Right Paint
There are a few options when it comes to choosing paint for a DIY quartz-like makeover:
- Epoxy paint – Offers a thick, glass-like finish that mimics the look of real quartz. Requires mixing a resin and hardener.
- Acrylic latex paint – More budget-friendly but won’t give you quite as much dimension. Opt for interior/exterior variety.
- Countertop paint kits – Offer specialty formulations and may include primer, rollers, and instructions. Ideal for beginners.
Look for paint with built-in stain protection and UV resistance to stand up to daily use. Neutral tones like white, gray, and beige resemble popular quartz colors.
Application Tips for a Flawless Finish
Applying the paint properly ensures your DIY quartz countertops look seamless and professional:
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for best results with prep, priming, paint mixing, and drying times.
- Maintain a wet edge by working in small sections. This prevents lap marks as you paint.
- Roll on the paint in different directions to ensure even coverage. Apply multiple thin coats for a smooth finish.
- Let each coat dry completely before adding another. Most paints require 2-3 coats for best coverage and durability.
- Gently sand with fine grit sandpaper between coats to remove any imperfections.
- Finish with a protective clear coat for extra durability and stain resistance on frequently used areas.
Maintaining Your Faux Quartz Countertops
With proper care, your painted countertops can look amazing for years. Follow these maintenance tips:
- Avoid placing hot pans directly on the surface. Always use trivets and hot pads.
- Seal with a clear coat annually to maintain moisture and stain resistance.
- Clean up spills immediately to prevent stains from setting in. Avoid harsh abrasive cleaners.
- Reapply paint as needed over time to cover scratches or flaws. Spot painting makes touch ups easy.
How long does the paint job last?
With proper preparation and application, painted countertops can last 3-5 years or more before needing a touch up. Using an epoxy paint system provides the most durable finish.
Does the paint smell?
Some paints like oil-based enamels will have strong fumes during application. Water-based acrylic paints have little to no odor. Open windows and use fans while applying to ventilate. The smell dissipates quickly once dried.
Can I use dark colors?
Darker bolder colors show flaws more easily. Stick with lighter quartz-mimicking tones like white, cream, gray, and beige for the best results.
How do I adjust for an uneven surface?
Applying multiple thin coats of paint helps level out minor imperfections. For very uneven tile grout lines, apply a skim coat of patching compound before painting.
Should I seal my painted countertops?
Yes, use a clear acrylic sealer meant for countertops. This adds protection against moisture damage, stains, and abrasions that can wear down the painted finish.
Achieve the Quartz Look for Less
With some time and effort, painting laminate or outdated countertops provides a budget-friendly way to get the look of luxurious quartz. Proper preparation and using specialty paint formulated for countertops will allow you to completely transform the feel of your kitchen or bath. Just be sure to seal and care for your faux quartz makeover properly to extend the beautiful painted finish. With a few inexpensive supplies, you can gain an updated high-end look and feel.