Refinished Counter Tops With Paper


Remove edging of Formica counters...it they are preformed androunded you will have to paper over the edge and smooth it to the bottom edge. Cleancounter tops thoroughly and fill any divots or holes. Take craft paper(scrunched and torn or cut into pieces depending on your style) soaked it in 2parts water 1 part while glue...smoothed onto counters and over the edge. (Don'tsmooth so much you lose the scrunched look unless you want a more or a smoothlook). Cut paper along the wall if it needs it and along the bottom edge. Layeruntil you get the look you want. Once it is dried stain to your color choosing.Put a couple of layers of poly and then sand lightly to smooth and place a1" stained edge piece and add a couple more layer of poly. Be careful notto place hot pot on counter...I put a large decorative trivet where I usuallyput hop pots. You can try this on a piece of wood first until you get the hangof it and the color of stain you want...the paper takes stain differently thanwood... you could also color wash it with paint. It does take about a week, just because of the drying time between coats of poly.

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Have a question about this project?

14 questions
  • Tikva Morrow
    on Mar 9, 2016

    This looks so great! How much did the whole thing end up costing you?

  • Teri Williams
    on Mar 13, 2016

    How well is it holding up?

  • Cperrea180
    on Mar 14, 2016

    can you do this over smooth plywood?

    • Madilyn
      on Mar 15, 2016

      I did it over a plywood subfloor and it worked great. It is also holding up very well after 6 months of constant use. The key is really how you seal it, not what material is used. I have also used scrapbook paper over kitchen counters and to me that is even more beautiful! Just seal well and use poly (waterbased) sealer, preferably one that is safe for food surfaces.

  • Cam4965853
    on Mar 15, 2016

    What did u paint with and seal with? Thanks a bunch.

    • Janice
      on Mar 17, 2016

      Read above.

    • Cam4965853
      on Mar 18, 2016

      Hey there, I didn't see what type of paint or sealant you had used. I see that paper was used. Thanks again.

    • DeAnn Gardyszewski
      on Apr 4, 2016

      use poly (waterbased) sealer, preferably one that is safe for food surfaces.

    • Mel
      on Jul 16, 2017

      Readers of the article who think it just stops abruptly mid-steps: click the 3 dots (ellipses) at the "end" of the article and it'll bring up the rest of the article. People are asking questions that the article answers pretty plainly.
  • OhSally
    on Apr 14, 2016

    Very nice. My daughter is re-doing a MIL house on their property and this would be great in the master bathroom. Does it hold up well to water? I imagine it depends on the sealant used and whether the edges are well sealed.

    • JOANNE SMITH
      on Jul 11, 2016

      I did my bathroom floor in our cabin. It looked great the first couple of summers, but the moisture around the base of the toilet has turned the paper black and discolored. It finish needs to be redone every few years, and I definitely need to redo my flooring again. I would definitely suggest she caulk to seal any surfaces that could be exposed to moisture.

  • Hilary Stalder
    on Apr 20, 2016

    Can you do this in a light color? Can you do something similar on laminate cabinets?

  • Susan
    on Sep 17, 2016

    And than what??? You glued it down it took you 5 days what did you seal it with that is food friendly? And how many coats?

    • Sally-Charles Evans
      on Jan 4, 2019

      "Layer until you get the look you want. Once it is dried stain to your color choosing.Put a couple of layers of poly and then sand lightly to smooth and place a 1" stained edge piece and add a couple more layer of poly." Quoted from the body of the tutorial.

  • Melissa Eddie Mussall
    on Mar 9, 2017

    How to remove this stuff from my counter tops

  • Joanna
    on Jan 4, 2019

    Where are the directions.what do I do


  • Smooches
    on Jan 4, 2019

    i love the idea of the brown paper for floors and the counter tops. respectfully, much of the instruction is missing. for example, where are the directions for finishing the edges? are the edges planks of some sort? can we cover edges with the brown paper? updated directions would be so helpful.

  • Pamela j Baergen
    on Jan 5, 2019

    Can this be done on tile?

  • Angi
    on Jan 11, 2019

    Still waiting for more details instructions? Or did I miss them?

  • Nan Skipper
    on Jan 24, 2019

    Not all of the instructions are listed...could you please post the rest?

    My countertops are waiting

  • Alex
    on Apr 4, 2019

    very nice job! Did you use polycrylic or polyurethane?

Join the conversation

3 of 103 comments
  • Paula Bois-Brady
    on Feb 13, 2017

    You can use white paper bags or blank news paper to get a lighter color.

  • Mary Cali Wood
    on Jan 4, 2019

    I did this on a old, small table using ripped book pages and sealed with three coats of polyurethane and on kitchen counters using classical and classic rock sheet music and also sealed with three coats of polyurethane. That was three years ago and the counter top is still in good shape. Might put another sealing coat on when I get the urge. The polyurethane did change the color a bit but I wasn't bothered by that.

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