Painting Laminate Countertops To Look Like Wood

2 Materials
2 Days

Painting Laminate Countertops To Look Like Wood: The Easy & Affordable Way!

Update old & boring countertops to look & feel like real wood using Retique It Wood’ N Finish Countertop Kit

This project is sponsored by Retique It

Ahh the kitchen…

It’s the space where we spend most of our time, eating, talking, & currently renovating.

If you have been following along you know we are tackling a major kitchen renovation of our own, but we decided to take a quick break & head to my parents house for this makeover!

They have a pantry kitchen in their home that has been in desperate need of a little TLC.

The pantry kitchen was used as their main kitchen for a couple of years while they designed & built their dream kitchen.

Now that the dream kitchen is finished, my dad has taken over the pantry kitchen as his own (AKA he can make a complete mess while cooking & my mom won’t say a word about it 😉).

The only thing is… It’s been through some rough times, especially the countertops.

So we decided to team up with Retique It & makeover his old, worn out formica countertops & transform them into real wood looking ones!

Today I am going to share all my best countertop painting tips & tricks to get the perfect wood looking finish.


  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Sanding Block
  • Retique It Wood’N Finish Countertop Kit (we chose the color is Barn Wood)

Painting Laminate Countertops To Look Like Wood:

Preparing The Surface

First I cleared off all the counter tops & cleaned them thoroughly using a rubbing alcohol & water mix.

Use a clean microfiber cloth & hard bristle brush for the areas with stuck on grease.

After the countertops were clean & completely dry, I used a hand sanding block to lightly sand the surface to give it a little tooth.

Priming The Countertop

Apply a thin coat of Wood’ N Primer using a Wonder brush or roller.

Make long strokes going into the direction you want the grain to follow.

You will only need two coats of the Wood’n primer.

The countertops will need two hours to dry completely or to speed up the process you can use a blow dryer.

Adding Grain

Once the primer is dry move onto graining (unless you want a smooth finish, skip this step).

Apply a thin coat of Wood’N Stain in plank sized sections using a flat brush.

While the paint is still wet put the graining tool through each section.

To achieve the grain you want, you can reapply the Wood’N Stain & use the graining tool again.

For the edges of the countertop I used the smaller graining tool & it worked perfectly!

I cannot believe how amazing it looks so far!

The graining tools were so easy to use & created a super realistic wood grain look.

Wait for this coat to dry for 2 hours before moving on.

Painting The Countertops

Next, apply a coat of Wood’N Stain over the grain.

I applied it with a back & forth motion.

You can do up to three coats when painting, each coat will give it a darker finish.

We ended up only doing one coat because I loved the lighter looking finish.

Sealing The Countertops

This is the most important step y’all & cannot be skipped!

The top coat is what is going to protect the finish from wear & tear.

Apply thin layers of top coat with the Wonder Brush.

I applied multiple coats of the top coat, waiting 2 hours in-between top coats.

Painted Wood Grain Countertops

Y’all these countertops are even better than I thought they could be!

They look & feel like real wood countertops because Retique It contains over 60% recycled wood fibers.

Painting Laminate Countertops To Look Like Wood: The Easy & Affordable Way

This countertop system was so simple to use & very affordable.

It completely transformed these dull countertops & gave them a genuine wood finish.

Painting Laminate Countertops To Look Like Wood: The Easy & Affordable Way

Let me know what you think of our kitchen countertop makeover & what color we should paint the cabinets next 😉

Want to give your home a value boost without breaking the bank?

This DIY kitchen countertop makeover is just one of the 10 incredible projects featured in our slideshow: 10 DIY Ways to Raise Your Home's Value on a Budget.

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Lia with Southern Yankee DIY
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Frequently asked questions
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  • Lisa Lisa on Jul 05, 2023

    Any suggestions for tile countertops? I HATE mine. They are dated, ugly and 40 plus yrs old.

  • Carolina's Art Carolina's Art on Jul 08, 2023

    Beautiful kitchen. Nice faux wood finish. But what I want to know, is how you did the backsplash. Are those pieces of pine wood cut like bricks? Brilliant!

  • Spa49581079 Spa49581079 on Jul 08, 2023

    What does that have to do with rubbing alcohol 🥴all I want is to bring the lister of my existing countertop 🥹🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️

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