A Counter Top Make Over With Paint That Will Wow You

Victoria Larsen Stencils
by Victoria Larsen Stencils
This easy tutorial will show you how you too can give your formica counter tops a new and exiting finish with just paint, a stencil and varnish.
Being a stencil designer and faux finish artist, I could see past my nasty, stained, white counter tops to what they "Could be". So I began by scrubbing them sparkling clean, wiping with pure white vinegar (which slightly etches the surface), then priming them as a pre-prep for my painted finish.
Poorly installed, this counter top had very obvious seams that I hated!
Using standard acrylic paint, I first painted the entire counter top brown. Step two was to add variation of color which I did with cream colored paint in various areas. Notice how the color was applied almost as marble would look. I only slightly blended these lines, being sure to leave strong division between the colors.
Using our Faux Granite Effects stencil, I laid the stencil over the surface and stenciled granite spots using a small roller over the stencil. I lifted the stencil then slightly blurred the spots with a sponge.
My next step was to add veining and what would appear to be "mica" flakes. Do this by using a small liner brush (a very thin, pointed bristle artists brush) to create squiggled lines here and there over the surface.

Add mica by dipping a tooth brush in to gold acrylic paint and flicking the bristles randomly over the surface to add flecks of gold.

Lastly, seal with 4 coats of clear, non-yellowing polyurethane in high gloss finish to mimic that beautiful shine of real granite.
The transformation was so pleasing! No more white, nasty counter tops!
With a beautiful new finish on my counters, I now had to think of how I was going to deal with those nasty little ivy tiles above the counter that made the kitchen look out dated. Watch for that project!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Abigail Abigail on Jan 26, 2017
    How durable is the polyurethane finish? It looks great now! Does it hold up to normal kitchen use or do you need to be careful about scratching it?

  • Val Plue Val Plue on Apr 22, 2017
    Was it a laminate counter top?? Tks.

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