How to Paint a Wooden Countertop

Painting a counter top is not as difficult as it sounds; in fact, you can get professional results from painting a counter top, whether it is wood or laminate. It is an easy and inexpensive way to update your counters, cover spills and stains, and give your whole room new life. Obviously, counters are subjected to a lot of abuse. Water spills, food prep and rigorous wear and tear are dangerous to a painted surface. Do a thorough job of prepping the surface and use good quality paint to create the most durable finish for your wooden counters.

Paint samples and roller
credit: Images

Step 1

Clean the surface of your counter thoroughly. Mix mild soap and water in a small bucket and use a sponge to wipe down the counters. Clean the sponge and wipe the soap residue from the counters using clean water. Allow the wooden counters to dry completely.

Step 2

Sand the surface of the counters lightly. Wooden surfaces take paint well and only need light sanding to grip the primer and paint. Use a fine grit sandpaper and light pressure to remove any remaining residue from the counter's surface and to create a little texture for the primer to sink into.

Step 3

Wipe the counters with a damp rag to remove sanding dust.

Step 4

Tape the edges and any parts of the counter you don't want to paint with low tack painter's tape. Cover the surrounding floors with drop cloths.

Step 5

Brush primer into the corners and edges with a good quality trim brush. Use a smooth foam roller to apply primer to the rest of the counter. Foam rollers give a smooth finish that works well for flat surfaces like counters. Allow the primer to dry completely.

Step 6

Paint the counters using the same method used to apply the primer. Paint is most durable when applied in multiple thin coats rather than one thick one. Apply two to three thin coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before applying the next.

Step 7

Roll on polyurethane to further protect the counter from water damage and wear and tear. Polyurethane comes in matte, satin and gloss. Choose the one with the look you like best.

Lisa East Hunter

Lisa East Hunter is a consultant and freelance writer in Phoenix. Her background in marketing and technology led her to explore all avenues of writing. She is currently dividing her time between freelance writing and her consulting business. Hunter has a Bachelor of Science in management information systems and marketing.