Painted kitchen counters add easy style

By: Linda Shepard | C&G Newspapers | Published April 3, 2013

 Deborah Martin, of Rochester Hills, uses a paint kit to give her kitchen counters the appearance of granite.

Deborah Martin, of Rochester Hills, uses a paint kit to give her kitchen counters the appearance of granite.

New do-it-yourself paint kits can mimic the look of expensive granite countertops.

Kevin Westfall, manager of Teknicolor Paints, said the paint kits have been “huge sellers” and customers are very happy with the results. The kits are typically used to cover outdated laminated counters.

“I personally did this in my own kitchen three years ago,” Westfall said. “It is awesome; (the surface) is very hard.”

Westfall said Teknicolor Paint stores — located in Pontiac, Birmingham, Farmington Hills and Redford — offer classes that demonstrate the countertop paint process. “Or if customers have questions, they can come in and we will answer them,” he said.

The process begins with cleaning the countertops, lightly sanding if the counters are slick and shiny, and rolling on a primer paint. Three special paints are sponged on after the primer dries, followed by an automotive-style clear acrylic coat finish. The finish is “hard and user-friendly,” Westfall said.

“I decided to try the countertop paint after I got quotes on granite,” said Deborah Martin, of Rochester Hills. “It (granite) was way more expensive than my husband and I wanted to spend on updating our ’70s-style kitchen.”

A friend had used one of the kitchen countertop paint kits.

“I saw how nice they turned out with the paint,” Martin said.

Martin said the process is easy, but not quick.

“While it was a little time consuming — taking a total of three days to do and allow the paint to cure — it really wasn’t that hard to do,” she said. “The kit comes with a great video, and I watched it at least three times before starting the project, so I felt comfortable.”

Westfall said the countertop paint kits cost about $80.

“They come in six standard colors,” he said. “The sponge and rollers come with the kit.” Extra paint is sold at Teknicolor Paint for a customized look.

Any damage to a painted countertop can be fixed with a reapplication of the paint process, Westfall said. “Like on laminate, a hot pan on the counter could create a white ring,” he said. “You would sand over it, repeat the steps and you will never know the ring was there. We do demonstrations in the store, gouging the paint with a key.”

Rob Kolloen, owner of The Paint Source in Troy, said the countertop kits deliver a cosmetic change only.

“I have sold it to apartment communities, and in most cases, it was an improvement,” he said.

Westfall said Teknicolor also sells a paint kit that delivers a stainless-steel appearance to appliances. He and his employees will also help create a step-by-step process for customers who want to create a wood-grain tone on painted woodwork.

Martin said her countertops have proven durable since she painted them a year ago.

“It gave my kitchen an updated look and made me feel so accomplished after doing it myself,” she said. “This is a great do-it-yourself project for anyone on a budget who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money to give their kitchen a fresh look.”