With raw materials like wood significantly up in price, you might be asking yourself: Can you paint countertops? The short answer is yes, you can paint countertops, and there are several considerations to keep in mind. In today’s inflated economy, many people are choosing to repurpose their countertops rather than replace them. Painting them is a great way to update the look of your kitchen without having to spend a ton of money. It’s also a great option if you’re looking to make different sections of your kitchen stand out, like an island or bar area.
The most common countertops are laminate, granite, marble, and Formica. While each material is unique, there are some common questions you should ask yourself about the pros and cons of painting vs. replacing.
Pros of Painting Countertops vs. Replacing Them
With supply chain issues and inflation still top of mind, you might be rethinking your kitchen renovation plans, particularly as they relate to countertops. The good news is that you don’t have to replace them to breathe new life into your space—and there are actually many benefits to painting them instead. The first (and sometimes most important) consideration that comes to mind is cost. Painting your countertops is significantly cheaper than replacing them. As a ballpark estimate, the cost of painting is about $5 to $15 per square foot while the cost of replacing is about $30 to $150 per square foot. You also have to factor in the cost of removing and disposing of your current countertops, which can cost several hundred dollars.
Additionally, painting countertops is faster than replacing them. While replacing countertops can take several weeks, painting them can take less than a week. You also have access to a wide selection of colors and styles to pick from based on your preferences — something a replacement wouldn’t allow! Finally, painting your countertops is a low-commitment way to test out a new look before committing to a larger, more costly replacement project.
Cons of Painting Countertops vs. Replacing Them
In order to make an informed decision, you’ll need to understand the potential disadvantages of painting countertops. Painted countertops tend to be less durable than ones that are still in their original condition. However, this can be mitigated by contracting a skilled professional. While there are lots of options to mimic the look of natural countertops, it may take someone with special skills to make it look as authentic as possible. This could also mean your cost might go up if you need to hire someone, so be sure to factor that in when deciding whether you should paint or replace your countertops.
Finally, there are some countertop paints and coatings that contain high levels of lead. You can use a lead inspector to test your current countertops and research the paint you’ll be using to make sure it’s free of lead.
Types of Countertops
- Laminate is the most affordable countertop option and comes in a variety of different looks. While it’s easy to clean and maintain, it can be susceptible to heat damage. Formica is one of the name brands for laminate.
- Granite is an extremely durable choice for countertops. Keep in mind that granite is a porous stone, so you will need to seal it (and re-seal every 1-5 years).
- Marble is a popular choice that tends to add value to your home, as it is generally considered more desirable and expensive. It comes in a matte finish (called honed) and a polished finish.
Cost of Painting Countertops
Generally speaking, it’s much more cost-effective to paint kitchen countertops as opposed to replacing them. The cost of doing this will vary significantly depending on job size, location, finish options, and the condition your countertops are in. While it’s hard to give an estimate of cost without knowing details, the national average for 100 square feet is as follows:
Kitchen Countertop Painting Cost
Basic Labor: $609 -$1,482
Range per square foot finished:: $7 – $20
Job Supplies: $100 -$200
- Painter’s tape = ~$4
- Sanding blocks = ~$8
- Protective gear = ~$8
- Fan = ~$30
- Epoxy putty = ~$8
- Foam roller = $15
- Primer = $10
- Enamel paint = $20
- Sealer = $35
Range for project total: $700 – $2,000
If you’re a homeowner, the question of “can you paint countertops” is a definite yes, albeit with several important considerations to keep in mind. If you’re looking for a cost-effective solution, painting your countertops is a great option.
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