It is a common question: Can existing laminate counter tops be painted and is yes, what is the procedure? The answer to this question: Yes, existing laminate counter tops can be painted. However, you need to prepare the surface well with a special primer before you begin.
Here are 4 steps to see you through the procedure of painting your laminate counter top.
1. Begin with washing the laminate counter top with some warm ammonia that has been diluted with water or any other cleaner that is ammonia based. Make sure all the grime is removed, making it as clean as possible. Once the surface is dry, put strips of painters tape with low tack on the trims around your laminate counter top.
2. Now you need to prime the laminate counter top using a bonding primer. This ensures that paint sticks to the non-porous surface. Some of the primers that you can use are Sherwin-Williams PrepRite, XIM 400 or Zinssers Bin. Follow instructions from the manufacturer and allow the primer to set for 24 hours before you begin painting. You may want to keep the windows open and close the room so the rest of the house does not get the strong odor that these products emit.
3. Once the primer is dry, you can now paint a color of your liking on to the existing laminate counter top. This is the best way to change the look of your kitchen, so make sure the color matches with your walls, appliances and flooring. If you are going to use the laminate counter top to prepare food, make sure the paint you have used is water based. Oil based paints have chemicals that can leech onto your food. You can apply 2 or 3 thin layers of paint on the laminate counter top but make sure it gets time to dry after each coating. For the creative ones, you could use a stencil to add some patterns on borders of the new paint on your laminate counter top.
4. Finally, it is time to seal the paint. Apply 3 coats of high gloss or satin polyurethane that is non yellowing for the best durability. A water based sealer will be great as it does not alter the look of your colors when it dries. The sealer should be allowed to dry for 24 hours as well. For these 2-3 days, you may have to depend on take out dinners but it will be well worth it when you see your fab new laminate counter top adorning your kitchen!