How I Transformed My Countertop


Thanks to everyone who sent messages and inquired about my kitchen. 

I enjoy reading all of your comments and answering any questions you may have

If you missed my

Home Tour you can see it here,

and the Before and After here.

I’m not quite finished showing you how I achieved the after,

so let’s get started

I received a few inquiries about how I transformed my countertop.

Home Tour Kitchen

Here’s where you might want to take a seat…

you know,

so you don’t fall over.  (sigh)


keep in mind,

this kitchen was done on an extremely limited budget

We started the process immediately upon moving into our home 6 years ago

This was before Countertop Transformation Kits

and replacing the counter was not an option.


we painted them!

I hope you were sitting down.

Home Tour Kitchen

My mom tried this technique in two of her homes.

Thank goodness,

both my mom and dad were there to tackle

the counter with us.

Remember the white laminate?

Counter top transformation

Here’s where I am lacking photos. 

I have been digging through negatives,

and this is what I’ve found.

(6 years ago we still used negatives… WOW)!

How to Transform a Countertop With Paint


1. Primer and roller for priming.   We used Kilz Primer/Sealer.

2. Ralph Lauren Suede Paint.  Paint Color we used: Zinc. (I am not sure if this color is still available?)

3. Ralph Lauren Unique Rollers 4″ and 9″.

4. 3″ nylon poly trim brush

5. Water Base Polyurethane

*When contacting Ralph Lauren Paints before starting this project they mentioned this paint was not for high traffic areas and would not recommend it for counters*

I add this as a disclaimer so you know what their recommendations are.

If you decide to follow this tutorial, please do so at your own risk.

Zinc Ralph Lauren Suede Paint

Let’s get started…

1. Clean entire surface before painting.

2. Prime the counter using a roller.

3. Once dry, apply the first coat of Ralph Lauren Suede Paint.  Use the nylon/poly brush for the corners, edges and areas hard to reach with a roller.

4. Use the unique rollers to blend in the brush strokes and work around the counter creating V’s and overlapping in different directions.  Let dry.

5. Last coat – use the nylon/poly brush to create crisscrosses.  Work in small areas to create the texture of suede.

6. Once completely dry, apply water based polyurethane.  We applied several coats to get great coverage.


Counter Top Transformation

We still had a long way to go in this kitchen, but the counters were done.


Notice the white cabinets…

see how stark white they are in comparison to the wall color?

My sweet hubby painted them all for me while I was out of town working.

Wasn’t that nice of him?

Only problem…

I didn’t like the white the gentlemen at the paint store recommended.

Yep, I should have gone with my gut.

So… guess who took every door off and repainted them all?


Home Tour Kitchen

Here are some questions I should answer for you if you are considering this project.

Would I go through this procedure again?

Yes, I would.  I was using this as a quick solution to fit within my budget and get the look I really wanted.  If I could afford a honed granite, that would have been my first choice.  Truthfully, this has lasted 6 years and has held up better than I could have imagined.  I can’t wait to show you pictures of my parent’s countertop as well.

Is it durable?

It has held up great!  We still use a cutting board when using hot cooking items like a crock pot or steamer.  It may not affect it, but I want to protect it as best as I can.  If a wet glass is left on the counter the polyurethane will leave a clear, glossy ring where the wet area is located.  I freaked at first, but this goes away when it is dry.  After 6 years, we do see a little wear, but these areas can be touched up if needed.

Why is this paint different than other latex paints?

Ralph Lauren Suede Paint, in my opinion, leaves a texture like suede and has movement.  When our neighbors were replacing their counters I asked the salesman to give us an estimate for granite.  He came over and couldn’t believe it was paint.

How do you clean the counter-top?

I use a spray bottle filled with Vinegar and Water.

Is there other information to share?

Yes, if you are considering trying this out, check out Ralph Lauren’s Paint site hereThis offers you the colors as well as items you will need.  There is also a video tutorial and pdf file to print.  It shows you in great detail how to apply this paint and where to purchase it.  If you want the Zinc color and it is not available, maybe it can be mixed for you. 

Are there Counter Transformation kits out there?

Yes, there are!  Rust-Oleum offers a Countertop Transformation kit.  I have not personally tried it, but have heard great things about it.

Here is the honed granite that has been on my wish list. 

Painted Counter top

Sitting on my laminate you can see it’s pretty close, don’t you think?  

It’s working,

so the painted laminate stays.

At least for now.

Do you have a laminate countertop that needs a little update?

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  1. Oh, you have inspired me! We have such a tight budget and I’ve been living with this kitchen for 10 years hoping for a new one yet now have to face that doing what I can with what I have is the solution. I LOVE how the countertops came out with the paint! I just talked to a Lowe’s employee who said that they’ve had great feedback with both the Rustoleum cabinet and countertop transformations but to be aware that the countertop kit can be very smelly so good ventilation is important.

    1. Pat, I am so glad you are inspired! You too can change what you currently have and love it. I have heard great things about the Rustoleum Countertop Transformations and have a friend that used the cabinet transformations as well and loved how it turned out. If you decide to do this, I would really like to hear how it turns out. Good Luck to you and keep me posted.

  2. What a great treatment, Angie. Your kitchen looks so beautiful! Such a great fix for someone who wants to change the look of their countertop, but not replace it.

  3. Love it, they look awesome!! I painted my countertops as well, with equally fabulous results (didn’t use RL, but happy just the same).

    However I have to add my two cents’ worth to the discussion about Rustoleum Countertop Transformations kit — I tried this first, and it was the most horrible DIY experience I’ve ever had. Now, you need to know that I’m a DIYer from way back — back to before it was ‘cool’ to do it yourself — and I’ve successfully completed a lot of projects from refinishing furniture to painting a refrigerator (yes, they sell appliance spray paint), but this countertop kit was FOR THE BIRDS. Absolutely awful, does not cover the square footage that the package claims (btw: I spoke with a rep from Rustoleum who said their quality control department is aware of that and is in discussion on how to fix) and does not cover wood, so if there is any wood in your countertops at all, this product will not work. Further, it requires a LOT of sanding… I had sawdust everywhere in my house for months and broke my vacuum cleaner trying to clean it up (use only a shop vac, not a home vacuum). Finally, the process for getting the ‘mottled’ look requires throwing ‘chips’ onto your countertops — including the edges and vertical portions. This results in chips everywhere, which are still showing up months later. A horrible, awful mess, and I would never do it again. Paint and polyurethane work so much better! 🙂

    1. Gigi! I am so glad your technique worked out fabulous as well. Thanks for your comments regarding the Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Kits. It’s great that you contacted the company because it makes it so much better for everyone in the long run. Too bad you had that experience though. I bet Rustoleum appreciates your feedback. From what I know, they strive for customer satisfaction and want to have the best product out there. 🙂 It sounds like you went through a lot to get your counters the best they can be. That’s what us DIY’ers do day in and day out. Sometimes it works and if it doesn’t we try again and again until it does. Kudos to you! 🙂

    2. I hated the rustoleum kit as well and ended up using the RL Suede with polyurethane in my bathrooms. Love it…and SUPER easy, too!

  4. I love your courage, Angie! I think there are at least 2 kitchen counter tops I should have painted like you did. My very first house and my current home. At last after 16 years we were able to put in our lovely counter tops, a wonderful recycled glass/rock aggregate.

    Happy to have found your site and to follow you now on Pinterest!

    1. Oh, Linda, I am so glad you found my site too! Thanks for following me on Pinterest! I bet it was worth the 16 year wait to get your new countertops. They sound amazing!!! 🙂

  5. I really want to try this. I don’t want a high gloss, so can you please tell me what water based polyurethane you used, as it doesn’t look very shiny, which is what I want.

    1. Hi Emily, I believe I used Minwax Polycrylic Polyurethane in a matte finish – not glossy… I am thinking satin. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have further questions. I love to help. 🙂

  6. I’m soooo happy to have found this! I’m DYING to try it..just one question…I noticed you said you clean with vinegar and water? I always wipe my counters down with Dish Soap and water or counter/kitchen sprays…….can you use that or does it have to be vinegar and water?

    1. Tracy, I think dish soap and water would work too, try it out and see. I definitely wouldn’t use chemicals as it may eat away at the polyurethane. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.

  7. Beautiful! Love the countertops! My hubby wants to know where you got your kitchen light. When he likes something enough to say “Find out where they got their light”, I know we have a winner. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you! The kitchen light is from Ballard Designs. I loooove this light fixture! I even made sure to write it in my disclosure statement when we sold the house. The light did not come with the house… It had to stay with me. 🙂 I do have a kitchen buying guide if you would like to see that too.

  8. Hi Angie!
    Just found this post. Do you have any tips for how you applied the poly coat? I’m worried that you’ll see brush/roller strokes with our large surface area and I am curious how you applied (how many coats, how long between coats, etc?). Did you see any wear and tear afterwards or have to worry about water spots, newsprint clinging to the countertops? Hoping I can use a polycrylic instead of something sticky like Envirotek.

    1. Hey Sophie, So glad you found me here. We applied the Poly with a foam roller and it dried where you couldn’t see any roller marks. Following the can instructions was exactly what we did between coats. (About five to seven coats). I honestly don’t remember how long that was for dry time. We did use precautions with using the countertop. When I would use a crock pot or rice cooker, I would always set it on top of a thick cutting board. I wasn’t sure how it would handle the heat. If we left water overnight in a glass it would leave a water mark, but when it dried it was no longer there. We were very rough on it. At the time, I had two young boys and we left items on it all of the time. We would get dings here and there where paint would chip off, like a soup can or something hard falling… argh!!! I would have a little touch up paint or a marker to remedy it quick. I would say it held up pretty great for seven years. Please let me know if you have any other questions before you decide to jump in.

  9. Hi Angie! I LOVE this idea!! I am in the process if doing this and it looks amazing!! When you sanded between coats of poly, did you get the white dusty residue? How did you clean it all off? I find that it affects the appearance. I am thinking of redoing it.

  10. I did my bathroom countertops, and it looks great. I applied the polyurethane in the ‘x’ pattern with several coats. I used the muddy waters color with a gloss finish polyurethane and it looks like stained concrete. My husband loves it, too!

    1. Hello Pamela, Yay!!! I bet it looks amazing. I would love to see pictures if you wouldn’t mind sending them my way.

  11. I just bought all of the materials to do this to my kitchen countertops. Very excited to try it! Question: did you sand before applying the primer? I am applying this to a smooth laminate surface. Thanks!

    1. Hi Lori, how exciting! This project was completed years ago, but if my memory serves me well, I do not think we sanded before applying the primer. The surface was also a smooth laminate surface. Definitely let me know how it turns out. Good Luck!

  12. Hi Angie,

    I am in the middle of this project currently with the same color, Zinc! I like how dark yours got.. how many coats of the RL Zinc did you apply before the poly?



    1. Hi Christi,
      It’s been so long since completing this project, but I believe we did three total coats. The “v” pattern and “criss cross” pattern were two of the coats. I wonder if doing two bottom coats would help with deeper color before doing the “v” and “criss cross” pattern? Will you let me know how it turns out? I would love to see it when you are all finished. Best of luck to you!

  13. I was wondering how it was holding up after normal use and wear and tear? I love the finished product but I’m such a chicken and I worry about getting into an ongoing maintenance project.

    1. Hi Lindsay, I no longer live in the house, but did have the counter for 7 years without much visual wear and tear. My parents also painted their countertop and I believe theirs is going on ten years or so. I think they’ve touched up areas here and there, but they still love it and it looks great. I hope this helps.

  14. Does the suede paint not have a coarse feel to it when painted? In my country all suede paints have a course feel and I do not know if this will work?

    1. Hi Erna, That’s a great question. The suede paint really didn’t leave a course/sandy feel to it. It was pretty smooth, but provided texture and dimension visually if that makes sense. I could wipe my hand on it and it didn’t feel gritty, course, or sandy. I hope this helps. I would definitely try a sample piece first to make sure you get the look and feel you are looking for. Good Luck!

  15. Hey there! I’m sorry to resurrect this post, and I’m not sure if you’ll even see this comment, but I have spent hours and hours reading and watching tutorials on different methods and styles of painting laminate countertops. Yours is one of the best looking and seems to be a relatively simple process, and I’d decided to to and imitate it. However, Ralph Lauren no longer makes suede paint! Argh! Wondering if you have any idea if other suede paints would look similar and give the same texture or if you have any suggestions. Thanks!

    1. Rebecca, I am glad you commented, and I apologize for not getting back sooner. I am so sorry, but honestly cannot give you an answer on this. Bummer they don’t make suede paint anymore. If I find any information out, I will let you know.

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