Paint Your Kitchen Countertops – With Chalkboard Paint

Paint Your

I’ve had a mostly hate relationship with my laminate kitchen counters since we moved here 4 years ago. The cupboards I painted almost right away, but the counters stayed. I couldn’t justify replacing them with a stone surface when the cupboards themselves will need replacing in the near-ish future.

And I did consider new laminate – but, as it’s not what I really want, it would be an unjustifiable expense. Especially when there are more pressing bathroom renos on the agenda.

So, what to do?

The answer turned out to be paint.

And not the “counter-top” specialty paint variety, either. No, I went chalkboard. Rustoleum $22-a-can-chalkboard paint.

Rustoleum Chalk Board Paint

After all, I reasoned, chalkboards take a lot of abuse, and I use a plastic cutting board for all food contact on my countertops anyway, so cut marks and food-safety weren’t a concern.

But first, the before gallery:

The above photos only hint at the tired state these counters were in, with water damage at the seams and a busy pattern that made browns too prominent in the room.

The job itself was dead easy. The worst was the prep: scraping all of the old silicone caulking away from the back edges and around the sink. Oh, and taping off the edges with painter’s tape. Not hard.  After that, a quick once over with sandpaper, a wipe-down, and the painting began.

First coat was an old tinted primer we had kicking around, then the next morning I rolled on the first of three coats of chalkboard paint with a small smooth foam roller.

And after:

Painted Countertops

Minimal drying time, minimal odour, minimal cost and maximum effect.

Painted Kitchen

Chalkboard Painted Countertops

One thing to keep in mind about black is that it shows every speck and crumb, but that’s ok – keeping a counter clean is something I try to stay on top of anyway. An upside is that the flat black surface hides the seam imperfections.

Black Kitchen

I chose not to seal the surface with an acrylic coating, since it would complicate any touch-ups should they be required down the road. I’ll keep you posted about the durability over time.

We were careful for the first week about not leaving standing water on the surface, and not dragging items around while the paint cures. So far, so good.

Eating Area

This quick, easy and inexpensive fix has created a more serene environment overall. So while marble may feature in my someday-dream-kitchen, I am more at peace with my current kitchen.

Counter painted 2

 

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73 thoughts on “Paint Your Kitchen Countertops – With Chalkboard Paint

    • Thanks Carina! I do think there are other colours available, and even a tint-able version, but where I live, there’s only black. It’s only been a couple of weeks, but so far it’s great. I’m so much happier with the look of it than before.

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  1. Can we please have an update on how the surface is holding up? I’m thinking of doing this myself — I really like how yours looks and I’m afraid of the fumes from the specialty countertop paint products.

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    • Hi Victoria,
      Yes, you can write on it with chalk. It will wipe away nicely with a damp/wet cloth, just as everything else that lands on the counter wipes away. I find I wipe the counter a LOT, as it shows dust and crumbs. So far so good.

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  2. I am renting and would love to do this. Before asking landlord can I remove paint and return the counters to their original state.

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    • I don’t think so, as I recommend sanding them before priming, and also, I’m not sure how you’d later remove the paint in a way that wouldn’t harm the underlying countertop. Perhaps your landlord would agree to let you paint if the counters are less than stellar, without forcing a return to original, especially if it would be an improvement that buys time before replacement. Good luck!

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  3. It’s just primer and paint? I also rent but I figure I’ve already replaced the blinds, built planter boxes on the patio, painted my bedroom, and installed a backsplash, might as well get rid of my god awful laminate countertop or at least spruce em up. Is the primer even necessary?

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    • Hi Matthew, yes, it’s just primer and paint. I would say sanding thoroughly is the most important prep step, but even so, I still recommend primer. I just happened to have some leftover from something else, and it had been tinted grey, which I think helps when you’re painting a dark colour over it. It was a “high adhesion” primer, which in theory helps when painting shiny surfaces. You only need one coat of the primer, so perhaps a small can? The small can of chalkboard paint goes very far, and you won’t use all of it either, unless you have lots more counter space than I do. I do know that the combo I used has held up really, really well. No peeling, chipping or scratches so far. I hated my counter tops so much that I would have actually been ok with occasional touch-ups, but so far that hasn’t been necessary. So I say go for it!

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      • I saw Home Depot has a 30 oz can of paint for under $10 and my counterspace is minimal…maybe 12 Sq feet. I may have to deal it though cuz I beat up my countertops making bread and what not. I think I will do this after I finish building my doggy his ramp. I’ve pinned numerous countertop renovations but didn’t want to shell out $100…you just saved my life 🙂

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        • If you’re making lots of bread, I’d recommend a mat of some type to work on, because the black chalkboard paint shows every bit of flour/dust. A mat might save you some cleaning. I have a stack of thin cutting mats from the dollar store that I use for everything. Best of luck!

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          • I ended up covering it with polyurethane just to be safe so now it resembles soapstone (still better then the green laminate) but I only used 1/4 can of paint for the counter so now my freezer door is a chalkboard. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Matt, have no idea if you will see this posting. I absolutely love soapstone but far too expensive to have in our home. Is there any way you can post pictures from the work you did on the refrigerator? Thanks

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  4. Pingback: Painting Kitchen CountertopsDPS Painters In Daytona Beach. Port Orange FL – House Painting Contractors

    • That’s too bad! I don’t have any chipping, scratches or flaking at all. But I rollered the paint on over primer, so perhaps that’s a better method with chalkboard paint. Maybe spraying is too thin? Thanks for the info.

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  5. Great job? You have to remove the laminate and use the bare wood counter top correct? Is removing the laminate difficult? Also what gritt sand paper would you recommend? Thanks! Looks awesome

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    • Hi Ken,

      No, you don’t remove the laminate, just sand it to create “tooth” for the primer and paint. If you were to remove the laminate, you would be left with a bumpy surface unsuitable for using as a countertop.

      Good luck with your project!

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  6. Hello I Would love to do this,, but in grey … can u help me as to how to obtain this colour ? , how would you personally go about achieving this .. many regards to you , I’m truly grateful for any guidance from you and your expertise and knowledge ..

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    • I just found her blog about this and I’m on my 1st coat tonight actually of the chalkboard paint. The primer I used was Rustoleums countertop coating ( tintable)
      I tinted it in the Pewter on side of can closest to black… it was a gorgeous grey! I want black so I’m moving forward with the black but you could do that stuff 2 coats and lots of poly or one coat than get a chalkboard paint in grey and continue how she did

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sonia, Rustoleum also has a tintable chalkboard paint. I haven’t used it myself, so I can’t say how it applies or holds up. As long as you sand the countertops well, clean up all dust and then prime before painting, I imagine it should perform just as well. You may need more than two coats. Good luck!

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  7. I am so excited!! I am going to do this to my countertops this weekend! I will let you know how things work. I bought a deglosser to use and will use a wipe on poly over the top. Cross your fingers!!!!

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  8. Been looking for a cost effective way to redo my laminate countertops. I’m really excited to do this. I think it will work great with my rustic decor.

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  9. Hi! i am planning to do this to my countertops and also do not want to seal. But i am wondering how it has held up next to the stove and grease splatter? Have you noticed any staining from grease?

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    • Hi Lauren,
      No, no staining. I wiped the counters with regular hot/warm water and dish soap when cleaning up after meals and had no problem with any residual grease marks. I had no peeling or flaking either. The biggest issue for me was simply dust showing up on the black.

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      • Thank you! i have been going back and forth worrying about what kind of wax will help with grease stains. Its good to hear you have had no stains!

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  10. Hi There! I love the look of your counters and am considering doing the same to mine. How have they held up the past couple of years? Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

    Thank you!!

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    • Hi Lauren, I can say without hesitation that I would do it again, in exactly the same way. I was impressed with how durable the chalkboard paint was. I’ve recently had quartz counters installed, and when the old countertops were removed, there were no flakes, chips or scratches in the paint. Amazing, really. As I’ve mentioned before, the only downside for me was dust showing on the black. But it was an excellent trade off, since the unpainted countertops were so ugly – which was far more irritating to me!

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  11. I’ve been researching painting laminate counters on Pinterest, but no one has taken the time to report on how they’ve held up over time. I’ve read through all of your responses and you say “coming soon”. Did I somehow miss your response to this question???

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    • Hi June,

      I’d planned to do a full follow-up post on the countertops, but unfortunately life has gotten in the way and I haven’t had time so far. However, as I’ve mentioned in replies so far, the painted countertops held up beautifully. I would do it again, using exactly the same method and materials. Also, as I’ve mentioned, the only issue I had was dust showing on the black. No scratches, peeling, or flaking.

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  12. This sounds great and something I’m going to try! Just a note… because I did create a “blackboard” on kitchen wall. 1:1 water to vinegar in 99 cent spray bottle. Wipe clean without residue. Just an FYI. But you’ve inspired me. I have a lot of auto-immune problems where the less chemicals the better. I already know I’m okay with the blackboard paint and water-based primer. Just… never thought of it. Thank you!

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    • You’re so welcome Laurie! Thanks for the chalkboard vinegar and water cleaning tip. I’ll definitely use it! I find I’m using vinegar around the house more and more often these days, even using it as fabric softener in my front-loading machine. Good luck with your countertops!

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  13. After you did the chalkboard painting did you cover the whole thing with white chalk like it says to on the can? If you did how long did you leave the chalk cover on the counter before you wiped it off with a damp cloth. The instructions on the can are confusing me and I did not see where you said you coated yours with chalk after painting it. Or, are you not using it to write on with chalk?

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    • Good question Paige! No, I didn’t cover the counters with chalk. I wasn’t looking to condition them for writing, and I didn’t want the extra step of having to clean them back to complete black, as having a chalk haze wasn’t a look I wanted. Having said that, I did try writing on a small area, just to try it out, and the chalk wiped off cleanly.

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  14. Hi! Do you remember exactly what the name of the primer was that you used? I’m having a hard time finding one that sticks. What type of base did it have if you can’t remember the actual name?

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    • Hi Julie, I’m sorry, I wish I had made note of the primer. It was latex, and tinted, as you can see, but I don’t even recall the brand name. Probably Benjamin Moore, as that’s the brand we use these days. I didn’t go out to buy it specifically for this project, but used a leftover can I found in the basement. I assume you’ve given the surfaces a good once-over with sandpaper?

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thanks for this post. I’m trying this out in the master bathroom, where I don’t expect a lot of crazy splashing. I edged a plywood board with 1x2s and coated it several times with primer and chalkboard paint. I was debating on sealing it with a satin or matte poly, but since yours held up well in the kitchen, I’m going to just give it a go today!

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  16. Love your post and the look of your counter tops. I have 2 1/2 inch maple butcher block from 1980. I’d like to try this. The counters have had a butcher block wax finish applied several times. What do you suggest to prepare them for the primer other than a light sanding?
    Can you tell me why you changed your counter tops out to quartz after you did this work and loved it? Many thanks.
    `

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    • Hi Tink, thanks for your comment! As far as your counters are concerned, I would wipe them down with mineral spirits first to remove the wax, and then sand them before priming.

      To answer your other question: the painted counters were meant only as a stopgap until I could afford new. They turned out (and held up) so well that I ended up waiting much longer than I had originally planned. Also, I wanted to create a breakfast bar overhang on the peninsula portion of the counter, in order to add a couple of stools; I was able to do that with the quartz.

      Good luck!

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      • Thank you so much for your speedy reply. I think we may start the project within the next couple weeks.
        I totally understand about extra counter space. I may later do a change as my Wolf counter-top range sits in the island and I would like t remove it to give more user friendly space for entertaining.
        I’ll stay in touch.
        Tink

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  17. What kind of primer are people using? We’re having a hard time finding a primer that we think will work. Has anyone used Zinsser BullsEye water based primer?

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  18. How many coats did you do of the chalkboard paint? Did all coats get put on with the roller and did it dry uniform or is the goal to have it uneven so it looks like soapstone?

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    • Hi Jennie, I did 3 coats of chalkboard paint, and used a small roller for each. It did dry to a very uniform finish. If you actually used chalk on it, no doubt you would have a more mottled, slightly greyed out appearance; however, after wiping down with dish soap and water you would be back to black.

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  19. Would you review the steps and timeline of each in bullet points. Like if you did three coats of the paint itself how long did you wait between primer and first coat and second and third coat. Make sense? It’d help us know how much time we need to block off to do this.

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      • Hi Jennie, I gave myself 2 days. I sanded, dusted and primed the first day. I let the primer set overnight, and the next day I painted three coats. Chalkboard paint dries quickly, so depending on the drying instructions on the can, you should be able to complete all coats in one day. Be patient afterwards, and let the paint set for a few days afterwards before you drag items on it. I hope this helps!

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  20. Hi, we’re getting closer to trying this out. What kind of brush do you suggest using when it’s too small of a space to use the foam roller? Like by/behind the sink? Better to use a foam brush or a regular bristle brush?

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    • Hi Jennie, the caulking around the sink would have prevented paint from adhering. I scraped it away and sanded right up to the sink edge. It’s tricky at the back of the sink, but persevere, to make sure all old caulk is gone. After you’ve painted, you can always run a bead of new clear caulking around the sink if necessary.

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  21. I am finding Chalkboard paint to be rather expensive – do you think flat black would work just as well or should I dish out the extra $$ ? I have a large area to do. Thanks !

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    • Hi Lisa,
      I don’t have experience painting a counter with flat paint. I chose chalkboard paint because of its slate content, which gives great durability, with the added advantage of being somewhat heatproof. You can set a hot item down without damaging the paint, which is a huge plus for a kitchen counter. I hope that helps. Best of luck!

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