Caromal Colours To Paint Over Old Formica Counters?

Caromal Colours Textured Basecoats –  bond to many surfaces – wood, laminate, melamine, metal, glass, plastic….  what about  Formica and laminate counters?

Can I use these paints to cover my pink Formica?

Of course the products will bond to Formica and laminates…  I did this video a while back (warning:  I am not a video pro) where I demo’d the Caromal Colours Textured Basecoats over a piece of laminate.   No, it wasn’t a worry whether the paints would bond,  I wondered more about how they would look as a counter finish.   They are thicker paints – if brushed smooth I think it would be difficult to get a nice glass smooth surface.  If mooshed/smooshed on I worried it would be too textural. Like someone mentioned, they wouldn’t want their toaster sitting uneven…

So I decided to demo rolling it on a flat surface, to see for myself.

I started with a Whizz Roller,  you can find them  at Home Depot or Lowes –

Pick a color Caromal Colour Textured Basecoat – (click on each photo for full view)

I picked Cobblestone (similar to sage).  I stuck my roller right into the container and started to roll it out –

Moving in a ‘V’ – out to the left then down then out to the right.  I didn’t go in up and down straight rows –

Close up,  one coat is not enough –

When dry roll on a second coat –

Hard to see the close up detail.  I am pleasantly surprised at the nice subtle texture –

It has less texture than this actual sample of textured laminates out on the market –

When it dried, I lightly hit it with my palm sander (150 grit) –

which turned it to this-

I brushed on the Caromal Colours Toner, and then stippled it around with my chip brush-

You can leave more Toner on, or you can wipe most of it off, it all depends on what you want.  Close up –

I decided to see what else I could do.   I grabbed some brown glaze and some black glaze, and a sponge.  I started by sponging, here and there, some brown glaze –

Using the same sponge, I grabbed some black glaze and dabbed it here and there –

I took a chip brush and pounced out the sponge marks.   By “pounced” I mean bouncing my brush into those edges of the sponged color, constantly keeping my brush bouncing around,  blending color back into the bare areas –

You can make it as heavy or light as you’d like….

You can use a dry cloth to further mute out the color … I dabbed out some of the heavier black areas-

If you were doing a counter, you’d want to let your finish thoroughly dry, then apply at least two layers of some type of topcoat.  I’ve read online that water based polyurethane has had good success.  Of course your counters still would not be heat or scratch resistant, but that’s what hot-pads are for –

When my sample dried I sprayed it (lazy) with my can of MinWax Satin Poly.   The right side is the Caromal Colours Toner brushed on then stippled about.  The left side has some brown and black glaze sponged on and stippled about –

WAY better than pink, don’t you think?

Best of all, it is a nice texture!  Kind of like what you see on a refrigerator.   Now the hard part will be figuring out what color you want-

The textured basecoats are sold in quart size.  One quart goes approx 40-50 sf, depending on application.  For a two coat application, figure half that distance.    One 16 ounce Toner would be enough to do  kitchen counters.  When using Caromal Colour Textured Basecoats remember to start with a clean and dry surface.

Another added advantage – the textured basecoats bond to metal.  If your existing counter surfaces have the metal trim, and you wish to update the whole look, you can!


Head to my store below (click icon) and be sure to use my code, PattyH in the coupon code area.   It will save you $2 off shipping,  or if you’re order is $75 or more use my PattyH5 for $5 off shipping.



If you’re new to my blog, and want to see what other awesome stuff you can do with these products, start here .

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30 responses to “Caromal Colours To Paint Over Old Formica Counters?

  1. Wow — this is amazing. You did a beautiful job painting the tile. It looks just like the porcelain floor that we have down in our kitchen. Great product. Thank you for swinging by my place and your comments. I love getting comments! 🙂

  2. I thought my teal counters were bad – pink might be worse – might. I know it’s not head resistant, but have you ever rolled out cookies on it? That’s my main concern with painting the counter – doughs and stuff I do right on the counter, I don’t want paint flakes in it, and I wonder how clean-up would be off the counter.

  3. This is amazing! I have been wanting to paint the formica in my bathroom and didn’t know where to start and was scared spitless to try it! Thanks for the tips and ideas. Be blessed. Cindy

  4. Wow! If I had more time and money I would have loved to do this in our rental home we’re trying to sell. It’s great to see it done. Thanks!

  5. I am so excited you did this!! Hubby and I talked about adding some colors to give it more of a rock textured look.Sponge painting is perfect. Can you stipple other colors or only glazes?Can I do a distressed look like 2 color paints? Just thinking about the possibilites.

  6. WOW…looks outstanding! Thanks for sharing this at NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAYS…hope you had a good time at the PAR-TAY:)


  7. When you say brown and black glaze do you mean tea and coffee or are there specific brown and black glazes I can not find? Going to see the colors in person this weekend!

  8. Jeannette, definitely you could stipple other products – obviously paints and anything thicker will create more texture than the glaze or toner.

    You could spatter a little too for a cool effect – get just tint, or paint, and dip tips of brush in it, then you flick the tips of the brush close enough to surface, and they leave a spatter of dots – practice first, on something like paper towel, to get the feel of it.

    I used glazes that were already mixed on my storage shelf (from my wall finishing business). I use Aquacreme and mix tints into it, so I had a tub of dark brown glaze and a tub of black glaze. You could use anything you are used to, or comfortable using – both Home Depot and Lowe’s carry various types of glaze products – some you use by tinting with paint colors as well. Also practice first, to get feel for it, on a sample surface, or poster board. I’d work like 3 ft wide sections at a time, applying color, tweeking it, then moving down surface work the next 3 ft and blend the new color into the old section . Don’t stop until you are done.

    Mandy, hmmmm I am not a fan of cooking/baking but I have rolled cookies out before… not sure if I’d roll them out on my painted counter. I know when I had my formica, I had a huge square privet (is that what they’re called?) that was made out of a corian type material. I used to use that for everything.. For certain, I’d look to find a water based topcoat (not oil based) at the home improvement chains (Lowes or Home Depot). Be sure to read the labels and insure they are graded for food preparation surface.

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  11. This information is very Good. I also would like to say that if you want to give a new, attractive look to your old and worn out Formica top, then painting is the best option to go for. Anyway, Thanks for the post.

  12. Love the counter tops. Can you also paint laminate counter tops like this? I think my counter tops are definately up for a facelift.



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  16. patty im eady to do my counters they are the old formica, i have the black pepercorn textured pait from caromal colors , now do i sand in between coats? I need all the help i can get. Thank you kim

  17. nope, Kim, i wouldnt sand between – use the textured roller (whiz) to roll the first layer – stipple it into cracks and corners using a simple chip brush. let it dry good (it should look stippled – kindof like high peaks here and there. once dry repeat – roll right over the old – it will be filling in the first layer – and creating a more even heavier textured layer. i roll out in an X kindof pattern – once dry (thicker areas will take loner) i sand lightly using a sand block – 220 is sufficient. the sanding is just a light sand to get rid of any nicks or nibs you feel – as well as maybe stray hair or two… that kinda thing. then wipe with dry rag , brush on toner, rag off, and then wait until next day to begin topcoating. Pictures!!!

  18. thanks patty, I dont understand what the toner is i got minwax water based polycrylic for the finish i hope i have everything i dont have toner what ever that is do i need it

    • Oops Kim, didn’t pay attention to your color – the Peppercorn is black as black, and the Toner isn’t really needed on it (or Chocolate) if you’re doing counters – it is like an antiquing glaze that will warm all the CC paint colors, and add interest by gathering in crooks and crevices, but you dont have those on the counter – and typically folks want black because they want BLACK – so Basecoat is all you need. For the other lighter colors, if someone is looking to warm the color up, or add some depth by blotting, or ragging, or sponging it on, you can do that w/the toner.

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  20. ok patty i have my first coat on i will do 1 more to anyone doing this 1 qt. will be enough to do most counter tops i bought a gallon , oh well i can do some more projects. I will post some picks when done, wish me luck. is the minwax polycrylic water based the stuff for the top finish coat if so how should i apply it?

    • Hi Kim – yes, a quart should be enough to anyones counters – the topcoat you chose, minwax water based polycrylic , will work – and actually will provide a more durable topcoat in lesser layers than the wipe-on polys. I like the wipe on polys for cabinets, because its so easy and quick to apply to the whole surface (flats and detail) – but with the wipe on’s you have to apply more layers to get same same durability as the full strength polys. I’ve used the wipe on poly on counters, but if you do you’ll want at least 5-6 coats.

      so back to your topcoat, here are the stats from the mfg-

      Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish is a crystal clear, fast-drying protective topcoat for use over bare wood, oil- and water-based stains, paint and wallpaper. It has very little odor, is non-flammable, cleans up easily with soap and water, and can be recoated in only 2 hours. Minwax® Polycrylic® resists damage from abrasion, scuffing, chipping, water, alcohol and other common household chemicals.
      Application tool: synthetic bristle brush
      Dry time: 2 hours
      Recoat: after 2 hours
      Cleanup: warm water
      Coverage: 125 sq. ft. per quart
      Coats: 2-3

      1. Surface must be dry and free of wax, grease, polish, old finishes in poor condition or any foreign matter.
      2. Sand to a smooth, uniform surface. DO NOT USE STEEL WOOL. Remove dust with a cloth. Let dry completely.
      3. Stir well before and regularly during use. DO NOT SHAKE. FINISH APPEARS MILKY IN CAN BUT DRIES CRYSTAL CLEAR.
      4. Apply a thin coat of Polycrylic® with a high-quality synthetic bristle brush. Apply in one direction with the grain. Do not overbrush.
      5. Let dry at least 2 hours then sand with very fine sandpaper (220 grit) to ensure an even finish and proper adhesion of additional coats. Do not use steel wool. Remove all dust.
      6. Apply second coat. For additional coats, repeat Step 6 before applying. Three coats are recommended.
      7. After final coat, allow 3 hours before light handling and 24 hours before normal use.

  21. regarding above topcoat steps, it says to sand in between with 220 paper. i’ve never sanded in between my topcoat layers (it even says that for the wipe-ons) – they say they do this because:

    A light sanding with very fine sandpaper (#220) will remove any fine particles of dust that may have settled on the finish while it was wet. Do not use steel wool.

    With counters being flat, and having possibility of catching settling dust particles, I’d probably do a hand-swipe test, after each layer dries, to see how it feels – if you feel something gritty then light sand like they recommend.

    I did some online searching to see about the ‘sanding between layers to ensure proper adhesion of additional coats’… I have never sanded between layers for this reason, but I don’t want to steer you wrong. Basically, what I found was that you dont have to sand in between for your layers of poly to bond, provided your applying them, layer by layer, as each coat dries. In other words, apply layer 1. let dry 2 or so hours, then apply layer 2… etc. Dont wait days between applying them.

    “Generally, water-based finishes will chemically bond coat-to-coat if applied within a specific time of each other, oil-poly as well, if you stick to that window.”

  22. Just was wondering how normal kitchen clean up is on the painted surfaces? Our daughter loves to play with play-doh at the bar & I was wondering how this & other normal kitchen things clean up?

    • Hi Susan,

      I would say your painted surface , that is going to receive regular clean up, or play doh playing, is as durable as your topcoat – there are a number of them u there that are rated as excellent, for example, Arm R Seal that I’ve mentioned before –

      Arm-R-Seal by General Finishes
      CHARACTERISTICS & QUALITIES: Deeply penetrates wood and builds to a highly protective finish.
      APPEARANCE: Available in satin, semi-gloss, or gloss.
      DURABILITY & USAGE: Excellent. Our most durable wipeon finish due to the high polyurethane content. Great for kitchen tables and other pieces that need to stand up to heat, moisture, and alcohol.

      Here is a link to that topcoat site –

      i’ll post about it as well, since it gives options.

      Is your painted surface going to last as long as a baked on laminate finish? Nope, but it certainly will extend the life of what you have, offering a fresh updated look, and provided how much care you take in taking care of it (maybe you play with play-doh on a mat, to avoid eventual wear on your topcoat? ) it could last longer than you expect.

      I have painted laminate around our bar area, and in the lower level bath – of course, it isnt abused like kitchen counters would be, and my kids havent played on them, but it has had its share of sticky mixers/liquor spills, that have hardened on it… it cleans up like laminate would – i dont scrub it with softscrub or anything like that, but i do use soft scrubbies with non abrasive cleaners. it still looks great.

      in the end, its merely a way to affordably extend the life of your existing surfaces – would i prefer granite, or some other hard surface? absolutely, but we all know that is a big investment. instead i painted my mint green counters and have never looked back – to me they are still ‘laminate’ – just way more easy on the eyes.

  23. I like the peppercorn (black) appearance. What do I need to get that finish?

      • Hi Denise, that is accomplished using caromal colours textured basecoat color peppercorn, a whiz roller, and a poly topcoat. you’d roll the peppercorn on with a whiz roller, like i showed above, several coats (as they are applied thinner not thick layers) until you get full coverage. use a chip brush to stipple into the corners. when dry light sand to knock off any nibbies, then seal with a poly – not just one coat, give it a number of coats – awesomely strong paint!

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