painted countertops

Hi, loves.

I painted my countertops!

Before I get into the tutorial
(or before you pick up a paint brush, rather),
please be sure to click HERE for a detailed Q&A post about painted countertops.

Painted and waxed countertops are  higher maintenance.
It’s a gorgeous look that needs to be treated & cared for like painted furniture,
especially if you opt to use a wax.

Waxing or sealing them with a polyacrylic is not as durable as the original laminate surface,
although a reader commented below that an exterior sealer is much more durable
because it’s designed to withstand moisture, etc.
Makes perfect sense.

If I had to do it over again, I’d probably use an exterior sealer.
Keep in mind, that it will sort of defeat the purpose of using Chalk Paint in terms of
the buttery lustre you get with the wax!
(I still think it provides an easy and good lookin’ base coat though.)

I only painted my countertops for temporary prettiness
until we installed zinc tops.


One of the great things about using Chalk Paint is that you don’t need to prime or sand.
However, when it came to my counter tops, I did a little prep work.

Step 1:
I lightly sanded my counter top surfaces with a fine grit sanding sponge
just to give them some tooth and ensure that any grease residue, etc. was completely gone.

Step 2:

These are countertops.
I used STIX Waterbourne Bonding Primer, tinted gray.

Step 3:

I painted my counter tops with a mix of Graphite and Pure White
to get more of a concrete color.
I used these smooth, white nylon brushes.

After two coats, I let everything dry for 24 hours. 


After the initial coat,
dip just the tip of your brush into a shallow plate of water and THEN into your paint
so that the second coat goes on smoothly and glides over the surface more easily.
I’ve noticed that Chalk Paint® tends to grip subsequent coats.


Where did I get my stencil?

It’s a Jeanne d’Arc Living stencil purchased from Ruth at The Beautiful Life.
At one point, I considered painting faux grain sack stripes down the middle
using painter’s tape to guide me, distressing them a little with my sanding sponge after they dried.

After the Graphite coat was good and dry, I adhered my stencil to the counter top.
The JDL stencils have a tacky backing.

Using a rag dipped in Pure White paint,
I blotted the excess off so that the rag was barely covered,
and dabbed the paint into the stencil to give it a variegated, time-worn look.

You can see where I blotted my excess paint off next to “EXTRA“.
When I needed a rag refill, I’d just dab my rag onto that little section to pick up more paint.
(A paper plate would work fine too.)

After the paint dried for about 20 minutes, I carefully peeled off the stencil.

Step 4:
After my paint dried, I waxed them using Annie Sloan’s Clear Soft Wax.

Really push that first coat of wax into the paint.
Apply 3 or 4 light, thin coats, letting each coat dry at least overnight in between.

Then do a good buff to bring out that smooth lustre after your final coat is dry.

As mentioned in the Q&A post, it takes about a month for the wax to fully cure.
I recommend letting your countertops cure for at least a week before normal use.
(The time factor is also where an exterior sealer might be preferred.)

FYI: Miss Mustard Seed did a wonderful Waxes 101video that you might find helpful
as well as her Wax Questions post.

About once a month, I needed to apply a fresh thin coat of wax
because it wore down sooner than expected after constant washing.

I was careful to wipe up water splashes from the faucet right away
to avoid white water spots (see Q&A),
set my hot pans on a trivet, and chop on wooden cutting board, etc.

As always, if you have any questions, just ask.
Again, make sure you read my Q&A post because that answers a bunch.

Have a lovely week!
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  1. Anne says:

    Very helpful.Thank you for your step by step.I will review this once I am ready to paint my cabinets :-)

  2. Terry says:

    Who ever thought to use chalk paint on countertops? Yours are beautiful. But I also want you to know that you don’t have to use only wax with chalk paint. You can use regular sealer which to me would be preferable on countertops. I do this on furniture pieces about half the time the other half I do the wax.

  3. Okay, folks. On furniture, Terry said she uses Polycrylic by Minwax. (I used General Finishes PolyAcrylic in a low lustre satin finish which is supposed to the best you can get.) She said that if you let several layers cure for at least three days, you should be fine. (I only waited about a day and half.) For counter tops, she has done an exterior sealer called Zar found at Sherwin Williams. It can withstand water better since it is made for exterior conditions. (Ooh. Good call on the exterior sealer.)

    Hope this helps! In yesterday’s post, I mentioned Annie Sloan’s new floor varnish. Talk to your stockists because that might be a good option too.

    Thanks again, Terry!

  4. When I painted my cabinets with ASCP I was thrilled~I avoiding all the prep work, besides washing them first. They really look fantastic~ASCP has a softer look than regular paint. I don’t know how to describe it exactly, but it is more of a matte look and when the wax is added it has a softness. I haven’t been very dilligant with the waxing on the cabs, and still have some to finish up. And even so, they are holding up with no issues at all! Thanks for showing off my kitchen Jami!

  5. this was a great tutorial! and i apply wax the same way you do- a brush for the hard to readch places, but i prefer a rag for sure! thanks for the shout out, but i generally don’t use chalk paint- i just don’t love it like i love my other paints. there are a couple colors i use and like, but i prefer my good quality latex paints! i just didn’t want your readers to come to me and then not find what they were looking for.

  6. Thank you, Cassie!

  7. Jill Elaine says:

    very good tutorial – even without the extra photos that got lost in cyberspace. Sigh isn’t that just so irritating when you lose pics?
    I can’t wait to see your zinc counters – are you doing a tutorial on them too?? pretty please?!

  8. Thank you so much, Jill. I was so afraid I’d lose you all without photos. :( Happy to know you still got something out of it. Yes, I will be doing a tutorial on the zinc counter tops. Picture and video (Unless I lose a finger in the process; Then just photos.) :)

  9. Beth says:

    This is a great idea! I am glad you put brand options and showed your process step by step. This would be great in a bathroom also, especially our boring, bland builder variety. Cheers!

  10. janet says:

    Hey Jami,

    Love the tutorial…well done!

    Don’t you just adore Patty…she trained me in Nj and her sister Karen is as awesome as her.

    Whenever I talk to her she is chock full of wonderful ASCP info and tips. So giving!

    I am looking forward to seeing your kitchen all completed.

    janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  11. janet says:

    PS…where did you get Patty’s button?????

    I want one for my blog.

    janet xox
    The Empty Nest

  12. Anna says:

    I love the chalk counter tutorial!! It’s great! Glad to be your newest follower!

  13. Sarah Dowdell says:

    Can you use it to cover stone counters like granite? It’s not in a kitchen so I am not worried about contamination

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