How to Paint Your Countertops

Looking to replace your countertops without breaking the bank?

One Hour Enamel (OHE) may be the answer you need! Painting your countertops is one of those temporary things... Like if you were going to be replacing them within the next couple of years or so. It is not a permanent solution unless you do an epoxy pour over them, but I can tell you a few things to help you get the most out of your time and money if you do decide you want to paint your countertops.

So here is what we know, countertops are high traffic areas and some of them can be slippery like granite or laminate, so the key here is proper prep! It is extremely important to clean very well, making sure to remove every bit of grease and debris. Scrub the area like crazy. I highly recommend GreenEZ Furniture Strip and Clean Finishing Cleaner. It's great for combating grease!

As with all strippers and cleansers, a mask and gloves are recommended. Please note that the degreaser is strong and will remove paint from surfaces so use with caution around any areas you've already painted.

Use straight from the bottle or follow the mixing instructions on the packaging. The low VOC soybean oil-based stripping formula will quickly remove multiple layers of paint and varnish without harsh odors and chemicals. Make sure to shake and/or mix well before use. After using this product I recommend wiping the space down with water at least two times being sure to remove any cleaner residue that got left behind. You don't want that interfering with your painting down the road.

After you have cleaned the dickens out of the space that you will be painting you will need to prime! Countertops like granite have little pore space, there is not much there to grip to. So finding the right primer is incredibly important. Wise Owl Primer is my go to for this job.

It will cling to just about any surface! I love this primer because it is water based, which means it's easy to clean up and it has a low odor. The smell isn't as harsh as other primers which is important when painting indoors.

Using painter's tape to tape off the area to prep for paint
Using painter's tape to tape off the area to prep for paint.

Before you start priming, though, it is a good idea to tape off your space. The primer will adhere to tile, which I have here behind my counter, so it is important to create a barrier if you aren't wanting to paint the tile or sink today. I used a blue painters tape, I have linked to amazon for easy purchasing.

Pro TIp: The trick to getting crisp lines is to burnish the edges of the tape where you will be painting with your finger or plastic card.

I primed my space with clear primer so you can not see it in my photo. I only used clear because it is what I had on hand. If you are painting your counters a white or light color I recommend using our white primer. If you are going to be painting in a dark color I recommend the gray primer. Here is more about primers and how to pick the color you need:

The tools that I used for my project are Snow Owl - Wise Owl One Hour Enamel Paint , Wise Owl angled premium brush, and a mini roller. Here is a link to the roller set on Amazon. Click Here

I painted around the edges and then rolled the paint out. This paint dries very quickly. Don't go back over it to much. I apply it like I apply Varnish. That seems to work best and be less streaky.

Something else to remember when using this paint is that you need enough on your brush so that it will self level but not too much it starts to pool or drip. When I work with Chalk Synthesis Paints I think I tend to do thinner amounts of paint on my brush, so I wanted to mention use a little more than that with this type of paint.

I even painted the trim in the OHE. It's GREAT for trim, too!
I even painted the trim in the OHE. It's GREAT for trim, too!

Speaking of drips... Be sure to watch while you are working being sure to catch any of them before they dry if you can. This paint dries incredibly hard, and you will not be able to just sand it down like Chalk Synthesis Paint. If you find yourself with a dried drip the best way I have found to remove it is a razor blade, but please be careful!!

My next step is to order a faux marble stamp or a stencil or something to add to it. I think that is the look I want to go for. Then I will be top coating with Wise Owl Enamel Clear in the Semi-Gloss because I want it to have a shine.

You do not necessarily need to top coat the OHE. It is recommended, though, if you use a light color paint. Not for durability but to protect from stains.

You can either use 3 coats of Varnish or use the OHE in clear. The varnish will add even more durability, but your cure time is 30 days and the OHE is 14 days.

touch ups...

Lightly sand the area and wipe away any debris. Brush on paint and allow to dry! This paint is really easy to touch up. It self levels like a dream!

note worthy points...

  • this is a temporary solution

  • well prepped and well kept countertops will last longer

  • paint and primer cleans up easy with water but be quick it dries fast

  • it's a super easy paint to touch up

  • No need to top coat if you are using dark colors

  • Epoxy will help your finish last longer, but is not required

The easy step-by-step break down:

TOOLS you will need for this project:

(These are clickable links)


  • clean space really well with degreaser and then water

  • tape off area with painter's tape

  • prime with Wise Owl Primer - I recommend 2 coats.


  • use a brush and roller to apply OHE being careful not to overwork the paint and catching drips before they dry.


  • Top coating is not required, but it is recommended using over light colors for easier stain clean up.

  • You can use OHE - Clear or Varnish to top coat. I recommend 2-3 coats.

  • Epoxy can be used over OHE to preserve the finish and counters even longer

Leave any questions you may have in the comments below! What color will you paint your countertops?

Happy painting!


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