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How do I change my old , white, existing ,formica, counter tops by somehow changing the color? Answered

I need to change the color of my old white formica counter tops. using the existing formica. 
 Being on a fixed income I will have to try something "tricky".  Any suggestions?  Is there anything like permanent dyes or something like that?  I think I'd like a two tone, going softly from one color to another, maybe using a sponge or rag or something.  Help me, please!



Best Answer 8 years ago

I'm going against the grain! You most certainly can paint your counter.  I did a couple years ago and it turned out great and I haven't had any problems with chipping or peeling.  You can paint whatever style you want on there that's your choice. But make sure you give it a light sanding and go over it with a degreaser. Then you prime it with Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3 primer. This stuff is what you need. It is a really heavy duty primer designed for smooth surfaces. Then after you prime and paint it.  Put a couple few coats of sealer on it and you're good to go.

From what I've experienced of white formica countertops (particularly the textured kind), you can immensely improve the appearance by whitening it as much as possible such as with a magic eraser.  Sometimes the white doesn't look good or it looks old simply because it's stained.  Brilliantly white formica countertops look pretty good in my opinion, and I'm a pretty big fan of the stuff.  I have 1970s formica countertops, a formica kitchen table (1940s), and a formica dining room table (1950s).  It's strong stuff, easy to maintain, and obviously lasts a really long time.  Once you have the formica super white, you can apply a sealer to maintain its appearance.

The issue might not be so much the white countertops but the cabinets or other colors surrounding the countertops.  Sometimes it's just a matter of painting the walls and switching out the decorations or just readjusting your thought of formica.  It's good stuff, and there is some value in it.

Seconding what the others have said. Anything like paint or dye that you apply to the formica is only going to look good for a short time.
You can get sheets of laminate countertop material for pretty cheap, then apply them to either the existing countertop or a new plywood underlayment using contact cement. This might be cheaper than using tile, or it might not, depending on the laminate you choose. You will need to finish the edge, either with pre-made matching edge molding ($$$) or regular wood bullnose painted and sealed in a color of your choice ($).

Formica is pretty tough stuff. anything you spray over it is going to have less lifespan... and will start to look "tacky" in a few months.  If the formica is in good shape not stained and not warping etc... then you would do best to live with it. White goes with anything too!  I wanted to glue porcelain wall tiles to our countertop... then grout them with a waterproofing grout.  but the wife wanted new countertop.  I think covering the counter top with those little square tiles is the only thing that would look halfway decent and not cost too much and it would be a strong surface.   

This Old House suggested granite tiles and edging glued/grouted over an existing countertop as a low-budget alternative to replacing the entire top. Grey also goes with anything.


8 years ago

As framistan says, changing the color of formica is almost impossible to do with any effectiveness. As an alternative, I would suggest you change the backsplash. You can paint it, cover it with stainless steel or a variety of other products made specifically for this purpose.
You can add some color to your countertop by buying some 12" x 12" or           18" x 18" ceramic tiles, applying rubber pads to the bottom side and use them as trivets to set small appliances and kitchen utensils on.