How to Give a Laminate Countertop a Faux Marble Finish

Apply a layer of elegance to your laminate countertop with these step-by-step instructions.
By: Matt Fox
rxr2004_3_countertop

rxr2004_3_countertop

Make a laminate countertop look like marble using oil-based paint and some faux finish techniques.

Make a laminate countertop look like marble using oil-based paint and some faux finish techniques.

Get the look of marble for a small fraction of the price with this project. You’ll need a 7-inch paint roller because it’s easier to maneuver than a 9-inch roller, and you’ll be using oil-based paints, so keep the area well-ventilated.

Here’s how to turn that laminate counter into “marble”:

Materials and Tools:

soap
bucket
sponge
oil-based primer (tinted to base-coat color)
oil-based paint (white, three beige tones)
220-grit sandpaper
7-inch paint roller and cover with ¼-inch nap
natural-bristle paintbrush
small artist’s paintbrush
painter’s blue tape
oil-based polyurethane

Steps:

1. Wash the countertop thoroughly with soap and warm water. Let dry.

2. Sand the countertop thoroughly and remove the dust with a clear water rinse. Let dry.

3. Roll the primer on and let dry overnight.

4. For the top coat, cut in — paint around edges — with a natural bristle brush and then apply the paint with a 7-inch roller cover.

rxr2004_3figA_blendingcolors

rxr2004_3figA_blendingcolors

5. Tape off the desired design. Working from the center out, use a pouncing technique and a small brush to apply the lighter color, filling in a small area. Blend the medium color, and then the dark paint, overlapping the colors while also loading the brush as you go. The paint will build a fairly heavy film, but as the colors start to level, it will give you the desired marble look. Oil provides a little more working time, since it dries more slowly than latex paint.

rxr2004_3figB_marblevein

rxr2004_3figB_marblevein

6. While the paint is still wet, add the veins that give marble its distinguishing feature. Using a small artist’s brush and white paint, push the brush forward with a very gentle touch — let the brush work for you. Sometimes the vein will be thick and sometimes it will break off and start again. Have fun with this step.

7. Let the paint dry completely (at least overnight) and then apply several coats of polyurethane for protection.

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