How to paint bathroom countertop & sink, and refinish old formica or laminate vanity top into white or marble finish. Great idea for a super easy budget remodel!
For a long time, I was skeptical about painting countertops or ceramic sinks, but now after trying it, I am a super fan of this method. I would absolutely do it again in a heartbeat!
Originally, we were going to completely remodel our 2 bathrooms, which would include replacing dated beige formica vanity top & old scratched sinks with all new cabinets, vanity tops, floor, sinks and fixtures.
However, after our DIY kitchen remodel, we really wanted to take a break from big home improvement projects. So instead of tearing things out, we decided to look for the easiest ways to give these two old bathrooms a dramatic makeover! If we mess up, we can always do a complete remodel later.
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(More tutorials coming on other parts of this bathroom before-after soon!) In part one of this series today, I will share with you how to paint an old vanity top and sink to make them fresh and new again! You can even use this method to create a faux white marble countertop!
Check out this quick video tutorial on painting vanity top, or skip to written tutorial below
Lot’s of you have asked how things are holding up after 6 months: the countertop is still looking great! I would do it in future 100%! For the sink i have a longer answer: we only painted the sink that is looking scratched and discolored, so it’s worth it for us, although there has been a couple of spots peeling, but it’s easy to spot sand and re-touch since it’s white on white. but if your sink looks fine i would not paint over it.
Can you paint bathroom vanity countertop and sink?
The answer is YES and YES! If you choose the right paint and follow the steps, you will be amazed at how beautiful and durable your new painted countertop and sink turn out! It’s also a great way to quickly makeover a bathroom without too much work, or before you have time for a complete remodel.
Materials and tools to paint vanity countertop and bathroom sink
- Rustoleum Marine Topside paint : an oil base enamel paint that is self leveling and dries beautifully to a hard durable finish. You can choose from many colors, the white comes in gloss and semi-gloss , both are great! We only used 1/4 of a 32oz can.
- High density foam roller, and foam brushes.
- 120-200 grit sand paper, sanding pad, microfiber towel or tack cloth
Enamel paint vs appliance epoxy spray paint vs 2-part epoxy
I have seen people using 2-part epoxy or appliance epoxy spray on countertops. However, I think this Marine enamel paint is a lot more durable than spray paint or spray epoxy, and much easier to work with than 2-part epoxy.
Step 1: prep bathroom vanity top and sink before painting
Surface preparation is the most important step for a successful painting project.
First, remove the old caulking around the sink and countertop. Remove the old faucets if you are painting the sink as well.
Step 2: paint bathroom countertop and sink
Caulk any gaps along the sink and vanity top. You can also do the caulking at the end, but i wanted to paint the caulk and vanity top together. Tape any adjacent areas that you don’t want to get paint on.
Shake the can and pour some paint into a tray. Use a foam brush to paint areas that are hard to get to with a roller first. (I forgot to buy some foam brush, so here’s our make-do version!)
Use a high density foam roller to paint the larger areas. Let the first coat of paint dry. Keep the room well ventilated because this oil based enamel paint has a pretty strong turpentine smell before it dries.
The first coat will look a bit blotchy. Don’t try to go over anything when the paint is drying, you will just create a sticky mess!. The next 2 coats will look better and better!
Step 3: sand and add more coats of paint
Let the first coat of paint dry completely, which takes a few hours, or longer if room temperature is cold. Wait about 24 hours before painting the next coat.
Sand the paint lightly with 120 to 200 grit sand paper. Wipe off the dust. Apply the second coat with foam brush and roller the same way as the first coat.
Repeat the drying, sanding and painting process until you are happy with the results. No need to sand the final coat.
It took us a total of 3 coats of paint. We only used 1/4 of a 32oz can. Now it’s time to let the paint dry and cure.
Difference between paint dry time vs cure time
When paint dries, it becomes no longer tacky when you touch it gently. When paint cures, it becomes durable, scratch resistant, and moisture resistant.
Dry time is usually a few hours to a couple of days, vs cure time is usually 1 week or more depending on temperature and paint type.
While you can lightly use any dry paint surface, you should wait till the paint cures before normal use, such as cleaning, or putting an object on top of a painted surface.
In this case, we started using the sink and countertop 3 days after the final coat of paint was applied. We waited for 8 days before normal use.
It’s been over a month of daily use and our painted vanity countertop and sink are still looking like new! The sink and countertop look like one piece, and they are really easy to clean.
I will update here in another 6-12 months on how everything in holding up. It looks like a winner so far. I even dropped a chuck of 2×4 wood on the countertop once, and no paint chipping, wow!
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Happy creating! See you soon! 🙂