How to paint tile countertops

When we first moved into our fixer upper I HATED our kitchen counter tops. They were this ugly and outdated spotted tile that had probably been there since the house was built in the 50’s. Not only that, but over the years some of the counter had been replaced and added to with miss matching tiles…Yeah, it was bad.

For about a year, I researched the best way to update our kitchen without spending a fortune and after about a year of living with our nasty kitchen, I decided to paint my countertops on a whim. (And cabinets, walls, and eventually floors…the miracle of paint!). Even if it didn’t work, the worst that could happen was I ripped them out and got my dream butcher block countertops right? Either way, I couldn’t live with that nasty kitchen any longer!

How to Paint Tile Countertops:

1. The first thing I did was order my supplies (and run to Lowe’s the day of cause let’s be honest…I’m not that good at preparing ahead).

Here’s a list of links to the supplies I used (so you can be more prepared than me!):

Tile Paint (make sure to buy enough! I used 2 for my countertops)

Foam Rollers

Foam Roller Replacements

Paint BrushTape

Paint Tray

Paint Tray Liner(3-4: you’ll want to use a new liner with each coat)


2. Tape your countertops off. Make sure you tape off anything you don’t want paint on and run over the edge with a putty knife or your fingernail to make sure the edge is sealed in and won’t bleed.

3. Clean the countertops. Make sure you clean those puppies real good. And I mean get-every-little-speck-of-dust good. Anything that gets left on the countertops will get trapped underneath your paint if you don’t clean it well enough. I wiped my counters with cleaner as well as a tack cloth to make sure I got everything off the countertops before setting to work.

4. Time to paint! When painting, make sure to follow the directions on the box (obviously) and only mix as much as you’ll be using at a time. I only mixed half at a time as you only have a few hours to use the paint before you have to toss it. Also, make sure to wait the appropriate amount of time between coats as well as lightly sand and clean between coats!

*tip: It says on the box that you can use any roller, but I’ve had the best luck with the foam roller linked above. In fact, when I did my first coat I used a large roller I had sitting in the garage (new and in the package). Lesson learned. While it says you can use any roller, don’t! I nearly had a heart attack when I looked over my hard work only to find that the roller had shed in the paint and covered my countertops in tiny hairs. Lucky it was an easy fix with some sand paper and begrudging elbow grease, but it would have saved me a few hours and a minor heart attack to have used the foam rollers from the beginning.

Also make sure you get 3-4 roller covers and a new paint tray for each coat as dried paint will also shed and leave your coats less than perfect.

5. Coat with Polyacrylic. This is one of the most important steps to ensure your countertops stay looking good as new!

Once your countertops have cured for the recommended three days, seal it with a few coats of polyacrilic. It makes ALL the difference in the durability of your tile paint. The last thing you want is for them to start chipping after a week! I recommend doing 3-4 coats (cleaning well in between).

It takes some time, but for under $100, I drastically changed the look of my kitchen in about a week!



To see the rest of my kitchen transformation, click here!

Posted in DIY

13 thoughts on “How to paint tile countertops”

  1. Your before looks like my tiles!!! I’ve hated them forever now!
    How is it holding up since it’s been a year? Also, how many boxes did you need?
    I’m sooooo excited to tackle this project 🙂

    1. It’s held up pretty well! A few small chips here and there but the only person who can really tell is me! If you leave liquids that stain easily (Red wine, coffee, etc) it will leave a little bit of a stain, but I’ve been able to get 99% of them out with the mr clean magic erasers. I’ll probably do a quick touch up coat sometime within the next year though to keep it looking nice and bright white. It took me about 2 boxes of paint!

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