What Kind of Paint to Use on Bathroom Countertops?

What Kind of Paint to Use on Bathroom Countertops?

When sprucing up your bathroom countertops, the best paint to reach for is epoxy paint.

Selecting the right paint is crucial because bathroom countertops are frequently exposed to moisture, humidity, and temperature changes.

Using specialist two-part epoxy paint, known for its durability and resistance to these conditions, can ensure your countertop’s finish remains intact and appealing over time.

In this blog post, we delve into why epoxy paint is the best choice, its unique properties, how to apply it, and other alternatives you may consider.

Stay tuned to learn more about transforming your bathroom countertops with the power of paint.

Understanding Bathroom Countertop Materials

Like you, I have seen various bathroom countertop materials in my time. The most common ones I typically come across are laminate, tile, and wood.

  1. Laminate Countertops: The budget-friendly option, laminate countertops come in many colors and designs. They are easy to install and maintain. Interestingly, my first bathroom renovation project was a laminate countertop!
  2. Tile Countertops: These offer a classic and versatile aesthetic. Tiles are resistant to heat and stains, and the best part is the endless design possibilities. I remember a friend with a beautiful tile mosaic on her bathroom countertop.
  3. Wood Countertops: These are a bit unconventional for bathrooms but provide a warm, natural aesthetic. I once saw a rustic bathroom with a wooden countertop, which was breathtaking.

Why Material Choice Matters When Selecting Paint?

Selecting the appropriate paint heavily relies on the type of countertop material. Each material has unique properties that interact with paint differently.

For example, wood might absorb paint more than a laminate countertop, influencing the number of coats you’ll need.

It’s also essential to consider the longevity and maintenance of the paint finish. Certain paints adhere better to specific materials, ensuring a long-lasting finish.

I learned this the hard way when I painted a laminate countertop with the wrong paint type—it started to peel off within a few weeks!

Understanding your bathroom countertop material can save you time and resources and help ensure a successful transformation.

Preparing Your Bathroom Countertop

Before we delve into painting, preparing your countertop correctly is crucial. The quality of the result is strongly tied to how well we prep our surface.

Steps for Cleaning and Prepping the Countertop Surface

I’ve always found that a clean, well-prepared surface is the key to a well-painted paint job. Here are the steps I use:

  1. Remove any objects from the countertop: Start with a clean slate—clear off items on your countertop, including soap dispensers, toothbrush holders, and decorations. Once, I forgot to remove a small decorative bowl and got paint on it – not a mistake I want to repeat!
  2. Clean the surface: I can’t stress this enough. A clean surface ensures better paint adhesion. Use a mild detergent and warm water. I once tried using a heavy-duty cleaner, but it left a residue that interfered with the paint.
  3. Dry the surface: Thoroughly dry the countertop with a towel after cleaning. I’ve found this helps the paint adhere better. Patience is key here; don’t rush this step.

Importance of Removing Any Existing Paint or Sealant

Skipping removing existing paint or sealant is tempting; I’ve been there myself. However, I quickly learned that new paint doesn’t adhere well to these surfaces, resulting in a finish that chips or peels quickly.

I once painted a countertop without removing the old sealant. The paint looked terrific for the first few days, but soon, it started to bubble and peel off. I had to redo the entire project—a lesson learned the hard way!

So, always make sure to strip any old paint or sealant. There are various products available that can make this process easier. It might seem like a hassle, but it’s a necessary step for a long-lasting, beautiful paint job.

Once your surface is clean, prepped, and free of old paint or sealant, you’re finally ready to move on to the painting process. Trust me, the results will be worth the extra effort.

Choosing the Right Paint

Choosing the right type of paint is as crucial as the surface preparation. I’ve experimented with various types, and through trial and error, I’ve gained some insights that I’m eager to share with you.

1. Epoxy Paint:

Epoxy paint is my go-to choice when it comes to painting bathroom countertops.

It’s durable, waterproof, and gives a glossy finish that can mimic the look of stone or granite.

However, it requires some skill and patience during application as it’s quite thick and sets quickly.

2. Enamel Paint:

Enamel paint can also be a great option.

This paint type is also durable and provides a stiff, glossy finish.

I’ve used it in the past and loved the results.

3. Latex Paint:

If you’re looking for a quick and easy solution, latex paint might be the way to go. It’s water-based, so it’s easy to clean up if you make a mess.

However, it may not be as durable as the other options, especially in high-moisture areas like a bathroom.

Benefits and Drawbacks

1. Epoxy Paint


  • Epoxy paint is incredibly durable and resistant to chipping, making it a perfect choice for a high-traffic area like a bathroom.
  • The glossy finish can give your countertop a high-end feel. I once used epoxy paint for a countertop in a guest bathroom, and my visitors couldn’t believe I hadn’t installed new countertops!


  • The application process can be tricky.
  • It’s a two-part process requiring you to mix the resin and hardener before painting.
  • It also has a strong odor, so ensure you have good ventilation.

2. Enamel Paint


  • Enamel paint is also very durable and provides a hard, glossy finish.
  • It’s easier to apply than epoxy and has no strong odor.


  • While it’s durable, it isn’t as tough as epoxy paint.
  • I’ve noticed some minor chips in high-use areas after a few years.

3. Latex Paint


  • Latex paint has a much easier application process compared to the other two.
  • It’s water-based, which makes cleaning brushes a breeze.


  • The downside with latex paint is that it doesn’t hold up as well in high-moisture environments.
  • I used latex paint in a half bath once and had to touch it up after a few months due to peeling.

Choosing the right paint can make all the difference between a bathroom makeover that looks professional and one that looks like a DIY project gone wrong.

Be sure to consider the pros and cons of each type to make the best choice for your bathroom countertop.

Preparing for Painting

Before you start painting, thorough preparation is a must. Let me take you through the necessary steps, tools, and materials you’ll need, and give you some of the tips that have saved me a lot of hassle over the years.

Required Tools and Materials

Ensure you have the right tools and materials to make your painting project a success. Here’s a list based on my own experiences:

  1. Paint – Whether it’s epoxy, enamel, or latex, choose the one that best suits your needs.
  2. Brushes and Rollers – I’ve found that a combination of a paintbrush and a foam roller works best for a smooth application.
  3. Primer – This is essential for creating a smooth canvas for your paint.
  4. Sandpaper – Medium-grit sandpaper works great for removing the glossy finish from a countertop.
  5. Masking Tape – Use this to protect areas you don’t want painted.
  6. Protective gear – Safety glasses, gloves, and a mask are a must, especially when working with epoxy.

Tips for Masking and Protecting Surrounding Areas

Protecting the surrounding areas can make for a much cleaner job. I’ve learned this the hard way!

Mask off your sink, cabinets, and walls with masking tape and plastic sheeting.

Make sure everything is well-secured; any paint that seeps onto an unprotected surface can be a real pain to remove.

Sanding and Priming Steps

Sanding and priming are crucial steps I can’t stress enough. Start by sanding your countertop with medium-grit sandpaper.

This roughens up the surface and allows the primer to adhere better.

Next comes priming. Apply a good quality primer using a brush for corners and a foam roller for larger areas.

I once skipped priming, thinking it was an unnecessary step. Let’s say I had to redo the whole thing when the paint started peeling after a few weeks. So take my advice, don’t skip the primer!

Painting Your Bathroom Countertop

Step-by-step Instructions for Applying the Chosen Paint Type

Painting your bathroom countertop can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Mix the paint: First, I ensure that the paint is thoroughly mixed. If you’re using a two-part epoxy, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing the two components.
  2. Apply the first coat: I usually use a brush for the corners and edges and a foam roller for the rest. Start with a thin, even coat.
  3. Wait for it to dry: Patience is key here. I’ve found that rushing this step often leads to a messy finish.
  4. Apply subsequent coats: Again, thin and even strokes are key. Wait for the previous coat to dry before adding the next. It’s a tedious process, but trust me, it’s worth it!

Techniques for Achieving a Smooth and Even Finish

To achieve a smooth and even finish, I have a couple of techniques:

  1. Use a foam roller: I’ve found that foam rollers give a smoother finish than traditional brushes. They distribute the paint more evenly, reducing the likelihood of streaks and brush marks.
  2. Sand between coats: This may seem like an extra step, but it makes a huge difference. After each coat dries, I lightly sand the countertop with a fine-grit sandpaper. This helps the next coat adhere better and gives a smoother finish.

Drying and Curing Times

It’s crucial to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to drying and curing times.

I touched the countertop too soon after painting, thinking it was dry. It was a nightmare to fix the fingerprint marks!

So, I can’t stress this enough: Let the paint dry completely before touching it!

Typically, the paint will be dry to the touch within a few hours. However, it can take several days to cure fully.

Try to avoid using the countertop or placing anything heavy on it during this time. Once fully cured, you’ll have a beautifully painted bathroom countertop to be proud of!

Sealing and Protecting the Painted Countertop

Just when you think you’re done, there’s one more crucial step to ensure the longevity of your work: sealing the painted countertop.

Importance of Sealing to Enhance Durability

The reality is, even the highest quality paint can chip or wear off over time, especially in a high-traffic area like the bathroom.

Sealing the countertop acts as a protective barrier against water, scratches, and daily wear and tear.

I learned this the hard way when a hot hair straightener caused my newly painted countertop to blister.

From that day onward, sealing became a non-negotiable step in my process.

Types of Sealants Suitable for Painted Countertops

Several types of sealants are out there, but not all are suitable for painted countertops.

From my experience, I’ve found that water-based polyurethane sealants are the best.

They’re clear, so they don’t alter the paint color, plus they’re durable and easy to clean.

I tried an oil-based sealant once, and it yellowed over time—not a good look!

Application Process and Curing Times

Applying the sealant is similar to painting: thin, even layers are key. I usually apply at least two to three coats, sanding lightly between each coat for a smooth finish.

Curing times can vary based on the sealant type, but generally, it takes longer than the paint—up to a week in some cases.

I remember once when I placed a soap dispenser on the countertop too soon after sealing. It left a ring that haunts me to this day.

So, let the sealant cure thoroughly before using the countertop. Patience, my friend, is the secret ingredient to a job well done!

Maintenance and Care Tips

Be Gentle:

Gentle handling is the secret to longevity for your painted countertop. Remember, it’s painted, and while the sealant does offer protection, it can’t withstand hard knocks and scrapes.

This one time, I accidentally dropped my ceramic soap dish, and the resulting chip in the countertop was a stark reminder of this tip.

Heat Resistance:

Unlike stone countertops, painted countertops aren’t heat resistant. As I mentioned, I learned this when my hot hair straightener caused a blister.

Now, I always place a heat-resistant mat before I set down any hot tools.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals:

Some cleaning agents are too harsh and can damage the sealant, exposing your paint.

I once used a bleach bathroom cleaner, which left a faded spot on my otherwise perfect countertop. Since then, I have stuck to mild soap and water for cleaning.

Common Issues Like Scratches or Stains

  1. Cleaning: I recommend using a soft cloth and mild soap for everyday cleaning. Remember, no harsh chemicals! Wet the cloth, add a bit of soap, and gently wipe the countertop. Rinse the cloth and wipe again to rinse off the soap. Dry with a soft towel to prevent water spots.
  2. Handling Scratches: If you start to notice small scratches (it happens to the best of us), don’t panic! Light sanding and a fresh coat of sealant can usually fix it. Just remember to let it cure before using the countertop again.
  3. Stains: Try cleaning it with soap and water if you notice a stain. If that doesn’t work, baking soda and water paste can often lift the stain. Just be sure to test it in an inconspicuous area first—I learned this the hard way when I slightly discolored a section of my countertop.

Remember, it might not seem like a huge deal, but the right maintenance and care can maintain your painted bathroom countertop’s charm, making it look new and fresh for years.

Alternative Solutions

Countertop Refinishing Kits

Speaking from experience, countertop refinishing kits can be an excellent alternative solution. When I first discovered a chip on my countertop, I was initially skeptical about these kits.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The kit included everything I needed: a filler for the chip, various grits of sandpaper, and a clear, topcoat finish.

The process was straightforward, and the instructions were easy to follow. After a few hours, my countertop looked as good as new!

Remember, as with any DIY project, the results greatly depend on the time and care you invest.

DIY vs. Professional Refinishing: Pros and Cons

There’s always a debate about DIY versus hiring a professional.

DIY Pros: The most significant advantage of DIY is the cost savings. You can save a substantial amount by doing it yourself, which was a significant factor for me. Also, accomplishing a task on your own is immensely gratifying.

DIY Cons: On the flip side, DIY projects can be time-consuming. And there’s always the risk of not getting it right the first time.

I remember spending an entire weekend on my first DIY countertop project; the result was less than perfect.

Professional Refinishing Pros: When you hire professionals, you’re paying for their expertise and experience, which can result in a flawless finish.

They also have access to professional-grade materials that aren’t typically available to the public.

Professional Refinishing Cons: The cost is the main downside to hiring a professional. It can be significantly higher compared to a DIY project. For me, I had to weigh the convenience against the increased expense.

Ultimately, the choice between DIY and professional refinishing largely depends on your preferences, budget, and time availability.


As I wrap up my countertop painting journey, I can’t stress enough the significance of selecting the right paint. It truly makes all the difference in the final result.

I learned the hard way when my first DIY project was less than satisfactory. It was the wrong type of paint, which didn’t adhere well and peeled in a few days.

However, by doing my research and investing in a quality countertop paint kit, I was able to transform my drab bathroom countertop into a sleek, modern surface.

Embarking on a DIY project can seem daunting, especially when it involves a significant part of your home, like your bathroom countertop.

I’ve been there! But let me tell you, with suitable materials, a bit of patience, and a sprinkle of determination, you can indeed do it.

The satisfaction of looking at a countertop you’ve refreshed yourself is unparalleled. So arm yourself with paint and brush, and confidently approach this project!

In conclusion, painting bathroom countertops might initially seem like an ambitious undertaking. But once you dive in, it’s a journey of creativity, learning, and satisfaction.

I still remember stepping back and marveling at the transformation achieved with just a can of paint. It was a game-changer for my bathroom’s aesthetics.

So, whether you’re on a budget, love a good DIY, or want to inject new life into your bathroom, repainting your countertop could be the perfect project. Trust me, the results are worth every drop of paint!


Hi! I’m Kobby, one of the co-owners of favoredstoneguides.com and the newest house owner in town. I’m a huge fan of most things natural. Over here on this site, I'm happy to share all the exciting hacks, tricks, and tips I have learned and continue to learn each day about taking care of natural stones.

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