Home Decor

Giving the Kitchen Counters an Update

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you may remember when we painted our laminate countertops a little more than a year ago. Initially, we loved the new look and the counters seemed to be holding up pretty well. However, after some wear and tear, they started to PEEL. Eek! We put up with the peeling for awhile, but it made the counters constantly look dirty, so it was time to give the kitchen counters an update. You can see the new pretty countertops below.

Kitchen Counters an Update

Just in case you need a refresher, here are some photos of the evolution of our countertops/kitchen. The counters were an almond color laminate when we moved in.

Kitchen Update 2

Next, we updated the kitchen cabinets with paint, but left the counters the same for a short time.

Kitchen Update 1

We knew we wanted to change up the counters, but because of other home improvement projects, we opted to save some money and try to paint them.

Painting Laminate Countertops

Unfortunately, this is what they looked like after about 9 months. When we painted them, we were planning to use oil based paint and poly, but ended up purchasing a latex based poly against our better judgement, thanks to the bad advice of our local hardware store paint guy. Don’t these look creepy?

Painted Laminte Countertops

I’m sure that we could have sanded off the poly and reapplied an oil based option, like Varathane, which would have held up much better. However, we are a little more limited now that we have pets in the house (who sometimes may or may not climb on the kitchen counters) and wanted something that we could just put in quickly vs. several days of drying time for the poly.

We decided to go with the Saljan black mineral effect countertops from Ikea. They are super inexpensive and we knew we didn’t want to put a lot of money into the project, since we probably would not end up seeing a return from it when we decide to sell our home.

New Ikea Laminate Counter Countertops

These countertops were pretty easy to install ourselves. In all honesty though, we did have one oops and had to purchase an extra counter. (Make sure not to drop them after they have been cut!) My hubby cut them to size, including space for the sink and range, and we had a ready to go work surface within a few hours.

Flowers on Ikea Black Counter

We’ve been living with the new countertops for about a month now and they are working out great so far! You may have also noticed a few other changes going on it the kitchen (Hello beadboard!) and tomorrow I will be sharing my spring home tour, so stop by then to see more details!


  • Pat

    Thanks for the info and advice. I have been trying to decide on a counter update that is not pricey. Your trials and errors have given me much needed help in my quest.

  • Ryab

    Question about the counterops…. are the edges the same all the way around? Would it work for an island or is the particle board showing on the back? Looks great. Thanks

  • Debbie Willlison

    hi, thanks for sharing, want to do something with my laminate countertops, like your idea about ikea but have questions, did you have to take out your old countertop to install the ikea stuff or was it a new laminate? i am not familiar with the saljan black mineral effect item you mention and wondered how much work it was? thanks

    • Judy Brodston

      You do have to remove your old counters to install the new IKEA countertops, these are counters that you buy and cut to fit yourself.

  • Linda

    You have inspired me to finish my kitchen! The new floors are down and I have been stuck on my Island and countertops!
    I know in my heart this is probably not my forever home! I am 60 and it’s too much for me now with a few health problems. If it were located in the Warmer weather year round …anyway THANK YOU!
    I’m getting out my supplies and if it takes 10 times longer than it used to, at least I’m getting it done, but I won’t put the Barn Wood in! Plan #2 for this house and I’m at peace with that!
    Bless You

  • Winnie

    Thank you
    I’ve been trying to make my kitchen nicer looking
    I can’t afford to have my kitchen professionally done
    I think with a couple of friends this is possible
    Thank you so much

  • Leanne Navin

    Hi – just came across your web site and LOVE IT I am on a tight budget – do you think if I used the oil based
    paint on my laminate kitchen counter tops, they would last longer than 9 months? Also, are there different types of poly or just one?

    Thank you so much and have a great day.

    Davie, FL

    • Erin

      Hi, Davie!

      Thanks for stopping by! When we first tackled this project, we used an oil based paint and a water based poly. That combination led to peeling and flaking of the top layer. If you decided to do this, I would recommend using either both oil based paint and poly (such as Varathane) or both water based paint and poly (such as Polycrylic). The oil based products will typically take longer to dry, but will more than likely be more durable. Be aware that if you are choosing a light color oil paint, that the Varathane on top tends to yellow a bit and will be visible over time. I hope that helps!

  • Aldo

    Hi Erin, Thank you for sharing your experience. I’d be grateful if you can tell me if the Säljan black mineral effect/laminate is closer to black or grey? In the pictures is looks more like black with white specks but sometimes it’s difficult to say. Many thanks

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