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Painting Laminate Countertops with Chalkboard Paint

I considered lots of different things for the laminate countertops in the RV (I was this close to skimming it with concrete). It’s a tiny amount of surface space, so I could pretty much do anything without it being expensive. In the end, I decided just to paint them since neither my husband nor I wanted to put in the time or effort to rip out and replace the counters (or risk the concrete layer cracking and flaking off). There are a ton of kits and products out there for painting countertops, but I decided to keep it simple and just use chalkboard paint. It’s cheap, easy, and appears to hold up pretty well…what’s not to love?

Here is the before and after of the RV, so far –

Old camper remodel
painting a countertop black

and a close up of the countertop –

paint laminate countertops
how to paint a laminate countertop

So let’s get right into the tutorial!

Materials needed

  • sandpaper
  • chalkboard paint (This is different from chalk paint. Not that chalk paint wouldn’t work…I’ve never tried it)
  • paintbrush and/or a small roller
  • sealer
  • painters tape
  • primer (optional)
  • black caulk (or whichever color you prefer)

If you own none of these products before starting, it would still only cost approximately $20 -$25 to do this project, even on a huge surface.


How to paint laminate countertops

Step one

Sand the countertop so that the paint adheres better to the surface. I used 220 grit, but it doesn’t matter. Use what you have.

painting a laminate countertop

After you sand, clean the surface and allow dry completely.

Step two

Remove the sink, stove and whatever else is going to be in the way. Also tape off the areas where you don’t want paint, like the backsplash (which we haven’t installed yet).

How to paint a laminate countertop

Step three (optional)

Prime the countertop. I didn’t do this, I just went straight into painting. Swim at your own risk. If you choose to prime I would recommend an oil based primer, like this one.

Step four

chalkboard paint countertop

Paint the countertop. On a large surface using a small roller would be ideal, but my surface was tiny and had lots of cutouts, so I just used a paintbrush (this one is my absolute favorite and the only one I use, and you can buy them in bulk on Amazon for a great price.) I did three coats, with about an hour dry time between each one. The chalkboard paint will feel dry to the touch after about 30 minutes, but the can says to wait 24 hours before putting on a second or third coat. Obviously, I’m not great about following directions, but so far it hasn’t really mattered.

Step five

Lightly sand the dry countertop and wipe clean. Use the highest grit sandpaper you have for this, otherwise you will sand off all the paint and hate life. You just want to remove any brushstrokes or in my case, dust and dirt that dried into your paint.

Side note – I painted the table in the RV first to make sure this method worked before doing all the countertops. I tried to give that one some texture and variation to make it feel more like soapstone. Here is what it looked like after a light sanding. I was kinda digging it.

Can you paint countertops?

Then I sealed it and you can’t really any of the texture. Oh well. The good news is that if your paint job isn’t perfectly smooth, it won’t really matter in the end.

Step six

How to paint a countertop

After the paint is fully cured (I waited a day) add your sealer. If you don’t use a sealer you will be able to use it as a chalkboard, but that obviously wasn’t my intent. I wanted a very, very matte look, so that the countertop would look like soapstone. Putting a wax finish on it would be ideal for this, but wax isn’t hardy enough for a kitchen countertop, no matter how irregularly it is used. Instead I used my go-to matte sealer, which is this one. I brushed on two coats and called it a day. Easy.

Step seven

The final step is to reinstall the sink and appliances, and then caulk around the edges. You can buy black caulk at the hardware store to match the countertop, or you can go with clear or white or whatever you think will look best. I actually just realized that I haven’t caulked my sink into place yet, but I will.

Here is the final result!

painting RV countertops
How to paint laminate countertops
How to paint a countertop
painting a laminate countertop
RV remodel - painting

It turned out really great and was such an easy project. 10/10 would recommend!

Here is a video of the process as well –


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  1. That’s a great idea – they really do look like soapstone!
    Can’t wait to see the whole project – I’m loving the afters. It’s so amazing what paint can do!

    1. It really is… I’m constantly amazed by paint! This remodel (so far) has only cost us about $15. Well…$15, a mattress, and a few months, haha.

  2. Wow! Your camper is going to be so cute when your are done! I have always wanted to paint ours but have chickened out so far. I look forward to seeing yours finished!

  3. I’ve painted our kitchen counters twice. I’d say the paint job lasts 2 years before is shows wear noticably (we’re a family of 4 so high use). It is absolutely the fastest and cheapest way to get an instant transformation. My SIL has soapstone countertops and your paint job looks almost identical to that. You’ll enjoy it so much!

    1. Two years is a pretty good run! My concrete kitchen countertops are only about two years old and are showing noticeable wear…plus they were way more time consuming and expensive than painted ones.

  4. Interesting idea, it looks great and it’s functional, easy to write a quick note down if you had to. I wonder if you could do the same thing with dry erase paint? Maybe a project for a work desk? Anyhow, thanks for posting!

  5. Hi did you paint your refrigerator with chalk board paint as well? I love your posts, I am almost finished with our camper but saw your post on painted countertops and just had to try it. Just painted the last coat of paint and waiting for them to dry. So far, so good. Thanks for your posts!!

  6. I love your countertops and followed your directions step by step. The only thing is when doing the sealer to our counters they are looking super streaky. Did you have this problem? Do you have any advice for us? Thank you!

  7. Loved your idea and followed it step by step! It looks great, but we are wondering why it shows white marks whenever it is wet? Ideas of what to do or where we went wrong? ????

  8. So I did this on my kitchen counter top and sanded it a little before priming tomorrow. There are light sand lines. Are you saying the sealer will cover those? Thanks

  9. Did you use a water-based poly or an oil base. I painted my countertops and want to put a sealer on it I can only find the water base in the matte finish. Did you use waterbase or oil base? I love the countertops they turned out great.

  10. How does it hold up? Would it work in a kitchen with more use than a camper? Did you only use one coat of poly? Thank you!

  11. I love the countertops! I’m thinking of painting our kitchen countertops which are Formica to save money. My question is how do the countertops look now after it’s been on awhile? Are they still looking the same as in the pic here?

  12. Gorgeous and I love that you didn’t do all the steps and it came out perfect. I never do all the steps either, so now I know what I can get away with!!

  13. Thank you for this informative post and the great idea! I did this project in my Forest River Sunseeker and was very pleased with the results. Here is what I learned: 1) The Wooster shorty brush is the key to success. I tried a cabinet foam roller for the first coat on one surface and it pebbled. Once I switched to the Wooster shorty, all was well. 2) Prep really well around the sink faucet area. I had a huge painted section pull up when I peeled off the tape but was able to repair it with another coat of paint underneath and some light sanding. 3) You probably don’t need to sand between coats unless you mess up. I did sand between coats but I think if I’d just sanded after the last coat the effect would have been the same. Except for a couple of boo-boos where sanding was essential to level things out. Hope this helps!

  14. I’m in love with your way of renovating.
    My family just took over my brothers rv and this is what I’m doing!


  15. I’m curious how this project has held up over use. I’ve seen rust-oleums counter top paint, but never the chalkboard paint used for this type of project. Would you use this product again, or go for the actual counter top paint system? Thank you.

    1. I can’t comment on the long-term durability of this technique since we sold this trailer after only about a year of owning it. It held up perfectly for that year though!

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