I have ugly blue formica countertops but cannot aford to replace them. I would love to have stone countertops. My question is, can I paint them with a stone effect paint and then polyurethane over it to give me a smooth durable surface to work on that is food safe? I love to cook and so so quite often, plus my small children grab stuff off the counter to eat all the time and I want to make sure that it will be safe.
Hi Mandy, You can paint over formica and I know there are products for that finish specifically. The problem lies in doing the proper preparation work to create a bondable surface for that finish. I would first use a palm sander with 120 or lighter grit sandpaper running it lightly over the surface enough to dull it a bit. (I've never sanded a counter like that so don't know about dust, but wear a mask and protect surrounding surfaces with plastic if so) Vacuum the surface. Then I would wash the surface with a mixture of trisodium phosphate and water and rinse. Then you need to buy a strong bonding primer such as Zinsser BIN or an XIM primer. Apply it carefully with a short nap roller. You now have a bonded surface and can apply any paint finish once that's dry. The primer may work without the sanding but I wouldn't take the chance. As to food safe clear coats, I'm sure a little research will find one. But, is anything really food safe? Good Luck.