Removing Paint From Countertops

This post contains affiliate links, which you can read more about here.


Counter paint is figurative bovine excrement. (There. That feels better.)

What I meant to say is, "Have you ever wondered how to remove decorative paint from your countertops?" Well, wait no longer. My husband and I have done just that, and since the Internet is devoid of tutorials for such a thing -- I looked; trust me -- here's how one would do it.

Step 1. Assess the situation. The faux marble sponge paint job the previous homeowners did looked nice for a year but is now peeling off after normal use, so it's gotta go. Buh-bye.

Step 2. Gather your supplies, including paint stripping gel, old towels, wall scraper(s), and the secret ingredient, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. (Optional: adult beverage.)

Step 3. Cover cabinets with drop cloths or old sheets and yourself with painting clothes. A little centering tai chi or interpretive dance here would be good.


Step 4. Working in a well-ventilated area, apply paint stripper gel generously with a cheap paint brush to counter according to the directions. We found one that claimed to be safer, hopefully for both the mammals breathing it and also the counters underneath, so it worked best after sitting for at least 30 minutes to an hour and a half.

Step 5. Start scraping! For the tougher spots, we alternately scraped and then scrubbed with a hot, wet towel, rinsing frequently. Check out the videos for some virtual elbow grease.



Step 6. Repeat Steps 4 & 5 if necessary.

Step 7. Use Magic Erasers and water to get the last little bit up. We thought we were done after Step 6 and washing the counter, but this made a huge difference, so don't skip it.

Aaaaand you're done! It's time to celebrate and admire your handiwork.

Before & after
Thoughts on using Rustoleum or other countertop paint to update your home: It may be fine for a guest bathroom counter that doesn't get a lot of use or stuff set on it, like in a kitchen. On the other hand, if you're flipping a house and don't have a strong sense of guilt about what the future homeowner will have to go through when removing it, have at it & Godspeed.

Victory, sweet victory