Cheap Kitchen Countertop Design

The item we use most in the kitchen? Our countertops! They can be the most visually attractive component of a kitchen or conversely the most hideous. They take a tremendous amount of abuse and we expect them to perform under a variety of conditions whether it be heat, moisture, weight or general wear.


An issue with selecting new countertops is the cost and time involved with installation and in many instances you just want to change the color or texture and maybe hide various stains or slight damage and abnormalities in your countertop.

Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations

Rust-Oleum has introduced a cheap kitchen countertop design product that can give old laminate countertops a premium designer finish without the expense, mess or downtime associated with replacement.


The Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations Do-It-Yourself Countertop Coating System comes in a complete kit and has been created with the DIYer in mind.

“Homeowners today are looking for countertop surfaces that are durable and functional, yet appeal to their sense of style,” says Rust-Oleum senior brand manager Ashley Lehrmann. “Countertop Transformations is a highly durable alternative to expensive new countertops that’s guaranteed to last for years.”


Rust-Oleum is hoping their new countertop treatment will replicate the look of natural stone but to the discerning eye it is still a bit off and once you touch it you know it’s not the real thing. But with the variety of countertop materials out there we don’t get the feeling that it’s trying to replicate stone but rather introduce us to a whole new surface which it is.

Countertop Transformations gives you the ability to transform your countertops, providing a durable new finish at a fraction of the cost of replacement. The coating system eliminates the need to hire a contractor and the mess associated with countertop replacement. It’s also possible to use on bathroom vanities, bar tops and tabletops.

How to Install Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations

We went through all of the steps to install this countertop transformation with Rust-Oleum that included:

Step 1: Prepare the surface with the Diamond Embedded Sanding Tool (included).
Step 2: Apply the Countertop Transformations Adhesive Base Coat.
Step 3: Spread the Decorative Color Chips.
Step 4: Sand and smooth.
Step 5: Apply the Countertop Transformations Protective Top Coat.

All it took was five steps to a new countertop. There is definitely some labor involved with sanding the countertop to a smooth surface and currently they only provide a sponge size hand sander which they claim contains tiny diamonds which are used as an abrasive.

We suspect some people might take the sanding process into their own hands and use a 120-180 grit paper with their palm sander or oscillating attachment but double check the instructions before trying that, in fact Rust-Oleum doesn’t recommend it.

Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations Finishes


There are a variety of finishes including Pebbled Ivory, Desert Sand, Java Stone, Onyx and Charcoal – the most sought after “neutrals” in kitchen design. It stands up to daily wear and tear and features HomeShield Antimicrobial Protection to protect the painted surface by inhibiting the growth of mold, mildew, and other odor or stain-causing microbes.

The Countertop Transformations kit comes with almost everything needed for a countertop refinishing project including an Adhesive Base Coat, Wetting Agent, Decorative Color Chips, a Diamond-Embedded Sanding Tool, Sanding Block, Decorative Chip Dispenser, Decorative Chip Scraper, Texture Sample and Stir Sticks. It also includes step-by-step instructions (in both English and Spanish) and an instructional DVD to make the project even easier.

Countertop Transformations is backed by a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. A dedicated Product Support line is also available for assistance with projects, if needed.

If you’re seeking a cheap alternative to your countertop design then you may want to give this kit from Rust-Oleum a try. It should be available at your local home center and costs $250 which covers 50 sqft so a fraction of the investment of new countertops.

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Timothy Dahl

Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
  • Pharmdnate

    what a wast of space.

  • Zara

    I have the old square white tile, what can be done to it? I actually put mosaic tile over it but it was not heat resistant and the glass cracked when I put a hot pan on it, so had to chip it all back off

    • Charles & Hudson

      That sounds like a lot of work. This countertop solution isn’t best with tile. Either a really deep cleaning of the tile is in order or remove the tile and put on a laminate.

  • Joanne Miller

    I used this product last year on my kitchen benchtops… did all the prep properly but it is not lasting… I will need to replace all the benchtops again….all it did was brought us some time.. its not a permanent solution by any means and it is a lot of work to put it on. I woudl n ot recommned it to anyone unless they needed a quick fix for resale etc.

  • Cecile Dixon

    I got much the same effect with acrylic paint, a toothbrush and polyurethane to seal it all. It has been on my heavy traffic kitchen counters for about five years now and has a few small spots of wear but considering it cost less than ten bucks and some elbow grease I consider it an economical facelift.

    • Charles & Hudson

      Thanks for the tip Cecile!

    • Carole Morgan

      What type of Acrylic did you use, and did you spackle it with the toothbrush?

    • vanessab

      Hi Cecil, what did you use the toothbrush for? What type of acrylic paint did you use?

    • Mamie Jenny

      did you create a page with details for this transformation?- I start to be pretty old and long standing is too much for me. Do the all thing as to be done in one time or can you do one side, then the other?

    • DIY5

      I can’t see the responses to this post. ?

  • nicki

    Cecelia what was the toothbrush for?

    • DIY5

      I’m trying to view responses but can’t.?

  • Nancy N

    My under-cabinet “wall” area and sink and stove backsplashes are made of the same formica as my countertops. Can I do those as well so it ALL matches? If I do the counters, I HAVE to do something about the wall area….

    • AJ Trujillo

      Home Depot has a good bit of $6-8 sheets of backsplash, but you might aso want to look for a store that deals with blemished kitchen cabinets, tiles and laminates. This product is a cheap fix but new laminate countertops would run you about 250ish for 12-14 sq feet. I personally won’t be taking the risk, but I wish you the best of luck if you do.

  • Laura Stark

    Rust-Oleum might be good if you want to spend that much money. Giani is similar and it’s what I would recommend. I have it on my kitchen countertops, and I love it! It can be done in steps, stages, whatever suits your lifestyle. It’s fun and it would be a neat thing for bonding with teenagers. I don’t mean to bash Rust-Oleum : I love their paints!! But Giani is only eighty dollars. A lot cheaper and I think it’s a superior product.

    • Steve

      Where do you get this?