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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  • Pharmdnate
    December 26, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    what a wast of space.

  • Zara
    June 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    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
      March 5, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      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
    November 16, 2013 at 3:11 am

    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
    March 3, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    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
      March 5, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      Thanks for the tip Cecile!

    • Carole Morgan
      August 8, 2014 at 5:43 am

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

    • vanessab
      August 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm

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

      • MommyOf4
        April 12, 2015 at 9:05 pm

        The toothbrush is dipped in a contrasting paint, then run your finger over the bristles to “flick” the paint onto the counter to speckle it. We used this technique a lot in high school art class for “snow” on paintings.

    • Mamie Jenny
      August 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      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
      February 8, 2015 at 2:31 pm

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

  • nicki
    August 8, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Cecelia what was the toothbrush for?

    • DIY5
      February 8, 2015 at 2:30 pm

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

    • MommyOf4
      April 12, 2015 at 9:06 pm

      see above response ^^

  • Nancy N
    August 8, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    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
      October 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      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.

    • MommyOf4
      April 12, 2015 at 9:13 pm

      Are they all in one piece, or are the backsplashes actually separate from the countertops? If they are all one solid piece, then by all means, do them at the same time and in the same color as the countertops – will end up looking like corian/silestone (both are used as counter/backsplash seamlessly). If the formica pieces are separate, then you’ll have to decide if you want to try to remove the backsplash portion to do something different, simply use the same technique from the countertops anyway, or adhere something different to the top of the formica to try to create the illusion of a separate backsplash, such as pressed-tin ceiling tiles, glass tile, etc.

  • Laura Stark
    August 9, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    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
      October 8, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      Where do you get this?

      • MommyOf4
        April 12, 2015 at 9:09 pm

        try googling it. always a faster response than asking in comments 🙂 I found About 68,500 results (0.43 seconds)