DIY countertop update

One size does not fit all for updating a house, especially the kitchen. There are many simple home improvement projects that are affordable with huge return on investment without remodeling.

From simply replacing hardware, updating light fixtures to painting the cabinets, the possibilities are endless. Beth Owen updated her kitchen countertops with chalk paint and it looks amazing. Owen shares her story here.

Do It Yourself Faux Soapstone Countertop

Our laminate kitchen countertops were in great shape, so I couldn’t see replacing them. After painting our brown kitchen cabinets white, the brown speckled countertop color seemed wrong. My heart was set on black soapstone but it’s pricey.

Before, brown and speckled.
Before, brown and speckled.

I had great luck with chalk paint on many different projects because it adheres to almost anything, cleans easy, long lasting and available in many colors or custom blended with any paint color. Chalk paint is a mixture of paint, water, and plaster of Paris. The plaster helps it to dry quickly and eliminates any brush lines. The paint “settles,” stopping the swirl marks and making the piece look like it was brushed on smoothly no matter how it is applied making it a great beginner project.

To create my faux black soapstone countertops, I first gave the current counters a good scrubbing to remove any grease or stuck on debris. This is the time consuming part of the project. Once clean and dry, I mixed my paint. First mix 5 tablespoons plaster of Paris into 2 tablespoons of water. Then pour that mixture into 2 cups of flat black paint. Easy!

Countertop After! Beautiful.
Countertop After! Beautiful.

My favorite go-to paintbrush is a 2-inch Blue Hawk Angle Brush. Those are great for edging, inexpensive, and indestructible. Paint a thin layer over the countertop, and rest assured that the paint will settle and any lines you have will disappear. Chalk paint dries so quickly, by the time you’ve reached one end of the kitchen; the other end will likely be ready for round two. There is no need to sand your project. This paint sticks to anything. After the second coat, let dry for at least two hours before applying a food safe wax to the surface. I’d wax it more than once, just for extra protection. The wax really gets rid of any chalky appearance, seals your project so it lasts, and really makes the finish look like stone.

My countertops were first painted four years ago. They put up with a lot of wear and tear, but I noticed the areas that got extra abuse, the speckled brown was showing through. I’ve recently become a “Fixer Upper” fan; so this time I tried Joanna Gaines’ black chalk paint from Target. It went on beautifully, and has a nice glow when waxed. Looks like I won’t be getting my real soapstone countertops because I have the next best thing and saved money too!

~Beth Owen, Circleville


This is the perfect project for preparing your home for sale or if you don’t want to spend a fortune on a remodel but want to update the look of your kitchen.