One solution was to replace the laminate, but that would be a several hundred dollar option and the new owner might want to do something different so I scoured the internet and found several sites were people had painted their laminate. I combined the ideas from several and decided to tackle it myself using spray paint. I like the texture you can get from many of the new spray paints that are just not possible with a roll on paint.
This is what I did:
Give the countertops a good scrubbing to make sure they are clean. Let it dry thoroughly.
Lightly sand with a fine grit sandpaper. You just want to take off the gloss and give the paint something to stick to. Wash again to remove the dust and let the countertop dry. Tape off all surrounding areas and cover the floor.All the other web sites said to use products from the same manufacturer. I disregarded that advice and decided to use these products.I choose the Krylon Fusion, because laminate has plastic in it and this paint serves as a “plastic” primer and base color all in one. You could use a basic primer and a different base coat and do this in two steps if you wanted a different color.
I choose American Accent Stone, because I liked the texture and color variation it provides. It does need a base color under it though.
I choose the Minwax because it was the only Polyurethane I could find in a spray can.
Put a couple of light coats of the Fusion on the surface and let it dry an hour or so. Make sure you open windows and doors for ventilation since you will be using spray paint in the house. This is very important. If you cannot get good ventilation, I would not suggest using spray paint in the house.
Also, if you have gas appliances-stove, water heater, etc., any where near where you want to spray paint-DON'T DO IT unless you have turned off the gas source. (Contact a professional if you are unsure how to do this.) THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!! If you are unable to turn off the gas source please do not use this method.
Then apply the stone texture. I did several light coats with very little drying time between coats until I got the look I wanted. I let this dry for four hours.
Next, gently scrapped the surface with a plastic putty knife just to knock down high spots. I vacuumed the counter top to remove any loose debris.
Follow up with several coats of semi-gloss polyurethane. Let it dry to the touch between coats. I wanted to be careful to allow enough time for the countertop to cure, so I put protective paper on them, the next morning after the polyurethane was dry to the touch and kept them there for two weeks.
UPDATE: The countertops seemed to discolor with any extensive moisture. They would dry back to what the picture shows, but I was concerned about the durability. I love the texture that the spray paint offers, I just didn’t care for the spray on poly. I added 2 coats of brush on polyurethane in a satin finish since I originally did this project and they are holding up extremely well. If I did this again, I would skip the spray on polyurethane altogether and go with the brush on poly instead. They seem to be impervious to moisture now. I am extremely happy with them and would highly recommend doing it.
Spray paint near gas appliances could be very bad news and extremely dangerous. Only use spray paint if there is no gas source (stoves, water heaters, furnaces, etc.) any where in the vicinity or if you are completely certain that you have turned off the gas. And please only use spray paint indoors if you are able to open windows and doors and get a lot of ventilation.