Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Kit

One of our Haven sponsors was Rustolem and they have some wonderful innovative products that I have enjoyed trying out. They were great and sent me primer for my new house and when I asked if I could try out the countertop kit, they didn’t hesitate to send it out.  I chose the Onyx color and figured it would be a great way to extend the life of my not so pretty guest bath countertop.  I can’t afford to gut those bathrooms at the moment, so anything I can do to make them prettier, well, that’s what I’m doing.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have to say, that I love the way they turned out.   So much fresher and more up to date than the old dated laminate from the late 70’s.  I can live with it now and make it work with my décor.

Here’s a step by step on how I did the countertop and how it turned out.  It’s a 2 day process.

old laminate countertop before

Here’s a reminder of the Before laminate.  Dated. 70’s. OK, ugly!  There’s mauve in there, uggh.

Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Onyx after

And the After is so much better.  It’s glossy and smooth in a pebbly way and should clean up very well.

Rustoleum Countertop transformation kit

Here’s how I did it.  I was sent this kit for free to try out, but didn’t receive any other compensation for doing this.  I wanted to try it and was happy to do so. The kit retails at the big box stores for around $150 and it does more than one countertop.

Countertop Transformation kit

It comes all packaged in a nice and tidy kit with all the materials labeled.


The first step is taping all your edges, along the front, sides, and backsplash area, making sure to mask off anything that you don’t want paint on.  The comes sanding down the counters, removing the gloss from them.   This gets messy when the chips start flying so it is a good idea to have a dropcloth on the floor too.  I didn’t do that and vacuumed up chips after, they were a mess!

materials needed

The first can is the black top coat, a thick gloppy substance that resembles tar when it goes on.  You want an old paintbrush for the sides and backsplash bringing it out a couple of inches and then that is where the roller comes in.  You want to try to keep a wet edge as your working your way around the countertop.  I didn’t get pics of this step, but cover every inch of the countertop making sure there  is nothing white showing.  You want it pretty heavy, because then you’re going to fling those black chips all over it and you really want it to stick well.


Here is is all covered with the Base coat.  Nice and thick.  It doesn’t have to be really smooth, it will level out.

chips for countertop

Next, you will fill up that white contraption, somewhat like a fertilizer spreader with the black chips.  I filled up the spreader with chips and then pressed the button, turning the wheel and chips went a-flying.  All over the countertop.  Just go back and forth, whirling the spreader and making sure that all those chips fly and stick all over the countertop, covering every inch of the black base coat.  It should stick very well, but there’s a wetting agent in a bottle just in case it starts not sticking well.  You have about 20 minutes to do this and that is plenty of time.

after chips

And here’s what it looks like after flinging those chips.  It does go everywhere so be aware of that.  In the sink, on the floor, everywhere.


See what I mean?  Chips everywhere.  But they do vacuum up fairly easily, they reminded me of spilled coffee.  Now, let everything dry well overnight.  You want to do the 2nd coat within 24 hours of the first one.


Next day, here’s what it looks like.  Then you get a scraper tool and another hand sander block out and hand sand the chips down, scraping off the excess and sanding smooth the surface, preparing it for the final top coat.  You do wipe down well with a damp cloth in between these steps too and then let it dry before going on to the top coat.

after sanding

Here’s what it should look like after sanding, sort of gray looking as everything gets smoothed out.  I didn’t get mine completely as smooth as the sample they had in the kit, but I was happy with it anyway.  It was smooth enough for me.


The 2nd coat is mixed together, Part A and Part B, which turns into a thickish poly looking topcoat that you’ll brush and roll on.  You want this thick as well.


Ready to brush it on the backsplash with the paintbrush. By the way, I used an old paintbrush and threw it away.

painting on top coat

Brush the backsplash first and then move down to the flat area and roll.

adding topcoat

Rolling and brushing, be sure to cover evenly and thickly.  It will self level and mine wasn’t perfect by any means, but for the most part it’s smooth.  There were some thicker parts back in the corner of the countertop, but it dries clear and is not that noticeable. I brushed all around the sink getting it into all the corners and edges of the countertop and ends.  There are areas that are thicker and thinner on the countertop itself, but overall it looks really good.


After that, let it dry overnight before you mess with anything.  I left the tape on as that is what the directions said to do.


Still wet.


The whole countertop all covered and drying.  It takes several weeks to completely cure, so it should be good and dry by the time I move in.  NOTE:  It is very dry by the 3rd day, so that it can be wiped down and very dry to the touch.  Like most paints, the complete curing time can takes weeks, so you should just be careful during that time. 

after sink

The next day, I used a utility knife and cut around the sink and backsplash, removing the Frogtape.  It came off pretty well without a lot of damage. You can see the edge of the sink here and under the rim, it’s a little messy where the sink is raised a bit.  There was old caulking in here that I took out and I think I’ll tape around the sink and go back and recaulk it in white and try to clean up the edge line a little bit. I think that will make it look cleaner.   Around the sink is the hardest part to get nice and smooth with a clean line.


There was one little spot to the back of the sink where it pulled off some of the black when I cut the tape.  I went back and added a little solid black back on top of it and it should dry out fine.  That doesn’t bother me.

Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Onyx after

And here is the finished product again.  Overall, I’m really, really happy with it.  It’s much better than the old one and the finish feels good to the touch too.  It’s very shiny and feels almost vinyl-like and should clean up well.  I’m going to eventually get a frame up on the mirror too.

Guest Bath after

Here’s the room finished with mirrors framed and it’s still like this now.  The countertop has held up fine almost 4 years later.

So, if you have an old countertop that needs sprucing up, I can definitely say that this Rustoleum product worked great for it.  You have nothing to lose anyway by trying to cover up an ugly countertop that you don’t like anyway, that’s the way I looked at it.  I’m happy enough with my masterbath countertop, so I’m leaving it as is, but this one looks much better to me.

What do you think?  Would you try it?

{Disclosure:  I received my Rustoleum Countertop Transformations kit for free, but did not get paid for my review.  My opinions and experience with the product are entirely my own.}

- Rhoda


  1. I applied charcoal countertop transformations in my kitchen and am very pleased with the results. It does require work and is messy but a shop vac cleans up the chips easily. The product covered all imperfections on our laminate countertops and gave the kitchen a completely new look. I also used the buttercup cabinet transformations and it is absolutely beautiful. It saved us thousands and I highly recommend both products. It is well worth the work and minor inconvenience of not having full use of the kitchen for a few days. I LOVE these products.

    • HI, Ellen, thanks for sharing your positive experience with their products. I’m so happy that you got a brand new look!!

  2. I just finished the cabinet and countertop restoration kits in my kitchen. They both took time and labor, but I LOVE how my kitchen turned out and the countertops (in charcoal) look amazing. Unlike the earlier poster, I bought two small kits and only used one. All of my products worked as described and I am very happy with the way it has turned out.

    • Carla, that is great to hear! I’m glad you had good success and let me know about it. I’m very happy with mine too.

  3. I completed this project in my kitchen just last week. I love it! I did it alone and found that the sanding part was actually the most time consuming part of it all. I suggest to others, work in a pair! One person is much harder than two would be. I am so pleased with the results. I paid $250 to do my entire kitchen. I have replaced with laminate before in a previous home, and trust me, this was much easier and I didn’t have to worry about every thing being squared up. This was much more budget friendly as well. Highly recommend it!

  4. Great job! I have had one of these kits sitting in my garage for over a year now that Ive been too scared to pull out and try.. your outcome gives me motivation

  5. I think you could have purchased a new ready-made counter top at Lowes or Home Depot for what the kit cost for that size vanity top. It is an improvement to the faux marble Formica/laminate you had, but it’s wiser to spend your money on improvements that don’t look so DIY.

    • Remember she received the kit from the company for free…I would sure try it like that for free!

  6. I just finished applying the chips tonight to a wet bar counter in our bonus room and it already looks amazing. I bought this kit a year ago and waited as it seemed a bit overwhelming, but it was so easy except the sanding but so worth it. I am doing a guest bathroom next. Yay!!!

  7. I too have the not so lovely 80’s in both bathrooms, mine are faux wood. As the price is a bit steep for one bath, I wonder if I could get both done from one kit?? In one bath the countertop is 46″ and the other is 9 1/2 foot. What do you think?

    • Hi, Rhoni, be sure to read on the box, but I do think you might be able to do both with one kit. It should tell you the square footage on the box that it covers. I did have quite a bit left over after I did this one.

  8. my backsplash is laminate, going all the way from countertop to bottom of cupboards. So I have vertical surface approximately 16″ high behind counters made from same laminate as countertops, with stainless steel or aluminum strip between counter and backsplash. It doesn’t seem that this system will work on vertical surfaces, afraid it will all slide down to bottom. Any suggestions for alternative fixes?

  9. We just used the Countertop Kit in our kitchen. We just purchased the house and the countertops were an awful bright blue shade, I don’t know what the previous owners were thinking. We picked the pebbled ivory. My husband and his friend sanded and did the first step on Friday. On Saturday, my husband sanded the surface, wiped and painted on the top coat and all I can say is wow. It is amazing. I love the way they look. We are painting and replacing the tile but the kitchen already looks 100% better. We purchased the larger kit ($250) but a steal when comparing it to Granite which we had originally considered. We will be doing the same thing in our bathrooms. We have very long, double sink vanities. I was just going to replace one, but they are 71” and 85” and those are anywhere from $499 – $999. A 61” cultured marble vanity top with molded sinks is $194 to get 10 extra inches is $499. So for us a $150 (the smaller kit will easily cover the bathrooms) is well worth it.

  10. Wonderful Tutorial! Your photos and instructions were very easy to follow, and I did just that, working out how I’d approach my counter in my mind as I read. Also, your taste in colors and putting things together is delightful. (That is the hard part about decorating for me. I see all these great ideas in magazines and I want to do them ALL. But you can’t. You need to select wisely, know what to edit, and know when you are done.) I took your house tour and loved every room. That said, in your close-up counter shot, I can see where the poly top coat is thicker in places, and that imperfection would drive me crazy. My home is not purrfect–I appreciate worn wood floors, chippy finishes, and live with clawed furniture–but the countertop would bug me. Too, the cure time is too long. I have a few cats that jump onto the counters to drink from the faucet. If I deny them, they whine. (Yes, they have water bowls.) If I lock them out of the bathroom, Monkeydoo immediately starts pulling at the door bottom, over and over again, with his front paws (noise I don’t want heard in the condo downstairs). I could not fight with him for weeks waiting for a complete cure. Nope. Not for me.

  11. I am thinking about this for a kitchen, just before we go on vacation for 12 days. Wondering since you did this a couple of years ago how it is holding up on your bathroom vanity?

    • HI, Barb, it is holding up fine. I haven’t seen any nicks on it at all. My roommate uses that bathroom.

  12. Gene Holloway says

    I re-done my countertop and it looks good, except when I applied the top coating on it was dark and I didn’t apply evenly and now I have runs. What do you recommend I do to take the runs out. Can a person sand with a very fine sand paper to get the runs out then put another coat of top coat on? I also had a problem with the chips not sticking even when I applied it on with the cement was still wet and I also used the wetting agent. I repaired it per the video I received and it worked, but now it shows all the repair areas I did. It build it up so when I sanded it off the chips where sanded away also. It left an area with just adhesive. How can I fix it without redoing the whole countertop over?? Thanks you for your time.
    Have a wonderful day

    • Hi, Gene, so sorry you had problems with this. I am not an expert on Rustoleum products, so I would suggest you go to their website and ask them. I’m sure they have a customer service # or email you can contact them direct. I got the product and used it and it worked very well for me, so I just don’t have answers to give you. Please contact Rustoleum, thanks!

  13. It looks very good…does it cover cultured marble as well?

  14. I just purchased the Onyx kit. I’m a little hesitant to use it though as the chips look like they are entirely black. The picture shows some dark grey flecks in the finished project, but I’m not sure how that will happen with what appear to be only one color of chips. Will these chips actually give a flecked appearance or will my counter look solid black? Any insight??

    • My countertop is definitely shaded colors, a mix of charcoal and black. The overall look is black but it has variations.

  15. It looks horrible. The texture makes it look painted.

    • Well, it looks WAY better than the original ugly laminate that is under neath. I’m still happy with it almost 4 years later.

  16. I am using the same type of paint sort of. It is their spray paint that is textured. I have decided I don’t like the color which is tan. I think I will use their flat black over the textured tan then get some polyurethane to go over top. Although I will get a matte if they have it.

  17. Ramona Baker says

    How do you get them to send you free product?

  18. Charlotte Stahl says

    Yes I would try it would like to know what other colors it comes in

  19. Michel Scott-Gunter says

    I,m still trying to get reviews of counter and cabinets transformations and find out it there are any bad reveiews

    • HI, Michel, that bathroom countertop is still holding up 6 years later so I have no complaints. You could probably buy a new countertop though for the same price as the product.


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