How to DIY Faux Slate Countertops With Chalkboard Paint

May 10, 2020

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A few months ago, I finally finished our laundry room makeover. (If you haven’t seen that post and the full reveal — plus lots of before and after photos — you can check it out here!)

I love a good paint project that I pretty much can’t mess up, but I am just not into demoing an entire room and taking my walls back to the studs. Trust me, I wish I was into it, because I could save myself a ton of money. But when it comes to major projects, that’s what professionals are for, and I simply don’t trust myself enough to do intricate work like that and have it look amazing when all is said and done. Sure, I could pick out a killer backsplash and counter top combo, but the install process? No, thanks.

Anyway, when I was redoing our laundry room on a budget because, well, I don’t exactly have thousands of dollars to invest in a laundry room overhaul right now, I had to do something about our ugly laminate counters. Please take a look.

laundry countertops diy before 1

laundry countertops diy before 2

It was all very……brown. Not to mention that pile of clothes on the counters. Totally on trend in terms of decor, you guys! [Insert eye roll here.]

I considered a couple different options:

  • Covering them with contact paper that had a faux marble look, which seemed easy enough
  • Spray painting them for a faux stone look (which, for the record, I did try but the smell was so awful that I literally couldn’t continue, and ended up throwing the can of spray paint in the garbage)
  • Painting them with chalk paint and then using a stencil to paint a pattern on top

Well, I wound up doing none of the above. In fact, I went for an option that was easier than anything I had planned.

I painted the laminate counters with chalkboard paint for a faux slate look.

Yes, chalkboard paint — NOT to be confused with chalk paint. I’ve used chalk paint for other projects like painting laminate cabinets.

If you have laminate countertops that get light use (like in a laundry room) and are in need of some love and like the look of slate, then keep reading!

All it requires is some paint and a brush. No sanding or anything else fancy is needed.

What is Chalkboard Paint?

This is actual paint you can use the create surfaces to write on with chalk.

Some people will create small space or DIY chalkboards, but we painted an entire wall in our basement with it as well. It’s a great addition to any kids space.

What are some brands of chalkboard paint?

What color does chalkboard paint come in?

Chalkboard paint is mostly found in black, but some brands do make different colors (e.g. green, dark gray). Mostly you’ll find it in black, though.

How to Create DIY Faux Slate Countertops: What You’ll Need 

Remember: This project is designed for countertops that aren’t used heavily, and don’t have food placed on them. This project is NOT food safe. So please keep that in mind as you’re planning!

I say this because I have received lots of questions about whether someone should try this DIY in their kitchen. My answer is “no.” I don’t recommend this project for countertops that are used heavily, or countertops that are used for food preparation.

That’s exactly why it’s perfect for a place like a laundry room, where the only purpose my countertops serve is for folding clothes.

Here’s what I used to transform our ugly laminate countertops:

One important note: I can only recommend that you use the brand of chalkboard paint that I’ve shared above, which I purchased at Target (it’s also usually available via the Target website) — I did not try this project with other brands of chalkboard paint. Not all chalkboard paint is created equal, so to achieve this look and for your project to be successful, I encourage you to use this particular brand. If you would like to use a different brand of chalkboard paint, that’s fine, but please make sure to first test the paint on a small section of your counters before tackling the whole project.

How to Create DIY Faux Slate Countertops

Remember: This project is designed for countertops that aren’t used heavily, and don’t have food placed on them. This project is NOT food safe. So please keep that in mind as you’re planning!

Here are the steps to create DIY faux slate countertops in our laundry room:

  • Tape the edges of your laminate countertops so that you don’t get any paint on your walls or cabinets.
  • Clean the countertops using some kind of a household cleaner. I used a few Lysol wipes. Let it air dry, or wipe it down with some paper towels to make sure the surface is completely dry.
  • Paint one THIN coat of chalkboard paint on your countertops. If you’re using a bristled paint brush, you’ll find that one coat doesn’t cover your old counters completely. Let the first coat dry fully, and then repeat. It took me three coats to achieve full coverage, so do expect the paint to look streaky at first.
  • Let your chalkboard paint cure for at least 24 hours. I let mine go for longer — but that wasn’t a strategic move, it was a product of me getting sidetracked by another project. Whoops!
  • Paint a thin coat of water-based polycrylic protective finish over your countertops. Let it dry. (Note that this is optional. If you’re repainting laminate countertop in an area like your laundry room that is only used for folding clothes, you can probably get away with skipping this part.)

That’s it! See, I told you it was easy.

As long as you add the final top coat of polycrylic finish, then you shouldn’t have issues with the countertops getting chipped or scratched.

The Results: Our New (And Much Prettier) Countertops

What a difference!

Honestly, this was SUCH an easy project and the faux slate finish looks quite realistic, if I do say so myself. I’m so thrilled with the way this project turned out.

If you have some countertops that aren’t heavily used but are in need of some TLC and want to go for a faux slate look, just grab some chalkboard paint and a few other items and you’ll have new, pretty counters in no time.

Ready to give your countertops the easiest makeover ever? DIY your way to new faux slate countertops using chalkboard paint. SO EASY.
Learn how to give old countertops a faux slate look with chalkboard paint. SO easy!


About Kate

Hey! I’m Kate — I love decorating with color and pattern. I also love finding decorating “easy” buttons: quick DIYs, simple organization hacks and amazing steals at Target.

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  1. Love the look!!! Very creative. Do you find it to be durable enough to try it in a kitchen?

    • Thanks so much, JK! I wouldn’t recommend trying this in a kitchen, as the materials I used aren’t food safe, and I’d be concerned that you’d probably see wear and tear from chopping, hot pans, etc. over time. If you’re looking for a DIY kitchen countertop solution, I know several people who have had success with putting concrete over their existing counters for a rustic industrial look. I can’t vouch for the durability of that particular project, but maybe it’s worth looking into for you. Good luck!

  2. Love this idea!!! Have you had any issues with it scratching?

    • Hi Donna! Thanks so much for reading. 🙂 I have had to make a few touch-ups here and there, but it’s because I dropped something metal on the countertop. If you seal the countertops, you’re much less likely to get dings and scratches.

      • Thanks! I usually only use that counter for folding clothes.

      • If you decide to tackle this project, let me know how it goes!

      • If you decide to tackle this project, let me know how it goes!

  3. I tried this and came out with the steakiest sticky surface after 3 coats. I spent an hour scrubbing it off and cleaning it up, while wasting $60.

    • Hi Ana – I’m so sorry to hear that this project didn’t work out for you! I painted my laminate counter tops with the exact chalkboard paint I shared in my post, and it came out feeling quite smooth/matte to the touch. Did you use the Valspar Devine Color paint?

      • I used Rustoleum chalkboard paint, I think I’ll just install and new cover on the counter rather than try to paint it again – that was a nightmare

      • Thank you for the feedback, Ana — I’ll update the post and make a note about only using the Valspar brand. I’m sorry that this project wasn’t successful for you!

  4. I did exactly as you said and it looked very good. Now I want to paint the cupboards. Any ideas for that? I’m thinking high gloss white with the black.

    • Cheryl, I’m so glad you’re pleased with your new counter tops! A glossy white cabinet would look lovely with the black counters. I’ve used chalk paint or Benjamin Moore Advance paint on cabinets in the past — both types of paint work well and are pretty durable. Ben Moore gets the ultimate award for durability, though. Good luck with the cabinet painting!

  5. Just wanted to tell you, thank you! It was not bad but I love the look so much!!!

    • Hi Cheryl, I’m so happy to hear you tried this project and are pleased with the results! Thanks for taking the time to let me know.

  6. Hi Kate I love the look of the chalkboard on the counter… I do want to do it on my kitchen counter I use daily… I didnt know its not food safe. And im not wanting the concrete color… Any suggestions? Thank you

    • Hi Bunny! Unfortunately this project isn’t suitable for kitchen counters, as you said. I can’t personally vouch for any food-safe kitchen countertop paint as I haven’t used those myself. You may want to look at replacing your current counters with butcher’s block (generally a more budget-friendly option) or even laminate that resembles granite or quartz.

  7. Hi Kate, I bought pressed particle board that is used for countertops and was i gonna put vinyl flooring on it, but I’ve been told that it wouldn’t look good cuz it would match the floor and wouldn’t be enough contrast. I was wondering if I could use the chaulk board paint on the pressed larticle board and then put the acrylic on top of it. I wasnt sure if the paint would work on the pressed particle board. what do you think?

    • Hi Sharon, I’ve never tried putting chalkboard paint on particleboard so I can’t say for sure, although I’m not sure that the chalk paint would work well on that surface, unfortunately. I suspect the paint would seep into the board — it would adhere better to real wood or a more solid surface. I hope that’s helpful!

  8. I just spent the weekend doing this to my kitchen!! I love the look!!! I never thought about it not being food safe (oopsie), oh well I never set food or chop directly on the countertops. Always use a cutting board!! Thanks for the idea!!

  9. Glad to hear Maxine! Getting ready to do my kitchen too. Like you, I don’t put food directly on countertops anyway. I read somewhere else that there’s a sealer that is food safe, if that would ever become a concern. How are your countertops holding up?

    • Hi Ginger! I don’t recommend this project for kitchen counters, even if you don’t put food directly on them, as the paint holds up best on counters that are not used heavily.

  10. How about the bathroom countertops would it be ok ? I live alone and have 2 bathrooms to do.

    • Hi Martha – I purposely did this project on countertops that aren’t heavily used, and don’t get water on them. So I can’t personally vouch whether this method would hold up well in a bathroom. Sorry!


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