Painting the countertops in your pop up can be an easy way to change the whole look of your camper. And if you do it right, it won’t cost much. It was one of the first things we did when we renovated our 1999 Coleman Santa Fe. We had never done anything like this before, and back then, there weren’t many pop up camper resources on the Internet. We were winging it! 😆
Because there was some damage to our Santa Fe’s countertops, we opted to cut new ones out of MDF. Then we used a Rustoleum Countertop Transformations kit in Desert Sand. The countertops turned out beautifully, and they’ve held up so well over time. You see how we did them here. But in the five years since we remodeled our pop up camper, the Rustoleum kit has become hard to find. It’s no longer readily available at home improvement stores, and it is a little pricey on Amazon.
Since we get so many questions about alternate ways to transform pop up up camper countertops, we thought we show you a few affordable ways our readers have tackled the project. This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many different ways to refurbish your countertops, and we’ll get to those in another post. First off, though, let’s take a look at some easy ways to transform your camper’s counters with paint.
GARAGE FLOOR FLAKE
I featured Hollie’s Pop Up Camper Makeover back in 2016, and it was the first time I’d ever seen someone use decorative garage floor flakes to imitate the look of the kit we used. It was really kind of genius and much cheaper than the countertop kit. It’s also pretty easy to achieve the look, and it only requires a couple coats of paint, some garage floor flecks, and a good topcoat. You can read all about how Hollie did them them here.
Since Hollie’s makeover was featured, several other readers have tried out the garage floor flake method with great success. Here are a few of our favorites.
I love how Shannon’s countertops turned out. She used the same method Hollie did, and got very similar results. Both Hollie and Shannon chose to leave the t-trim on the edge of their countertops and paint over it. You can remove it, though and apply the finish to the countertops only, like Tiffany did.
Once the topcoat is dry and cured, replace the old t-trim with new edging. You can find quite a few different colors on Amazon. Not sure how to apply it? Check out our post on painting your cabinets here. There’s a whole section on replacing your t-trim.
And if all these tan and beige countertops aren’t your style, check out Brenda’s makeover. She used a gray color scheme in her camper, so she opted for paint and decorative flecks in shades of gray and black. It’s amazing how the exact same method in a different color palette can produce a completely different look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different paint colors and decorative flakes.
STONE SPRAY PAINT
If you are a fan of the natural stone look, the stone spray paint method is another great option for your countertops. It’s cheap, easy, and–if done right–can look just like natural stone. We recommend lightly sanding your countertops, priming with a good Zinsser primer, and giving your countertops at least three coats of Rustoleum Stone Creations spray paint.
You’ll want to lightly sand between each coat, and for a smooth finish, topcoat with either epoxy or polyurethane. The Stone Creations spray paint comes in quite a few different colors. If you are selecting a light color, we recommend using a water based polycrylic, as oil-based clear coat can yellow over time.
If you are using a polyurethane or polycrylic, we’ve heard from our readers that you’ll want to apply at least three coats of your topcoat. Anything less and the rough texture of the spray paint can come through. You’ll get the best results by sanding lightly between topcoats with a very fine grit sandpaper. Check out the finish on Tracy’s countertops. Beautiful, right? They look just like an expensive solid surface countertop.
If you are one of those creative types and want to try your hand at sponge painting, there are some great faux granite kits on Amazon. Heather used the Giani Countertop Paint Kit to achieve the look of granite in her makeover. She selected the Slate colored kit for her countertops, and it perfectly accents the blues in her color scheme.
Josh and Katie used the same method in their Fleetwood highwall remodel. They were hoping to achieve the look of dark granite, so they selected the same Giani kit in Bombay Black. I love how those dark countertops really pop against the white cabinets.
The kit will set you back about $80 on Amazon, and it comes in a variety of colors and patterns. You can even select a faux marble finish (which is a little more pricey at $90). The results are gorgeous, but if you are on a budget, this may not be the best option for you. We were able to achieve a look similar to that achieved with the marble kit for under $40.
We used Zinsser 1-2-3 primer, about $4 worth of acrylic craft paint, and an epoxy topcoat (we used this one) for our countertops. If you prefer a more matte look, you can always use a polycrylic topcoat. That will save you about $20 or so. You can check out our tutorial here.
We are absolutely thrilled with how they turned out. They look just like real marble, and they were super easy… and cheap. Everybody loves cheap. 😆
SOLID COLORED SPRAY PAINT
Last, but certainly not least, you can cover your countertops in regular ole’ spray paint. Believe it or not, you can really achieve a nice finish with this method. Don’t believe me? Check out Jennifer’s makeover. Jennifer sanded her countertops lightly, then painted them with plain Rustoleum black spray paint, and finished them off with five coats (yep! FIVE!) of glossy polyurethane. Don’t they look beautiful? You’d never guess she used spray paint, right?
But you don’t have to stick to a solid color either. You can get creative with this method, too. When Kelsa decided to decorate her pop up camper in a Detroit theme, she wanted to add a pop of color to her white countertops. After priming and spraying the countertops with white spray paint, she taped off a line down the center of each surface. Then she used bright orange paint to give each countertop an accent stripe. It’s an awesome focal point for the inside of the PUP, and it breaks up the solid white surfaces.
Worried about durability? Lisa used white Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy to revamp the countertops and table in her little Fleetwood pop up camper. Appliance epoxy was meant to coat kitchen appliances. It is super durable and can withstand a little more abuse than regular spray paint, but you apply it the same way. Lightly sand your surface, apply a primer if necessary, then spray on a few coats. Appliance epoxy is naturally glossy, too, so no need for a topcoat.
There ya go–four easy options for completely transforming your countertops on a budget! Now that you’ve been inspired, go knock that countertop project out of the park. I’m constantly surpised with the amazing makeovers our readers send us. I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with next!
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