Laminate counter Makeover for $28 with Epoxy & Contact Paper…Yes.. I really just said that…


laminate counter refinish epoxy bar top contact paper

Updating a 1984 sailboat is quite fun! (new cushions/fabrics/curtains etc.) I have lots of posts coming for all the revamping with the “pretty” stuff in the cabin. But this post is specifically about the counter tops.

I HATE 80’s faux wood laminate.. well I hate any faux wood laminate but especially from the 80’s..

I was stumped as I couldn’t find a company that would replace the laminate on the boat, vs. at a home so I got crafty and used Contact Paper and Bar Top Epoxy. I LOVE how it turned out and it only cost a whopping $28.

My thinking, “being that if bars have encased all sorts of things in bar tops over the years for thousands of customers and those last”, there is no reason I couldn’t use a little “faux” granite.. i.e. contact paper.. and cover it with the same bar top epoxy and make my own counters look and function well.

bar top epoxy counter top sail boat refinish laminate

What you need:

  • Contact Paper with a “Granite” look. any other kind may not blend well as you’ll be using lots of pieces to put the counter top together – you can get all sorts of looks of contact paper here
  • Squeegee this helps to get the contact paper down really good as well as spread out the epoxy.
  • Epoxy, I used the Rustoleum Super Glaze
  • Xacto knife
  • UV protected indoor/outoor top coat (since this was for a boat i used outdoor spar urethane in a matte finish)
  • Brushes
  • timer/stopwatch. I used my phone’s stopwatch 😉


Step 1: lay out your contact paper, I got it over the edges a bit, and used the squeeegee to really get it down flat, keep lifting up and re/laying down until you have no bubbles..

Step 2: around the edges, use the exacto knive to cut off the excess. this helps so that you don’t have to try to measure the contact paper exact, you can have overrun and cut exactly to where you want it off.

Step 3: mix the epoxy following the instructions EXACTLY

Step 4: pour/brush/spread epoxy on the contact paper. I did mine really thin so I used a paintbrush to help brush it all over. Depending on what look you want, you can go really thick or thin. I found that the thinner nice covered coat looks GREAT!

Step 5: let dry for 24 hours,then brush over a coat of polyurethane or spar urethane. I used a satin/matte finish with UV protectant so nothing would yellow.

Step 6: let dry and really get solid for 48 hours. then use your counter!

couple of notes:

  • do not put anything over 120 degrees on the counter. basically the same as your old laminate anyhow.
  • Move quickly once the epoxy is mixed. it starts to set pretty fast so be decisive and quick.
  • Mix more epoxy than you think you’ll need!

Post pics! I’d love to see what yours turns out like 🙂

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27 thoughts on “Laminate counter Makeover for $28 with Epoxy & Contact Paper…Yes.. I really just said that…

  1. That looks great! Wonderful job! I’ve been looking for a contact paper with that same beige/granite look for my kitchen – what brand contact paper did you use?

    1. I just got it at my local fred meyer 😉 I live in Seattle area. I did go to a target to try to find the same one to match it and couldn’t find it. I also did not see that exact same beige online. Just at Freddy’s 😉

  2. All I can say is “Wow!” As the editor of a site for the countertop industry,, I have heard of many countertop makeovers, but not with just plain old contact paper – at least not one that turned out looking this good. I mean I hear all kinds of stories about people trying to redo their countertops themselves and it backfires, but this seemed to work out okay. Thanks for sharing the process with us. You learn something new everyday…

  3. Hello Lindsay 🙂 Just came across your site via the Morgan FB group…I am thrilled to find your countertop remake…just what I was looking for 🙂 I am going to do this following your instructions…what a excellent idea..THANK YOU!

    1. counters are holding up very well. The only thing I’ve seen happen once is when our case of beer in the cardboard box sat on the counter and was all soggy on the bottom, a tiny bit of the cardboard stuck to the counter, kinda mooshed into it.. (I think it’s because the heater was near it and must have softened the epoxy) but otherwise it is holding up perfectly!

  4. How did you tape of the sink? Id love to try this on my ugly counter top! I also have a hole to the ice box to work around so would love to know how you”taped” off sink.

    1. I actually just used blue painters tape, make sure it’s sealed up against the edges and it creates a border for the epoxy to not go through, 😉 if your worried about painters tape or have any issues, duct tape works too. (if the tape isn’t sticking well, try duct tape.)

  5. You wonderful woman you! Thank you for this great idea you have given me a reason to really brag to my boogy sister about my fixer up I just got. She’ll never get to see my little house looking bad because your idea is going to woo her until I can get the real counters put in. Thank you.

  6. Hi – this looks great! Do you put the epoxy on the back of the paper and stick it to the counter, or just brush it on top? Thanks!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your great project. I’m renovating a 1972 mini travel trailer and the formica is yellow! I can’t wait to try this. I’m headed to Lowe’s. Thanks again 😉

  8. Hi – I just bought a 1983 Catalina 30 Sailboat and love the table and countertops you have redone. So creative. I am working to make the same mods to my boat. Any other pics of remodels to your boat? Would love to see some more inspiration.

  9. Hi Lindsey,
    My question is have you noticed any yellowing of your countertops? I plan to do this with marble-looking contact paper, and I worry about the yellowing of the epoxy. I have epoxied countertops many times before, but never with pure white . Thanks!

    1. I haven’t yet, but then it’s in the galley so it’s not getting direct sunlight. I bet if it was getting a lot of light through windows, it would yellow over time.

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear!