A New Concept in Countertops: Hand-Painted Paper

Painted Paper Countertops Are Durable, Affordable and Offer Great Opportunities for Decorative Finishers

Painted Paper Countertops offer remarkable durability and affordability.

By Diane Capuano Franklin

When the Rescue and Resurface company introduced Painted Paper Countertops at a recent bloggers convention of home improvement and interior décor bloggers, a gathered crowd of savvy writers who had pretty much seen it all had definitely never seen anything like this before.

“Their initial reaction was : ‘Paper countertops? Are you serious? How can that possibly durable?’ ” reports Kelly S. King, president of Rescue and Resurface. “And then they saw us demonstrate the product, and they were in total awe.”

As the bloggers at the Haven convention learned, Painted Paper Countertops is amazingly durable. Replicating the look of stone or marble at just one-tenth the cost of the real thing, this is a product that is well-suited for the DIY market but also presents an opportunity for decorative finishers on a couple different levels—No. 1, as installers and No. 2 as trainers/resellers.

Creating the Ultimate in Durability

King, a veteran decorative finisher and educator with 25 years experience in the industry, already had established a kitchen remodeling business, called Kitchens ReDefined, which serves the needs of a predominantly high-end clientele in his home base of Omaha, Neb. However, not everyone can afford to pay thousands of dollars for granite, stone, marble or quartz countertops.

Having recently purchased the assets of Perfetto Paints, Kelly knew he had the chemistry and technology to contribute to a system that would provide an affordable alternative to high-end countertop surfaces. He teamed up with Mike Conroy, president of Stoney Brook Wallcoverings, which already had a successful torn wallpaper line. Could the same torn paper idea that worked on walls also work for countertops? King and Conroy decided to explore the concept until they emerged with a product that had all the properties—durability, stain resistance and mar resistance—that are required of a kitchen countertop surface.

Painted Paper Countertops comes in two distinct collections and a total of 25 colors.

“We spent quite a bit of time working to develop a system of not just the paper but the basecoat, adhesive and the topcoat so that it would all interact together to create the ultimate durability,” King reports.

To launch Painted Paper Countertops, King and Conroy created Rescue and Resurface serving as president and vice president respectively. They expect to follow up shortly with the launch of a second product: a flooring collection using the same torn hand-painted paper technique and the same system for durability.

Two Distinct Collections

Painted Paper Countertops come in two distinct collections featuring the hottest trending colors in the kitchen industry. The Marble & Stone collection comes in a total of 13 colors, while Metal and Metallics is offered in 12 colors.

The 32-square-foot kit sells for just $349, which includes the hand-painted paper, bonding primer coat, the paper adhesive, the sealer topcoat as well as an instructional video. To complete an equivalent square footage in granite, quartz or stone, the price would be approximately 10 times that amount. A smaller kit, priced at $119.99, covers 10 square feet. Additional painted paper is sold in 10-square-foot add-on packs for $49.99. Paper as well as the bond coat, adhesive and topcoat also can be purchased as open stock.

Using the patent-pending Painted Paper Countertops system, torn pieces of the hand-painted paper are applied in a random, slightly overlapping pattern to create a beautiful stone-like appearance. “With Painted Paper Countertops, you have the ability to take an ugly, outdated laminate countertop and turn it into something beautiful,” King explains. “It has the appearance of granite or stone but with a unique look all its own.”

Painted Paper Countertops offers opportunities for covering tabletops and other surfaces as well.

While the video does an amazing job of showcasing the various colors in the Painted Paper Countertops lineup, Kelly observes that you have to see it in an actual kitchen to appreciate the full impact of this strikingly beautiful product. “It will blow your mind when you see the end result.”

In addition to transforming countertops, the product also can be used for backsplashes, tabletops, bar tops, furniture pieces and other surfaces. So, even for those who cater to a high-end clientele who wish to have granite or quartz countertops, the product can be sold to cover additional surfaces. And there are those in the high-end income bracket who may opt for the torn paper look on their countertops simply because it looks so good.

“As an example, we recently installed it in a home in Warren Buffet’s neighborhood, so obviously this was a very well-to-do neighborhood in Omaha,” King reports. “We also recently remodeled a project in a high-end housing development with a high-profile customer. After doing granite and quartz in the main areas, she wanted the Painted Paper Countertops in the remaining countertop areas of her home.”

Installation Achieved Easily

The installation of Painted Paper Countertops is achieved in four easy steps (as shown in the above video):

  1. Lightly sand and thoroughly clean the countertop surface.
  2. Prime it with the bond coat provided in the Painted Paper Countertops kit.
  3. Tear and paste the paper in a random pattern to the prepared countertop surface with the provided adhesive provided.
  4. Use two coats of the user-friendly waterborne urethane topcoat to seal the surface.

The chemistry of the bonding coat, paste and topcoat create a strong, durable surface that has been tested to stand up to the wear and tear that kitchen countertops typically have to endure. In the unlikely event that the surface becomes damaged or stained, the damaged section can be easily replaced.

King himself tested the product’s touchup ability by taking a putty knife and a hammer to create a deep gouge in the surface. He filled in the area that was gouged, rough-sanded it, applied another piece of paper and covered it with the touchup topcoat. “We invited several designers, homeowners and friends to look at the countertop and find the spot that we touched up, and no one was able to find it,” King says. “That’s certainly something you can’t do with Formica.”

The product comes in 32- and 10-foot kits.

 

Opportunities for Installers

The product is simple enough for a do-it-yourself, hence the slogan “do-it-yourself friendly and designer beautiful.” However, King envisions the product as a way for decorative finishers to appeal to consumers who are budget-conscious but would rather have an installer do the work.

“As an installer, you can charge a fair billing rate plus the cost of the kit, and even with the cost of installation, the consumer is still paying a fraction of the cost of granite or quartz,” King explains. “There are a lot of people in America who can’t afford granite or quartz but would rather hire an installer than install something themselves, so this really is the perfect solution for them.”

While Painted Paper Countertops is easy to install with guidance from the detailed instruction video, the company also offer training for decorative finishers who need guidance on how to develop and manage their business with Painted Paper Countertops. King sees the opportunities that can be reaped with Painted Paper Countertops as a way to eliminate the lulls in business that can occur in the standard decorative finishing industry.

“For example, with the kitchen remodeling side of our business, a lot of people are in awe of the fact that we have eight crews and are booked out until July,” King says. He sees the same potential for those who sell and install Painted Paper Countertops. “While this is a do-it-yourself product, we are creating a network of installers and teaching them how to do this as a one-person business with very little overhead that will allow them to earn a lucrative income and keep themselves booked out for months in advance.”

King currently teaches private classes in the art and business of cabinet refinishing, and now with the addition of the Painted Paper Countertop training system, he expects to create a very lucrative market for painters and decorative finishers.

In addition to going over the basic installation process, the training also covers some advanced techniques that installers can achieve with the product. It also covers marketing techniques and tips for filling up their books. To complement the training, Rescue and Resurface offers several marketing and sales tools. These include a complete 8½-by-11-inch sample set that shows all 25 colors from the Marble & Stone and Metal and Metallics collections for $129.99 as well as a few other items. The company offers individual color samples for $4.99 each.

Rescue and Resurface doesn’t recommend a specified rate for installers to charge. “It’s really up to the individual installer, based on whatever they’d like to make per hour,” King reports. “As part of the training, we will take a look at their business model, the dollar amount they’d like to take in per year, take into account their marketing and overhead costs, and then help them determine what their true hourly rate should be.”

Kits feature hand-painted paper, bonding coat, adhesive and topcoat sealer.

Seeking Certified Trainers/Resellers

In addition, the company is actively working to create a network of certified trainer/resellers. “So, if you’re a decorative finisher with a studio or showroom area, we have a kit package that is required where you could become a certified trainer/reseller providing training your own market area,” King says. “We will be going out to every major city in America to recruit these certified trainer/resellers and installers.”

How far decorative finishers go with Painted Paper Countertops depends entirely on their own commitment, hard work and marketing savvy. However, King sees the opportunity for many to excel with this product. “The potential is to create a one-person, six-figure income business,” he says.

Those interested in learning how to launch Painted Paper Countertops as part of their business or in becoming a trainer/reseller can find out more by calling Rescue and Resurface at (844) 727-3748 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Additional information is available at the Rescue and Resurface website.