Tracy, My comments are based on do-it-yourself experience, and I am not a professional carpenter for sure. I don't think paint is a good idea for countertops, due to the wear factor and chipping. If your old countertop does not have a curved edge between the surface and backsplash (post-formed) or between the surface and front edge, you are in luck. Ceramic tile could be applied over the old formica and is fashionable today. However , personally I wouldn't want all the grout recesses in a food preparation area. My suggestion would be to apply new Laminate ( Formica ? ) over the old. There are a wide variety of colors and patterns available, and the smooth surface makes it esy to maintain and keep sanitary.