Jay is right, you really can't paint kitchen counters. It isn't health safe and it would likely chip off, get dirty and or just look god-awful. Making your own new counter tops is a little too advanced for most do-it yourselfers and you need special tools and skills etc. You should either get a new counter or maybe tile over it. The best way to get a new counter made is to find someone who specializes in this. You want to find the guy who has a small shop that mostly makes counters for contractors. This way you avoid the middle man. For standard counters these guys should probably be able to quote you a "per foot" cost. This way you can compare. If you just go out and get a contractor, all he will probably do is call up this other guy and tack on a profit. Personally, I am going to tile my old ugly counter. You need to really scuff it up with sandpaper so the portland or mastic sticks and only do this if you are 100% sure that your counter is sound with no loose spots or delamination. I will use some nice edging tiles that I found that cover the whole edge and 4X4's for the main counter and carrying up the back wall.