We tried to paint the harvest gold countertops, which were mismatched to begin with, in the house we just moved in to. Christopher Lowell has a technique to do it on Discovery.com and he swears you can do it. I think the key is knowing the type of paint and polyurethane to use.
Ours did not turn out as well as I had hoped but it was not bad. It is a temporary fix until we can afford to replace the countertops with what we want.
If you have the money to purchase formica countertops, even if they are B grade, DO IT. You won't be happy with the paint job. It nicks, scratches, and water that contacts it makes it haze. It is not a usable finish.