This woman tells how she painted and sealed her counters to go from the laminate in the top to the natural stone look in the bottom picture. About 120 bucks. I'm not a big fan of painting laminate but this tutorial intrigues me.
Whether your countertop is formica or laminate, here are a few different approaches on painting them. Old countertops can be ugly and dated, but now there are moderately easy ways to update them in one weekend.