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.
Fantastic DIY Facelifts & Refinishes for Formica Laminate Countertops
Use Thomas' Liquid Stainless Steel on appliances, faucets, countertops. The water-based resin is stainless steel in liquid form. It gives a brushed-stainless look. Durable as auto-grade finish. 8 Items you can Paint : DIY Network
Rescue and Resurface has created a revolutionary, eco-friendly Kitchen DIY system, that transforms your current countertops creating less waste, taking less time, and never leaving you without use of your kitchen. Color is "little white lie"