Re: marlite in my kitchen?
G O L D is in the word censor filter because it we were being heavily spammed and that was one of the keywords of the spam. There are several common words that contain censored root words that will also show asterisks, such as scr aper (sc****r ).
To answer your question, you can paint it, but it's going to look just as bad or worse than it does now. I suspect that what you have isn't actually Marlite, but a vinyl coated Masonite, the difference is that Marlite is very similar to Formica in look and composition, whereas Masonite is a compressed fiberboard material. If you look for scratches or cracks in the surface, you'll probably see that the substrate, the Masonite, has swollen due to coming into contact with moisture.
Regardless of what type of material it is, the best means of dealing with it is to remove it and either repair and paint the drywall or install tile or solid surface such as Corian or stone over it.
Your next question is probably going to be what is holding it in place? That would be construction adhesive. Yes, it's going to damage the wall when you pull off the Marlite, but this can be repaired like new.
I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!