Do you have outdated counter tops? Replacing a counter top is expensive; but here is an inexpensive alternative with maximum results.
When I bought my home 2 years ago, I was excited about having 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a home office; The downfall was, it was a fixer that needed total renovation; new carpets, flooring, and a new roof. To add insult to injury, all the walls were wallpapered sheetrock in a colour scheme of cream, blue and pink. The walls were covered in variations of teapots, stripes and flowers, and the counter tops were blue. The walls turned out to be a rather easy fix and with a lot of elbow grease, paint and creativity, I have been able to slowly convert the walls without killing my pocketbook.
The biggest issue remaining was the counter tops; With 3 bathrooms, a laundry room and kitchen, that was a lot of counter tops and a lot of blue. As I had to replace the roof, carpets and flooring, replacing the counter tops was not an option. I did some research and did discover some products you can use to paint your counter tops to change the colour: I did a test run in my laundry bathroom. While it did turn out okay (anything was better than blue) there were a couple of issues: The product had a very strong and unpleasant odour; It took weeks for the smell to dissipate. The other issue was the resulting paint brush marks.
With further research I did find another method, which while it is labour intensive; the results are nothing short of miraculous, and very inexpensive. The end result is a counter top that looks like marble or granite, depending on the style you are looking for.
This process does take up to a week, and so in the kitchen I would suggest doing this in sections, so you can still use your kitchen.
Go to your local home improvements store and find laminate samples that mimic granite or marble; Pick a couple of samples you like; These can be used as a guide on how you want your counter tops to look.
Look for paints in the bargain area of any local paint store. Mistint paints are an excellent and inexpensive way to complete this project. If going for a marbled look, four colours are recommended; a base colour and 3 colours ranging from light to dark.
Use an old board and following the steps below; you can practice until you find a look you like.
Always follow the directions on the products used.
Low grit sandpaper
Water-based paints in colours of your choosing
Blue painter’s tape
Plastic or a tarp
Sponge and standard paint brush
Water-based polyurethane sealant (food friendly)
Disposable mixing container (large glass mixing cups recommended)
If you are handy, you can remove your sink; this does make access to the areas between the sink and the backsplash/wall easier. If not, don’t fret, it can be done with the sink in place.
Clean the counter top thoroughly.
Apply blue painter’s tape around the edges, touching the wall to protect it. Also run tape along the bottom edge of the counter top, underneath the ledge. If you have not removed the sink, apply tape around the edge of the sink. I would suggest applying a second layer of painter’s tape. It really makes the cleanup process easier and provides double protection for your walls and sink.
Place plastic along the floor of your work area, to protect your floors against drips.
Lightly sand your counter top with the low-grit sandpaper. This will roughen the surface and provide better adhesion for the primer.
Clean the counter top again with water only and let it dry completely.
Apply a coat of primer and let it dry for the recommended time, as per product instruction. When dry, apply a second coat and let dry for 24 hours.
Apply your base coat: If necessary apply a second coat for a solid appearance; Let dry for 24 hours.
For the next 3 steps a sea sponge is recommended:
Apply your medium colour paint using the sea sponge; Random sponging is key here. Be sure to allow your base colour to peek through. Let dry for recommended time per product instruction.
Apply your light colour paint using the sea sponge; Again, random sponging is key. Let dry for 24 hours.
Apply your dark paint colour, using the sea sponge, until the desired look is achieved. You can work in the light and medium colours until satisfied: Just be sure to allow proper drying time in between applications.
The final and most challenging step of the process is applying the polyurethane. I suggest replacing all the second layers of blue painter’s tape with a new layer. I also suggest covering your cabinets with plastic, and your floor.
It is really crucial to follow the user instructions with this product. Prepare product as per user instructions, in a mixing container. I recommend large glass mixing cups for easier application.
Pour product freely onto counter top and let it flow naturally: The less you disturb it the better. I used a wooden spoon to drizzle the product repeatedly onto the backsplash until covered, and a sponge brush to cover the edges of the counter top.
You will have to work quickly, as this product will start to set after about 10 minutes. On the flat surface of the counter top, check for low spots and fill in with product as necessary. You can use the wooden spoon to help the flow. The product will drip over the side of the counter top, hence the plastic and painter’s tape along the bottom edge of the counter top. Use your sponge brush to clear the drops as they form on the bottom edge. If bubbles form, use the drinking straw to blow on the bubbles; The carbon monoxide helps to minimize bubbles and break them up if they form.
Product instructions suggest a complete cure time of 72 hours. I suggest an additional 48 hours.
Let product dry at least 24 hours before moving painter’s tape.
You can use some glitter or gold flakes for a little bit of sparkle. I used some metallic paint for a little pizazz. Use your imagination and have fun with it.
They are not indestructible; Use cutting boards and hot pads. I clean mine with hot water and glass cleaner.
This is a project that can be done for under 100 dollars with creative shopping. It is definitely time-consuming but the results are beautiful and long-lasting.2015-09-25