OH. MY. GOODNESS.
If you would have told me that I would ever be painting my counters, I’d have told you that you were crazy….that I’ve seen bad sponge paint jobs and I would not have my counters be subject to that! I would also have told you how cheap it is to replace them …. Well, apparently it is NOT as cheap as painting them and now that we have ONE income, cheap is KEY!!!
You know, that I’ve been dreaming about and working towards the “Redo Rhonda’s Kitchen on Little-to-No Budget” project – and I can now cross “Countertops” off my list!!
Okay, here’s the boring before. Beige on beige. I’m just not that beige-y kind of girl…..although I realize that monochromatic is in – it’s not me! (We will ignore the ugly brass knobs at this point – that’s a subject for another day!)
Beautiful! I love it! It’s great! Yes!! Ohhh—kay……got that out of my system!
Soooo…how’d it happen? Well, desperate times call for desperate measures – I was searching the net, reading my favorite blogs, and happened to randomly stumble upon a video tutorial at Creative Kristi which asserted that it would teach you to paint your countertops to look like granite. I thought to myself, “Yeah, right…..”
But it did……and ohhhh, how that put a bug in my ear…….
Although, it picqued my interest, I didn’t really believe that I could do it. See – I’m fairly handy – a Jacqueline of all trades, but BY NO MEANS am I truly artistic, or truly skilled, or truly creative of my own devices! I can take an idea, mold it, change it, shape it, make it mine – but generally, coming up with original ideas isn’t my thing.
So now I’m thinking –
But I have this piece of spare countertop in the garage…. I could just try it right?? And then when its a disaster, nothing lost – because it WILL be a disaster…..
Because it’s impossible for the regular person to paint their countertops – if it wasn’t, then people would be doing it left and right….
Here’s my first effort – using Kristi’s color suggestions – yep, it’s a disaster! At this point, I’m congratulating myself on my superior understanding of “if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is…”
It wasn’t the colors or the technique’s fault though – you can see on Kristi’s site that her counters are GORGEOUS!!! I used wayyy too much yellow, and even if I had done it correctly, the colors were just wrong for my room, and I had NO idea what to do at that point…
But, just so I could know that I had given it every effort, I went to Home Depot and got a couple of granite samples, headed back to Hobby Lobby and bought a different color scheme – more browns/apricot colors.
The second time was different…..
VERY different. Different enough that my husband, who is NOT into the whole “let’s redo the house” thing, was wanting to know when I was going to start. HUH??!! You actually want me to do this? Don’t you know that this is going to be a disaster???
But his confidence inspired me, and so to make a very long and drawn out story a bit shorter, I bit the bullet and primed my countertops on a whim that very night!
That was the scariest part – because I knew there was no going back….
So here it is, step by step….
1. Clean countertops really, really well to remove any old grease, dirt, etc.
2. Tape off edges of sink and walls with Frog Tape. (Don’t know that it is better than blue tape, but I’ve never had success with blue tape, and have had really good success with the green Frog Tape.)
3. Prime countertops with two coats of Kilz 2 Latex primer. (I followed directions on can – one coat, then waited two hours, then the second coat.) (Yes, your kitchen will be junked up like mine too during the process!!)
WENT TO BED.
4. Next morning I broke out the Folk Art Medium Gray #425 first and applied it using the technique suggested by Creative Kristi – a wadded up half paper towel. (I put the paint on a styrofoam plate instead of cardboard though.) I tried to nearly cover the entire countertop with the gray – I figured that I’d rather have gray sneaking through rather than nasty primer white if I missed a spot.
5. Sponged on the following colors one at a time: (Folk Art brand: #944 Nutmeg, #2558 Cinnamon (sparingly!) Americana Brand: Traditional Burnt Umber, Honey Brown and Toffee)
Keep plugging away – it takes LOTS of coats to cover properly and look authentic!
6. It still needed some character, so I put the two or three most prominent colors on a new plate and then used my wadded up paper towel and daubed all the colors together and started sponging like crazy – the colors started to merge a bit and look kind of mottled – which was a good thing!
7. Took a dark color (for me, the Burnt Umber) and ruined a dollar store paintbrush by flattening it so that the bristles kind of stuck out every where. I got just a little paint – I mean A LITTLE – on the brush and kind of feathered it out over the counters to give it some different veining…
8. Stepped back to breathe and admire my handiwork. Filled in any spots that were not thick enough, or where there was too much of one color with more and then let it dry for an hour or so.
9. Covered with Minwax Polycrylic Clear Gloss Sealer…..EIGHT times. (You can reapply every two hours.) I would have liked to use Envirotex Lite Sealer, which is supposed to be amazing, but I had already purchased and opened the Polycrylic, and as I’ve said – money is T-I-G-H-T and I couldn’t waste it and buy more. Kristi said hers have lasted three years now with Polycrylic, so I feel pretty safe.
10. Pulled off the tape SLOWLY. I kept a sharp utility knife in one hand at all times for when the polycrylic would try to pull and tear – I’d just knick it and then keep gently pulling. The Frog Tape worked great and did awesome.
11. Scraped the extra primer I’d gotten on the sink off. Oops! (I’m not a perfectionist!)
12. Touched up the walls where I’d gotten a little sponge-happy and gotten “granite” on the walls. Oops again! Triple oops, in that my paint isn’t an exact match! Ugh!! Will have to touch that up in a couple of days when I’ve regained some energy!!
13. Wait three days to a week to let it “cure”…..as I’ve just completed this, I haven’t decided how long I will need to wait. Kristi says a week, so I’ll probably follow her advice. It was too time consuming to mess up this late in the game!
Overall, this was not a hard project – time consuming, but really pretty cheap and easy. I would highly recommend it to almost anyone who is even remotely handy. I absolutely would get a piece of old countertops from a hardware store, or a piece of random wood or something to practice once on….there is a little knack to be learned – but after about ten minutes, you’ll have it and be a pro!
I’m thrilled though – here’s another After picture: (FYI: It’s hard to get a good picture with the flash – the one where the tape is still on, is actually probably the truest as to the final results color!)
Here’s the breakdown of the cost:
1. Six tubes of Folk Art brand paint – (ranges from $.99 to $1.27 at Hobby Lobby) – $6.00
2. Quart of Minwax Polycrylic Clear Gloss Sealer - $16 at Wal-Mart.
3. Pack of three foam brushes for Sealer – $.70 at Wal-mart.
4. Quart of Kilz 2 Latex Primer – $7 at Wal-Mart.
5. Paintbrush/Frog Tape - already had – $0
TOTAL: $30 (ish)
Well – I have to give super kudos to Kristi for posting the video – which was so incredibly helpful! What a great idea she had – and the courage to try it without knowing how it would turn out! Go check out her site – it’s a fun place!
How about you? You ready to jump off a cliff with me and give it a whirl? If you do, please let me know – I’d love to see your results!!
I’m going to submit this to Beneath My Heart’s awesome October DIY linky party! It will be fun to see what everyone did this month! There are so many crazy creative bloggers out there!
Also linking up with A Bowl Full of Lemon’s Tuesday Link Party!