Friday, March 4, 2011

I Painted My Counters! Yep, That's Right...

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While thinking about my kitchen redo this summer the one thing that kept bugging me was my counters. I knew my floor had been replaced, I could paint the walls, paint the cabinets, update the cabinet hardware but what could I do with those dang ugly dated counters.

I looked into laminate, granite, but everything was out of my super cheapo budget.


I did a ton of research and finally found out that I could paint those ugly dated counters to look like granite.

Paint them to look like granite? Are you serious?

Now that I can afford.

My hubby and I had to start the process after the kids were in bed. It is just impossible to keep them completely out of anything so we were up pretty late, seriously really late. So, I can't lie, I got very few pictures of the process.

I went to my local Home Depot and looked at granite. I also picked up some free samples to bring home and compared it to my "tile." Once I picked the sample that I liked, I took it to the craft store and matched acrylic craft paint to it. I picked a really dark brown, a dark brown, a dark tan and white.


My husband removed the sink and moved the oven. I scraped the counters to remove any excess gunk and wiped them down with 409 to remove any grease. I also used hot soap and water to wash them off.We taped off the counters and wrapped them with plastic drop cloth to protect the cabinets and floor.

We primed them with the same primer I used on the cabinets, Sherwin Williams Adhesion Primer.
We let that dry thoroughly.

So the next few steps I completely forgot to take pictures. First we coated the counter with a layer of black latex and let it dry. All granite's base is black even if the overall effect is brown or white.

Next I started to faux finish the counter. I used a natural sea sponge to sponge on the color. I started with my main dark brown color. I used the really dark brown color to create some accent veins. Make sure you turn your sponge and maybe use more then one to create different patterns on your counter.

I used the dark tan to create more accents. I also used the white to create even more accents. It was around one AM at this point when I ran out of paint so the hubby ran to Walmart and picked up some more. (Thank goodness it is open 24/7). When he got back I sponged the white on and then I went back with the dark brown to soften it.  This was the end result. Sadly the camera does not show how good it really looks. You don't need to let each layer dry in between colors but you do need to let it dry completely before going onto the next step.

Next cam the scary part. We used a product called envirotex lite. This product creates a hard super shiny surface. You can buy it at Hobby Lobby and I would recommend using a 40% coupon to help make it even cheaper.
The kit comes with two seperate bottles, one is a resin and the other is a hardener. You mix them in equal parts in a straight sided bucket. You really have to mix it well, the instructions say at least 2 minutes. We mixed it for one in minute in one bucket and then poured it into a second bucket and mixed for another minute. Make sure you scrape the sides and bottom well. If this product is not mixed correctly you will get spots that will not harden.

Then you get to the really scary part.

You have to pour it on the counter and after you do that, there is no turning back.

Before you start make sure you kill any and all flies in your house! My hubby and I joked about how funny it would be to wake up to find a fly stuck in our counter. Well it happened. Not funny. We had to sand that sucker off.

Gross.

My hubby poured the epoxy on the counter and used a rubber squeegee to evenly spread it over the surface. This product is a self leveler but you do need to pour enough onto your counter to allow it to level correctly.

The instructions said to use a propane torch to help bring the bubbles to the surface to pop. Well we decided to just use lighters. Not. A. Good. Idea. This began my hubbies second trip to Walmart but it was now 2 AM. The people there were wondering what in the world he was up to and why he needed craft paint and a propane torch in the middle of the night. 

Using the torch was so much easier and I would highly recommend it. You will want to buy some sponge brushes to wipe the drips of the edge and to keep re-applying it to the edges of your counters.

Look how shiny it is. LOVE IT.

I have now had the counters finished for about 4 months and I really, really like them. They have held up really well and I think they make my kitchen look updated and fantastic. I have been cleaning them with glass cleaner to help keep up the shine.


So I am giving you a pretty big peak as to what my kitchen is looking like now. You still don't get to see everything but I wanted you to appreciate the counters in all their glory.

45 comments:

  1. You are one amazing young woman! I love reading about all your projects!!

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  2. That was ambitious. They really look goo.

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  3. Now that is just totally impressive! they look great!

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  4. Your countertops look great! I just found your blog through I heart naptime. I am now your newest follower. Come check me out if you get a chance.

    Noplacelikehomeally.blogspot.com

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  5. WOWOW! That's great! And I love seeing the before and after shots. WOW!

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  6. The countertops look great. My mom just did faux granite in her kitchen as well. The thing I am super excited to see however, is the rest of your kitchen!

    We have almost the same exact "before" kitchen and practically everything I've been trying to convince my husband into letting me do to ours you have already done!

    I want to paint the cabinets white, which I was worried about since I have white appliances as well and I thought it might be too much white. But your's look great. I noticed the sink as well is the type I want to get. We also bought the same exact drawer pulls. I also want to put molding on top of the cabinets and around the windows and hang a roman shade.

    I'm happy I found this because it's like I'm getting to see my kitchen remodeled before I even lift a paintbrush. The only thing different that I have in mind is some subway tiles I got for the backsplash. Great minds think alike I guess. :0)

    Enough blabbing from me. This comment turned out to be waaaay longer than I intended it to be but again your kitchen looks fabulous!

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  7. Wow, your counters turned out great! I love the shine. Just came across your blog and I'm a new follower

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  8. Wow! What a huge transformation in your kitchen! You did such a great job mimicing the granite. It's amazing. Can't wait to see what the "rest" is. I'm a new follower.

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  9. I love the shine! You are very brave though. I would have been too nervous! It turned out great.

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  10. They are fantastic!! You are VERY brave...I'd be scared to try something like that.

    I appreciate that you've had it for 4 months and can attest to it's durability too.

    The entire area you've shown looks wonderful! :)

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  11. Wow! That's incredible! I don't know if I have the guts to do it, though! I love that you've lived with it for 4 months before posting about it! I found you through I Heart Naptime! Come check me out if you get a chance!

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  12. Your counter tops turned out great! I need to do something like this with my counters. I love your painted cabinets & love the glass fronts! I recently painted my cabinets and put glass in a few of them as well. Check it out on my blog sometime.
    -emily
    www.nestnestingnested.blogspot.com

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  13. That is surely a WOW! Good job. Thanks for linking to WUW.

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  14. Holy cow, that's amazing. Didn't even know that could be done. Way to go!

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  15. I had NO idea that this stuff even existed! What a beautiful job you both did - especially at 2am!!! lol! AWESOME!!!

    xoxo laurie

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  16. I have blechy blech, white laminate counter tops. I LOVE this idea. I will have to try. I just painted my cabinets, so now the counter tops look even worse. Thank you smartie!! :)

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  17. Saw a link to this on another blog and had to come over. I love this!

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  18. Congratulations, this was featured today! I'd love for you to come grab a featured button. Thanks for linking up last weekend!

    Krista

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  19. That is incredible..who'd a thought?! I'm so impressed. If I ever need this done...I'll be checking back here! Awesome and brave work!

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  20. I have seen quite a few painted counters and your's is hands down the best I have seen. It really looks like granite. I love the kitchen colors too.
    I will be back to see the final product. I am redoing my master bath so stop by if you get a chance.
    Traci

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  21. I LOVE this! We are getting ready to paint our kitchen cabinets so now I'm thinking maybe the counter tops too. (My hubby is not happy) :) Oh the ideas that are rolling around in my head...

    Anna
    www.askannamoseley.com

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  22. Holy cow, that is amazing! Craft paint, I am so in awe! You are brave and it paid off! How did you do the sides with the resin? Anyway, I am totally sold, I am your newest follower!

    Carlee,
    ladybirdln.blogspot.com
    PS, I am having my first giveaway on my blog, so exciting, come on over and enter!

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  23. I am visiting from somedays crafts link party. I am in total aw. This is so cool I had no idea you could paint your counter tops and have them look so amazing. Great job.
    tyandwhitneyulrich.blogspot.com

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  24. You and your husband did an AWESOME job! I can't believe you got it all done in one night! Thats a lot of work! The epoxy really made it, I think. Even if it was scary and so permanent....it really finished it off. Great job!
    Saw this on Sundae Scoop!

    http://fallanstechnicolordreams.blogspot.com/

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  25. Your counters turned out amazing! Fantastic job!

    Warm Wishes,
    Jodie

    www.lovelaughteranddecor.blogspot.com

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  26. One thing I am worried about, and maybe you know the answer, but is the top coat food safe? And what about yellowing over time? Does the product say anything like that?

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  27. @Angie- Envirotex Lite is actually made for things like bartops. Here is some info I found on it from www.thriftyfun.com "I went to the site you provided and found their customer service number. I talked to Hilary at ETI and she said the Envirotex Lite has a similar bacteria resistance and food safety as laminate, but if it's scratched, then bacteria might become an issue. Knives will indeed cut into it, so always use a cutting board and don't set hot things on it.

    It should be cleaned with regular soap and water. I asked her about anti-bacterial sprays such as Lysol. She said used once in a while is okay, but try to use them very sparingly. "

    I have not heard anything about yellowing. If you have more questions here is their customer service number (707) 443-9323

    Good luck!

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  28. Looks just like granite..I'd do this to my counter tops if they weren't tile, I'm searching ways on how to paint it, I need to figure out a way so cant stand the pink anymore.

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  29. @Jacqueline Thanks so much! I went a googled "painting tile counter top" and you can do it but it seems to be a little more labor intensive. Good luck!

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  30. What an ah-maz-ing job you two did...it's gorgeous!!!

    Found you at Delightful Order linky party.

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  31. That looks absolutely AMAZING!!! The entire kitchen is just gorgeous and the counters look fabulous. You guys should be very proud of yourselves! I love your wall paint color and window treatment as well. Thanks so much for linking this fabulous transformation up to our Inspiration Friday party this week! :-)
    Vanessa

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  32. we used to use that stuff in college to make study boards!! that is scary to try it on an entire kitchen counter!! but WOW it turned out awesome!!! nice job!

    http://megschmitt-neveradullday.blogspot.com/

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  33. First all of all, thanks for linking up to my party! I enjoyed reading how your husband went to WalMart two times...definitely funny. I was nervous reading about pouring the sealer on but your counter looks fantastic! I'm much to much of a chicken to ever try this...your kitchen looks fabulous. Can't wait to read more of your blog! I'm your newest follower and hope you'll come back again and share more projects. Give your hubby a hug! He sounds like a keeper!

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  34. I looks beautiful! Congratulate yourself. You deserve it. :)

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  35. I can't believe how great this looks! I showed this to my husband (who is often skeptical of my projects) and he wants me to try this in our kitchen! He never would have gone for it without your post! Thank you!!

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  36. That looks sooo good! I have been wanting to try this in our kitchen as well. Can I ask how much of the Envirotex Lite you had to get to cover all the counters?

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  37. @Lori I purchased a gallon of the envirotex lite and that was a perfect amount for us. If you go to their website or look on the back of the package it will tell you how much you will need for your measurements. Good luck!

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  38. youre a really big inspiration to me, i love what youv done to youre house. im a stay at home mom as well and love to decorate and change up my home but its hard when you only have one income comming in.its great how all of the things youve shown are so cheap and ill defenitly be trying some of the the things youv done i just hope they turn out as well as yours did. :)

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  39. That looks great, you are an artist. There's no way I could do that. We just did our kitchen, painted cabinets, tiled the counter top etc. I put trim around the counter. It was white and I sprayed it black. Now the paint has nearly all come off. It looks awful. I was thinking I might have to pull all the trim off and find something else. I really don't want to do that. When I saw your post I thought the envirotex might be just what i need. So I just have one question, If the envirotex is poured on, how do you do the sides? Thanks again for your help.

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    1. When we did the sides of the counter we just kept wiping over them with the envirotex and a foam brush. I would think that it would work fine on your trim. You would only need a small amount and instead of pouring it on you would apply it with a brush. You would still want to use a blow torch to get the bubbles out and you may have to do more thin coats instead of one thick coat. Good luck!

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  40. Could you please share your wall color in your kitchen, it's beautiful! Thanks!

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