HI! It’s been about a million years since I’ve posted anything on my blog! Pitiful, I know. BUT, I’m back and it’s time to get down to business. For real this time. Probably. Okay, so I’m going to try…
Anyways, I’ve had a few people ask to write as “guest posters” on my blog in the last few months during my hiatus. Since I’m new to the whole blogger world, I’d like to know what you all think/know about guest writers and whether it’s a good or bad thing that people feel the need to write on my blog. Ha!
So, for my first post back, I’d like to walk you guys through the first part of my kitchen transformation. And let me be the first to admit/brag, this was quite the transformation. Our kitchen was
AWFUL less than desirable when we bought our house, and we knew that it would take some work to get it up to Uptain standard. So, first thing was first… dun dun dun…. white. countertops. Yes, you read that right. The builders (from 1970-ish) put in white countertops as a selling point to this house. I know, I know… So here’s a good look of what it was before the big change.
My friends, family, and poor husband know that once I get my mind onto something, there is no reversing the 4-stage process of my (1) notice, (2) dislike (or extreme love), (3) obsession, and then (4) intense urge to create, destroy, or up-cycle. It’s a part of me that you either love or hate. Most of the above-mentioned don’t really care for that lovely little tidbit of my personality.
After gazing at countless BH&G magazines and tons of window shopping sessions at Pottery Barn, I knew it was time. Time to get those countertops OUT of my house. So off to Lowe’s we went, in search of some pretty, new “toppers”.We found exactly what we wanted, sat down with the sales rep, and died. We realize now that our faces probably alarmed the poor rep, which explains his less-than-helpful attitude. Bottom line, to have what we wanted was going to cost us well over $800. To have the bare minimum (formica) was going to run about $400. As you can see, we have a tee-tiny kitchen with about a hobbit’s foot of countertop space. $400 for formica?? No….Two arguments and a chocolate shake later, we gave up. Well, HE gave up. I had already passed the notice, dislike, and obsession stages and was well into the intense urge to destroy phase. Sorry, Chasen. I’d like to formally apologize for my lack of conversation and rampant typing on the Mac that night, but I was determined to find a cheaper fix.Google is a problem. I mean, there are a lot of OOOOOOO’s to have to go through when you search for “cheap countertop replacement”. By about the 15th O, I hit gold. Gold
I tell you! Apparently, it’s cool to paint your countertops! Several brands make “Faux Granite Painting Kits”. I thought, “Great! I’ll just do one of those!”. Then I saw the price for one of those shiny little kits…. at least $85 for the kit which includes a sponge and paint. Nope. Not doing it. Why can’t I faux-granite my countertops with regular $2 acrylic paint and my own sponge? Lightbulb!That’s all I needed to get this process started. I
asked a friend to help the next morning (thanks, Kathleen!) and then I high-tailed it to Hobby Lobby to pick out my new countertops…err, paint.Here’s what I bought:
I also threw in some silver paint from the same brand to give it an eye-catching shine which is not pictured here. These cost me around $1.50 each. Sales at hobby lobby are the bomb.
Including the paints above, here’s my materials I used:
- Paper towels
- Green Frog Tape
- Minwax Polycrylic Sealer and brush
- Mocha Frappuccino
I was so excited, I immediately got to work.
This was the stage of the process that my husband walked in on ^^^. Poor thing.
So here’s the deal. First, tape off the parts of your kitchen that you don’t want smeared with paint. I didn’t tape off my walls because the next day I was getting started with the backsplash (which I will post about later this week). Start with your darkest color and add a small amount to a paper plate or scrap piece of cardboard. Scrunch up your paper towel and dip the scrunched part into the paint. Then just dab around the countertop, working your way around to the end. After you get your darkest color on your countertop dispersed pretty well, move on to the next-darkest color and repeat the process.
Here’s a stage 2 picture:
I only bought 5 paint colors, so to vary the shades a little bit, I dabbed heavily on some parts and lightly on others. For the “lighter” shades of brown you see above, I just dabbed the paper towel until the paint was pretty much gone. I didn’t wait between colors for the previous layer to dry because I wanted them to have the cohesive look that natural granite has. For the lightest color though, I only put a tiny amount on the plate to keep from over-doing it. Your lightest color will stand out a lot from the darker background, so be careful with that. Also, when you’re going over an edge or curve, make sure you dab the paper towel so that the color wraps from the top of the counter to over the edge. The pattern in natural granite wraps over edges and curves (bottom lip of countertop), and the whole point of this project is to get a granite-esque look right? Right. Just do it.
This was about stage 4 I’d say:
See that paint can on the floor? I guess I was getting an Extreme Makeover Home Edition vibe from my artistic feat that day so I decided to tackle the dining room half-wall that connected to our kitchen. My first go at it when we moved in two years ago was pretty pathetic. It needed some serious TLC.
And right before I sealed it:
Aaaand another close-up to give you guys a good look of the “wrapping” I’m talking about for curves and edges:
In total, this took me about 7 go-arounds to get the whole countertop covered the way I wanted. Three-ish hours of straight dabbin’.
After you get the countertop looking the way you want it, let it cure completely (about 8 hours) and then start sealing it with the Polycrylic. I put 8 layers of sealer on it to give it that glossy, almost mirrored look that the high-end counters often have. I know, I’m ridiculous. Follow the directions on whatever brand of sealer you use, but Minwax prompted me to wait 2 HOURS between each coat of sealer. That was painful, but oh so worth it!
I am just overjoyed with how it turned out! Eeeek!!!
Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for (and a sneak peek of the backsplash and lighting)!
Da Da-da Daaaaaa!!!
This whole project took about three days, only because A. the sealer takes 2 hours to cure between-coats and B. I was also working on my backsplash at the same time (I realize I’m insane, no need to point that out). Wait three days after sealing it for the last time before placing anything back on your countertops to store or else you’ll get a lovely, permanent impression of whatever has been stored on the counters.
Good luck to all you brave men and women out there who attempt this! It’s really not as bad as it sounds. My husband shows off my painting skills all the time (which I adore). If I can win him over, y’all can most certainly pull it off. No doubt.
Like it. Share it. Do it.