So, we have had some unfortunate luck with our home the past few months (water leaks and discovering old damage in three different areas in our home). We’ve kind of unintentionally been thrown into a full blown remodel. We have gutted one side of our kitchen, rebuilt our laundry “room” (aka closet), gutted and remodeled our hall bathroom, remodeled our master bedroom and more. It’s been a bit of a mess around here to say the least… Simply put, construction zones and toddlers are an interesting mix. Not to mention, I was nine-months pregnant and hit full blown nesting mode in the middle of said construction zone.*
***Somewhere between the kitchen’s completion and the demo-day to the bathroom, Baby Girl made her grand appearance a week early.
When we moved in, and up until our remodel, the counters were a dingy cream color. They had burn marks, knife cuts, and mystery stains that even the toughest bleach scrubbin’ couldn’t fix. I’ve been wanting to attempt painting over them for a while but have been scared to try and ruin counters that were still “usable”.
Then the water damage hit and we needed to replaced a wall of cabinets. We jumped on the opportunity to fix our outdated kitchen. We painted our honey oak cabinets White Dove (Sherwin Williams) and set out to DIY our counter tops with a faux granite look. We eventually want to make our own barnwood plank counter tops but we were running out of time before my due date. We opted to replace one counter with plywood (it will later be the base for the barnwood). We stained the plywood and sealed it “for now”, and intend finish the planking another day. Although I do love how the wood turned out and it is holding up GREAT!
As for the laminate-
I did a ton of research. Way way too much research. Every tutorial called for expensive kits, extensive sanding, special sealers, etc. I read and read and finally walked into my work room, pulled out what paint I had, and began. I was looking for a quick fix and decided to go for it with what I had on hand and suffer the consequences later. (spoiler alert:: IT WORKED OUT PERFECTLY)
Supplies we used:
Liquid Sandless Deglosser
Kilz Primer (WATER based)… Most tutorials called for the oil-based version… I didn’t have that.
Various latex and acrylic craft paints I already had on hand (see photo)
Java Brown glaze
Laminate Granite Samples (just to use for reference when you are painting)
A sponge roller for the base coats
Rags, paper towels, sponges, feathers….anything to make a smudgy imperfect pattern.
Polycrylic Waterbased Sealer
First I cleaned the counters really well and wiped them down with alcohol. I then wiped them with the deglosser because I w̶a̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶o̶ ̶l̶a̶z̶y̶…err didn’t have time to sand them. Tape off your walls and cover anything that you don’t want to risk painting.
Next, roll on a coat of your Kilz primer. Let this dry really well. Your next coat is your background color. I was going for a black granite look, so I used flat black wall paint. Use whatever color you like. I did two coats but really could have gotten away with doing one.
I started sponging on other colors before the black dried. Be sure to work over the entire surface the whole time you are painting. Don’t concentrate too much on one area at a time. I used a lot of cream and ended up sponging over most of it with browns and grays.
Keep layering colors. I found the more I added the more “believable” it looked. You want a good mix of patterns. Use different textures and techniques to add depth and contrast. I used bits of paper and feathers to paint the “veining”. Plastic grocery sacks make great “sponges”, as do crumbled paper towels. Be creative!
After the veining, I let everything dry completely. I was so surprised at how realistic they came out. I was still not 100% in love with my color choices. I thought they complimented each other but it still looked too “painted”. So I used some Java Brown distressing glaze and OMGoodness… perfection achieved!
That’s it! I coated it with several coats of polycrylic and let her dry. We’ve been living with them for about three months now and they are holding up great! I have had to touch up a couple scratches (only because the underlying counter was white). You honestly couldn’t even notice the scratches, but I knew they were there. XD
I plan to update on how they are holding up in a few more months! This is definitely not a labor intensive project. My aunt and I tackled it in an afternoon (with a few pauses for pesky false labor). Please leave some feedback if you attempt this DIY! I definitely do NOT regret it!