NOTE: I have done 2 other posts on this countertop! Find the original post here & the video how-to here! Thanks!
So I’ve been getting a lot of requests lately for more detail on my countertops that I painted last summer. Some wanted close-ups, some wanted the specific paint colors I used and still others wanted just more detail in the process of it. You can read the original post here if you have no clue as to what I’m talking about…it’s ok go read it….I’ll wait…….
All caught up? Good. Now here are the product basics:
1. One U-G-L-Y laminate countertop (mine was blue)
2. A cleaner of some type and a rag (I used a 50/50 mixture of vinegar to water- as I do to clean most surfaces in my house)
3. 1 Quart of Kiltz primer (this is what I used, feel free to use whatever you like or if you want ask the employee at the paint desk- just a warning they will look at you like you have 8 heads and probably try to get you to go to the countertop section to buy new countertops…just ignore them. You know what you are doing!)
4. Acrylic Paint in colors to match a print out of granite you like. (Just google granite countertops and find an online store that has close ups of the granite…find one you like, print the picture and head off to the craft store!)
Here is where people wanted to know the EXACT colors I used so:
I used FolkArt brand (made by Plaid) and the colors I used are: 938-Licorice, 425-Medium Grey, 2381-Battleship Grey (I did one section of my countertop in this and didn’t like it so used it very very sparingly after that), 450-Parchment, 602- Country Twill, and applied with an old toothbrush to just lightly mist the countertop: 660-Metallic Pure Gold.
5. An old toothbrush
6. paper towels
7. a piece of cardboard or something to squirt your paint onto.
8. Foam brushes (for clear coat application)
9. Some form of high gloss clear coat (The name of mine was Polycritic or something similar-I didn’t write it down Sorry! and I’m not sure I still have it but I only bought a quart of it and didn’t use even half)
Ok so you cleaned your countertops really well and you can lightly sand them if you like, I didn’t because that would’ve been an extra step and I’m just lazy like that. Pull out your stove & fridge, tape off your sink, cabinets below the countertop and walls before you start painting!
After cleaning/sanding/wiping down you can use a roller and/or a brush to put your primer on. I did two coats letting each dry at least overnight before reapplying. This is the part where you are rolling on the primer and in your head you are going “I can’t believe I am painting my countertop?! who DOES this?! This is NUTS!” or if you are like me…you call your hubby at work and say that while nervously laughing. I preferred to roll my primer on and only brush the edges of the countertop because I didn’t want any brush strokes to show.
Next you take a piece of cardboard and squirt all of your colors (except your metallic) into little puddles in separate corners, rip off a piece of paper towel (I tried sponges but it looked too ‘uniform’ for me)- scrunch it up in your hand until you can grasp the whole thing just with your fingers (not like balling it up in the palm of your hand but just your fingers so you can ‘pounce’ the paint on) and dip it into whatever color is the ‘main’ or ‘base’ color in your sample. I started with the grey because the sample I chose had either grey or tan as the base color (more of that then any other color in the sample). So I dabbed on the grey all over the countertop leaving a lot of white space in between. Here’s how awful that looked:
Then I just proceeded with the tans, blacks and more grey until I got the look I was going for. It takes a bit of time and a lot of stepping back and looking at it (You know how when you pluck your eyebrows if you don’t lean back and look at the whole picture you can end up overplucking? This is kind of like that). I asked my hubby a LOT what he thought of it because I wanted ‘fresh eyes’ to see if part of it looked more blotchy.
I went over and over the countertop re-scrunching the paper to get a different “pattern” so that it didn’t look like one big blob of color. I also had to replace the paper quite frequently because the paint would soak into it and it would start ripping. I didn’t think I would leave any white spots when I was finished but I actually did leave little peeks of it here and there and it lightens up the look a lot. I also made sure that there were only little spots of black and layered tans or greys over it because the black looked too harsh if there was a lot of it in one spot. Keep in mind that your paint is matte & the colors will POP when you gloss coat over it.
Ok so now you have the look you want- you can stop here and just start clear coating it or you can do what I did and squirt a little bit of your metallic paint onto your cardboard (we should call it an artists palette or something to sound more professional don’t you think?? You could even cut a hole for your thumb if you wanted haha) anyway, dip the bristles of an old toothbrush into the metallic paint and then hold it over your counters and run your thumb along the bristles to get the paint to “spray” onto the counters in tiny droplets. I only did this here and there not all over but again it’s personal preference.
Now you can use your foam brushes to put on thin coats of clear high gloss sealer. Make sure you allow it to dry the recommended time in between coats and if you want you can lightly sand. I did this once and then decided to not do that in between coats (again…I’m lazy). I did 7 coats letting each dry 2 hours and the last coat I pretty much globbed it on. Your acrylic paints will POP when the clear coat is dry so if you think it looks a little dull before the clear coat- trust me it will look like someone buffed it to a high shine once that clear coat is on.
Now here’s the hard part: don’t touch your counters (keep cats away from the room & keep dogs from jumping up) for at least 3 days and don’t put heavy objects like your microwave, stand mixer or that HUGE crock of cooking utensils back on it for at least a week. We had our coffee maker, microwave & toaster on the dining room table lol
I had a minor heart attack one day when I walked in and saw that some water had been left puddling on the countertop and when I wiped it away the clear coat had become cloudy…..then it just dried up nice and clear! This kept happening whenever water got on it until about mid-Sept. when the temps outside cooled and the humidity dropped. I think this was caused by the top coats not ‘curing’ properly until the humidity dropped. If you have A/C in your house good for you…I don’t. But if you attempted this in the winter, it would probably work out fine. Just open windows when priming and clear coating!! I don’t recommend putting anything hot directly on your painted countertops or cutting directly on them and since I only use vinegar/water mixture to clean with I can’t say for sure if a chemical will harm them but everything I’ve read online doesn’t seem to suggest it would unless you use a really abrasive cleaner like Softscub or something.
So there you go. The step-by-step to paint your countertops, fool your vistors & give your hubby a heart attack when you announce you are going to ‘paint over the ugly countertops and yes you are serious!’
Have fun and please send me pictures if you try this yourself! I’d love to see!!
ETA: You could always get a piece of poster board in white and ‘try out’ the acrylic paints first to see if you like the pattern you are getting or to show hubby that YES you can do this & YES it will look good 😉 I did that but it ended up not looking a thing like my countertops…my counters looked BETTER 🙂 Happy painting!
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