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Creative Kristi: Painting Laminate Countertops- Part Two

Creative Kristi

Friday, February 12, 2010

Painting Laminate Countertops- Part Two

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:
Needed:
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)


Here is about the only 'before' shot I got of the countertops. That is Mr. Hubby sanding our floor which we found out was orginal hardwood under 3 layers of vinyl! Woot!
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.

Primer. Exciting stuff huh?  
(I didn't tape my walls at this point because I was going to paint them later & the only time I taped them was before the clear coat)


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.
This is after 2 coats of clear gloss and in the high shine spot you can see that the sanding in between caused some 'lines' which I hated so I stopped sanding.
You can see above that I mixed grey and tan acrylic paint together and painted myself a little 'seam' where the 'backsplash' and countertop meet. The laminate actually curves from the backsplash to the countertop but real granite doesn't do that so I made it look like a seperate piece that they 'caulked' the seam with like colored caulk. Sneaky sneaky!

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

This is halfway through- I did the little countertop to the left of the stove completely first before moving on to the rest of the countertop. But you get the idea that this is what your house will look like while you do this right? MESSY! Out of place! Disheveled! If you can't handle that for a week + then this is NOT the project for you! :)
Your kids may even eat like this for a week. Or maybe you'll just have PB &J.....personal choice!

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!!

-Kristi

Visit thecsiproject.com


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!

Linking Up to The Frugal Friday Linky Party at The Shabby Nest!

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62 Comments:

At February 12, 2010 at 5:36 PM , Blogger Amber said...

Wow! That is impressive! If I had the bravery to try something like this I would totally send you pics...but I have a strong feeling I'd rather just hire you! :) Great ambition!

 
At February 12, 2010 at 6:15 PM , Blogger TexNan said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kristi. Just wanted to reiterate a resounding Wow! on your countertops. Yunno, they actually remind me of our granite. The colors aren't that similar, but the feeling is. And I applaud your bravery. My retired police detective hub would have handcuffed me to the bed if I'd ever considered doing the same when we had laminate countertops. Yay, you!
(BTW I think the painted green floors in your bathroom sound scrumptious. I'm sure you could find a paint-on sealer for them.)

 
At February 13, 2010 at 11:37 AM , Blogger Erin said...

Wow! It never would have occurred to me to paint laminate counters. How clever of you! It really looks like granite. Well done!

 
At February 15, 2010 at 9:52 AM , Blogger Alison said...

Hi Kristi!

Thanks so much for your visit to my blog AND for the tip to look at the knock off blog! Love a kindred creative mind!

 
At February 16, 2010 at 10:26 AM , Blogger Kaysi said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love you technique! Did you use faux painting sponge to get yours?? I really like the colors, you did a great job!
Kaysi

 
At February 18, 2010 at 3:21 PM , Blogger Blessed Mommy of 2 said...

AWESOME job on the counter tops!!!

 
At February 18, 2010 at 3:27 PM , Blogger The Yorgason's said...

Oh my goodness! These are amazing! Great job!

 
At February 26, 2010 at 11:48 AM , Blogger Margo Blue said...

That turned out so great! I want to do it! I just love granit (or the look-a-like). LOL

 
At February 26, 2010 at 12:16 PM , Blogger Nancherrow said...

I saw your link on the Shabby Nest and came over....great job on the counters! I wanted to do that in our old house but never got up the nerve. Now I wish I had!

 
At February 26, 2010 at 12:29 PM , Blogger Tiffany said...

Never would have thought of that! Very impressive. You did a beautiful job! They turned out great!

 
At February 26, 2010 at 4:28 PM , Blogger Amy@TheCircusMcGurkus.blogspot.com said...

Wow. I am very impressed. I think I would have had a coronary after that first pass with the gray paint over the primed countertops. But in the end it looks amazing! I'm not sure I have the guts to do this, can I hire you to hold my hand and repeat "It will be okay..." over and over until I'm done?

 
At March 13, 2010 at 8:28 AM , Anonymous Emily@remodelingthislife said...

It looks really good!! I would never guess you could do that but you sure did!

You know what I found under our linoleum tile? more linoleum! and under that? more linoleum! under that? concrete slab! i would never be so lucky to find hardwoods. under the shag carpeting? linoleum tile. *sigh*

 
At March 13, 2010 at 9:10 AM , Blogger TidyMom said...

WOW that really turned out GREAT!

 
At March 13, 2010 at 10:20 AM , Blogger this blessed nest said...

OMG! i am so thinking about doing this! yours look fabulous. seriously! you should be extremely proud! i would be.

i think we HAD a few things in common...i HAVE the same french blue kitchen countertops as you HAD. i have some major countertop envy going on now.
happy weekend!

 
At March 13, 2010 at 10:34 AM , Blogger Tabulous said...

Wow! I know that Rustoleum just came out with countertop paint, but I never thought of doing faux granite with it. Amazing, and beyond my talents I'm sure!

 
At March 13, 2010 at 6:29 PM , Blogger Southern Fried Gal said...

That is awesome! I love that you thought to paint grout...too smart! OK and I was showing the last picture to my hubby before I read that last little part and then I busted out laughing. Because that is pretty much how it went down...

Have a blessed weekend!

 
At March 16, 2010 at 5:51 PM , Blogger Pambo said...

Do you have to reseal these every year? How are they holding up to your normal wear and tear now that you've had them for a while? I have horrible pink counter tops and this sounds perfect! Thanks.

 
At March 16, 2010 at 6:28 PM , Blogger Kristi said...

I do not have to reseal them! :) they hold up really well! No nicks or peeling or anything so far and we are NOT gentle at ALL with them lol
I may go back and reseal them if they start to show signs of wear but I don't see that happening for years! I do not cut on them (use a cutting board) or put hot pans/plates on them (use a hotpad)

 
At March 20, 2010 at 5:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! This is my project for the summer, kitchen make over~~Love the result! Thanks for sharing!!
Janice

 
At March 27, 2010 at 7:27 AM , Blogger momondealz said...

Happy SITS Saturday Fest! Wow! What an awesome job you did on the couters! I am super impressed. We love doing home projects but have never gotten that creative.

 
At March 27, 2010 at 7:46 AM , Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Wow!!!! How awesome is that??? Amazing work. I am really truly impressed. You go, who needs a Home Depot $20,000 makeover?

Happy Saturday Sharefest!!!

Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

 
At April 10, 2010 at 9:25 PM , Blogger Shell said...

Hey that's pretty creative. I totally forgot that I'd seen this done on HGTV or one of those Sat. morning home improvement shows from the late 80s early 90s. Hmm think I'll try this with my table & just buy new chairs.

 
At April 19, 2010 at 12:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks really good-- congrats :)

 
At April 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM , Blogger Vone said...

I just painted our backsplash - it looks amazing.
http://howtodosomething.blogspot.com/2010/03/how-to-paint-your-kitchen-blacksplash.html

Not sure my hubby would let me touch the counter - or would be patient enough.

 
At April 28, 2010 at 5:15 PM , Blogger Kimie said...

Due to your inspiration, I convinced my husband to let me paint ours. Here's a link to my blog post http://www.kyleandkimie.com/2010/04/painting-countertops.html.

 
At April 29, 2010 at 4:08 PM , Blogger Brandy Bailey said...

Oh my WOW!!!! I am so in love with this!! You did a fabulous job!!! I featured you over at www.somedaycrafts.blogpot.com!! Come and grab a button!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

 
At April 29, 2010 at 6:13 PM , Blogger Sherry said...

Nice job. I have already been trying to get hubby to let me paint counters and cabinets! NO go. But, we did come up with some interesting ideas. Will get to it someday. Yours look fabulous!

 
At April 29, 2010 at 8:57 PM , Blogger House Queen said...

So...would you please come to Tennessee and paint mine??? This is absolutely genius!!!

 
At April 29, 2010 at 9:04 PM , Blogger Keleigh, Cecilia and Family said...

Once again, this looks amazing! How much paint did it take (cans of each color)? it looks about like the same size of my kitchen. ive got to check out your other ideas!!!

 
At April 30, 2010 at 6:50 AM , Anonymous Kristi @ Creative Kristi said...

I used those small acrylic paint bottles- they are 2 fluid ounces each & I'm sure I used at least 4-6 of the 'main colors' and 2-3 of the accent colors and only about one squirt of the gold metallic. :) Hope that helps! I did have to go back to the store for more a couple times but it wasn't a big deal! I only bought a quart size can of primer & sealer.

 
At April 30, 2010 at 10:10 AM , Blogger TOTEally Posh! said...

Amazing! I don't know if I'm brave enough though!

 
At April 30, 2010 at 1:07 PM , Blogger Shayna @ Texas Monkey said...

This is amazing I saw you featured and had to come see for myself.
I have a question, you may not know but we rent our house and although I don't think our landlord would mind us doing this I can't but help and wonder if when we move out could I paint it back white and seal it? Or is this a type of thing, once it's done, it's done?

 
At May 23, 2010 at 12:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks fabulous! I actually just painted my laundry room laminate this afternoon & I couldn't be happier. I will get to the kitchen, but am doing a section at a time. I used a sea sponge to do mine & it's beautiful! I'm so proud :o)

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:09 AM , Blogger Suzanne said...

That looks amazing! You did such a great job on this~it's totally realistic looking. Very "high-end"!

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM , Blogger Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

That turned out so fantastically!!! Really! And you put so much thought and time into the details. That's what really sells it. Even the faux caulk line! Never seen a better faux granite job.

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Ashley @ Bride on a Budget said...

Wow, you would never know from far away that it isn't granite.

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:37 AM , Blogger shutterhappyhope said...

Wow, that's impressive work!!

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:44 AM , Blogger tinahead81 said...

that is amazing!! hubs and i have been talking about getting new counter tops, but its really not in the budget. this would be a great alternative! just gotta get the kiddos out for a few days!! lol

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:46 AM , Blogger Richella said...

Wow. Wow, wow, wow.

Okay, I was pretty much speechless there for a minute (which doesn't happen to me very often).

Your countertops look wonderful. GOOD FOR YOU!

 
At May 25, 2010 at 11:23 AM , Blogger April Francom said...

That's AMAZING!! Great job!

 
At May 25, 2010 at 11:26 AM , Blogger April Francom said...

That's AMAZING!! Great job!!

 
At May 25, 2010 at 11:37 AM , Blogger Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage said...

I am totally impressed!! You did a fantastic job!!

 
At May 25, 2010 at 12:59 PM , Blogger The Jolley's said...

OHHH MAN, I LOVE IT ... I have these horrible pink counter tops in my whole house. This will be perfect. Thank you so much for sharing this.

 
At May 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM , Blogger Miz Carla said...

You are one very brave woman Kristi!! I too am cursed with the uglies in my kitchen, and if I can't talk the hubster into changing them out soon I'll be doing exactly what you did. Thank you so much for all the photos and tips.

xoxs

 
At May 25, 2010 at 1:41 PM , Blogger amyg said...

Holy Moly!!! I am totally trying this! Thanks for the info.

 
At May 25, 2010 at 7:19 PM , Blogger ~Crystal~ said...

Looks great! Wow, you're brave to just go for it. I don't know if I could. Amazing turn out though :D

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!! I love it. I have been researching this for some time and everything calls for this really expensive special paint. I'm a crafty person, but man I would never have thought to use craft paint. Mine are a beautiful faux gray marble look....I am soooo doing this. My hubby just looks at me like I'm insane but he knows I wouldn't try it if I hadn't researched it.

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:38 PM , Blogger Megan @ polishthestars.com said...

That is amazing! We were planning on replacing the countertops in our kitchen but I may try doing this first!

 
At May 25, 2010 at 10:59 PM , Blogger Colleen @ MuralMaker&More said...

Fantastic job. Have you tried other faux finish projects? Did you practice on a board, or just jump in. It truly looks incredible!

 
At May 26, 2010 at 12:23 AM , Blogger Kimberly said...

wow. I'm amazed that paint can look like that! great job. Now I'm wondering if my hubby will let me try it... sometimes he gets scared of my crafty ideas!

 
At May 27, 2010 at 2:43 PM , Blogger The Tidy Brown Wren said...

Wow. You are very talented. I'm afraid if I tried to do that it would turn out looking like a preschooler got carried away with some paint. You did a great job.

 
At May 27, 2010 at 7:07 PM , Blogger Maggie Reno said...

Wow. Amazing. I've considered trying it on my kitchen counters but I doubt I could ever make it look that good.

 
At May 27, 2010 at 10:55 PM , Blogger Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com said...

That is just amazing. It looks so real too. Wonderful job!

Thanks so much for linking up to the CSI Project! We really appreciate it. I hope you will come back next week for our Hardware Store challenge!

XOXO
Jen

 
At May 28, 2010 at 12:12 PM , OpenID MONA said...

I too did my counters in a rental that I live in and used the basics that you did, cleaning, sanding, priming but I did use sea sponges and high gloss paints. After a couple years now some of the final gloss finish has started to lift in areas that gets used the most and from water I'm sure, I didn't sand before the poly, but because the paint was high gloss it isn't noticable. it was fun and also a challenge. Your right, the people at the store thought I was nuts when I told them what my project was. The painter lady had posted my counters on her website after I had finished them. Good luck anyone that is attempting this.

 
At May 28, 2010 at 1:19 PM , Anonymous Linda from Breese, IL said...

Your countertops look fantastic! I would love to do this too, but we have a 12yr.old,a 2yr.old, and 2 cats. So there's no way on God's green earth the counters could go for a week without a major mishap. Thanks for sharing!

 
At May 28, 2010 at 6:14 PM , Blogger MiMi said...

I'm stunned.
Really, that is just amazing!!
You are one talented woman!
PS, I think I have the same sort of picture with my little boy in those EXACT pajamas eating Little Caesers. LOL

 
At May 28, 2010 at 11:47 PM , Blogger Laura @ Ms Smartie Pants said...

Are you still happy with your countertops a few months later? Are they still holding up, no chipping or scratches? I have wanted to do this for years but wondered if it really holds up. I appreciate you sharing how it has worked out for you. Thanks

 
At May 29, 2010 at 6:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kristi: Just wanted to add my two cents worth. I think you did a fantastic job. I salute your bravery and your curiosity. This coming from a gal that has painted just about everything over the years, including my bathtub and floors. Good for you. Linda Connolly

 
At June 16, 2010 at 6:25 PM , Anonymous Julie said...

Hi Kristi, very nice job on your countertops! I thought I'd help your followers out with a couple of product name typos (you mentioned you didn't keep the can, but I'm a professional faux finisher and am very familiar with product lines).
The brand of primer is "Kilz", and they make water based and oil based products. I'm assuming you used the oil since you mentioned the smell, which is exactly what you should have used. For future projects,like cabinet painting etc), solvent based primers create an even stronger bonding surface (although the oil is just fine too, waterbased...NOT good). The shellac product is thinner but excellent on previously lacquered or laminated surfaces.
Also, I'm guessing the sealer you used is "Polyacrylic". Acrylic means it's 'waterbased' and non yellowing. Polyurethanes are tougher over time, but also can slightly discolor, so best used if on darker painted counters.
Thanks for you pictures and info. I'm in the process of researching oil based metallic paints (with real metals in the paint) and sealers. Hoping to paint a laminate counter to look like copper, I just want to make sure the materials aren't poisonous since it's an area for food prep. Thanks again for the inspiring pics!
Julie
Julie

 
At July 12, 2010 at 9:40 PM , Anonymous Courtney H said...

Great job!! I did my bathroom and kitchen over the winter, and they both took FOREVER to cure.. the bathroom was a good 2 months (8 coats of poly), and the kitchen was at least 6 weeks (3 coats). We use a woodburner, so we have D.R.Y. heat. I, too, got those cloudy spots when water sat unnoticed.. talk about a heart attack!

 
At September 29, 2010 at 9:30 PM , Blogger Kim @ seven thirty three said...

WOW Kristi! Those are amazing. Thanks for sending me to this post. I think you just made the decision for me. I definitley can do this before Saturday! :)

 
At October 5, 2010 at 12:43 AM , Anonymous Gillian said...

Yes, brave indeed. And I've never heard of this. It seemed to come out great. What's the life cycle of a painted laminate counter like this? Or are you saving hard for the real granite? Good job. Stopped by from SITS. I'm in your 'tribe'.

 

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