How To Paint Your Countertops | Days of Chalk and Chocolate

How To Paint Your Countertops

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A few weeks ago I showed you my newly painted countertops. It was an affordable and budget friendly alternative to new counters and we are so happy with the results. I have gotten so much great email from you all about the process and so I'm sharing how I painted my countertops to resemble faux stone or laminate! 

By the way, you can see my self-adhesive tile back splash HERE!

Step 1: Prep
Of course you know this is so important so don't skip it!  I first washed my counters, let them dry, and taped off any areas I didn't want painted.  I then applied a liquid sandpaper product that de-glazes. When that was dry I applied a coat of an all purpose primer (mine was latex) using a foam roller.

The Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer is amazing. It adheres so well and creates a nice smooth surface for the paint. Love this stuff.

Step 2: Apply paint
 If you look online you'll see everyone has their own method to do this. This is mine but it isn't the only way. It depends on the look you want.  I used 6-7 colors of acrylic craft paint.  

 The application materials I used was a variety of natural sponges, slim artist brushes, crumpled paper towels.

I used a laminate sample to help me with color and texture

I used the largest sponge to apply the color in the order I had practiced, starting with the Antique White and layering each color on after that. I worked in 2 ft sections. I wanted to apply the next color before the one before had fully dried because I wanted it to look more natural. If you like a more speckled look then wait for each layer to dry before adding the next.

I just kept playing with it. I went back over areas to lighten or darken. I did that A LOT. 

I created veining my loading the artist brush with one of the lighter colors and rolling it as I dragged it across the surface. I did this everywhere including the back splash and sides. I immediately blotted the vein with a sponge or paper towel so it was a little less defined and more natural.

Look, I'll be honest. I went over and over and over the counter with the different colors. I am a nut job and need perfection. In hindsight I probably didn't need to do it quite that much.

Step 3: Dry and Seal
I let it dry overnight. The next morning I applied a sponged layer all over the counter top with the Metallic Champagne paint. It is very sheer and just adds hints of sparkle and depth. That is my absolute favorite part and it pulled the whole thing together!

When dry, I wiped the counters to remove any little random bits of dry paint or dust. I then applied 5 coats of polyurethane. I started with the polycrylic but I didn't like how it was going on so I switched to a semi-gloss all purpose poly I had.  Remember to apply water based poly over water based paint and oil based poly over oil based paint.

I really wanted to use a bartop epoxy that you pour on but frankly, I used what I had and since I'm hoping these counters won't be around in a year I figured it would be fine. But for a really durable, shiny look spring for the epoxy.

I would like to do 5 more coats of poly but for now it is holding up well!  I use my counters like any other, wipe them down, etc. I don't put hot things on them but I wouldn't do that with any laminate.  

I darkened this so you can see the details. It isn't this dark in person.

If you have any questions or if something isn't clear please let me know. I'll be happy to help over email!

Jenny's Tips For Successfully Painting Your Counters
Practice, practice, practice on poster board. I tried 4 different color combos before I settled on this particular one.

Vary your application mediums. I varied from large to small, sponges to brushes to crumpled paper towels. I felt this made it look natural and less painted.

Before you take off the tape, slice it with an Exacto knife or box cutter. The tape can definitely take up your hard work.

Caulk around the sink and backsplash to make clean edges and hide any imperfections that may have been created by taking off the tape.

Go over areas again and again until you achieve the look you want. 
Ask for opinions. My neighbor came over 2-3 times to give me her opinion. After a while it all started blending to me and I couldn't be objective.
I will 100% honest. As I was doing it I thought "Oh no, what have I done. It looks like sponge painting from 1991."  But trust yourself. Keep sponging. Keep blotting. Keep adding colors. Keep blending. Keep adding veining. Blend some more. Go to bed. Wake up and survey the counters. Heck, you can even give it a quick sand and reprime if you absolutely hate it. You won't. Just keep doing it until you are happy.

I had a party here twice and both times everyone stood at my counters saying, "No way. I don't believe it. Paint?" Those were the ultimate compliments! You can do this too!

Thanks for reading! And thank you for all your comments and emails. I appreciate the time you take to read and write!

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