Painted Formica Countertop
My UGLY formica countertops were just SCREAMING for an Ambush Makeover! But since I could not take them on a plane to the Today Show so Kathie Lee and Hoda could work their magic, ultimately, the responsibility fell to me! Yikes!
I removed the purple, green and plaid wallpaper – actually it wasn’t as bad as you might think. The border was blue and purple and green hydrangeas so it really was quite lovely. I was on a green and black and white damask kick so I figured – why not?
Once I got the walls and ceiling painted, the countertops stuck out like a sore thumb. I didn’t want to get new formica and I certainly could not afford a new granite countertop- what is a girl to do when faced with a conundrum of epic proportions? GOOGLE!
Here is what I was faced with: Not completely horrible I am totally thinking Nate Berkus would just be brought to tears.
Well I came upon this group of people at ThriftyFun dot com who had PAINTED their laminate countertop to look like granite. Yes, I said painted! I was VERY apprehensive about painted countertops and undertaking such a drastic measure; however, as I looked at the leprechaun green color complete with honey pine trim and shiny brass knobs which only added to their “splendor”, I thought how much worse can it be?!?
So, I began researching (I always research) and picked out a “granite” color I think I would like to try. Alas, I was ready! As if by magic – here is the result! Drumroll please…. CrAzY, right? Yes – it is that amazing and unbelievable!
Ok, so you can see the before and after pictures, but what about the dreaded “in-between”?? LOL The cost was about $115 for all the countertops and I still have one box left for the backsplashes.
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HOW TO PAINT FORMICA COUNTERTOPS DIY
1. Prepare Your Space
Firstly, I removed the wood backsplash and washed down the countertops so they were very clean. It is a good idea to use a rubbing alcohol or ammonia to remove any grease and all buildup on your countertops.
Now is the time to to cover and protect your cabinets, sink, stove edges etc. Using Painters tape, tape off all edges, and cover all surfaces around countertops to protect the cabinets from drips overspray etc.
2. Prep the Countertops
Depending on the state of your old countertops you may need to fill any holes or scratches that you find. After the filler is dry now is the time to sand your counters, to help the paint adhere. Be sure to use proper masks. After sanding wipe your surface thoroughly to make sure you don’t have any dust or dirt that will interfere with adhesion of paint.
Caulk any cracks if you have removed the backsplash (so epoxy doesn’t leak behind or into the back of your cabinets)
Then I simply used a small sponge roller and painted on a white bonding primer which I made gray by mixing in black paint. Here is a picture of the gray primer just rolled on.
4. Base Coat of Paint
Next add your base coat paint. (If you want paint kits, check out this post), this will be the main background color. I simply bought a quart of Rustoleum flat black paint and used my paint roller for the first coat and it was wonderful. If you need to add a second coat, do that now before adding the texture.
TIP: I made a mistake initially on this step; I covered the cabinets and everything in sight courtesy of the Chicago Tribune! I then had the brainiac idea that I would use stone texture spray paint! NEGATORY! It was awful. It worked for others but not for me. So I had to sand that off and begin again. Don’t try it! Spray painting in the kitchen… BAD IDEA!
5. Add Texturizing Paint for a Granite Look
For a granite look you need to add texture (we have a marble painted countertop version here) this adds a realistic granite look and some bling!
So, I purchased a can of metallic silver paint and a sea sponge and simply had some fun. I sponged on the silver and then sponged on the black over it and repeated this process until I had a granite look with a little bit of pop!
To help add shine, I took the Martha Stewart black glitter and sprinkled it everywhere while the paint was still a little tacky.
How awesome did this look – I was really getting excited that this just might work! Fingers crossed!
Just sponging on silver metallic paint – its almost impossible to mess up!
6 Adding the Topcoat Epoxy
Then came the final step which had me a little nervous. The final poly coat. I researched this quite extensively to make sure these chemicals could be around food and anything breathing. I am very conscious about chemicals, volatile organic compounds (vocs) and such due to my cancers.
Everything I read about Envirotek was wonderful. No problems and no risks. So, I bought a few boxes at HOBBY LOBBY with my 40% off coupon and was ready to go!
Envirotek and Martha Stewart Black Onyx Glitter – it’s like sugar dust!
Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before starting so you have a clear understanding of what you need to to.
Be sure to check on your cabinet coverings and protections. I put plastic over the cabinets and cardboard on the floor. I mixed the two bottles and poured it on. Use disposable buckets and sponge brushes – you will throw everything away – even your clothes because it is so sticky.
It was actually kinda fun to move it around and then simply let it dry. I had my blowtorch ready to burst the little bubbles that can form and I only had to use it on a few. It was gorgeous and I knew it was still wet but I had no idea it look almost the same when it would cure completely dry and hard as a rock and so durable!!
I could not imagine so little effort and money could make SUCH a difference! I WISH I had thousands for real granite but I don’t! So this totally works for me! I love it and I still have to do my backsplashes but I know it can only get better!
Always cover cabinets – especially WHITE cabinets!
Finally finished at 3 o’clock in the morning. Takes about 24 hours to dry and about 3 days to completely set and cure.
Here are two more sets of BEFORE n AFTER pictures. This is the smaller counter which is the one with which I started because I thought it would be easier to experiment on being contained. (Actually, this area is not readily seen, so if it was a train wreck, it wouldn’t have been AS noticeable!) 🙂
I know there are two missing handles – I am still working on the hardware although I like these a lot!
I switched out the faucet and hardware for bright chrome and painted the wood trim to match the cabinet.
Try it! Do it! You won’t regret it! And you will be so proud of yourself when it turns out spectacular and people think it is real granite kitchen counter! That is the best part! 🙂
It is like any kitchen countertops and needs to be cared for. You cannot put hot pots on it and it can scratch but you simply have to use cutting boards and trivets like you would with real granite to protect it from stains, etc. If the scratches are deep you can always cover them with another coat. Good luck!
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