Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Painting My Laminate Countertops

Probably you have seen this all over the web recently. I first heard of it a while back on a blog, but I can't remember which one at the moment. Anyway, I tucked the idea away in my head for the future and it certainly came in handy in our new house.

You might remember from my tour post, that our countertops were a brightish orange color when we bought the house. My first priority was to get them painted, because I didn't want to have to do it while we were living in the house. It's a fairly easy process, but there is a lot of coats and drying time involved.

Ok, so here is the before shot:

There are some great tutorials around the web. I think this one is pretty useful. I just read a bunch and determined my own way of doing it.

I used a BIN shellac primer first and did two solid coats. This is what it looks like after primer.

Sooooo much better already. Then I did two coats of a soft white called Swiss Coffee from Glidden. Not much different.

Then I did some splotching with a wet paper towel in a light gray called Polished Limestone, also by Glidden. This was probably the scariest part. I haven't even done any sort of faux painting before. I wasn't trying to mimic the look of a natural stone, I just wanted something soft and modern looking.

After the first treatment:

It was looking pretty good after that. I had always planned to use a brownish gray on the top called Wood Smoke from Glidden (I really like their colors) on top, but I was pretty scared to do it. I decided to do a slight wipe over with a wet paper towel, to give it some depth. It worked out perfect, and I love how the brown tones pick up on the cabinets and really tie it all together.

Three coats of polyacrylic later and my countertops were finished. I adore them and they changed the entire mood of the kitchen. You do have to be a little more careful with them than laminate, but it's so worth it. I mean, who really would risk using a knife straight on their countertop without a cutting board anyway? Not me.

You'll notice that the tape didn't come off too cleanly. I did score it with a craft knife, but it just wasn't happy to be leaving. A little spackle and some paint and it looks really good again. I'm trying to decide if I want to put up a backsplash, or leave it painted. One part of me really wants to put up a pretty tile backsplash, buuuuuuuut, I want to gut the kitchen at some point in our ownership (David and I disagree over this a little bit, but we'll see what happens), and spending money on a backsplash when I could be saving it for a huge kitchen makeover isn't all the that tempting. The more I do in the kitchen, the more I lean toward keeping this kitchen around for a while; it's actually looking pretty and much more updated than I imagined. I even have a plan to work that crazy mustard yellow sink in so it looks like I did it on purpose.

Just to recap, before:

After:

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