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: