Okay, I know I’ve been largely absent as of late. I’m in the final push at the house to get everything done before the floors go in on Monday, so that is occupying each and every non-working moment of each and every day and I am going to fall apart any blessed second. I can’t fall asleep at night because my brain won’t shut up about everything left to do, I dream about it, I wake up to pee and can’t get back to sleep because my brain starts planning what I have to take care of still. So I’m sleep deprived and obviously sanity deprived. Regardless, I feel like I’ve been neglecting you, and I would hate for you to think that it was intentional and that I no longer love you. I do, with all the energy my depleted little heart can muster. So, here is a tutorial for resurfacing your countertops:
Step 1: Recognize that nothing will make your countertops look like real granite or marble other than real granite or marble. Make your peace with that now.
Step 2: Do a crapton of research online about fun and funky, and most importantly given your budget, inexpensive ways to make your countertops not look quite so sad. Stumble across Giani Granite and decide, “well hell, for $80 it doesn’t matter if I ruin the countertops. I can always replace them later.” Order the kit in whatever color you want (except the red – please, please, I’m begging you, don’t redo your countertops in red…I’m not sure they even still carry it, but it was on the instructional dvd and I was horrified. I think my eyes started bleeding when I saw it…or maybe I was just seeing red, snicker) and wait excitedly a couple days.
Step 3: Watch the dvd. Twice. Compare them to the written instructions and you’ll see half of the important stuff is left out of the instructions, so really, do yourself a favor and take the time to watch what they sent.
Step 4: Tape off the sink, walls and mirror really well. The paint is not like regular old acrylic paint, more like nail polish or car paint, so you can’t just pick it off while it’s still a little soft. I also highly recommend wearing gloves for the same reason. It does not wash off easily and if you’re using the brown colors like I was, it will look like you’ve been playing in poop. Good luck explaining that one to the waitress as she stares at you in horror when you hand her back the menu.
Step 5: Scrape off the old silicone in case it’s not the paintable kind. You’ll replace it after your done, so don’t worry. Then prime the countertops using the black primer, sponge brush and roller provided. I will say that I found the roller a little frustrating because it didn’t actually roll very well. You may want to buy one at the store instead, just be sure to use the foam kind, not the kind that creates texture. I ended up doing a second coat after about 4 hours because I could still see a lot of the laminate countertop peaking through. Let it dry overnight.
Step 6: Cut your sponge into 4ths, then cut a little smidgen off of each of those for getting down into the cracks. Pour your paint out on you plastic, foam, or waxed paper plates (don’t use paper plates that aren’t grease resistant, because it’ll soak right in and through the plate). Do a few practice dabs on the piece of primed cardboard included in the kit so you know how heavy to go with each color.
Step 7: Using the sponges, very lightly dab your colors on in the order suggested on the cans. I found that I liked the way it looked with thicker, heavier splotches, so while I was still pressing down very lightly, I was really loading up the sponge so it came off gloppier. The only down side to this is that it does leave the countertop slightly more textured in the end. You can sand some of that when it’s dry, but only to a limited extent.
Step 8: Be careful on the backsplash if you choose to do thicker paint, because it will run. I found using the smaller bits of sponge slightly frustrating, and switched to a stiff 1″ artists brush to lightly tap the paint into the corners and around the sink edge. I think, ideally, it’d be a good idea to actually take the sink out, but I made it work. Let it all dry overnight again.
Step 9: Make sure the room is closed off from all the dust you’re creating in the rest of the house with all your mad renovations. Apply the topcoat with the roller and sponge brush. Start with the creases and seams and then very quickly roll on the topcoat in sections. Don’t go back and forth on top of it too many times, or it’ll create texture and bubbles. Because I was working in pretty tight spaces, it would have been easier if I’d purchased a smaller roller, but again, I made it work. Let it dry overnight.
Step 10: As I said, it still won’t look like real granite or marble, but it’ll look like a high end laminate, so there’s that. Caulk everywhere you’d removed it prior to painting. Tear off the tape. Stand back and gloat at your awesome-osity.