Upgrade Your Kitchen Counters On a Budget - Faux Stone

3 Materials
3 Days

When we bought our house right after we were married, I knew this wasn't my "forever home". Our builder grade starter home has served us well for many years now, but I have grown tired of the boring, outdated looks in each and every room! So, if you have followed along with any of my transformations, you know I am tackling my home one room at a time!

The latest project room has ended up being the kitchen. While eventually I would absolutely LOVE to just gut the entire thing and shift up the main living area floor plan - I don't have the money for that right now. So, I have set out to do a small refresh. The list of projects includes replacing the sink, fixing up the counter tops, adding a back splash, painting the cabinets and replacing the cabinet hardware. We did a sink swap in one day with an easy to install drop in farmhouse sink that was a fraction of the cost of most farmhouse sinks. Next up, I took on the kitchen counters! They were not my favorite - they were this weirdly colored Formica, shown below.

I think I have always been pretty over these counters - they are dark, yellow-ish and included colors like purple, which I don't really prefer in my kitchen. Replacing them entirely was not really in our budget yet, so I started looking into refinishing kits. I ended up partnering with Daich Coatings to refinish the counter tops using their Mineral Spreadstone kit in Natural White.

The kit is $125 and comes with everything you need to finish about 40 square feet of counter tops. Additional items I used (which you don't 100% need) included my orbital sander, painters tape and caulk for around the sink.

Step 1: Prep Your Counters

I cleaned the counters and then sanded them down with the 60 grit sandpaper that came with the kit. Using a wet cloth, I cleaned up all of the sanding dust so that we would have a clean surface for the primer coat.

Step 2: Prime Your Counters

Using the primer from the kit and the included paint brush, start with your edges and small spaces to apply a thin coat. Once the edges are complete, use the included roller and tray to roll on the primer. Allow to dry and apply a second coat. I ended up having better luck cutting in my edges instead of using the tape!

Step 3: Apply the Mineral Spreadstone

Make sure your Spreadstone coating is stirred thoroughly so that you aren't left with all of the decorative stone pieces at the bottom of the can. I shook mine and had really good distribution throughout!

As with the primer, begin with the paintbrush for the edges and small spaces. You will dab it on to achieve uniform stone spreading. Then, with the roller, roll on the Spreadstone coating in an "X" fashion, pressing down as you go to spread the stone pieces throughout.

Allow your first coat to dry thoroughly before you apply the second coat. Then, allow it to cure for approximately 24 hours before sanding.

Step 4: Sand

I used a combination of the 120 grit sandpaper they provided and my orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper - it makes the job a little easier! Sand the Spreadstone smooth.

Step 5: Apply Clear Coat

The clear coat is the final step! Using the same painting techniques, you cut in the edges and small spaces using the brush and gently roll on the clear coat, ensuring that there are no bubbles or uneven applications. Once the clear coat has been applied, you will need to let the counters cure for 24 hours before the first use. For the first 7 days after that, try to go light on them! From there, you can use them normally.

I have to say, for the price point, this was an awesome option. We are loving how they brightened up the kitchen in just a matter of days. After a few months of use, they are still holding up really well.

I've kept on going with my projects in the kitchen but, I have to say, this project was one of the easiest to tackle. These counters got a new lease on life with Daich Coatings! I love how they look with the subway tile and the cabinets. (See below):

If you are looking to update your kitchen on a budget, this beginner-friendly kit should definitely be on your list of options to look further into!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 19 questions
    5 days ago

    Can I use this over old 60's gold tile

  • Millie
    5 days ago

    Beautiful Update! I am going to redo countertops and paint cabinets. Which would you recommend doing first? Have you done a post on how you did the cabinets?

    • Debbie Paul Child
      4 days ago

      I painted my cabinets first. I haven't done the countertops yet but have some great ideas on how to protect your cabinets while doing the countertops.


      First clean them take the hardware and doors off the hinges. Lay them on 1×1 boards and always do the inside of the doors first. Use OIL BASED PRIMER. If your cabinets are factory stained, the stain will continue to bleed thru unless its oil base primer. I learned the hard way. I got a lot of paint brushes and painting pans from the dollar store. And got 2 news very good paint brushes for the final coats of paint. Sand between coats. That is a must. Depending on how dark your cabinets are to begin with as to how many coats you will need. Use a plastic putty knife because it will get build up in the corners and crevices and you will need to scrape them down. Do not use metal putty knives because they will gouge the wood.

      Take your time and make lots of soup,or stew in advanced so u can feed the family. This will take about a week to complete depending on the size of your kitchen.

      Then I spent the money and went to Sherwin Williams to get your paint. I've used less expensive paint from Home Depot (Behr) and it didn't work as good on the cabinetry and I ended up putting 2-3 coats on. When using Sherwin Williams paint I only had to do 1 coat, but went ahead and did two. 1 gallon did 28 cabinet doors inside and out plus the framing of the base cabinets. I went from dark to white and they are very nice. And I have a 1/3 of the gallon left over. I also put a clear coat over the paint so the kids couldnt mess them up. I put 3 coats of clear coat on them. While i had the doors off my husband built drawers to go inside of the lower cabinets. We are getting old and getting down on our knees to find pans, lids etc was a nightmare. So we put 3 drawers in each cabinet. That part was easy to do. After doing that. We took a break b4 we start the countertops.


      I'm doing concrete with an epoxy over that and I'm going to make them look like marble. Anyway. I am getting gutters to put on the edge of the countertops all the way around. That way it will drip into the gutters and not onto the cabinets or floor. Then I will hang a tarp over the cabinets for extra safety.

      On the side,of my cabinets at the bottom I used white flooring. I glued it onto the side of the island and Brad nailed them in. It's perfect especially around the trash can area if you have kids.

      I also got a mop and spin and I can mop the sides of the island or cabinets faster and easier than scrubbing them. It works great.

      B4 anyone says anything I use a special mop head for just the cabinets and I bleach it and wash the mop head after every use.

      I hope this helps.

  • Do you think the paint would hold up to two teenagers who don't know how to set anything down gently on the counters? I have been wanting to paint mine but the hubby isn't sure they will withstand all the torture from the kids.

    • Robyn Garner
      2 days ago

      fyi - I faux painted laminate counters to a granite look without using a kit at all. Use a GREAT base coat - I used DTM (direct-to-metal) paint leftover from painting my shed. Sponge on your chosen colors, allowing each to dry. Add color where you think it's needed. I then put on probably 6 coats of poly and allowed to dry very well prior to use (maybe a week). The finish was so great buyers had to be told they were not real granite. They held up to 2 kids, etc. for maybe 5 years prior to selling. AND - way cheaper than a kit!

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