We have been remodeling our 100 year old farmhouse kitchen since March on a shoestring budget. I have been working from ceiling down to floor..which was exciting because I was finally able to get to the countertops! They were a mess and had been worn from many years of use.
I can't believe how nice my countertops came out and how much fun it was to do it! Plus... I could use them the same day after painting.
Clean and Tape
So believe it or not.. this is after I cleaned my counter. I didn't use anything fancy (just Myer's multi surface) since I was going to try and scuff them up after. You definitely want to tape because it can get a little messy in the process of making them beautiful. I wish I would have taped another row higher,because I ended up needing to touch up the wall paint. Live and Learn.😉
I almost forgot! Make sure that you tape your sink especially well if you plan on using it while working on this project. You don't want water to get in between the tape and your countertops. I made sure it was really tight and pressed down around the edges.
Sand or Not to Sand?
So I attempted to scuff up the countertops by sanding with coarse sandpaper. Honestly I don't think it did anything. The only thing it might have done is loosen up stuck on stuff that was still there after cleaning.
If you do sand make sure that you clean your countertops again.
This is probably the most important step of the whole process. This primer is what makes it possible for the paint to stick to the countertops. I used Sherwin-Williams extreme Bond primer. It is my go-to for all things shiny. It does not need to be put on thick, but it does need to cover every spot you plan on painting. I almost think of it as a super glue for paint. Let it dry thoroughly before moving to the next step. (Good time for a coffee break)
Choose your colors and get prepared.
I used Renaissance paint by Retique It. It is a furniture and cabinet paint. It dries really hard and is made to go with the sealer I choose. I knew I wanted a variety of colors so I chose three and plus made a fourth by blending a couple.
Gothic Gray-Dark Gray
Mix of Snow and Gothic Gray for a lighter Gray.
Start to paint
I wanted to have something flat that I could sponge some of the paint off of if I got too much. This is a perfect time to use some of those lids that have no bottoms of your Tupperware. 🤣 Or even better.. I reuse the meat trays that are made from styrofoam.
I used small pieces of natural sponges. I didn't want all of my marks to look the same. I also softened the sponge by wetting it and squeezing out any extra water before I got started. Make sure you don't have too much paint on your sponge since you want to see the details.
The fun part finally came after all the prep. I just randomly used the sponge to apply the paint all over. One color at a time. You can sponge as much or little depending on the final look you want. I ended up doing a lot of layering so I didn't go crazy with the first color.
I went over each color with another color. Since this paint dries extremely fast I did not have to wait between coats. Keep going with your color choices until you get the look you really love. I thought I wanted to go lighter but ended up adding more dark after I took a step back. Also since it's only paint, it's easy to keep going over it.
When I achieved the look that I really loved.. I stopped. This was really hard for me because I felt like I needed to keep going over it. Trust me walk away. 🤣😂 Let it dry thoroughly. I waited at least an hour.
Lightly sand with a sanding sponge with high grit. Like 320. Just enough to flatten any texture from the layers of paint.
So the next step after the paint was completely dry, was to seal. It's really important that you choose the best sealer. These are your countertops that you use daily.. so it must be able to put up with water and be easy to clean.
Retique it came out with a new water-based sealer similar to an epoxy. Super easy to use! I used a mix of Glossy and Satin because I wasn't sure how shiny I really wanted it. I applied with a brush in a thin layer. After it dried I put another coat. This does take a little bit longer to dry compared to the paint. I'd say let it dry for at least an hour between coats.
I also planned on putting one more coat in a week. I wanted the first two coats to thoroughly cure first. Although, after a week has gone by I have not felt I needed that third coat. Totally up to you.
Although I was able to cook dinner on the counters that same night after working on the counter tops during the daytime.. you still want to be careful until the paint and sealer has had a chance to cure thoroughly. This could take up to a week.
Use felt pads
I did not want to wait a week to be able to decorate my new kitchen..I just use simple little felt pads underneath some of my items that I picked up at the Dollar Tree.
In the end I am so excited how they came out. Everyone who has seen them.. can't believe they are painted! Maybe someday I can afford granite or quartz. For now these are perfect.
Few tips for care
Because all of this is painted, you want to keep in mind a few things. Putting a hot pot directly on your countertops will most likely melt your sealer. Using a knife without a cutting board will most likely scratch your countertops. You can clean with any mild cleanser without abrasives. I would also avoid any magic erasers. Liquids and water will repel so it's actually very easy to care for.