Painting Over Laminate Counters (Faux Travertine Look)

3 Materials
$500
2 Days
Easy
We've been planning to overhaul our kitchen for awhile, now...we've done a few things here and there over the past couple of years, but this weekend I finally decided to break down and tackle our green countertops!
So, this is what our kitchen countertops looked like. They were a very pale green and swirly white pattern. Our kitchen used to be green, which pretty much made these "disappear," but when we recently painted our kitchen Quench Blue and our dark wood cabinets Coconut Espresso, the green countertops HAD to go!
This is what they look like now, and we LOVE it!!! We started out with the Giani Chocolate Brown Granite Kit, but I added a few of my own watered-down acrylics to the mix: Venetian gold, burnt umber, and white. Our color application was as follows after applying the black primer: Brown Feldspar Chocolate Brown Venetian Gold* Inca Gold Burnt Umber* White Wash* (* = colors I added.)

The Venetian Gold is metallic, so it gave a nice shimmer underneath. (Real stone has silica and a little "sparkle.") When I first did a test patch on black cardstock, I was happy with it, but the Husband wanted more of a contrast, especially since our cabinets are now white. So I threw in the Burnt Umber at the end to really warm things up. I very sparingly almost dry-sponged on the white lightly here and there...it added another nice contrast and made the overall finish look more "stoney."
This section shows a bit more of the Venetian gold right in the middle. The KEY to applying this is to do one color right after the other while still wet. We used slightly damp sponges, and I would apply one color with my husband following right behind me with the second color. Once all of the colors were applied, he would go over everything with a very lightly damp sponge in order to "smoosh" and blend the colors together to his heart's content. This provides a more blended look since the paints are still wet. The finish looks a lot less obviously sponged. It's also very easy to correct any areas you want lighter or darker while they're still wet, then just sponge over the spot to blend. Another suggestion - take a break from it. Walk away, come back in an hour, and take a fresh look! You don't want to overdo it, either - you want some visual separation and noticeable concentrated spots here and there. Real stone certainly isn't uniform!
Here's a bigger section, before the poly topcoat was applied. (Can't wait for that glossy finish!)
Here's a shot with 3 pics of real noche travertine and 1 of our countertop. I think we did pretty well, and I actually prefer our countertop (#3 above) - with the additional colors, it has more depth!

Suggested materials:

  • Giani paint kit   (manufacturer website)
  • Acrylic paints   (Michael's)
  • Envirotex Lite   (online)

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