High Heels and Training Wheels

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5.20.2015

DIY Floors: Vinyl to Tile for Only $50

Hidey Ho neighborinos! Today I'm continuing on in my "no money, no problem kitchen reno". After successfully painting my countertop I knew I wanted to give the floor a try.


Painting floors is something that scared me. I don't know why. Maybe because it's so unconventional? Not like painting your counter isn't, but this floor was a really intimidating project for me. I had no idea this was a thing and other people had already done this. I thought my idea to paint it was just crazy talk and it worried me to try something that had never been tried before. Turns out this has been done many times before and I'm just late to the party. Whomp whomp.

So why am I still sharing it then? Because it's all about the inspiration. Maybe someone else who has also been living under a rock (like I apparently have) will see this post and get inspired to create something of their own. And I really want to reiterate that even if you don't have a lot of money to work with, you can still find a way to love your space. So here I am, hoping to share more inspiration with my painted floor. My hideously ugly, gross vinyl floor...

painted vinyl floors

painted vinyl floors

painted vinyl floors

Ugh, that's embarrassing! I feel like I'm sharing my dirty, little secret or something. But I promise, those floors are clean enough to eat off of, they're just terribly beaten and old. No really, I had just mopped. No amount of cleaning could improve their appearance because, what looked like dirt and grime, was actually scuffs and stains that were never ever going to budge. I really didn't think I could make them any worse than they already were. They were baaaaaad. So I figured what the hey, you can't break what's already broken, right?

painted vinyl floors

Total cost: $45
Time to complete: one week (including drying time)
Difficulty: easy

  • Kilz primer- oil based
  • Chalkboard paint- I used Rustoleum
  • Polyurethane Floor Sealer- I used Rustoleum Park's Water-Based
  • Lambskin Stain Applicator- for poly
  • Rough grit sandpaper and/or electric sander
  • Caulk- any kind of latex will do
  • Paint roller- any cheap roller for primer
  • High-density foam roller- for chalkboard paint
  • Paint brush- any cheap brush for primer
  • Small artist's brush- small flat brush works best
  • Stencil (get to that in a second)

The Prep

painted vinyl floors

First I started by mopping my floors. You don't need a description of that, you know how to mop floors. Then, I used my sander to remove the glossy finish. Nothing real crazy or anything, once the sheen is gone, you're good. Then, I got all of the dust cleaned up with just a vacuum and some regular ol Dawn dishsoap and water. I did not use any fancy cleaner like others have. Just so's ya know.

painted vinyl floors

Next I patched the rips and tears that I may or may not have caused when I was moving the refrigerator. But, I'm not pointing any fingers. I just used a standard caulk and smoothed it out.

painted vinyl floors

Next it was time to get to priming. I first cut around the trim with my brush. I wanted to be able to really slop the primer on there with my roller and I didn't want to have to worry about trim and clean lines. So I did that first just to get it out of the way.

painted vinyl floors

Cool little tip: did you know that the handle of a traditional broom will fit into the handle of any standard roller? Yeah, buddy it does! I unscrewed the handle off my broom and attached it to the roller and I had an instant roller extender. I knew rolling the floor would be murder on my back if I had to stay hunched over for a long time, but I wasn't willing to buy one of these things. Luckily, I didn't have to and if you have a similar broom, you won't have to either! *The more you know*

painted vinyl floors

I wasn't fancy cleaning my floor or anything, so I just went ahead and did 2 coats of primer straight on the floor. Cause here's the thing; I'm messy. When I was painting the counters I spilled some primer on the (very) dirty floor and that shiz wasn't going nowhere. It hung around for weeks with no signs of stopping. And that was without even cleaning or sanding ahead of time. So I don't really think it needs anything special aside from a light sanding and mopping, especially if you're going to seal it in the end anyway. It's your choice on whether you buy special floor paint or fancy cleaners, but I didn't and it's all good in the hood. I did one coat, let it dry overnight, then did the second coat the next day. No muss, no fuss.

After the floors were completely primed, I went around the perimeter of the room with my painter's tape to seal off the baseboards.


The Stencil
The next step was to begin on my stencil. This is a whole little "how to make a stencil" side track so if you're not using one, or you're just purchasing one, feel free to skip on. 

 First, was to decide how I wanted the end design of the floor to look. My vinyl is in square "tiles" and I really wanted to work with that shape rather than try to fight against it. I have seen other people do patterns over their floors with the existing texture of another design showing through. They turned out awesome, don't get me wrong, but I wanted to make my floors look as "they came like this" as possible, so I decided to use a pattern that worked with a square shape so the existing square indentions wouldn't detract from my chosen design. Just personal choice. Do it however you want, I'm not judging you.


If you saw my last post on my countertops, then you know where I was heading. I was absolutely smitten with the floors in this kitchen and I wanted something similar.

painted vinyl floors

Since I was creating my own stencil, I could make this whatever custom size I needed it to be. I measured my squares to find out what size they were to determine how large I needed to make my stencil. That way when I was stenciling on the floor, I could just plop it down and line it up with the existing squares and save myself the time and effort of having to measure and map out rows.

painted vinyl floors

After I found the shape I liked and the size it needed it to be, I tried to somewhat freehand the best I could onto a sheet of regular printer paper. This was a really rough rough draft, but it gave me a good idea of where I was going. I then used my ruler to tweak it and actually measure and line things up properly. I even lucked out and found a bowl that was the perfect size to get a good curve. (Always, always cheat like this whenever you can!) After I had a shape I was happy with, I cut it out and traced it onto a heavier cardboard. Actually it's the backing of those window clings you get at the Dollar Store. Whatever, judge me if you must, but it worked and I didn't have to go buy any fancy stencil stuff.

painted vinyl floors

After the design was transferred, I used my utility knife to cut it out. Just a word of advice, be careful with this. And make sure you have something you don't mind getting cut up underneath it.

painted vinyl floors

Boom. Custom stencil.


The Design

painted vinyl floors

Now that I had my stencil, time to transfer it to the floor. Since this was just cardboard and not a durable, thick plastic, I used a double sided tape on the underside of the stencil so it would lay flat to the ground without any bending or warping. I really wanted to cut back on touch ups on paint that bled under the edges as much as I could and using the tape helped prevent some of that.

 But I will advise you not to stick this straight to the ground if you're using a paper material like I did. This tape was extremely sticky and if I had stuck that straight to the ground as-is, I would have ripped my stencil trying to pull it back up. I stepped on the tape several times with my super fuzzy socks to get some of the adhesive off. No joke. And even still, I had to take extra care when pulling my stencil up for the first half of the floor. Even by the end of the floor, after being stuck down and pulled up 50 times, it was still super sticky. So watch out for that.


painted vinyl floors

Now, a lot of people use a roller over their stencils, but I had just used up my foam rollers on the counter and I sit firmly in the "use what you already have" camp. Rollers aren't expensive or anything, but I didn't need one. That said, I tried a foam brush and a cheap bristle brush to see which would be best. Neither one was best. So, I went and got a foam roller and I'm glad I did because it worked beautifully. As you can see, the foam roller gave the even, more consistent finish of the 3 and it moved a lot quicker too. So my advice is don't skimp on this, pay the 3 bucks and get a foam roller.

painted vinyl floors

I chose to use chalkboard paint for this job. Why? Is there some specific reason? Is there something about chalkboard paint that you don't know? Nope. It was the color I needed and I already had it leftover from the kid's room. Like I said, I'm a champion of "use what you already have". You can use whatever color/type of paint you want.

When you're painting with a stencil you have to keep your roller and your touch very light. You want very little paint on the roller. Very, very little. You're going to be tempted to put pressure on the roller as well. Don't. If you've got too much paint or if you push on the roller, it's going to bleed through no matter how many precautions you've taken. Just go over as many passes as you need and keep it light. It also helps to roll parallel to the edge instead of up to it. If that makes sense. In the picture above, my roller is not running along side the edge, it's rolling over it. As you can see, there is obvious bleeding when you do it this way. I had much better results rolling alongside. Just keep changing directions to go with the shape of the stencil.

painted vinyl floors

painted vinyl floors

 I didn't do this in any particular fashion or in rows, I just backed my way out of the room. I kind of bounced around a little so I could tape the edges of my stencil down without disturbing the wet paint on the square next to me. I went every other square and then went back through and filled the rest in, working my way out of the room. This portion took me 6 days. Out of my 7 day total, 6 of them were spent individually stenciling each square. Granted, it wasn't sun up to sun down work, but it was still the bulk of my efforts. It's time consuming, but it's not hard though. You just need some patience, knee pads (no joke), and a good roller. Streaming Mad Men on your laptop while you work doesn't hurt either.

painted vinyl floors

To get around the edges of the room, I just bent the stencil right up against the wall and used my brush to touch up where the roller couldn't reach.

painted vinyl floors

Once you've repeated a hundred times and completed the entire floor, you can go back through with your artist's brush and cut around the edges to get any spots where the paint bled under the stencil. Once I figured the best way to use the roller, the boo boos became less and less so this portion took me only like an hour at most to do the entire floor.

Yes, one is inside out. Nope, no particular reason why.

Here's another little tip from me to you: wear socks throughout this project! Clean socks. The primer is a matte, rough surface and just like it grips to paint, it gripped dirt like a magnet.  Every bit of dirt from our (seemingly clean) shoes left a mark and barefoot wasn't any better because even just the oils from our bare skin left a mark. Primer's just like that. And because it's such a rough surface, it ain't easy to clean. Nor do you want to go scrubbing on the fresh paint before you can seal it. I had a designated pair of clean "kitchen socks" that I left at the entryway and changed into those every time I took a step into the kitchen. Sounds weird but its better than having to get on my hands and knees to clean the floor every time I entered.


Sealing
Now a lot of people opted to use a specific floor paint and completely forgo any type of sealer on top. I obviously did not use any specialty paint. It was more economical for me to use what paint/primer I had on hand so I could just purchase a single material. So that's what I did.

painted vinyl floors

 I chose to use Rustoleum Park's sealer because it is the same maker of the epoxy I used on the counter and I had such great results with that. A lot of sealers say they go on clear, but they still have a yellow tinge. The Park's epoxy went on clear and stayed clear, so I thought their floor product would probably be the same and would be the best candidate for this job. It was.

painted vinyl floors

The floor sealer is a much easier process than the epoxy product I used on the counter. There is no mixing or crazy steps to follow, just stir and pour. You do need to use a special lambskin applicator pad in order to get a smooth finish, but it's only like 3 bucks and it screwed right onto my broom handle like the roller did.

painted vinyl floors

I applied this the same way I did my stencil, by backing my way out of the room. You do this just like you would mop your floor; just a light back and forth motion to evenly coat it. It has a white, milky sheen when it first goes on but it dries completely clear so don't panic, you didn't do anything wrong.

After the first coat had sat for about 2 hours, I went back with a thin second coat. The directions say after you've done your final coat not to walk on it for 8 hours. I gave it about 6 before I had to tip toe in for coffee filters, but it was fine.

DIY painted vinyl floors

DIY painted vinyl floors

DIY painted vinyl floors

DIY painted vinyl floors

DIY painted vinyl floors

I absolutely love the result! They turned out exactly like I hoped they would. I love how it pairs nicely with my newly painted counters and I love how the design ties in with the existing square pattern of the floor. I also like the modern look of the stencil. It's such a fun, punch in my otherwise neutral space. Black and white can be boring, but these floors are definitely anything but boring!

I know that my chosen design and high contrast are very taste specific, so in case you were curious about how others have done their floors in comparison to mine, here are a few of my favs to check out...

My Old Country House


View Along the Way


Designer Trapped in a Lawyers Body


A Warm Conversation


Shelterness

So was it worth all the time and effort spent? Would I do it again in another room? Absolutely! This is the only room in my house that has vinyl sheet flooring so I don't know that I will be able to do it again, but I absolutely would if given the chance. It's a great update for very little money so if you're on a budget, this DIY is definitely for you! Until next time...
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High Heels and Training Wheels!


4.22.2015

DIY Counters: Laminate to Marble for Only $25


Howdy ladies and gentlemen! Even though I'm quite positive there are no "gentlemen" reading this blog. Including my husband. (passive aggressive much?) But I digress. ;) Anyway, today is about the beginning of our kitchen reno on a budget and how it's totally possible to revamp your space with virtually no money in the bank. Starting with....

DIY faux marble countertops

My faux marble counter tops! Boom! "Lindsey, what are you doing? You have a fashion blog." Yeah but this monkey can do a couple of tricks so roll with it.

I wish I could post this picture without the context that they're "faux" to see what people honestly think about them. I feel like if you know they aren't real, the opinion is tainted and no longer objective. I don't want your pity compliments, I want the truth! (You can't handle the truth!) However, whether they're wholly convincing or not is actually irrelevant to me because they're still such a far cry better than their original state. Which brings us to what they used to look like...

DIY faux marble countertops

Vom! Now I know that you've seen these counters before. Every single person, at some point in their life, has either had these exact countertops, or knows someone who has had them. I've personally been so fortunate as to have a version of these twice in my life. #blessed

While these gross counters are hideous and I can't stand them, we have lived with them for about a year now. Why? Our house was built in 1940 (celebrating her 75th birthday this year! Mazle!) so a lot of other things required our immediate attention and unsightly counter tops were pushed down low on the totem pole of priorities. (Lost all of the 'before' pictures in the laptop crash of '14 so no one will ever know how much we've done...I'm still crying about it)

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

Recently I got around to painting and resurfacing our cabinets (still need to find new hardware I like) but they turned out to be less than I expected. I've been wanting a "tuxedo" kitchen and was so excited about painting it, but after finishing them (which I thought I would love) I was pretty underwhelmed with the results. Was it my paint job? Was it the colors? I realized the countertops were the culprit and I couldn't put them off any longer, they were finally up to bat. Replacing the counters absolutely wasn't in the budget for us though. What to do, what to do....well my gorgeous friend Pinterest put forth the idea of painting them!

Most painted countertop pins I found led me to this Giani granite kit thing. And while the kit gave some undeniably beautiful and realistic results, that sucker is $70 and was more than I was willing to spend. Yes, it's way less than what real granite and marble would cost, but still too much for me. The problem with that was it was all I could find! "Pinterest, stop trying to make Giani happen. It's not going to happen!" How did I do it then? Ingenuity and creativity. This one's for all you other cheapskates out there....cheapskates unite!


To start, you obviously need the right materials. I already had most of mine. In fact, I had everything aside from the poly to seal them so my grand total was $25 for both of my counters. Chances are if you're a DIYer, you have most of them too, but even if you didn't, you could still keep this project under $50 easily.

DIY faux marble countertops

Total cost: $25
Time to complete: 3 weeks (including procrastination and drying time)
Difficulty: easy
  • white primer- I used Kilz oil based (messy, messy stuff!)
  • foam roller- high density like this one
  • black acrylic paint (additional shades of gray optional)
  • rubbing alcohol (optional)
  • wood filler- I used this kind
  • rough grit sandpaper- an electric sander would be even better
  • fine grit sandpaper- I prefer the sanding block, I use this one for everything
  • painter's tape- nothing fancy, cheap stuff will do
  • "veining" tools- pictured above
  • polyurethane/epoxy- I used this kind
  • putty knife or foam brushes- get inexpensive like these because you will have to throw them away
(none of those are affiliate links, just trying to help a brutha out by steering you in the right direction)


First, before any painting, I needed to start by prepping the countertops. For me, that was by filling all of the nicks and scrapes that had accumulated over the years. If your counters aren't damaged  (whoo hoo!) you could cut out even more of the needed materials just by skipping this step.

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

I used a plain ol wood filler to do this. If I weren't painting over it and using poly, I might have used something stronger, but for these purposes it's fine.

DIY faux marble countertops

I chose a wood filler that specifically said "paintable and sandable" and "resists shrinking". Don't know if it would really matter but I wanted to play it safe. 

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops
This is why you use a cutting board people!
I just used a putty knife to spread the filler over all the holes and nicks. After they were all filled, I used my fine grit sandpaper to level the filler out.

DIY faux marble countertops

I also gave the entire counter a rough sanding to get rid of the glossy finish so the primer would have something to grip onto. If you have an electric sander (don't ask me why I didn't use mine; brain lapse) that'd be great for this to save your arms and time. After sanding, I made sure to wipe away any sanding dust and gave it a good clean with a degreaser. I didn't want any debris or oils on the counter to prevent the primer from getting a good grip.

I mean, you're using a primer so you may be able to get around the sanding, but since I was already saving on materials I figured I should probably make up for it in effort. Ya know, even things out in the universe.

DIY faux marble countertops

Next, I taped off the sink and appliances. I didn't bother taping off the wall because the backsplash is my next project and any "boo boos" would all be covered eventually. It's not like that fake brick paneling is precious to me anyway. Another mark of the times. You can definitely tell what era they were in the last time this house was updated! Basically everything in here, aside from the cabinets, has been a gut job.

DIY faux marble countertops

Now to begin priming. I just skipped the middle man and poured directly onto the counter. If you do this, make sure you don't pour too much. I did too much the first time and ended up having to scrape some of it back into the can. (Whoops) I used the foam roller to spread the primer on evenly. I definitely recommend a high-density foam roller for this job. If you use a roller with a thick nap, you're going to get a texture. We're trying to imitate marble so we don't want any texture here.

 I ended doing 3 coats to completely cover the design underneath. If you don't have a pattern to worry about covering, I would still recommend at least 2 coats. I'm going to be sealing it and protecting it with the poly but I just wouldn't want to tempt fate by being stingy with the paint. Just my 2 cents. After it was completely primed and dry, I added one coat of semi-gloss white just because it was truer to color than the primer and I already had it. Not necessary, just me being picky.

DIY faux marble countertops

To further rid the counters of any texture, I used a fine grit sanding block in between my coats of primer and once after my coat of paint. It doesn't really do anything in terms of how well the primer/paint adheres, but it did affect the look. I didn't want to see any brush marks or roller texture in my end result. You don't even have to do this step, I was just feeling thorough that day I guess.


via
Now comes the creative, "fun" portion. I recommend finding a picture of real marble to use as reference. I used the 2 images of Calcutta marble above because I liked the veining and coloring in these particular slabs. They're actually faux too, but I loved them. If you could get your hands on a sample piece of real marble, that'd be even better.

DIY faux marble countertops

The tools you use to get your veining is up to you. I've seen people use a large array of various tools for the job so the possibilities are endless. I chose to use a feather, a toothbrush, an old makeup brush, a small paint brush, and some foam makeup sponges because they're what I already had on hand. But I definitely recommend using a feather for your veining, if you can. I was lucky because my daughter has a huge feather collection and she was willing to sacrifice one for me; they can be any ol' feather you find outside like that.

If you're unsure of which tools to choose, I would recommend trying this out on a piece of poster board or cardboard to get a feel for it before moving to the counter. I didn't do any practice first, but it would have been a good idea to get a better idea of how I wanted it to look.

DIY faux marble countertops

The colors you choose to use are up to you. You could buy several colors of gray if you felt like it. I just chose a black acrylic and mixed it with varying amounts of the white semi-gloss to make 3 different shades. It's up to you. Whatever paint you use, you want to add water to it. You do not want full opacity, you want it diluted and really runny. The runnier it is, the easier it is to work with. To achieve this, I mixed 1 part paint to 3 parts water.

Now we have our tools and our paint sorted, onto the technique.....except there isn't one. This project is a very right brain project. If you are a left brainer who loves symmetry, this will be kind of difficult for you. I flip-flopped back and forth between flowing freely and struggling with symmetry myself. But the real key to getting a realistic look is layers. Say it with me, layers. As long as you layer, it will turn out alright whatever your skills may be. Layering colors on top of each other over and over and over (and over) again, is what's going to get you that realistic look. Think about it, granite and marble are so beautiful because there is so much depth and dimension. Also, natural stone is completely unique and perfectly imperfect. There is no pattern, there is no repetition, it's just random and natural. So should your painting be.

With that said, there are still some tips to getting particular results with each one of your tools. A loose guide is to start with your biggest tool and work your way down to the smallest and to start with your lightest color and work your way up to the darkest. But don't stick to that exclusively, play around with the different tools in whatever way that feels natural to you. It also helps to sometimes step away and come back. If it feels like you're working too hard or it's just not looking right, sometimes walking away and coming back with a fresh perspective can help. I had to do that at least 5 different times and one of those times was spanned over 3 entire days. Gotta do what ya gotta do, man. If you're not happy with it, don't give up. Just take a break and come back to it later.

DIY faux marble countertops

 I started by adding some "shading" as my base. I took my lightest color of gray and glopped it on (technical term) in large irregular lines, going diagonally. You don't want to see brush strokes so I used a wavy stippling motion. I also found I got the best results by working in small increments. I want to feather this out before it has a chance to dry so I did small areas and alternated between this step and the next step; back and forth, back and forth.

DIY faux marble countertops

 Next, I used my sponge to feather it out as much as I could and soak up the access  by using a stippling motion again.  I just wanted this to look kind of like a shadow; a base to add some dimension so I didn't want any real definition or lines in this step. You need to follow the brush immediately with the sponge so the paint doesn't dry before you can blend it out.

DIY faux marble countertops

 If there are parts you don't like or you think are too dark, sponge some white back on top of it. I did a thin layer of white over all of the shadowing anyway, just to add some more depth, but I used an even heavier hand in places I thought were too dark.

DIY faux marble countertops

After adding my white, I used the sponge again to further blend it and get rid of any brush strokes. You can always add more gray too. I just started in one place and worked my way outward, switching between the 2 colors and switching between the tools.

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

This is what it looks like after these first steps. It's a nice soft base to add the veining on top of. I had to really enhance the contrast and shadows in order to show the definition in these pictures so it's not quite this dark in person, but it's got a lot of dimension and color variations. The "marbling" effect (for lack of a better word) comes from heavily diluting the paint. It keeps it wet and thin and allows you to work with it more.

DIY faux marble countertops

 Once I was happy with my shading, I began the veining. I wanted my veining to vary in size so to start, I used a thin paint brush. I dipped this in my medium shade and began dragging and pushing the brush. I then went back in the opposite direction and allowed the "veins" to meet in places. To get a realistic look you have to push, pull, shake, drag, whatever with that brush. These lines should be jagged and harsh; not too pronounced like a lightning bolt or anything but not loose like a shoe string either. It's kind of a fine line (pun intended) but you can always go over this as many times as you need. I even used my dry fan brush here and there to get a softer effect in places.

DIY faux marble countertops

 Next I dry brushed back over with another thin layer of white. I used the flat brush and used a stippling motion again, bouncing the brush up and down. Then I went behind it with my sponge to kind of sop it up. I didn't put any pressure on the sponge, I just kind of let the weight of the sponge tap the surface. I did this to add another layer of depth. Like I said, layers are key!

DIY faux marble countertops

Next was to do the intricate veining. If you notice in the pictures of marble I used there are a ton of thin veins running all throughout. I used a feather for this. I used my darkest color and did this much like I did with the brush, just thinner and more intricate. I made sure to keep it jagged and random. These lines were very thin and wispy.

DIY faux marble countertops

 Last but not least, I went back over all of it with white one last time. Before that was dry, I dipped my toothbrush into plain ol' rubbing alcohol and ran my thumb over the bristles to flick specks over top. Be careful when doing this, don't load it up too much because you want flicked specks not big drips. And although seemingly small, this step made a huge, huge, huge difference. But this only works if you've diluted your paint with water. On the white areas I had painted with just the plain, semi-gloss paint, this had no effect. It basically reactivates the water/paint and the specks help the colors sort of melt together and tends to sort of leave "voided" space where the specks hit. If that makes any sense. It adds another imperfect, natural element.  Any veining that looked too controlled or too much like brush strokes was instantly made more natural and realistic.

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops
try to ignore the sponge, the camera absolutely refused  to focus without it
After everything was dry I used my fine grit sand paper very lightly just to make sure there weren't any heavy specks or anything from all the building and stippling.

DIY faux marble countertops

Now the painting is done, time to seal that puppy. You need this to seal your work, obviously, but this is really the cherry on top. This is what takes your work from "sponge painting circa 1991" to "marble"

You need to mix and apply this by following the instructions on the can/box/bottle. Depending on the type and brand, instructions can vary. The instructions on this product were very specific about how you do everything, so you will want to follow these closely. I would recommend looking up reviews before choosing which sealer to buy. You want to get one that is going to go on clear and isn't going to yellow over time. This Parks Super Glaze works amazing, and if you're looking for a high gloss finish, I'd definitely recommend it.

DIY faux marble countertops

Before applying the poly, I made sure to seal off the rest of the kitchen in its entirety. This stuff is sticky and messy and will permanently adhere to anything it touches. The product starts the curing process as soon as it hits the container you mix it in so if you get it on anything, it will be there for life. I made sure to tape off the cabinets, covered the floor, everything to protect it all.


I used foam sponges to spread the poly over the counter. It's self-leveling, but you still need to move it around and make sure the entire counter is covered. That's including the lip over the edge, so this is going to have to run over the side. Every so often you have to scrape the drips so the edge will be smooth.

This dries to the touch in about 8 hours or so but it doesn't fully cure until it's set for a full 72 hours. That means keeping your kids (and husband) off for 3 days. I only did one of our counters at a time so we could still use the kitchen through the curing, I just really didn't think we could sacrifice all of our counters at once and trying to do so would  just tempt fate and someone would end up spilling Koolaid or leaving a big handprint or something. So I still have the other side of the kitchen to do. But after it's cured it's completely sturdy and ready to rock and roll!

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops


DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

DIY faux marble countertops

The pictures really just don't do them justice! The epoxy gives this thick, glass-like appearance that really makes them look much more authentic. And no, you aren't crazy, the things sitting on the counter changed. I ended up moving things around before I got through taking all of the pictures.

The upkeep of the counter is not really any different than any other counter surface. Obviously don't set hot pans directly on it, always use a cutting board, wipe it down with a mild soap and sponge and all that. Like I said before, whether it's entirely convincing as marble or not is really irrelevant to me because it is still such an improvement from the yellow 70s laminate. (Can I get an Amen?) And it made this drastic difference for a mere $25! Twenty-five dollars! Long story short, I love them! I love them so much, I'm going to try to give our appliances the stainless steel treatment and to paint our laminate floors! Not marble, but something even better...

via

Stay tuned for that! Until next time, shoot me any questions you might have in the comments!

UPDATE: I found this fabulous post at Batchelors Way where she painted the counters in her laundry room in a faux marble finish. I so wish I had come across her post before doing this project! She did things a little differently which gave a somewhat different look, and (smartly) added glitter to get the authentic look of mineral deposits. Such a cool idea! I definitely recommend checking her out, her counters turned out beautifully!

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