One of the first projects my husband and I decided to tackle was our hideous bathroom countertops. The entire bathroom was a disaster, seeing as it didn’t even have flooring when we moved in, but I knew immediately the countertop had to go.
Sadly, I completely forgot to take good before pictures of the countertops, but I will attach what the bathroom looked like on arrival.
Beautiful, right? Peek the plywood flooring.
Right away, there are SO many issues with this bathroom, but there is a lot of charm that goes along with it. Our goal was to dig through all the junk, so we could really appreciate the charm.
We, like so many other people in our age bracket, do not have the money or the desire to replace a countertop, so I did what any logical 20-something would do. I went to Pinterest.
There are hundreds of articles about painting laminate countertops on Pinterest. I did my research, and I was sure we could come out successful.
We cleaned, sanded, taped, covered, and all of the other things every article told us to do before we started painting. We were ambitious, optimistic, and a bit ignorant. We painted!
We skipped the primer, which might have been our first mistake, and went straight on with Rust-Oleum Spray Paint. I was hoping to get a nice gray color, but ended up getting something very close to black. This, of course, was my error. If you are interested in black countertops, this very well might be for you! It was not, however, for me. The black countertops looked way too “DIY” for me. After all, we never want someone to walk into our house and say, “I can tell you did that one yourself.” We always want the professional look.
I sealed this with a clear concrete epoxy, which was recommended by an employee at Lowes. My local store did not have any countertop epoxy, which was what I originally intended to buy. At the time, I thought I should have purchased the countertop epoxy online and waited for it to come in the mail. Later, I will show you the results of actually doing that.
This was my very first “after,” and boy, was I excited! The bathroom had come a long way. Look at those floors! Naturally, I do not have a good picture of the countertops, but that is mostly because I never even thought for one second I would be writing this blog. I never dreamed that this beautiful countertop would be back for vengeance!
I’ll admit, this countertop could have lasted me for longer than I allowed it to. It held up strong for a few months, that is, until I could not bare to look at that black any longer.
If you like this look, here are some tips I would offer you:
- clean very well before painting – You cannot over clean!
- Wipe everything down with a Tack Cloth – this is a sticky cloth that catches all kinds of dust. You want them for every step, especially the sealant!
- tape everything meticulously (or have a razor blade nearby to scrape off unwanted paint)
- Pick a high quality, water resistant, heat resistant sealant – all of your hard work will go down the drain if you do not seal this well.
- Have patience and another place to brush your teeth while it all dries
I decided to start anew! I sanded the topcoat off, and decided to add a little color to the black. “Perhaps then, I would like it,” I thought to myself.
Though this picture does it no justice, it was actually a huge step in the right direction. I added shades of orange, white, silver, and brown. I hoped that this would give it a faux granite look, and though that was not achieved, in the short time I rocked this look, I got many many complements. I wish I had added more color, but I was afraid that it would look overpowering and cheap, if I didn’t make it subtle.
This time around, I decided not to skimp on the sealant. I ordered pour on resin online that had rave reviews. This stuff was beautiful! I applied it to everything. The kitchen countertops, a kitchen island that I had purchased, and, of course, the bathroom countertops. I would have kept this stuff forever, had I not run into the problem that I did.
This resin would not set completely in some areas. I tried everything to fix the issue, even going so far as to purchase more resin to to redo the areas that were still sticky, to no avail. No matter what I did, there were sticky areas all over my countertop. Hair, fuzz, and dust loomed continuously. After two months, I couldn’t take it any longer. I sanded down the countertops again.
Now, folks, this is my third attempt! I was growing weary. This time, I decided to follow the advice of one blogger, whose name I no longer remember. This blogger painted her entire countertops with cheap $0.82 paint from Walmart. She sealed it and all was well. “Heck,” I thought, “I’ve got all this stuff here. I might as well give it a shot!”
I decided to go the opposite route and paint this countertop white. My plan was to do a faux marble. I, once again, omitted primer and just dove right in. With a sponge roller, a craft sponge, and several paintbrushes, I created a faux marble to die for (or at least, I thought so!)
This took the longest of all other attempts, and it looked the best. I sealed it with Giani’s High Gloss Top Coat, another big name sealant. This lasted a month at best. It started chipping immediately, as did my now tender and tired heart.
Yesterday, my husband I decided to take all of it off. We scraped with a razor blade until we could finally see the original, hideous countertop. Okay, it’s not that bad, but it doesn’t match the rest of the bathroom, which is a huge pet peeve of mine. We have not decided what to do yet, but we are thinking of trying one more time. I have done research, all of which tells me that my previous attempts should have been successes. Perhaps if we use oil based paints only and seal again with the concrete Epoxy mentioned previously, we will have success?
This is where we are now, once again at the drawing board. Will we finally have the countertops of our dreams? We will see.
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