Sunday, October 19, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Get Granite Countertops for under $100!!! DIY FAUX GRANITE

So we recently started this adventure on updating the house but on a budget and no major renovations. One of the things we're updating are the kitchen counters. I wanted granite badly! But that just aint gonna happen right now lol! So I convinced Tony into letting me paint the counters. Now I know what your thinking, WHAT PAINT!! Yes..... paint the counters but painting them into faux granite. I researched the heck out of it and found a few tutorials out there that I loved and kind of did my own thing. After I showed him all the pictures on pinterest he was sold. But he said this is YOUR project and that meant no help from him. Determined I got my gloves out, bought the paint and went to town. So far the durability has been holding up and I am in love with them. I will say that it was a learning process and there are things I would do differently next time. That is why I would like to share my mistakes so that yours can look even more amazing! Here are the tools you will need.
This is my ugly counter before! 

Craft acrylic paint about 5 to 6 colors of your choice. Go to Lowes and look at the granite samples and take pictures of the ones you like and buy your colors according to that. You can find these at Michaels, Walmart, or Hobby Lobby just to name a few.

Next you will need a base paint I used a white base paint bought from Lowes but you could use any extra indoor wall paint you have laying around in any color.

A natural sea sponge, you know the ones that look alive and creepy. Got mine from Walmart in a package of all sorts of sized sponges.
Some crappy craft brushes you can usually find them at the Dollar  Tree in the craft section and come in a big pack. These will be great for getting into the crevices and corners.
Also a thin small art paint brush a decent quality nothing too expensive though.
A paint roller to roll on the base paint.

Painters tape to tape off the wall and appliances and plastic paint drop cloth to tape onto the cabinets I will explain later why you will need it to be plastic. Also your going to want to put some on your floors as well around your working space.

Gloves, it gets super messy with all the sponge painting :)

Glitter is optional or some glitter flecks the ones you add to paint.

Famowood Glaze Coat. It is the crystal clear high gloss finish.

Now lets get into the directions, it may seem over whelming with all the steps I am going to write but the process overall was super easy and actually quite fun. I just want to give you as much detail as possible so you can be prepared and have time to do this. Disclaimer! This is a weekend project it took me all day Saturday and all day Sunday.

Step 1
Prep your surface by cleaning your counter tops really well. Get all the grease and any food stuck on the counter. You want to have a smooth surface so if there is any bumps or flaws make sure to lightly sand those down.

Step 2
Tape off your walls and appliances. Basically anywhere you do not want paint or to ruin the surface tape it off. This is where you are going to need the plastice drop clothes. Next time I do this I will go to the Dollar Tree and get the cheapy shower liners and use those. So I did not have any plastic but I did have this brown paper on a roll so I used this to tape off and cover my cabinets. Bad idea because when you go to put on the top coat it drips off the edge onto the paper and seaps through onto the cabinets. Leaving a sticky residue that WILL NOT come off unless sanded off or used paint thinner. Good thing we are going to restain the cabinets anyways next so I was not too sad about it.

Step 3
This is where it starts to get fun. Paint your base coat all over the counter. I used 3 coats and let them dry for about an hour.

Step 4
Get creative! Start spongeing away with the first color. I started with my lightest color first and then worked my way up to the darkest. Keep a reference picture of the granite you like close by so you can imitate the markings with the sponge and paint brushes. Just keep layering away with all the colors. I found the more layers I used the more dimension and realistic it started to look. The good thing about this project is you can always add more paint layers and cover up what you don't like so just keep playing with it.

This is with the first sponge layer of acrylic craft paint.
Scary looking huh? At this point I was wondering if this
whole thing was a mistake haha!

Step 5
Once I felt I had a good coverage going with all the paint colors. I took a toothbrush and dipped it in the black paint and started flicking the bristles to get that speckled affect all over.
This is after many many layers of craft paint using the sponge and the crappy paint
brushes that I had mentioned.

Step 6
I used the better quality art brush and drew thin lines all over to imitate the cracks that granite has on it. Then I made another layer of sponge painting over them to cover up the harshness of the black and kind of soften it up a bit.
See how harsh the cracks look? That is why I  put another layer of sponge over it.

Step 7
This is when you will want to add the glitter. But this step is optional. Tony told me later on that I should have added more glitter. I KNOW RIGHT! A man saying add MORE GLITTER! LMAO!

Step 8
Make sure to let everything dry very very well! Atleast a couple of hours and make sure it is dry to the touch.

Step 9
Then you will use the Famowood top coat that I mentioned in the beginning. I followed the directions it came with and make sure to read them well. I did not want to mess this step up because after you put this top coat on your work is now permanent! So one tip I strongly recommend is that you use a blow torch to cure this product. I didn't have one so I thought it would be ok, but instead I was left with a ton of air bubbles on my counter. I am going to try sanding this layer a bit and doing one more layer on top of it with a blow torch this time and see if it makes it any better. The last tip I would give you is make sure you get enough of this product to spread evenly on your counters. I barely had enough to cover my counters and I only bought two boxes. After this step let dry for 3 days, that means nothing big like a microwave on it or any water. Now you are finally done and you should have some fabulously frugal granite counter tops!
Your left with shiny new pretty granite counters! 

I must say that at the end of this project I was so proud of myself for accomplishing this project on my own, and I think Tony was pretty impressed too! haha! Thanks so much for stopping by and if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below! I will try and help you to the best of my ability :)
Much love and hope this tutorial has left you with some extra cash in your pockets!