I am so excited to share my first real Home Improvement DIY project with you all. There is only so much you can do when you don't actually own a home yet... which is why I invaded my parent's home and ask them to channel my DIY passion into their guest bathroom! :)
My parent's guest bathroom was in need of some real love. With zero natural light & ugly builder grade everything, we had our work cut out for us... and believe it or not, on a budget of under $100 this is what it was transformed into. The projects included in this bathroom redo were the counter tops ($25), refacing the cabinets, framing the mirror, and painting & stenciling the walls (Tutorial for my free hand wall stencil found here)
The end result is really amazing! The question is whether or not to brag about your "fake granite counter tops" or let everyone think you just had real granite installed! ;)
I admit up to the very end I was so scared that they wouldn't turn out as perfectly as I wanted them to, but I could not be happier with the end result!
First things first, you will need the following:
-Sand Paper to rough up the counter-tops
-A Good Primer that will work with acrylic paints. We actually used a Rust-Olleum Spray Saint Primer.
-Some Granite Counter Samples (optional)
-Acrylic Paints of your color choice (you know, the little bottles of paint you buy at your craft store!)
-Paintbrushes and a Sea Sponge
-Drop Cloths/Cardboard as protection against the sealant
-Ultra Gloss Epoxy (the box will tell you how much of it you will need for the square footage you will be using it for)
-Gloves, something to mix the Epoxy in & something to apply it with (we used a painting stick.. haha!)
I grabbed a few granite counter samples from my local home improvement store to get an idea of what color, pattern and texture would fit the style I wanted to incorporate into the bathroom. We decided to go with a dark version, with lots of cool grays, some silver, some browns, and lots of black.
Give your counter tops a good wash down to make sure there is no grime. Sand it really well.
Wipe off any dust from sanding, and tape off any places that will touch your counter tops.
Since we used a spray paint primer, we protected the wall with cardboard. :)
Make sure to spray really well (no drips!) and make sure it has even coverage because that is what everything holds onto. Let dry completely.
The painting was the hardest part for me. I was really particular about how I wanted it to turn out. I didn't want it to look like someone was really sloppy and just dabbed paint here and there with a plastic bag.
To get the look we wanted, we worked with the darker tones first, then added the light highlights after, subduing some of them by patting them down with some of the darker, slightly watered down paint. Study some of the granite samples you like to see how the natural "grain" of stone looks.
We just played with it until we liked (okay, LOVED!) what we saw. We found it's best to work with it all wet so you can blend better.
We also alternated between sponges and paintbrushes for the finer details.
We liked the marble effect so we made sure to incorporate some "Squiggle Lines."
After you let all your acrylic paints dry, it is time for your Epoxy.
Follow the Directions EXACTLY as stated on box. If you and too much of one of the components, or don't mix it perfectly then you may end up with a sealant that doesn't dry in some spots. Ours didn't have any issues, but it did have lots of bubbles from stirring (ahhh! More on that below!)
Here's a (very real, unstaged) photo of us adding the Epoxy to the counters. We used a large piece of cardboard to act as our "drop cloth."
Use gloves when applying this stuff. It's super sticky! The box didn't specify how to apply it other than pouring it on the surface. We didn't want to risk getting paintbrush hairs, or stroke lines in our sealant, so we smoothed the "puddles" out with a paint stick to give even coverage on the whole counter tops.
Going up on the back splash was a little trickier... I can't help but wonder if it would have worked a little better to use a paint roller... but you only have so much time with this stuff before it dries, so work quick!
I recommend starting with the back splash first, so that the excess sealant doesn't run down onto your already finished flat surface.
If you get bubbles in your sealant from mixing or pouring, either blow on them or hover a lighter above them to pop them. We did both. :)
Now you have to patient and let them dry... for a long time! I think it's a 24 hour set time, but I would recommend not putting anything on them for at least 48 hours.
They are SO gorgeous. No pictures can do them justice!
They Epoxy gives a complete waterproof, shiny, gorgeous finish! It's been a couple months since we did the counters and they are holding up beautifully!
The only question I had was, "Why didn't we do this sooner?!"
Give it a try! It looks so great that my mom asked me to do the other two bathrooms in the house soon!
Breakdown of Costs:
The Extra Gloss Epoxy $17
(I got it from Home Depot. But I only needed half of it, which means I can use it for another bathroom!)
Spray Paint Primer: $5
Acrylic Paints $3
(because we had most of them on hand)
Paint Brushes & Painter's Tape $0
(we already had some on hand)
PS) Thanks to So Lovely Creations & Wild Whitney for your inspiring tutorials on fake granite counter tops! If you want future information on how other people have used similar methods, check out their tutorials!