How to Create Granitelike Countertops
Granite countertops are an expensive addition to a kitchen, making them less than a budget-friendly option for the do-it-yourself homeowner. If your old laminate countertops are in good condition, faux-finishing provides an inexpensive solution. With a can of primer, a few cans of stone spray paint, a package of mica flakes and a can of polyurethane, this project can be completed in one weekend.
Wash the countertop and backsplash with dishwashing soap and a plastic scrubber. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry.
Mask the walls, cabinets and sink with painter's tape. Cover the sink, faucet, cabinets and walls with newspaper or plastic to protect them from over spray.
Sand the countertop with fine sandpaper to remove the gloss finish. Wipe thoroughly with a tack cloth to remove all dust.
Roll a coat of black primer onto the countertop. Black provides the dark undertone that many homeowners prefer in a granite countertop. Do the back splash first, then work your way forward to the edge of the counter. Avoid leaning on the wet edge of the countertop. Allow to completely dry according to the package directions.
Shake the spray can for one minute, until the ball freely rattles. Spray the stone finish paint over the countertop, shaking the can often as you work. Spray several light coats; you do not have to cover the entire surface in one coat.
Sprinkle the mica flakes lightly over the wet paint using a salt shaker. Pat with a sea sponge if necessary to flatten the flakes and lift off the excess; they should stick to the sponge. Allow the paint to dry.
Spray another coat of stone finish paint over the countertop, lightly covering part of the mica flakes. Using a sea sponge, lift the spray paint off the countertop until you are satisfied with the pattern. Allow to dry overnight.
Roll at least four coats of polyurethane over the your granite finish. Allow to dry for 24 hours before removing the tape, newspaper and plastic.
- Use two different colors of stone spray paint to add visual interest to your granite finish.
- If you prefer a lighter color of granite, have the paint store tint white primer in a light gray, tan, green or blue tone.
- Stone finish paint is also available in cans if you cannot use spray paints; apply with a sea sponge in layers.
- Practice the faux finish on a scrap of wood first.
- Open all the doors and windows; paint fumes can be toxic.
- Use a dust mask when sanding and sprinkling the mica flakes.
- Do not use spray paint near open flames or pilot lights.
- Use trivets and cutting boards; do not set hot pans or use knives on the painted surface.
With degrees in fine and commercial art and Spanish, Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist, book designer and published author. De Jauregui authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, available as an ebook. She enthusiastically pursues creative and community interests, including gardening, home improvement and social issues.
- granite background image by Alex from Fotolia.com