Formica Coated Countertops
The ugly Formica worktops were just screaming for an ambush makeover! But since I couldn’t take them on a plane to the Today Show so Kathie Lee and Hoda could work their magic, the responsibility eventually fell on me! Yikes!
I removed the purple, green, and patterned wallpaper – it’s actually not as bad as you think. The border was blue, purple, and hydrangea green, so it was really pretty. I was in a green, black and white damask kick so I got it – why not?
Once I painted the walls and ceiling, the worktops stuck out like a sore thumb. I didn’t want new Formica, and certainly couldn’t afford a new granite countertop – what should a girl do when faced with a dilemma of epic proportions? Google!
Here’s what I experienced: Not exactly terrible, I totally think Nate Berkus is going to cry.
Well, I came across this group of folks at ThriftyFun dot com who painted their polished surfaces to look like granite. Yes, I said painted! I was too apprehensive about painted countertops and to undertake such a strict procedure; However, when I looked at the leprechaun green complete with honey-pine trim and shiny brass knobs that only add to its ‘glamorousness’, I thought how worse could it be?!?
So, I started researching (always looking) and chose a color of “granite” I think I’d like to try. Alas, I was ready! As if by magic – here is the result! drums please… CrAzY, right? Yes – it is amazing and unbelievable!
After, after! Yay!
OK, so you can see the before and after pictures, but what about the dreaded “Between”?? LOL the cost was about $115 for all countertops and I still had one square left for the back tiles.
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HOW TO DRAW FORMICA COUNTERTOPS DIY
1. Prepare your space
First I removed the wood back panel and washed the work surfaces so they were very clean. It is a good idea to use rubbing alcohol or ammonia to remove any grease and all material that has built up on work surfaces.
Now its time to cover and protect the cabinets, sink, stove edges etc with painters tape, tape all edges, cover all surfaces around worktops to protect cabinets from excessive dripping spray etc.
2. Prepare countertops
Depending on the condition of your old worktops, you may need to fill in any holes or dents you find. After the filler has dried, it’s now time to sand the counters, to help the paint adhere. Make sure to use the appropriate masks. After sanding, wipe your surface thoroughly to ensure that there is no dust or dirt that may interfere with the paint sticking.
Seal any cracks if you remove the backing (so the epoxy doesn’t seep behind or into the back of your cabinets)
Then I simply used a small sponge roller and painted on a white sticky primer that I made gray by mixing black paint. This is a picture of the gray primer that has just been rolled up.
4. Base coating
Next, add the base coat paint. (If you want paint kits, check out this post), this will be the main background color. I simply bought a quart of flat black paint from Restolium and used my paint roller for the first paint and it was great. If you need to add a second layer, do it now before adding the texture.
Tip: You initially made a mistake in this step; You’ve got the lockers covered and everything in plain sight from the Chicago Tribune! Then I had a mental idea I was going to use stone texture spray paint! rejecting! It was awful. I have succeeded with others but not for me. So I had to get rid of that and start over. Don’t try it! Spray paint in the kitchen…bad idea!
5. Add texture paint for a granite look
To get the look of granite, you need to add texture (We have a marble-coated countertop version hereThis adds a realistic granite look and some shine!
So, I bought a can of metallic silver paint and a marine sponge and simply had some fun. I sponged it on silver and then sponged it over with black and repeated this process until I had a granite look with just a little pop!
To help add shine, I took Martha Stewart’s black gloss and sprayed it all over while the paint was still a bit tacky.
How cool this look was – I was really excited that this might work! Fingers intertwined!
Just sponge on the silver metallic paint – it’s almost impossible to mess!
6 Add epoxy topcoat
Then came the last step which made me a little nervous. Final poly coat. I’ve researched this extensively to make sure these chemicals can be around food and anything you breathe. I am very aware of chemicals, volatile organic compounds (vocs) etc because of the cancers I have.
Everything I read about Envirotic It was awesome. No problems, no risks. So, I bought a few boxes at HOBBY LOBBY with my 40% off coupon and I was ready to go!
Envirotek and Martha Stewart Black Onyx Glitter – It’s Like Sugar Dust!
Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before you start so you have a clear understanding of what you need.
Be sure to check cabinet covers and protection. I put plastic on the cabinets and cardboard on the floor. I mixed the two bottles and poured them. Use disposable foam buckets and brushes – they will get rid of everything – even your clothes because they are so sticky.
It was actually fun to move it around and then simply let it dry. I had my blowtorch ready to blow out the little bubbles that could form and I only had to use it on a few. It was great and I knew it was still wet but I had no idea it looked almost the same when cured completely dry and hard like a rock and so durable!!
I couldn’t imagine that a little effort and money could make such a difference! I wish I had thousands of real granite but I don’t! So this totally works for me! I love it and still had to do my back lashes but I know it could get better!
Always cover your cabinets – especially white cabinets!
Finally finished at 3 am. It takes about 24 hours to dry and about 3 days to completely dry and cure.
Here are two more sets of “before n after” photos. This is the smaller counter and is the counter I started with because I thought it would be easier to try containment. (Actually, this area is not easily visible, so if it was a train wreck, it wouldn’t be noticeable!)
I know there are knobs missing – I’m still working on the hardware even though I love it so much!
I turned off the faucet and hardware for the bright chrome and painted the wood trim to match the cabinetry.
Try it! Do it! You will not regret! And you’ll be so proud of yourself when it turns out amazing and people think it’s real granite! This is the best part! 🙂
It is like any kitchen surfaces and needs to be taken care of. You can’t put hot pots on it and it can scratch but you simply have to use cutting boards and pedestals as you would real granite to protect it from stains, etc. If the scratches are deep, you can always cover them with another layer. Good luck and God bless you!
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