Wednesday, April 9, 2014

My counters are famous!!

My counters are being featured over at one of my favorite blogs, 
Go check it out!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Laundry Room - DIY Countertops Part 2 - Faux Painting

I'm back with the actual post about how I faux painted my counter. 
Go here to check out the how we got this counter top. 

Last time I left you with my lovely sample boards. 
 I decided that I liked something in between these two samples.
Anyways, let's get down to how I did this.

I had read this post from Gorgeous Shiny Things and this post from In My Own Style.  I combined some info from both posts and from my own experience here with faux painting my mother's hearth.  
I started by filling in the small hole or chip in the surface followed by a light sanding.  I then used a white primmer for glossy surfaces. 
 Two coats!!!

Once it was dry I lightly sanded the whole thing and then gathered my supplies:
Sea Sponge
Small Stir Sticks
Sponge Paint Brushes
Cheap Paint Brush

I used left over paint because that's what I had, you could also use craft paint.  I just mixed up three different colors of grey.  
I started by dipping the sea sponge into the lightest paint color and dabbing it on wherever it looked good.  Then I started veining.  I dipped the tip of the feather into the darker grays and just dragged and wiggle it across the counter.  Flip and push, rather than pull, the feather occasionally to create natural looking veins.  Then lightly dry brush the vein to soften it.  You can sponge over any of it with any of the lighter colors to soften the veins or create depth.  

Stand back often to get a better look.  Once I was done, I set it in place, under the lights it would be under, and decided the whole thing was a little too dark.  I just used white paint and sponged over the whole thing.  I also felt there was too many similar veining patterns so I pretty much sponged the middle section out with white paint.  It actually works to your advantage to sponge over areas.  It makes the veins look like they are deeper in the marble.  
(That's called a happy accident.)

OK, I must confess, I had the hardest time leaving this thing alone!! I looked at it a million times a day, I thought about it as I lay in bed, I thought about it all day!!  I asked friends to look at it.  I was going crazy!! 
I just wanted it to look great!!  
(I will admit, I'm crazy at times!!!  Surely someone else out there obsesses over little details.)
Anyways on to my next step. 
Let me just say this step is truly what makes your faux finish look real!!
 This post at General Splendour and this post at Designing Dawn gave me the idea.   When I read their post I pictured large pieces of glitter and wondered, "Why in the world would they put those on their counter!!" You can't really see the glitter in the photos. Then I realized they were using fine glitter; you know, the kind that looks like sand or dust.  
(Duh moment!)
You are suppose to dust your counter with glitter while the paint is still wet, but I just went back and sponge some white paint where ever I wanted glitter.  I used white iridescent glitter.  This really does look like mineral deposits on your faux stone!!
Both bloggers used Enviro Tex Lite, but I would have had to order it on line and pay shipping or drive to Hobby Lobby. 
 (Hobby Lobby is on the other end of the valley. OK, I'm lazy or impatient!!)   
But I found that Home Depot carried a similar product and they were a lot closer.
So, I used Super Glaze!!

Super Glaze is a two part epoxy that pours on and is the equivalent of  60 coats of varnish. First, I taped off the raw edges. I didn't want any build up on them for fear that the counter top wouldn't fit right back into place.  Then I leveled the counter because this stuff basically levels out with gravity and I wanted it to spread out evenly. 
Oh, by the way, make sure you have a good drop cloth underneath you project to catch all of the resin runoff. It will not come off of anything it comes in contact with.

Then came the scary part!! 
 Read the directions on the box and follow them.  I mixed part A and Part B in a bucket and stirred for the required time.
 (I had my sister time me!!)
It looks yellow but it spreads out and ends up clear, don't freak out at this point!!!

I did as instructed and poured it into another bucket and stirred for the required time.  Then we were ready to pour it on!!  

Once you pour some out, start spreading it.  I used plastic putty knives I had on hand, anything you use will have to be thrown away afterwards.  About now I was wishing I had listened to my mother and bought the giant disposable spreader for $2 when I was at the store.  Lesson learned; bigger spreading tools are better.  Anyway, smooth it out as best you can and let it run right off the edges.  It will level out as it sits.  Work quickly before it begins to set up.  It looks like glass.

I used a sponge brush to catch the drips under the front edge.  Do this several times during the first hour as it dries or you will have a very bumpy edge. Once it's spread don't touch it, but look closely for air bubbles.  One of the bloggers I read used a blow torch for this and one just used her own breath.  My blow torch wouldn't lite so we just blew on all the air bubbles we could find.  You have to blow pretty hard, if I did it again I think I would try the blow torch.  After you get all the air bubbles out you just let it sit for 3 days!!!
I pulled the tape off within the first hour.
After it was all dry I found two tiny spots on the front edge that the epoxy missed.  They were so small you couldn't notice them, but I was afraid they would start to look dirty.  Solution: touched them up with clear fingernail polish.  Good as new!!
 I bought two boxes of Super Glaze based off the info on the box.  They cost $25 a box.  I only used one box and still had a lot left over. I returned the second box, so my cost was only $25.  
Total cost:
$5 counter top
$25 Super Glaze
Paint left over from other projects FREE
Grand Total  $30!!

What do you think? 
 This is one of the only photo's you can kinda see the glitter in.  See the iridescent dots on the edge?  That's the glitter!  I wish you could see it in person, cause the glitter really adds a lot!!  So, just imagine the light occasionally bouncing off the glitter as you look at the awesomeness in the photo's below!!

I may have gone overboard in close up photo's below.  Before I started I wanted to see details and close up shots of other blogger's counters but I couldn't find many.  So I want you to have that advantage, plus I think it's so pretty.

OK tell me what you think?  Or ask any questions you may have. 
 I will report back after 6 months or a year and let you know how it stands over time.  

For now, I'm as happy as a clam with my Faux Marble!!  
So Pin It, try it or just look at it!! 
I am not going to lie, this was a scary project! 
 But I'm glad I over came my fears.
After all my stressing, I totally need some feed back!! 
 Give me some comments!

Thanks for stopping by!!

I am linking up to:

Savvy Southern Style

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Laundry Room - DIY Countertop Part 1 - The Fitting

I am so excited today to share my $30 counter top!!!
 Let me start by saying I wanted a marble counter top because it would look sooooo good!!! 
 It wasn't a real big area so I went to see what it would cost. 
For Carrara marble it would have cost $650 and for another light colored marble it was going to cost $530!
That was so not the Batchelor Way!!
So, I thought I would just put in laminate that looked like marble.  I got quotes for $214 and $288 not including installation!!  Then I searched and found a guy who would build it on site for $150!  
We had pretty much decided that that's what we were going to do, but just for kicks we decided to check out the Restore. 
Thanks to the Restore this is the story of my $30 Faux Marble Counter top.

The problem was that our counter was an odd size.  Instead of the usual 24 inches deep we needed it 36 inches wide and almost 5 foot long.  We actually found two counter tops that had once been kitchen islands or peninsulas and each was big enough to carve out our strange shape.  We opted for the rounded edge because we figured it would show less wear and tear with all our kids.  
No corner edge to bang things on!!
We bought it for $5!!
 Here she is in all her raw beauty!!
You can't tell by the picture, but is is a light goldish-blochy color.

The first thing we did was cut the counter to fit our space.  Les used a radial hand saw and straight edge to cut the basic square.  Then I used a jig saw to cut out the "L" shaped arm.  We scribed the "L" shaped area to get a really close fit.  Nothing was really square so scribing was vary important!!!

We made cleats made from scraps of wood, mounted them to the wall, and set her in place!! 
Yeah that was angels singing!!
(But only after hours of trimming.)
We couldn't ask for a better fit.  

It looked pretty good, and at this point, I must admit, I thought about just leaving it.  I was a little chicken about the faux finish, but the icky blemish or hole right in the middle-front of the counter top was rather ugly.  I knew every time I looked at it I would remember what a chicken I was.  So I kept moving toward my original goal.

I filled that icky hole with wood filler and sanded it smooth. 
Then I used the pieces of scrap counter top to make sample boards. This way I could screw up those boards without screwing up my big counter top.!!

Not too bad!!
What do you think so far?  Have I really gone too far this time?
I'll be back to show you how I faux painted the counter!!!
Thanks for stopping by!!