Updating Countertops with Paint

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A kitchen remodel is one of the most expensive tasks that can be undertaken when it comes to repairing or improving a home. It could be that the kitchen is old and outdated, needing a modern twist, or perhaps water or wear and tear has damaged it over time. Whatever the cause behind the need to update your kitchen, there are ways to minimize the cost associated with doing so.

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Photo: Room Zaar

One such example of a way to improve your kitchen without the exorbitant expense is by giving countertops a facelift with paint. Rather than replace them entirely, they can be salvaged and given a new look if the structural integrity is intact. Countertops can be given a much improved look through the use of paint, but what if your goal is to achieve the look of granite or stone countertops instead? The good news is that the look of granite or stone can be achieved through the use of kits available on the market today. These paint kits are designed for the purpose of covering laminate, ceramic tile, wood, solid surface, and cultured marble countertops. Each kit typically covers more than 30 square feet of countertop, which is enough to do most kitchens, and they run between $50-$100 depending on the brand and color selection.

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Photo: Nelson Paint

Once you have selected the paint color of your choice, the first step is prep work. Your countertops will need to be clean for proper adherence so be sure to get rid of all dirt, grime, and grease. The best way to do that is with a scouring pad and a good rinse. After you rinse your countertops clean, do a thorough check for damage, as this project will require that no major chipping and cracking is present, although wood filler can be used to repair minor cracks. Simply fill cracks, then sand with 600-grit sandpaper. You will then need to coat the entire kitchen countertop area with the black primer included in your kit.

When your primer is dry (giving it overnight is advised), it is time to add mineral colors. This is something that should be practiced ahead of time on a sheet of paper so you can decide on the effect you prefer and a means of creating it. Use of a sponge is the best method and your goal is to create patterns rather than simply wiping it on in streaks. Try blotting and dabbing to find a pattern you like before proceeding to the actual countertop. Once you have applied a complete coat of mineral color, allow it to dry for a minimum of four hours. After that time has passed, a light sanding will be necessary along with four more hours of rest before you move on to the final step.

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Photo: Dianna Lynne Design

Lastly you will need to apply the top coat and allow that to dry, also for a four hour period. Even after your top coat dries, give your countertops another overnight period before placing anything heavy on them. Heavy items (microwaves, toaster ovens, etc.) will cause indentions before countertops are completely dry, so be sure to allow extra time to avoid this.

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Photo: Delley Dew

Before you begin a project such as this, be sure you are committed to giving it 100% of the effort it takes to complete the job all at one time. This is due to varying colors and striations that may occur between uses, so if you were to do half of your kitchen today and the other half next week, you could wind up with a slight variation in color rather than a uniform appearance throughout. Ultimately, this is a great way to hide ugly, scarred countertops forever, giving them a vibrant new look and enhancing the appearance of your kitchen.

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