Friday, May 10, 2013

Faux Real Ya'll! Granite Countertops for Less than $150!

I just up and decided to paint my countertops this week.   I have been in the house I live in now since 1997 and didn’t really like the countertops when I bought the house to begin with, but they were already there and the builder wouldn’t switch them out.   My son who was 5 at that time has watched me do one crazy makeover after another over the past 16 years!   He and my friends are never surprised to find some things changed or a new creation from upcycling.  I think the LR has been about 4 different colors already and I lost count on my BR paint colors.  The best part of all is I do everything on  a DIMESTORE BUDGET!  For $121.52 I purchased enough to faux finish both bathrooms and the kitchen. Actually, it's probably less if you factor in I will be able to use leftover acrylic paints for a future craft or project.
I admit I watched a few Youtube videos and surfed the net for granite to get an idea of the look I wanted and helpful tips.  Thank you to all those wonderful people who take the time to video their projects so others can DIY too.  Over a couple glasses of wine, my friends said I should start blogging my DIY Diva projects, so here I am.

I decided to start in my bathroom before I ventured to the kitchen.  Since I'm one of those Happily Single girls, I figured at least no one would see it but me if I screwed it up.  One of the great things about being solo is you don't have to consult with anyone else to make a change. :)

Supply list:
Rustoleum Countertop paint  - I had them tint mine to Granite color. ($21)
Acrylic paints (I picked up about 6 or 7 colors from Michael’s $1.39 each)
Paper plates for different paints (use to dab onto sponge)
Glitter ($1.69)
Heavy Grit Sandpaper
Sea Sponges ($4.99 can break up a large one into smaller sizes for variety)
Trim Paint Foam Roller ($3)
Kiddie type paint  brush with thin bristles
Masking Tape
Polyurethane (non yellowing also on sale for $4.99)
Envirotex Lite (use the 40% coupon - it’s the most expensive part of the project.  I made 3 trips to Michael’s to get enough to do my counters for $60.  Reg price is $32.99 ea so that saved close to $40)
latex gloves for painting and final coat
Alcohol for clean up of Envirotex
Utility knive to score base of tape before removing.  Do this BEFORE the envirotex dries competely.  I did it around 3 hr mark.
Wine (Gotta celebrate once it's finished!)
  1. Clean counters really good and lightly sand with heavy grit paper.  Wipe them down again to get rid of the dust from sanding then dry.
  2. Tape off the countertop.
  3. Roll on your Rustoleum base coat then let it dry.   Be sure to open some windows, the smell is pretty strong.  Also, this is when I thought to myself, “Dear God, what in the hell have I done?!”   No point in stopping now.
  4. Wet your sea sponge and squeeze all the water out.  Now start dabbing into your first acrylic and randomly sponge the countertop.   I started with my Metallic black, then gray, then a little cream color.  After that dried I went back over it with a little of the copper color with a feather to make the granite veins.  I dabbed the toothbrush into a little red paint and flicked a few specks as well onto the counter.  Then you will spread a coat of polyurethane then sprinkle a small amount of glitter if you choose.  Let dry.

    Before - Those plain, drop in, one piece so many subdivisions use. 

Step Two - Painting your Faux Granite design

Note!  Don't forget to protect the inside of the sink if it's one of these contractor type that is all one piece by taping plastic to the inside.  The envirotex will drip down into the sink as well when it does it's self leveling thing.  

Next is another scary step…the Envirotex lite!  I read a lot of reviews that said it was messy and starts to set very fast (about 20mins) but when applied gives the look of 50 coats of varnish!  The reviews were spot on... This crap is messy, drips and stays tacky for a while, but the end result is awesome!  You will need to cover your cabinets and flooring so that it doesn't drip onto it. You will need to wear gloves because it's also very sticky.  Follow the directions on the box and it is very cool to see that it really does self level.  There will be drips over the edges, so you will need to babysit it for a while after applying.  It also takes about 36 hours according to the directions for it to fully set.  I put it on 6:30 pm and it was dry to touch and hardened by the next morning.

The finished Faux Real, Faux Granite Ya'll!

 A close up of the corner - it actually does look more gray like this photo rather than the picture above.  I will try to get one of the entire top with better lighting later.

What a difference a little paint and elbow grease can make!

I plan to start on the main bath and kitchen this weekend!  I think I need new faucets now too.  Funny thing about DIY projects, once you finish one thing, it spirals and you find many more things to do. Release your DIY Diva and have some fun! 

Stay tuned... I plan to post more detailed steps/photos when I do the kitchen!

May 11, 2013  -  Take 2 

The Second Bath Vanity Before and After Pics!

As I mentioned above, I purchased enough supplies to do both baths and the kitchen.   After a day of yard work, I think I will start on the kitchen either tomorrow, next week, or next weekend.   Just for reference, it probably isn't a good idea to put the Envirotex lite on at 7am then start doing yard makeover projects at 9am.  I have come to the conclusion, no matter whether you wear gloves and use rubbing alcohol to remove,  you hands will still be sticky for quite some time. My hands may have dirt permanently adhered to the cuticles and under the nails.  I look like a mechanic.  To top it off, I did yard work in flops.  I may also have permanent grocery store feet.  I scrubbed and scrubbed, but I still see remnants of today's labors.  Oh well, there's always tomorrow to scrub some more.  I've showered, smell better now, and have a nice glass of malbec to keep me company for the evening.

This is the "Dear God, WTH have I done?" moment I mentioned earlier.   The smell of the oily base is terrible.  Sadly, because I've kept the windows open most of this week, I am stocking up on Claritin D for my son and I.  Gotta love a Netti Pot as well.  Claritin D and Netti Pots are a must with all the pollen we have here!

This is the final with the Envirotex lite.  I'm loving it!



  1. Wow, your countertop looks great. But how did you clean up the inside rim of the sink and get the perfect line inside the sink???!!!

  2. I used masking tape/painters tape. You also have to line the bottom of the sink with plastic to keep the resin from dripping down due to the self leveling. A bit of babysitting the first hour is needed to reduce mess. Alcohol helps remove drips but you have to catch them before it dries.

    1. Thanks! I will definitely put this on my list of things to muster up the courage to try.

  3. Awesome will have to take this on now that i can see the result