Monday, February 21, 2011

Ambush Makeover: My Formica Countertops!

My UGLY formica countertops were just SCREAMING for an Ambush Makeover!  But since I could not take them on a plane to the Today Show so Kathie Lee and Hoda could work their magic, ultimately, the responsibility fell to me!  Yikes!  I removed the purple, green and plaid wallpaper - actually it wasn't as bad as you might think.  The border was blue and purple and green hydrangeas so it really was quite lovely.  I was on a green and black and white damask kick so I figured - why not?  Once I got the walls and ceiling painted, the countertops stuck out like a sore thumb.   I didn't want to get new formica and I certainly could not afford granite - what is a girl to do when faced with a conundrum of epic proportions?  GOOGLE! 

 Here is what I was faced with:  Not completely horrible but I am totally thinking Nate Berkus would be brought to tears.
BEFORE!  YUCKY!

Well I came upon this group of people at ThriftyFun.com who had PAINTED their formica to look like granite.  Yes, I said painted!  I was VERY apprehensive about undertaking such a drastic measure;  however, as I looked at the leprechaun green color complete with honey pine trim and shiny brass knobs which only added to their "splendor",  I thought how much worse can it be?!?  So, I began researching (I always research) and picked out a "granite" color I think I would like to try.  Alas, I was ready!   As if by magic - here is the result!  Drumroll please....  CrAzY, right?  Yes - it is that amazing and unbelievable! 


AFTER!  YAY! 

Ok, so you can see the before and after pictures, but what about the dreaded "in-between"??  LOL  The cost was about $115 for all the countertops and I still have one box left for the backsplashes. 

Firstly, I removed the wood backsplash and washed down the countertops so they were very clean.  Then I simply used a small sponge roller and painted on a white primer which I made gray by mixing in black paint.  Then the hard part came.  I covered the cabinets and everything in sight courtesy of the Chicago Tribune!  I then had the brainiac idea that I would use stone texture spray paint!  NEGATORY!  It was awful.  It worked for others but not for me.  So I had to sand that off and begin again.  I simply bought a quart of rustoleum flat black paint and it was wonderful.  But I still wanted some bling!  So I purchased a can of metallic silver paint and a sea sponge and simply had some fun.  I sponged on the silver and then sponged on the black over it and repeated this process until I had a granite look with a little bit of pop!  Then, I took the Martha Stewart black glitter and sprinkled it everywhere while the paint was still a little tacky.  How awesome did this look - I was really getting excited that this just might work!  Fingers crossed!

Gray primer just rolled on.
Spray painting in the kitchen... BAD IDEA! 
Just sponging on silver metallic paint - its almost impossible to mess up!


Then came the step which had me a little nervous.  The final poly coat.  I researched this quite extensively to make sure these chemicals could be around food and anything breathing.  I am very conscious about my chemicals and such due to my cancers.  Everything I read about Envirotex was wonderful.  No problems and no risks.  So I bought a few boxes at HOBBY LOBBY with my 40% off coupon and was ready to go! 


Envirotex and Martha Stewart Black Onyx Glitter - it's like sugar dust!

I put plastic over the cabinets and cardboard on the floor.  I mixed the two bottles and poured it on. Use disposable buckets and sponge brushes - you will throw everything away - even your clothes because it is so sticky.   It was actually kinda fun to move it around and then simply let it dry.  I had my blowtorch ready to burst the little bubbles that can form and I only had to use it on a few.  It was gorgeous and I knew it was still wet but I had no idea it look almost the same when completely dry and hard as a rock!  I could not imagine so little effort and money could make SUCH a difference!  I WISH I had thousands for real granite but I don't!  So this totally works for me!  I love it and I still have to do my backsplashes but I know it can only get better!

Always cover cabinets - especially WHITE cabinets! 


Finally finished at 3 o'clock in the morning.  Takes about 24 hours to dry and about 3 days to completely set.

 Here are two more sets of BEFORE n AFTER pictures.  This is the smaller counter which is the one with which I started because I thought it would be easier to experiment on being contained.  (Actually, this area is not readily seen, so if it was a train wreck, it wouldn't have been AS noticeable!)   :-) 


I know there are two missing handles - I am still working on the hardware although I like these a lot!


I switched out the faucet and hardware for bright chrome and painted the wood trim to match the cabinet. 



 Try it!  Do it!  You won't regret it!  And you will be so proud of yourself when it turns out spectacular and people think it is real granite!  That is the best part!  :-)    It is like anything and needs to be cared for.  You cannot put hot pots on it and it can scratch but you simply have to use cutting boards and trivets like you would with real granite to protect it from stains, etc. If the scratches are deep you can always cover them with another coat.   Good luck!  


***UPDATE***

This project was completed in the Fall of 2008 and the counters have help up remarkably well.   There is no change in the acrylic top coat - no yellowing or wearing away.  I am currently re-painting and sprucing up the kitchen so current pictures of the counters can be found by clicking here.

** Here are two additional posts regarding the counters.   Hope these help! **

Answers to additional questions can be found by clicking here.

Additional up-close pictures can be found by clicking here.

 Thanks for stopping by!  


Domestically Speaking


Roomspiration Blog Hop

Roomspiration - Kitchens
http://thediyshowoff.blogspot.comhere:

132 comments:

  1. I got here via Better After - just had to let you know: Holy cow, this is AMAZING!

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  2. Oh my word, it looks fabulous. Good for you. What a terrific job. Hugs, Marty

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  3. wow! you did such a great job. it looks so realistic. I wouldn't have been able to tell. How did the gloss stay put on the sides of the wall?

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  4. Came over from Better After and this is amazing! You did an excellent job! :-)

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  5. SHUT UP!!! NO WAY!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!??? That is unbelieveable. So gorgeous and shiny. You did an amazing job. Quite an inspiration, you are!

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  6. Coming over from Better After.. Love this idea. I have been looking into it for awhile now to do in my guest bath. After seeing yours I REALLY want to do it!

    Where did you get your new pendents!!!??? I LOVE them!

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  7. OMG AMAZING!!! It makes me nervous just thinking about doing this project, but you have inspired me! You make it look and sound so easy. Did you already own the blow torch or was that also included in the amount you spent?

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  8. WOW!! Amazingly great job! Wish I had tried that on our old counters!

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  9. wow that is just amazing.. they look fantastic.. well done you have done such a good job..
    charl
    x

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  10. omgosh when I first ssaw it i thought it was granite! amazing job!

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  11. That looks amazing!! We plan on buying a house next year and if it has awful countertops, I am doing this!!!!!!

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  12. SHUT UP!!! I is right!!!! I cannot believe how great this looks.

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  13. Came over from Better After...this is crazy amazing! Great job!! Enojy your "new" kitchen! :)

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  14. WOW, WOW, WOW!!!!!!!!! This is amazing! Unfortunately, I dont even have countertops in my sad kitchen(we're actually competing for a kitchen makeover for a new HGTV show) but I'll be sharing this with my mother in law who does:)
    BTW, we found out two days ago that my mom has breast cancer and her surgery will be next week. Im sad to say I can now relate to all this cancer crud.:( Hang in there!
    XO,
    Sarah
    http://handbagsnpigtails.blogspot.com

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  15. Shut the front door! Amazing Lady!

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  16. So impressive. You did an amazing job. Congratulations on your new look. I know you will enjoy it.
    ♥ Joy

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  17. One question How did you get the pour on varnish on the edges of the countertop?

    Joy

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  18. OH MY!!!! Just fabulous... I really am going to try this... would you mind showing a close up of the finished counter... just to see how much you did... LOVE IT!!!!
    (stopping by from Better/After)

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  19. Wow! I wish I would have done that. We replaced our formica with the high def laminate. Now 2 years later I think it was a waste of money should have held out for granite.

    Amazing transformation!!!

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  20. Hi there. I found your blog and the countertops...AMAZING! Would it be possible to post your blog onto my blog? I live in Arizona and do furniture refinishing and this would fit perfectly into my blog.
    http://shabbytochicqueencreek.blogspot.com/

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  21. As I sit here drooling over your countertop I can't help but wonder if this would work on my own ugly countertops... it isn't in the budget to replace them but this certainly is.

    I have the same question how did you do the sides with the topcoat. I have a formed counter so there is no chance of taking the sides off. I would so love to see a close up also if that is possible.

    Absolutely gorgeous job.

    Found you over at Better After. I am your newest follower now.

    Hugs, Deb

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  22. i cannot believe how well this turned out...you did an amazing job...i bet you spent a whole lotta time standing in your kitchen and gazing happily at those counters.

    i would love for you to share this on my 'fridays unfolded' linky tomorrow!

    blessings,

    alison
    stuff and nonsense

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  23. HOLY CRAP batman! You are a work of art... yes, your countertops too. I can't believe how brave you are! Wonderful, spectacular, grand they look great. You've got talent girlie. Thanks for sharing.
    Lindsay
    countrygirlhome.blogspot.com

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  24. Seriously this looks amazing! Good for you! I may just have to try this out!

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  25. Fabulous! I'm here from Better After. I also posted our DIY concrete counter tops on my blog this week. I will be forwarding yours to a friend of mine. Thanks Again :)

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  26. Oh, WOW - I am going to try this one day when I have countertops that are mine to experiment with. :) :) You are AWESOME!

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  27. This is awesome! I do have one question --my countertop and backsplaash are one piece --so I would paint them all. Do you think the top coat stuff would stay on the vertical part of the backsplash, or would it just drip down into a big puddle onto the countertop? Does that make sense? You did a great job!

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  28. Oh.my.gosh. that is absolutely incredible!!!

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  29. Came over from BetterAfter and OMG!!!! I love it! We are in process of house hunting and one that is in the runnings will need new countertops~you just gave me the solution I needed. I hope me sister is up for the challenge with me!

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  30. This is so amazing! It looks just like granite. I can't believe how shiny it is....the use of Martha Stewart glitter was brilliant. You did an incredible job. Your kitchen is just lovely. I came over from Better After. This so makes me want to do it in my own kitchen.

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  31. I came over from Better After. OMG, YOU ROCK! That is absolutely amazing!

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  32. Popped over from Better After. UH-MAZING work on the countertops. The idea of doing it myself terrifies me to no end (I'm pretty much sponge painting retarded). But your outcome is spectacular!

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  33. Came over from Better After. I'm speechless. I cannot BEE-LEEEEEVE how great it looks. Amazing.

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  34. OMG! I am in the research stages of this project for my own nasty counter tops right now and your's is far and away the best I've seen! I was wondering how to give them a little "oomph" to have more depth like real stone and was toying with metal leaf flakes. I have no idea why glitter never occurred to me. Fantastic job, two enthusiastic thumbs up. And one survivor to another: people you don't even know are pulling for you and sending you good thoughts, good luck and big smiles.

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  35. OMG Tracy! These have to be real granite. They are just stunning. (P.S. Love your blog, and after this stunning transformation, I can't wait to see what's next!)


    Denise
    Extreme Personal Measures

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  36. L-O-V-E!!! I've been wanting to do this in one of our bathrooms but I was scared. You've renewed my confidence. I had been thinking maybe I'd go the spray paint route, but I'll take your advice and nix that idea. I have the same question as others above...wondering about how to do the edges. Mine has wood, too, so I'd be covering that.

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  37. OH MY GOODNESS! This is incredible!

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  38. as everyone else said, absolutely amazing!

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  39. That is UNBELIEVABLE!! How good are you? Simply brilliant. Well done.
    Mrs BC
    xx

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  40. BE.U.T.FUL! I just had to see the transformation with my own eyes. I too have U.G.L.Y. countertops, actually very similar to yours with the wood outline (sorry), and have been talked for 3 years now about re-doing our countertops, though financially just couldn't. Now, thanks to you, I am going to attempt this (soon). Considering I do not have one ounce of Martha Stewart c.r.a.f.t.y. in me, we shall see the outcome. I am just hoping it comes out at beautiful as yours did. Kudos Tracy!

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  41. wow, wow, wow!!! AMAZING!! love it
    I've used that pour on gloss for other things but how in the world did u get it to stay on the sides?

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  42. Saw this on Better After. I have NEVER seen a painted countertop that looked this incredible. Great job and thanks for sharing the wisdom!!

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  43. Best makeover I've seen in blog land yet!

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  44. Love it! I can't belive they are the same countertops, wow, just wow! How is the finish holding up?
    xo
    Kate

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  45. came from better after. Incredible! totally forwarding this on to my friend who has those same countertops. you rock!
    http://rosyredbuttons.blogspot.com

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  46. Brilliant ... absolutely brilliant! :) I am having faux granite envy!!

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  47. Looks amazing! What kind of primer did you use?

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  48. Hi Heather! Actually everything is sealed with the Envirotek Lite so you can use a basic primer to cover the old color and surface. I used Zinsser 123 Primer because it was on sale. Always a good thing. Thanks!

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  49. OMG, That's amazing! It looks beautiful... a thousand times better.

    Cindy

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  50. We are in the middle of redoing our kitchen. We were thinking about painting our counters, but we're worried about how well it will stand up. How long do you think this will look good? Could you just put another coat of the varnish to make it pretty again?

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  51. I am in love - this is unbelievable! I found this through Tip Junkie.

    I so want to do this in like every room in my house!

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  52. Thank you! Racheal - it has been over a year and still looks gorgeous! The shine is amazing and the durability is awesome. I have one scratch from moving a pile a magazines across the counter and there was a screw underneath the pile I didn't see. Other than that - they are amazing. Any problems yes you can throw another thin coat of Envirotek Lite on them and all scratches will disappear. Good luck - do it - you'll love it!

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  53. Quick questions! So, when you say you mixed the two bottles... what exactly does that mean? And where did the cost come from? Not asking for details... just an estimated rundown. Thanks!

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  54. Hi carrie - There are two bottles in the box of Envirotek Lite. You have to mix them together to make the solution. The cost came from the cost of the primer, quart of black paint, small can of silver metallic paint, Martha Stewart glitter dust and a blow torch (for dissolving little bubbles as the poly starts to settle - wasn't an issue for me). I still have an unused box of Envirotek Lite for a few things I have to finish. I purchased the Envirotek at Hobby Lobby with the 40% off coupon. It is now about $30 a box as opposed to $25 last year. Hope this helps. Good luck!

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  55. Hi Tracy! I came here from Tip Junkie and I'm so glad to have seen your photos!! AMAZING!!! I'm not sure I would have fully believed how well it worked until I saw those beautiful photos! Did you surprise yourself?? That must have been some scary-fun doing those countertops! I am SO impressed by you and now inspired to get moving to start a new project in my kitchen! I have granite in my very tiny kitchen but I want a shiny "backsplash" behind my stove. (The only reason I got to put in granite is because when we remodeled our 50 year old kitchen, it is so small I could afford just a little granite for it!) Thank you Tracy for sharing all of this with all of us. I really appreciate it. Your new "fan", Jeanie in Southern California

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  56. WOW!!! I really want to try this!! Great work!

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  57. HI Jeanie -

    Thank you for your compliments. Yes, I did surprise myself actually. I saw pictures of others and could not imagine that it would turn out like that. You will be just as amazed! Congrats on the granite - once I win the lottery I am right there with you. :-) Thank you for the visit! Tracy

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  58. OH.MY.GOODNESS. This is amazing! And here I was whining about my cheap ole countertops! Definately going to try this. And if it fails, I'll just get new counter tops. But omgosh genius!

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  59. So impressive!! I actually featured this on my "What I Bookmarked This Week" post on Saturday - stop by and check it out.

    Danielle

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  60. Any improvement in this old house of mine is huge. I love the color of the formica countertops. Taking a cue from that long scratch on the original ones, I’m extremely careful not to do anything to damage them, but they are pretty durable.

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  61. I am currently doing this project, thanks for the info! I had a little trouble with air bubbles on one part but I think I can just sand them down and do another coat when I'm up to it again...?

    I had a question on what cleaners you use for this? I read that furniture polish helps prolong the life and remove smudges but not too keen on always using furniture polish for kitchen counters? Any acidic cleaners work on it or just soap and water?

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  62. Hi Kristen - Congrats on diving in - you will love them. I use green cleaners which I would use whether or not I re-did the counters. I use soap and water too. The furniture polish really does shine them up from time to time and makes them so smooth and slipper. Like car wax - I use it here and there but only to give them a shine boost. Mostly, I use a "green" general cleaner and a paper towel. Good luck!

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  63. When u say u moved it around. How exactly did u apply the top coat? TYVM LOve it! A friend and I are gonna try it on ours. How is it holding up. TY for ur time in answering.

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  64. Hi Robley-Willis - when you pour it on it is one big pile and you have to move it around to all the edges and corners of your counter top. I found that the disposable craft sponge brushes worked great. I used the 4" ones and they worked very well. It will eventually start to set after about ten minutes so just make sure that you spread it evenly. It will also help even itself out so just keep getting your eye down counter level to see if there are any low spots or dry spots. It has been about 2 years and it is as hard as a rock and amazing. It is still as shiny and awesome as the day I finished it. It sounds a lot harder than it is - good luck!

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  65. Ty for your response. They do look so amazing. And very glad they'
    r holding up so well. I can't wait.A friend and I r both gonna do ours. We r gonna practice on her laundry room counter. If it turns out we will post some pictures. Ty for ur bravery in trying this and for passing along such a fabulous idea. Can't wait.

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  66. I am thinking of doing this also. Of all the pictures that I have seen of painted countertops, yours is the best. One question, you talked about moving the clear coat around and I get that part, but was wondering about the edges. Does it drip down and do you have to keep brushing the edges?
    Great Job!!

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  67. Hello Tricia - Thank you for the very nice comment! The edges can get a little tricky and I do those once I have the flat surface level. I take the clear coat from the middle and move it to the edges and brush it on - thinly though so it doesn't drip off although some will drip. As it gets a little sticky, I do it again. Even if the edges are a just a little shiny it looks fine because you they will still replect the light. With the backsplash, you just have to catch the clear coat that pools at the bottom and keep applying until it adheres. A little bit of effort but so worth it! Good luck!

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  68. You have GOT to be kidding me!!!! My mouth is HANGING OPEN! Brilliant!! Absolutely brilliant, thank you for sharing.

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  69. I did this after your post, check it out here:
    http://khalligandesign.blogspot.com/

    I like the way they turned out and it was a big improvement but I would have done a few things differently, although that's inevitable when you're the test dummy! My families counters that I help with will be perfect I'm sure! :)

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  70. I got here from BETTER AFTER. I know the feeling, my counters were like UGLY. Your counters look amazing. I just completed mine you can check it out here http://decoratingwcents.blogspot.com/2011/08/kitchen-redo-under-300.html

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  71. I saw this on Rermodelaholic and I am soooo blow away by this! I'm so sick of my counter tops and I'm going to seriously do this!! Yay I'm so happy for you... wish me luck!~ Janelle

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  72. Yay! Good luck Janelle - you are going to be SO thrilled! Post pics when you are done! Thanks for stoppin'!

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  73. It looks awesome! I thought at first it was real granite. I can't believe you did it yourself. Some advice someone gave me since knobs are so expensive, take the ones you have off and screw them to cardboard and clean them to get the grease off then just spray paint them the color you want them to be! Another cheap easy to do update!!

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  74. wow! It is my first time to read this kind of stuff. Can you evaluate my site? Formica Countertops

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  75. This looks amazing! Have you noticed any problems with water behind the faucet? I read that someone had a problem with the Giani Granite Paint becoming soft and gross behind the faucet from standing water that isnt dried immediately. Just wondering if you've had this problem as well. I cant get over how beautiful they look!

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  76. @Kat258 - Thanks Kat! Water could sit on these countertops for a week and there would be no problems. They are rock hard and have never had a problem with the surface - Envirotex Lite. It is impermeable! I would have to agree that soft, mushy paint would be totally gross in a kitchen. Yuck. :-)

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  77. Perfect thank you so much for the quick response! I think I'm going to go the same route you went, I cant get over how great your counters look!

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  78. Holy cow! What a difference! The result is gorgeous! Great job!

    Thanks so much for sharing your hard work in the Roomspiration Kitchen party!

    Roeshel

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  79. Your countertop looks absolutely beautiful You did a fantastic job on it.

    Kitchen Benchtops

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  80. Really great looking project. However, I can barely read your font to read how you did it :(

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  81. I know it's been a while since you've posted this project. I'm very interested in revamping my kitchen countertop using your method but had a question. I was wondering if the silver metallic paint is a can of spray paint or an actual paint in a paint can? Just don't want to mess this up!
    Thanks so much for the awesome post...was getting very frustrated trying to figure out what to do with our ugly green countertops!

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    1. Hello! Thank you for the compliment! The metallic paint is NOT spray paint - I tried spray paint and for me it was a fiasco! I used Rustoleum American Accents paint in Silver Metallic. Mine came in a can but now I think it comes in a plastic container. But the smallest size available - I did all of my counters and hardly used any. GOOD LUCK! Excited to see how they turn out. Don't be nervous - I remember I was before I started but once got going it was awesome.

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    2. Thanks so much for responding! We went shopping today for the supplies for the project. Unfortunately they did not have the Rustoleum American Accents where we went...or at least not in a non-spray form! So I bought Martha Stewart Silver Metallic paint...hoping that will work?! I think I will continue to look in my hometown (have only looked out of town since we were going anyways) for the Rustoleum brand though. Not going to start the countertops until next weekend anyways.
      Thanks again for your help!

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  82. BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! Wonderful job! I am thinking of doing this now myself. Did not know it was possible and much cheaper! My question is how did you attach the wooden backsplash? Is it precut or did you have it cut a specfic size? I am also looking for a backsplash that I can do myself. Thanks for any help!

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  83. Totally amazing before and after transformation. Your countertops looks fabulous!


    kamagra

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    1. Hello and thank you. I actually made the backsplash out of 1 x 4's, painted them and adhered them to the wall with liquid nails - used sparingly. If I ever had to remove them I didn't want to destroy the drywall. Once the Envirotek is added, it would seal the wood and connect the backsplash to the countertop. Hope this helps. :-) Good Luck!

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    2. Thank you so much for the information Tracy! We are going to redo our counter tops and use the backsplash with the liquid nails!

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  84. Tracy

    This is gorgeous. I would like to do this to my countertops, but I was wondering if the EnviroTex Lite
    will run of the edges of the counters?

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    1. Hello Karen. The Envirotek Lite will start to set up after about ten minutes. You have to move it around to cover the entire surface of the counter including the edges with a sponge brush. You only need to put it on sparingly on the edges but there will be some dripping but you simply continue to brush it to keep it from dripping off. If the drips harden on the underside of the coutner, you can simply take a file and knock the hardened drips off. It really is not an issue. But make sure you put down cardboard to protect your floors. Hope this helps!

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    2. I wonder if I can use this on the crazy glass BATHROOM tile the previous owner of our house put on the raised Fireplace hearth???? Do you think?

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    3. Hello. Not sure can't you just remove the glass tile? It should be relatively easy. :-)

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  85. Found this on Pinterest and LOVE it. We have icky formica countertops and a tight budget too. I am seriously in awe of how yours turned out. I featured this post on my blog this morning. Thank you!

    Kristen
    HostesswiththeMotzes.com

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  86. I came over from Hostess with the Motzes and am adding this to my endless to-do-in-the-future list! I need to quit my job so I can stay home doing projects all day long (and someone manage to earn money while I'm at it, lol)! Thanks for the AWESOME tutorial!!!

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  87. Kristen & Leannedra - Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I so don't recommend the whole "not working" thing unless you are independently wealthy - and I don't know anyone who is that. :-) Have a great day today.

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  88. This is amazing! I really want to do this to our countertops. I have a couple questions....I've heard people that have black granite complain that their countertops always look dirty or you can see waterspots all over them. Have you had this problem? What do you clean your countertops with? Also, when you say that you spread the Envirotek around with sponge brushes, are you referring to the super cheap little sponge brushes that you can buy at any craft store? If so, do they not get stuck to the stickiness of the Envirotek? Sorry for all the questions. I really want to do this but i'm super scared I'm gonna screw it up. hahaha! Thanks for your help :)

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  89. @ Krista... Hi there! My countertops never look dirty or spotted. I used a simple green cleaner to wipe them down and if you want them to SHINE you use furniture polish - its amazing. Then I simply wipe them down again to removed any polish residue because I don't want my food to smell like lemon Pledge. LOL

    Yes - the cheap little sponges because you will throw everything away - it gets very sticky. I found the wider the better - it left the least amount of streaks and marks. The Envirotek is very moveable in the first few minutes so it doesn't stick to the sponge. Once you have it spread evenly - RESIST the urge to fix a spot or level something out if it has begun to set. It will all level off and you will be amazed at the shine and result. I was SO nervous as well but trust me - it is really hard to do a bad job - just take your time and do it step by step. It will be great!

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    1. Ok, so a couple more questions. First, I have kinda a large countertop area so I was wondering, when you do the Enivirotek, did you just do a section at a time and then wait for it to set before you did the next section? Also, if you do it that way, is there a seam where you did the different sections or did it all level out? Ok, second, when you said that you dab on the silver paint and then put black on top of it, are you still using a flat black paint? Thank you SOOO much for all the help and sorry again for all the questions :)

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    2. Hello Krista :-) You actually have to do any continuous countertop at one time. I suggest that you have a stirrer and a pourer and you don't have to rush - just make sure you get all of the counter coverered no matter how thin the layer. You can always go back and add a layer if it is too thin. I did my large counter which went around the sink and stove at one time with two boxes mixed after one another. You do have about ten minutes to work it around before it begins to set and so you can have the next bucket ready to pour. One box covered about a 4 x 2 area and it was very manageable.

      When dabbing, like I said it is difficult to mess it up. I just used any black paint and dabbed on the silver then to tone down the silver I dabbed some black over it. I kept doing it until it gave me the look I desired. You just keep layering the colors. If it gets too black - then dab on some more silver and vice versa. Once you add the gilter and Envirotek, you won't even notice it. Good Luck. Hope this helps - if you have any more questions, just ask.

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    3. Ok, I think this is my last question, we are planning on doing our countertops this week! Hooray! Anyway, did you remove your sink when you did yours? If so, how long did you have to wait before you re-installed it? Oh yeah, one more question....where do I find the black glitter? Hobby Lobby? Thank you so much!

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    4. Hi Krista - Yay! Good luck. I did not remove my sink - I simply worked around it. If you do remove yours, I would wait until they were completely dry according to the directions. I bought the glitter at Michael's - it was the Martha Stewart product and it was like fine dust - not a thicker glitter. It was so much fun to work with - I found the more the better. LOL. I bought both white and black but only used the black. Good luck and if you need any more help - ask away - I will try to answer your questions.

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    5. Tracy! Thanks for giving me a dose of courage! I researched, read all of the prior posts/questions, and tackled my 1/2 bath last week. It went from navy blue formica to various shades of grays & whites/creams, sprinkled with the Martha Stewart glitter, and poly'd with the VERY important Hobby Lobby stuff. :) Removing the tape SUCKED big time afterwards, but aside from that, the project is a huge success. Currently, I'm working on our master bath & then moving on to the kitchen! (and yet another bathroom). I'm super-duper excited for the kitchen project, as I'm doing those black as well (kind of a soapstone look, but shiny with the poly). I'd say I have a vintage eclectic style with a contemporary spin. Fav designer of all time: "SARAH" (very upset they don't air her hgtv episodes here in the U.S. currently). I'll have to figure out how to post all the pics of the counters, but I definitely enjoy the diy & artsy side of doing them! I was absolutely GIDDY with excitement doing all of the sponging/toothbrush flicking/bagging & dabbing effects! ~ Susan Jablonski (Michigan)

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  91. I have a question, how do you do the poly coat on the backsplash? Paint it on?

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    1. Hello! This is a very common question. Basically, you do brush it on and continue to do so until it starts to get sticky. It will drip down and pool at the bottom. So you simply keep brushing up the excess onto the backsplash and less and less will pool as it begins to dry. But you don't need as thick a coat on the backsplash as the surface - you just need enough to get the glossy look and make sure all of the backsplash is covered. Good Luck!

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  94. OMYGOSH! Your counters look amazing!!! Love the color... and my first thought was to use the textured spray stuff too, so glad you tried it before me, *snort*! I have to ask you; our sink is set in just like yours, in the corner, with the elevated triangular countertop behind it. How much of a PITA was that to do? Were you happy with how it turned out? Did your original counter have any seams, (besides the wooden edge), and if so did you just go right over them or did you section them off? Thank you SO much for this inspiration!!

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    1. Hi Nikki! SO glad you are excited! :-) It was actually not a PITA at all and was very happy with the final result. Just did the same process. Yes I had seams and the Envirotek will cover it and they will disappear! Good luck - let me know how they out or if you have any other questions!

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  95. What kind of primer did you use?

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    1. Hi Kelly! I just used a Zinsser 123 primer. Anything will do because you paint over it and seal with the Envirotek! Good luck - you'll love it!

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  96. How much time has passed now and how well are the counters holding up?

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    1. Hi Beth! It has been over three years and they are just as shiny as the day I finished them. I am still blown away after all this time that they still look so great and completely transformed the kitchen. I use hotplates and cutting boards (aren't we supposed to do that anyway? :) but they look amazing. When they get dull, I use furniture cleaner such as Pledge and buff them with a cloth and yowza - they shine like crazy! Good luck - if you have any other questions - ask away! :-) Thanks for stopping by.

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  97. Hi Tracy! I love the transformation! I plan on doing this to our kitchen counter this weekend and had a few questions for you: How much envirotex did you mix at one time? Can you mix the batches of envirotex in the same container, or do you need a new container each time? We're not planning to remove our sink either, how did you work around yours? Painters tape? If so, Did you remove the tape before the envirotex dried? Thanks for your help!!

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    1. Hi Laura - thank you! I used one box of Envirotex at a time. I used a paper bucket - like a bucket from Kentucky fried chicken and can be found at a hardware store and used sponge brushes - the wider ones worked the best. I used one bucket per box of envirotex - then I just threw it all away in one big garbage bag. The brushes too. You can buy the cheaper ones because you use it one and done! The sink was easy to work around. I did use painters tape and simply worked the poly right up to the edge. I did remove the painters tape as it started to set (about 20 minutes). That way - it came off easy and it was still pliable enough to move the poly to the edge of the sink if need be - if I needed more I scraped it out of the bucket and used it for the edge of the sink. Hope this helps! Good luck!!!

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  99. For years, I have been entertaining something like this, but now that you've made it look so easy and wonderful, I might have to actually do it!

    Thank you so much for taking the time to create, and update, this great project!

    This is the best fauxmica job yet!

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    1. Thank you for the sweet compliment! Try it - you'll love it! :-)

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  100. Tracy, first, thank you for posting this wonderful thorough blog. It has been so helpful, and I have referred back to is as I did this to my bathroom counters.

    I just poured on Envirotex, and I think I failed to sand my paint thoroughly enough beforehand, because now I have some pointy spots sticking up, just enough to look bumpy in some obvious places. If I did a second coat, would that hurt or help anything? And if so, do I have to wait for the full 3 days for it to harden before I apply my next coat? I am worried I just messed up terribly. :(

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  101. Hello AL - Don't despair, its gonna be ok. :-) I too have some pointy places sticking up and I just left mine and did one coat. A second coat is always an option and doesn't hurt anything. They say you can use multiple coats as long as you wipe down the surface with alcohol first. As far as the cure time, I am not sure but I would think if you waited for the basic cure, you could put on a second coat. I have considered a second coat to cover a few minor scratches but have yet to do it. I buff them up with furniture polish and the scratches are barely noticeable. Good luck - keep me informed of your progress - I would love to see your results!

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    1. Thank you for the reply! This helps a lot. I think I am going to sand down some of the rough spots and try a second coat of Envirotex. Wish me luck! If I can figure out how to send you pics, I definitely will. I used your same basic color scheme, plus added some metallic copper paint underneath. :)

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  102. Okay, here it is! I sanded a bit, and did another Envirotex coat, and it smoothed out my problem areas! Here are my pictures... since there is no window, my only lighting is the vanity light, which makes everything look crazily shiny. In real life, it is much prettier. One thing I notice is there are small dents that appear when I put certain items down on the counter, but then when I remove the item, the dents disappear in several hours. Hopefully this lessens over time? Did this happen to you with your kitchen?

    Anyhow, thanks again for posting this blog and helping those of us who can't afford granite to have nice counters too!


    Pictures:

    Before: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/Aquarius1/Before_zpse97cb152.jpg

    After: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/Aquarius1/After_zps62d11b7a.jpg

    After (other side): http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/Aquarius1/Othersideview_zpsc770df7c.jpg

    Close ups:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/Aquarius1/CloseUp_zps647b26ae.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v155/Aquarius1/Closeup_zpsc24d7b30.jpg

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  104. I love the outcome of your countertop experiment! Do you remember how much envirotex you used and about how much countertop you have?

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    1. Hi Ginger! Thank you! I used three boxes in total. I have one small countertop and then one that goes all the way around as an island, counter and around the sink. The boxes explain how much is covered per box. Good luck!

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  106. Hi Tracy,

    Just wondering which size boxes of the Envirotex you used? I can't wait to do this, after contemplating it for months!

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  107. Hello Allison! Actually, I used the smaller boxes I purchased from Hobby Lobby with the 40% off coupon. 32 oz boxes were very easy to work with. Good Luck! You'll the difference!

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  108. Thanks for your post, it inspired me to try my own version. I have a link to your post come check it out:
    http://www.batchelorsway.com/2014/04/laundry-room-diy-countertops-part-2.html

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