Wednesday, September 5, 2012

{Project Reveal}: Painted Bathroom Countertop

When it comes to renovations and updates around Holtwood House, we've come a long way baby. But there are still many things still on the punch list for a day when money, time and resources will allow. Both bathrooms most certainly fall into that category. With more immediate fixes taking priority, my dreams of tinted glass subway tile and Carrera countertops will have to wait.

But one can only stand to stare at fugly for so long. We've been fastidious about keeping things clean, but no matter how good, long or often you scrub a 1960's era, yellow compressed marble countertop for example, it still recalls visions of a cigarette stained bathroom in a grody roadside motel. True, a replacement countertop is somewhat affordable (we priced a replacement at under $200). But I'd rather invest that $200 elsewhere for the time being and wait for the big reno in the next couple of years. (As a side note: why does everything seem to cost $200 when you are renovating a house?) We'll probably tear out the vanity altogether in the end, so why buy a custom cut countertop now?

Somewhere along the line, in my frustration I turned to the web for a solution. I had spotted the Rustoleum Countertop Paint at the paint center and despite the warning label saying that it was intended for laminate countertops only and not marble, I still felt that I could make it work. I dug around for an internet DIY, sure that I could find someone who successfully painted a compressed marble countertop.  Yeah, not really...

I still was not deterred. I rationalized that if I screwed it up, we could always pop for that replacement. But there were also a couple of other things that really sealed the deal for me.

The bathroom is not heavily trafficked, this would be a temporary solution and bottom line, the yellow marble was so depressing to look at (especially in a galley bath with little to no natural light), that anything would be an improvement.

See what I mean? Here it is just in it's primed state. I would have taken this as is over the yellow marble.
Here's the finished product, all painted up.

I explain my process after the jump.

In a nutshell, this was my process:

1. I made sure my area was very well ventilated. Open windows and fans are a must.

2. Then, I sanded off any and all remnants of the old glossy finish.

3. Next, I cleaned the countertop really good, then wiped it down with a tack cloth to make sure I got every last bit of lint or debris.

4. Once it dried, I applied two coats of an oil based primer, sanding with fine sand paper and wiping it with the tack cloth again in between coats. I let it dry for 24 hours between coats as well.

5. Then, using a foam roller and good quality paint brush, I rolled on the Countertop Paint, using the paint brush to cut into the corners and edges. Over the course of 2 days, I applied two layers of paint and allowed it to dry thoroughly in between coats. I also sanded it with 400 grit sandpaper in between.

What I learned:

  • It did crackle a little after the first coat of paint. I'm still scratching my head over why this happened. Was it truly because the paint was not intended for marble? Was it a reaction between the primer and paint? Could it have been because the primer was not quite dry in that spot? It was not severe and only happened in the far corners of the vanity. Nonetheless, I was able to sand most of it out and proceeded with the project.
  • The brush- no matter how fine- should be used sparingly. 
  • Most of all--- that Countertop Paint is potent stuff. You absolutely must use it in a well ventilated area and even then, I wish I had used a mask. 

Is it perfect? No. But it's definitely going to tie us over for a while until we can focus on making this space Master Bath worthy.


No comments

© Holtwood Hipster. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig