It is week four of the One Room Challenge, and this week has been all about DIY marble painted countertops. Now this was a pivot from my original plan. The original plan I was leaning towards was to do concrete countertops. If you remember from my inspiration post I wasn’t exactly sure which route I wanted to take for the countertops but I leaned towards doing concrete countertops. You can see all the previous weeks blog posts here:
I chose to use Quikrete Countertop Mix and I think this didn’t work because I chose the wrong product. I had thought this would work as an overlay on the counters but I think it ended up being too thick. I have read about using feather overlay which probably would have worked better.
After we mixed up the concrete and applied it was fine on the top but on the side of the counters it would not stick, even though I waited a while for it to thicken and after it dried it just fell off in parts along the edge. And so because of that we knew that once we tried to put a sink in or touch the side of the countertop it would probably crack off and break.
And I didn’t love that it was breaking off or the look so I just decided to take the whole thing off. Justin helped me chip off all the concrete. It actually came off really easily with a putty knife, and created a big mess but once cleaned up I could start fresh.
So I pivoted to using Gianni’s marble countertop kit. I had seen Tasha from Kaleidoscope Living recently paint her countertops and I loved the look that she created and realized I wanted to do the same thing. I liked the marble look and I think it’ll look nice with the blue cabinets, the new floor, the wallpaper and all the other updates to this room.
The kit comes with everything you need to do a 35 square foot countertop. Our laundry room is much smaller than this but my thought was that I could do the laundry room and then down the road complete the bathroom countertops with this one kit. The kit comes with the paint, epoxy, paint brushes, foam brushes, roller cover, gloves, and plastic sheeting.
To prep the countertops I cleaned the countertop really well with the TSP substitute. When I was prepping for the concrete I had sanded the countertop to get off any dried on paint and sealer so a wipe down was all that was needed. Now it came time to apply the first coat which is the primer can. I ended up doing three coats of the primer to make sure none of the laminate counter could be seen through.
And now comes the time to paint on the marble lines. The Gianni kit includes a small foam board square to practice making the lines on which was very helpful to kind of get my technique down. Their instructions recommend looking up pictures of marble countertops online to find the line look that you are looking to re-create. I also highly suggest doing this as it was helpful to see examples of the countertop look I wanted.
I started with the big veining, I used their suggested technique in the instructions for painting on the veins. Once the veins are painted you use the included spray bottle to dilute the grey paint and then use the paintbrush to stipple the paint to create a muted vein. After drawing a couple of the big veins there were some that I wasn’t sure I liked but luckily when you’re spraying with the water you can just take a rag and wipe it off if you’re not liking the way it’s looking.
And I will tell you the water gives it a little bit of distortion, when I thought I didn’t like a spot I moved on to a new spot, and then went back to the old spot after the water had dried up and I actually liked it better than before.
After the bigger veins were done the directions say to do ghost veins if you want. So I added ghost veins into and next to the larger veins. Gianni also has white paint in the kit to add more techniques after the ghost veining but I chose not to do that step.
After all the veining was done I let it dry for over 24 hours because I wanted my husband, Justin to see it before I applied the epoxy. Before applying the epoxy you will want to sand it with a 600 grit sandpaper that is included. At this time before pouring epoxy you also want to tape any spots you wouldn’t want the epoxy to get, so tape under the counter and against the wall or backsplash if you have one.
Gianni provides three sets of epoxy mix in this kit because epoxy sets up very quickly and so it needs to be mixed in small batches. The epoxy activator is poured into the epoxy resin and then stirred together for a specified amount of time. Using the provided foam brush for the edges and the roller for the remaining countertop you spread the epoxy mixture evenly over top.
I ended up using just one of the epoxy cans on the counter. Once it was poured and spread it needs to sit to dry. Although after about 10 minutes I went back to look at it and you could some little flecks of dirt, fuzz and hair that had settled in the epoxy. So I used toothpicks to grab all of these pieces.
And I LOVVEE IT, it looked so beautiful and then it takes 24 to completely dry and a week to cure.
But…….during this drying process one of our cats got up on the counter, ugh……. I will be doing another blog post on how I fixed this, but let me say it is fixable, it’s just not ideal. So my advice after you have poured the epoxy is If you have a door shut it, if you’re not able to be in the house for a while after it’s done that’s great, and shut any windows. And then look for that post about how to fix epoxy. When something gets messed up on it before it’s completely dry.
Now I have these beautiful countertops that I absolutely love. I’ve had multiple people see them in person and say “oh you got new countertops,” not knowing that it’s not real stone and that was the goal!