Oh good Lord, she's painting again!DSC01092I knew that I wanted to paint the countertops with acrylic, but had to choose a pattern. I really loved that people on Pinterest were getting such great results achieving a granite look with acrylic paint. This was the way I wanted to proceed. I went to the Home Depot and got samples of stone that I liked. I got the free samples of the laminate, but you can purchase actual small pieces of granite or stone. Then, I went to the local craft store and choose 10 colors to match them, several sponges and a couple of brushes.

In our basement we have a small laminate countertop around a slop sink, so I primed the countertop and started painting. I learned a lot about what can go wrong when trying to fau paint granite. In my first attempt I smooshed the sponge too much and got a squished look. It looked more like paint splatters than granite. In the second attempt, I didn’t push hard enough and ended up with a very textured counter but a better look. The third attempt, I pushed on the sponge lightly and then took a piece of clean paper and pressed it onto the area to remove the texture. This gave me my best result. Once I achieved the look I was aiming for, then I would have to find the colors that I liked. For my kitchen, I liked the colors I used on the 3rd attempt. Insead of a white primer, I used a charcoal gray primer.

DSC01093This was my first attempt, the paint looked too smooshed. DSC01094This attempt looked better but had a horrible texture to it. I tried to sand it but it just looked odd. DSC01095This was my favorite attempt. I lighlty dabbed the sponge to the surface and then blotted it with a piece of paper. I even like this color palate.

Once all of my testing was complete, I showed my husband to get his approval. He hated it, all of it. He didn’t like the look at all. Steve is normally a very easy going and laid back sort of soul. He is such a good sport, he is after all married to me! When I told him what I wanted to do the the kitchen, he smiled, was agreeable and offered to help. No fuss, no complaints about how big of a mess it will be for a prolonged time. Him not liking something is a deal breaker for me. Back to the drawing board.

I went back to the source to get inspiration, back to Pinterest. I reviewed my color inspiration board and came up with another approach, a solid charcoal. I loved the look of the kitchen in "Something’s Gotta Give", and decided to adopt this approach.I would love to have soap stone countertops, a flashback to Chemistry lab, but alas, that was not in the budget for this project. Something to look forward to somday!Somethings gotta give kitchen

A solid color countertop was simple and hopefully would meet our needs. I found a soft charcoal acrylic paint and showed the hubby. He like the idea and so we had a new plan. I have to admit, I was a little relieved! I have a lot of counter space to paint and this approach just made the job ahead of me a lot easier. The plan was to sand the surface, prime via roller, paint via roller and brush on the poly-acrylic. Now all I had to do was pick a paint.

You wouldn't think picking a paint was a hard task, but there are so many choices these days. I narrowed our choices down to 3 possilbe:

  1. Acrilic paint with a poly acrylic top coat
  2. A good quality paint with a poly acrylic top coat
  3. Rust-Oleum counter top paint.

To make my decision, I decided to apply scientific methods. I tore out several pieces of our laminate backsplash, since it was determined that they were going to go any way (have a look at the back splash articles for more info). The backsplash was made of the same material that the counter tops were and would make an excellent test surface. I applied each of the paint choices above to the sample surface with one additional sample, the Rust-Oleum counter top paint plus a poly acrylic top coat. Here is a picture of the 4 samples plus some other experiment I was trying, I must have inhaled too many paint fumes, because for the life of me I can't recall what it was.

DSC00074

As you can see, I was in the middle of working on the doors while I was sorting out counter top paint. I try to test the next project while working on a project. I find it a nice break from the current project, but also makes me feel like I am progressing forward.

Once the samples were dry and cured for a week, I put them to the test. I took steak knives to them, banged them with the bottom rims of pans and even scraped earthen stoneware across them. At the end of the durability test, the Rust-Oleum counter top paint with a poly-acrylic top held up the best. We now had a plan and a product. Time to paint.

To see how our kitchen turned out, keep reading!