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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Fake a New High End Countertop for $150

When we bought our first home in Baltimore we put in lots of sweat equity especially when it came to painting. I went a little nuts; after finishing the walls in every room, I moved to the cabinets and kitchen counter top.

The cabinets were not easy as traditional wood cabinets, because they were the lovely white laminate stuff that doesn't like paint. I found the Gripper primer that makes anything stick and it worked great.  The first time I painted the kitchen cabinets I did them in red (lasted for a few years until I needed a change), the second time in an espresso faux wood grain finish (I just dragged a rag vertically to get a grain effect).

I even painted the counter-top in the kitchen by applying the gripper, 2 coats of high gloss black, I created texture by applying gold and silver paint using bubble wrap, and then sealed with 5 coats of Polyrylic (I probably didn't need to do that much but I wanted to be sure it was sealed). I sanded between each coat to ensure a smooth finish. It was a bit of a process but ended up looking pretty awesome. I had a hard time locating a picture of the black "granite" that I painted a while ago, but you get the idea here (you can also see the espresso cabinets which were just changed from bright red):

The counter lasted 5 years and it was still looking pretty good but we decided we wanted to lighten it up a bit. We still didn't want to spend a couple thousand on a new counter at this point so I did some research and found the Rustoleum Countertop Transformations product. It turned out wonderful and took a fraction of the time to complete (compared with my previous painting procedure!). I would highly recommend it if you are looking to enhance your kitchen for less than a couple hundred bucks (and don't want to spend 7 straight days painting, sanding, and waiting for 24 hour drying times). The both looked quite nice actually, but the Rustoleum product was a lot easier.

This picture shows what it looked like after the transformation, we used the Desert Sand color. This product created a lot smoother, more professional finish, in no time. We also later added a back splash that tied the cabinets in nicely! The pictures don't really do it justice, but it really looked nice! When we sold our house this year the Realtor wrote down high end counters- when we saw that we told him what we actually did and he was amazed!

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