I'm a pretty confidant person when it comes to paint. The great thing about it is you can always paint over it if you don't like the color. That being said, I had never painted countertops before, I had never even seen an example of it before. Around the time I was planning to paint the kitchen I saw an ad on TV advertising a total countertop coating system, similar to the Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations which includes a base coat, color chips, and top coat. I would have loved to use this, but with a price tag of $248 it was well over my $100 limit.
|Image via Rust-Oleum.com|
After sulking around Lowes for a minute I, completely by accident, stumbled across my saving grace: Rust-Oleam Specialty Countertop Coating. Which was actually in the painting isle, a completely different isle than I was in.
|Image via Rust-Oleum.com|
I had it tinted to "Putty" which was the darkest color on the box. I wish I was able to go darker, but beggars can't be choosers. Although in this case, I guess they can. Maybe it was me not looking hard enough, (although I swear this was the only box I saw in the isle), but I saw this a couple months ago in the same isle:
|Image via Rust-Oleum.com|
Notice the "Tintable to Dark Colors". Where were you last year?!
Anyways, as far as the process went, I followed the directions on the box to a T. I was so scared, I even watched the videos online a couple times, (found here). Remember Mike didn't want me to do this whole kitchen project, so I was worried that I would completely botch this countertop and we would have to a.) live with crappy counters or b.) it would be so bad we would have to replace them, (after doing it I now know that I can easily paint over it, so I was never in danger of completely ruining them, but the bottom line was, I was scurrred).
I started by moving the appliances out a little bit, and then cleaned (with TSP for those wondering) and sanded the counters. I'm sure it said something like "lightly sand the area", but I was worried it wouldn't adhere, so I really sanded it. Afterwards I realized it didn't really help of hinder so I think a light sanding is fine. Box directions: 1, me: 0. After wiping and cleaning the counters again I was ready to go. At this point I would suggest taping off all of the edges, (along the sink, backsplash, walls, etc.), but I'm a bad-ass painter, (see my stats here), so I just used my favorite stubby angled brush to do my edging.
After taking a deep breath I used my brush to start painting around the edges. Surprisingly, the paint was pretty opaque after only one coat and was relived to find out I only needed one coat. And as for the deep breath, it was the last I took cause this stuff stinks. Like open all the windows and our back door and it's still stinky.
After finishing up the trim work I used a small foam roller to roll the larger surfaces. In some spots I used the brush to fade into the roller marks. After I was done I didn't touch it for 3 days. This was pretty easy for us since, like I've mentioned before, we still had our apartment for a couple months after we closed on the house, which helped with a lot of the big projects. I realize this isn't the norm, to completely stay away from your kitchen for 3 days, but just think about how potentially long you would have to go without if you completely removed and replaced the counters.
After the third day the counters were completely dried and I had myself pretty much a new kitchen.
After the third day I was excited to see how they turned out and was a little disappointed to see my brush marks along the edges as well as the rest being textured from my roller. Since I would have had to use a brush versus a roller along the edges regardless of using tape or not, I knew it wasn't me. It was hard to capture this in a photo, but see how the it's smooth next to the sink, then there's a feathering that happens about 2-3 inches along the edge. I'm sure I'm the only one who notices it, but it's something that's bothered me. I don't mind the texture so much but it's not something I expected.
As far as durability wise, it's not the greatest. Looking at reviews online, I think I should have done a second coat to make it a little thicker. I think this would greatly reduce the small scratches that we've made.
It might even have prevented the big scratch that Mike made with his homebrewing equipment a couple weeks ago.
As far as the most used spot, it's seen better days. This is the little drawer section next to the refrigerator which is directly across from the back door. We use this for the cat's food container and dropping our keys off when we come inside.
And if you guys ever wondered why we want to completely rip this kitchen out one day, all I have show you are these drawers and it'll give you an idea of what the rest of the kitchen is like. These are the wonky drawers we inherited, missing board on top and all. And that's the largest drawer in the kitchen. The top one is where we have our silverware. It's about 7 in across inside. Yeah, it drives me crazy. There's only so much ugly you can cover with paint.
As for the rest of the counters, they've all taken a beating. And that's something Mike and I knew would happen. As much as I would have liked to baby the counters after painting, I knew that wasn't realistic.
In the end, I'm still very happy with my counters and they made a huge transformation to my otherwise fugly kitchen. Even with the little nicks here and there, I would definitely do it over if given the chance.
And speaking of doing it over again, I've already hinted to Mike about the possibility of repainting them, this time doing a couple coats and seeing if that helps reduce the nicks. Keep your fingers crossed for me!