Easy & Inexpensive DIY Kitchen Countertops
Can't Afford Granite
In a previous hub of mine, I wrote about my faux tile backsplash walls. During the same kitchen remodeling, I also redid my kitchen countertops. I had very little money to spend, so granite, river rock, or stainless steel was not an option at the time.
I have never been scared to try a new type of project, and I realized the value that a better looking kitchen would add to my house. I believe that any real estate agent could attest to how high the kitchen ranks in the eyes of potential home buyers.
I decided to paint my countertops, but I also wanted to add some texture and color, to go with my multicolor faux tiles. In this hub I will give instructions for my countertops, and also list some other inexpensive ideas for counters.
"Paint and Paper" Countertops
I decided to go for sort of a "faux river rock" look with my counters. I knew that I wanted a chocolate brown for the base color, and then a splash of a few other colors on top of that base. My old counters were a white laminate that was worn and scratched.
- I started by totally clearing off my counters, and cleaning them well to remove any grease or residue.
- I filled in a couple of chipped areas with wood putty, and let it dry. Then I lightly sanded the entire countertop.
- Next, I painted a base coat of paint over the old laminate finish. I used paint that was specifically intended to be used as a base. The base coat helps the enamel to adhere better. The sales persons at most home stores are very knowledgeable, and could answer questions you might have on what type of paint to use.
- When the base coat was completely dry, I painted my first coat of brown latex enamel. I allowed this to dry overnight, then painted a second coat of the enamel.
- Next for the fun part! I tore brown, silver, purple, and gold tissue paper into small pieces. Using Mod Podge glue I placed the pieces randomly on the counters. "Mod Podge" is a brand of decoupage glue that is available at most craft stores, and also some discount stores. Then I sprinkled some granite powder (available in the faux paint section of home stores), in various spots while the glue was still wet.
- To finish my project, after the tissue pieces had dried, I painted the countertops with three coats of varnish.
I updated my counters in November of 2009, and so far they are holding up well. A good thing with this type of finish is that if they do get a scratched, I can fix it easily with a few pieces of tissue paper, and Mod Podge.
More Countertop Options
Another painting countertop option is to sand the counters well, and paint with oil based enamel. Oil based paint is harder to work with than latex, but holds up well, and the counter can be painted in two coats, with no need for topcoats of varnish. If you want to read another hubbers experience with this, read the article "My affordable DIY kitchen remodel", by Robertbloggert. His countertops look flawless with this technique.
Plastic laminate is another option. It can be obtained at any home improvement store, in a lot of different colors and patterns. Instructions are available from the store for "do it yourself".
Another option from the home improvement store is a kit that contains a putty type material to be painted on, then stone chips, followed by a polyurethane finish. These kits come in various colors, and cost about $300.00.
Ceramic tile is also a "do it yourself" option. It will be more expensive than the other choices, and will involve cutting tiles, and grouting. The end result will be very durable though, and the colors and looks with tile are endless.
My advice is to have fun with your countertop project! Try something different, and unique. Your kitchen just might end up being he envy of your "granite countered" friends.
By updating your kitchen you will add value to your entire home. You will also feel happier when you cook and spend time in your kitchen.
And, with the money you save, you might be able to buy something special for your kitchen. Wouldn't a new refrigerator or "under-counter" TV look good?
My Other Home Improvement Hubs
- Low Cost Kitchen Re-Do with Faux Tiles
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- Organizing Paper Clutter
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- Faux Painting with Coastal Style
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