Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Painting Faux Marble on Your Porcelain Countertops!!

Hi Everyone! I'm baaaaaack!! 

It's been awhile. I had a baby, bought a house, yada-yada.. and I've decided to start having fun and blogging again!! 

As everyone knows, buying a house can be a wonderful, yet daunting experience. You want to change it and make it your own, yet you also want to save and not spend a fortune doing so. 

That being said, our first house is perfect for us, but it definitely has some things I want to change. So I decided to start small, and make some changes in our half bath. 

As you can see from the picture, our "tiny oasis" started with a light, calming green.. checkered flooring.. and a white/blue streaked vanity.
As sweet as it was- It just wasn't our taste!!

We started with painting the walls grey, getting new artwork, sprucing up the base boards by painting them white, and buying Allure Wood Flooring to install. I loved all the changes.. but something was still not sitting right with me.. and it was the vanity. The off-white, sparatic blue-streaked vanity. 

I thought at first that maybe I could paint the vanity base BLUE.. a fun, pop of color if you will.. but every color I found didn't quite match the blue.. and every day I disliked it more and more... 

I saw this picture while looking through bathrooms on PINTREST and fell in LOVE with the Carrara Marble top! #swoon 

So being silly and naive, I thought I could just buy a new marble vanity top--the base had to be what was expensive, right? WRONG! A marble top like this at your local hardware store can cost anywhere between $250++. This was WAY out of our budget. So I had to figure something else out... 

And that's when I decided, I would paint my Vanity Top. 

Call me crazy (my husband did) but I was determined to get this look for under $50!! 

This project took 1.5 days to prime and dry, 3 hrs to paint, 1 hour to epoxy, and 3 days to cure.. but it was worth every. single. minute, and I would do it all over again.

For this project, you will need the following: 

For painting: 
- Flat paint brush for blending
- Different size paint brushes for painting the veins (or even a feather if you have one for the tiny veins, I didn't have one...) Sizes I recommend are Med. Flat, small, and tiny. 
- Natural sponge (Can be found at hardware stores, or Hobby Lobby/Michaels) 
- Small can of Primer for ALL SURFACES (I used this one from Menards; it was even cheaper in the store than the current online price.
- 3 different greys' for painting, Light to Dark. (I used Americana Acrylic Paint from Hobby Lobby; .75 cents a bottle.)
-Styrofoam Roller paint brush for painting vanity top with primer. (You can buy these kits at a Hardware stores & Craft stores for about $3) 
-Painters tape
- Small plastic cups/plates for putting different paints on while painting the vanity. 

For the Expoxy: 
- Envirotex Lite for Epoxy (The cheapest I found was at Menards; I bought the 32 oz so I wouldn't have to worry about running out. I used half! You can save the rest for a later project. )
- Brown Paper Wrap (Found a pack of this by the PAPER ROLLS at Home Depot for $3) 
- Sheet/Cardboard/Plastic to put Vanity on to paint & epoxy. (Be ready to toss this out after.) 
- Bucket (I bought a pumpkin bucket from the dollar store.) 
- 4 one-quart, multi-mix pails (found at any hardware store, in the paint aisle.) Usually about $1.50/ea.
- Sponge brushes (Used to spread epoxy-so get the cheap ones!) 
- Throw away latex gloves
- Painting stir sticks (Free!)
- Straw

After all that, I spent roughly $40 dollars.. Awesome cost!! But would it look good??? I didn't know... but to me, it was worth the risk.

To start this project, take your vanity and place it on a sheet/plastic/cardboard boxes that you don't care about ruining. Wrap your sinks' hardware in painters tape, and remove your drain completely so that when the epoxy drips through, it will go straight down into the bucket. Place the bucket you are going to catch the epoxy in underneath the drain hole, and tape it in place with painters tape for extra precaution. 

Next, clean and wipe down your entire vanity top. Then take your white primer, and paint the entire vanity top. I started with a typical paint brush, but realized it would go quicker, and paint better, with a Styrofoam roller. I did one coat, and let it dry for 24 hrs. ((I noticed a few rough spots, so I sanded it and painted it again.)) I then waited about 12 hrs-and it was perfect, and ready to start painting!! 

Before you start painting, you may want to check out this great video of a woman painting her IKEA table below. It really helped me with learning techniques, and understanding the importance of blending!  

Once you're ready to paint, take your lightest grey and mix it with a little bit of your primer. 
Take your sponge, dampen it a little bit under water (be sure to squeeze, you do NOT want water dripping) then dip it in the paint, and start to dab it over your entire vanity top. (If you notice some particles falling off your sponge, clear them off your vanity, and wet your sponge. This means your sponge is too dry.) 

Next, take your MEDIUM size flat paint brush, and dip it in your medium grey paint color. Use this brush to then paint a "background" effect of swirls on your vanity as you see below. As you are doing this, take your dry Blending Brush, and blend back and forth. My husband walked by at this moment, and turned back around. Seeing this effect is scary.. but KEEP GOING!! :) 

Once you've done enough "swirls", you can take your sponge again with your light grey-primer paint mix- and blot throughout your entire top. Don't blot it too much though, you want the grey to show through so that you have a nice dimension. 

Next, take your blending brush, and this time take your sponge and dip it into the light grey without primer. Every time you blot, you need to blend. It doesn't matter what direction you go with the paint, you want it to look natural. So blot, blend. Blot, blend. Over and over, until you are happy with the look. This will become second nature to you. You will become a blot/blending Queen! 

Ta-Da! You could honestly stop here if you don't like the look of veins and just want a soft, marble effect. However, if you are like me and like the look of veins in the marble, then you can start making the veins with your small paint brushes. 
So after you are happy with the overall "base" you take your SMALL paint brush, and dip it into your darkest grey. In the most natural way possible, drag the brush from one place to another on your vanity top. You may even try using your non-dominant hand to give it more of a jagged effect. While I was doing this, I would also stop after a few- and you guessed it- blot with my sponge, and then blend with my brush so that my veins were a bit softer, and more natural. 

Once you've got the hang of it, and you start to get a lot of veins going on throughout your top, you can start to use your TINY brush, and connect veins to each other, and even branch a few out. This is why I recommend having two different size brushes - it just makes your veins look more natural. (Use can use a feather for this step as well.) 
Also, if you want the veins to be more pronounced, don't blot and blend. Just leave the veins as is and let the veins dry on their own. (I did that with a few below so that they were a darker grey and not "soft".) 

After 2 hours of painting I was very happy with this result.. and I let it dry for a few hours... but after looking at it once it dried, I felt it was not soft enough for the space, and wanted to add a bit more grey for dimension. (I know, I'm a perfectionist and I'm famous for over-doing it...but I couldn't sleep without fixing it!) 

So.. I rolled up my sleeves, and got back to it. I took more light grey and blotted it with my sponge all over the vanity, as well as took my blending brush and blended everywhere I blotted. I also took some more of the white primer/light grey mix and did the same process again in some parts of the top. 

I was finally happy with it and ready to epoxy! 

Once you're ready to epoxy-Take the brown paper wrap, and wrap it around your entire vanity so that the dripping epoxy doesn't damage it. Use painters tape to secure. Remove the painters tape from your sink hardware. (We unfortunatly removed this too late and some of the epoxy formed around the tape, and we had to cut it with a knife). Be sure to wipe down your vanity top with a dry cloth so that you do not have any paint/dust/etc. before you epoxy. 
Also, being that this stuff not only drips, but forms tiny bubbles you need to get rid of- I would recommend doing this during the day, or when you are able to check on it for the first few hours.

Follow ALL the instructions for the Envirolite. (This is when you would use your Quart Multi-Mix pails and put on your latex gloves.) Following the mixing instructions is KEY. It's very important to stir for the time they tell you, or else you could end up with a sticky top, or even a yellow one. 
(Out of the 32 oz box we bought - We used half of each mixture to cover this top.)

 Once your epoxy is mixed and ready, it's time to start! We poured the mixture starting from the back of the top, and let it trickle down the wall. We also poured all around the vanity top. It's meant to self-level, however I did notice some dry spots, so I used my sponge brush and blended the epoxy all over the top. Be sure to use the sponge brush to wipe some on the edges too! 
Once you have poured all the epoxy you will start to notice little bubbles. Take your straw, and simply blow on all the bubbles. Your breath will pop the bubbles! Side Note: Be sure not to jam the straw into the epoxy. I did this a few times, and had to use my sponge brush to blend it back again!! You also need to use your paint stick to rub underneath the vanity top so that drips do not start to form. 

For the first 2-3 hrs-every 45 min. or so, I blew on bubbles, and rubbed the paint stick around the edges. I was already loving the effect- it looked like glass!!

Once you no longer see any drips, or bubbles, it's time to leave the vanity ALONE because it starts to get sticky! It's hard to do since it's so cool, but it's best to let it cure for 72 hrs without touching it. (I did go look at it every night before bed though) :) 

After 72 hrs. it's safe to remove the paper around the vanity, throw out the bucket, re-install the drain, and bring it back into your space. 

We absolutely LOVE the vanity- it honestly looks just like real marble!!

What fun things have you done with your bathroom? 

I would love to hear about all your projects!! 

Thanks for stopping by! :)



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