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Remember when I answered all your burning questions and you asked if I ever messed up on anything. And I was like, All. The. Time.
Ok, this project was one of those trial by error projects.
Luckily, its result was stellar – stellarly good looking and stellarly cheap as well.
And I’m aware stellarly may not actually be a word.
It is now though.
Dear friends, let me show you the cheapest and easiest way you can turn those ugly laminate countertops from yesteryear into beautiful “stone” counters.
How to Make Laminate Countertops look like Stone
Let’s back up for a second. First off, these countertops are in the man cave. I showed you the whole built-in makeover last week. Before all that though, the built-ins looked like this:
Complete with shiny brownish-burgundy countertops circa 1970.
Initially when Grunt Labor and I did a “lazy job” of redoing this space, I painted the countertop. I knew good and well it would end up scratching off, but I didn’t really care because I was pregnant and just wanted to lounge around in my fold-out lawn chair and eat chocolate while I still had a good excuse.
So I did.
And what did the countertop do?
It got lots of little scratches here and there.
A few months back when I really committed to overhauling this space, I knew I couldn’t leave the countertops as they were. I had lots of ideas – I would clad it all in pallet wood, or 1 x 4s, or pleather with nailhead trim….. Then, I had a better idea, I wanted to make it look like soap stone. I would paint it black, then come back with a tiny paintbrush and maybe add some grayish-whiteish veining.
Pssssshhhhhh…..As if I actually have the patience for all that.
After I realized that idea was a bust, I had a thought.
I wonder what this countertop looks like underneath the laminate.
So I started tearing it off.
Grunt Labor heard me tearing it off and came downstairs looking at me as if I had lost my mind. He finally decided it looked like a lot of fun, so he joined in too.
We were left with this:
At that point, I thought hell, I can just paint it as is and it’ll look like stone.
And I was right.
Before we jump into that though, let me tell you how we pulled the laminate off. I’m sorry I have only one photo to show you of that process. Honestly, I was pretty sure I was just screwing it up even more than it already was. All we did though was take a pry bar and hammer it under the edge of the laminate top and then pull it up and off. Once we got the first of it up, we used a drywall knife like you saw in the image above. Don’t worry if you take a little of the wood with it – it just adds to the stone look. Also, it won’t all come up in one fell swoop, you are likely to get smaller chunks off of it here and there. It was super easy though – you really can’t mess it up.
Now, after we had all the laminate off, I did give it a super light sanding with my palm sander. That was just to remove any loose splinters or pieces of wood sticking up.
I scoured my paint stash for the perfect black – it couldn’t be too black, but couldn’t be too gray-black either. It had to be the perfect “stone” look. I turned up with a can of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard paint, which I put directly onto the wood.
I think I did about three coats of the chalkboard paint.
After the paint was dry, I knew I had to seal it with something because chalkboard paint tends to have a flat finish that will show anything. I had some Minwax Finishing Paste Wax on hand that I used. I am not a fan of using waxes usually, but I knew the wax would keep that muted look of the paint, but still protect it, so that’s what I used.
To apply the wax, I used my AutoRight Detailing Polisher.
I put some wax on the foam applicator, applied it to the counter, let it sit for 20 minutes or so, then came back with the microfiber bonnet and buffed it.
If you want to do this on a kitchen countertop or bathroom countertop that is going to be getting a lot of use, I would highly recommend you using a more heavy duty sealant like a polyurethane or polycrylic, which would hold up to water much better.
The end result:
And another shot:
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