Let’s start this post by stating that my kitchen was in dire need of some updates. It’s not that we didn’t love our plain white laminate counters that stained as soon as you dripped coffee or red wine on them, but it was time for some changes. After 3 years of living in our apartment, we finally found the courage to ask for some fixes and changes. (disclaimer in case our managers are reading this, sorry for the laundry list of asks!)
One of our big asks was to update the kitchen. My very handy father had told me about the Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformations kit and of course I immediately wanted to do it. I put together my sales pitch (luckily I had lots of practice from my day job), walked next door to our managers, and then continued to ramble out an ongoing list of things I wanted done. The big argument was “I’ll do the labor for free if you cover the costs!” I mean, who doesn’t trust a girl they don’t know to update a rental unit of theirs? Should be an automatic yes.
Of our asks we were able to get, at no cost to ourselves, professional carpet cleaning, new stove, new faucet (suprise bonus) and new countertops! I guess this is where the “I’m free labor!” argument kicks in. Well, bring on the transformation!
Before and After
The new stove really adds something to the above picture. HALLELUJAH!!
The sink Before and After
And one more of just the after because it’s far superior to the before.
Now I’m hoping at this point you are saying “Holy Mackerel, that looks good!” If not, when you see me in person just pretend to like it. If this is inspiring you to ask your landlord to foot the bill for some updates here’s the 4-1-1 on how to make this happen.
LET’S DO THIS!!
How to update your crappy countertops and get a good workout in. (be prepared to see some AWESOME pictures of yours truly during this process)
- Rust-Oleum Transformations Kit in your choose of color; most supplies are in the box
- Drop Cloths or Plastic Sheeting (definitely not overrated as you’ll see in my pics)
- Painter’s Tape – so kindly named after our Family
- Xacto Knife or Razor
- Paint rollers and brushes; the kit will tell you the specific ones you will need
- Paint tray
- VACUUM with hose attachment. Trust me.
- Plastic gloves, also optional but I would suggest them and I never like gloves.
- Crappy clothes if you are messy like me
Step 1: To start you’ll have to make sure your countertops are clean and grease free. Any grease on them can cause the paint not to adhere.
Step 2: Get ready to work up sweat #1 as you sand the crap out of your countertops to prep them for the paint. Work in circles and be sure there are tiny scratches on the entire surface. It should feel slightly rough to touch.
Apparently this is the only picture I have of this step. I’m not even sanding! slacker.
Step 3: Wipe off all dust from sanding the counters. Put Painter’s tape on all edges including sink and walls. I used an Xacto knife to keep a clean line around the sink. Also tape your plastic sheeting to cover the drains and all the cabinets or walls below. TIP: A wider line of Painter’s tape is more forgiving to sloppiness when you have to paint quickly in the next step.
Channel your inner Dexter. Also you can kind of see the roughness on the tall counter from sanding in the previous step.
Step 4: Prepare base coat and color chips. Then, moving quickly, apply a thick layer of the adhesive base coat to your countertops. It’s best to work in sections so the paint does not dry. If you are a slow Painter (much like my sisters…oh, burn) then have no fear, there is a wetting agent to quickly spray before the next step.
That’s the look of determination!
I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it! Or I’m just going to lightly mist the countertops. (real guns scare me)
Step 5: Apply a heavy coating of the color chips using the fertilizer like sprayer. When that becomes frustrating just resort to throwing them at the counter like I did. Don’t be afraid to have piles of these sitting on your countertops. I had a whole bag extra at the end.
Not going to lie the sprayer is annoying and flings chips everywhere.
Step 6: Awkwardly inspect a job well done while the camera flashes pictures. You may not find this step in the official Countertop Transformations Kit Guide. When staring is complete repeat this process on the rest of your countertop.
Yup, looks good to me.
Step 7: Make sure the counter is heavily coated with color chips and allow to sit for 12-24 hours. This is a great time to order pizza since cooking may be slightly difficult.
I am not the tidiest of crafters, but this we know.
Piles of color chips on the counter will give you the best look. Speaking of best look, what an awesome looking spice rack!
Step 8: Time to work up sweat #2, worst than the first. Start by vacuuming up any loose color chips from the counter. Using the scraper provided, scrape any loose edges. For those of you on the east coast this is similar to scraping your cars on snowy mornings. Unfortunately I now live only in sunshine, so had to go off memory.
Step 9: Since you’re probably thinking “I’m not sweaty at all yet” then its time to bust out the sanders supplied in your kit. Once again, sand the crap out of your counters until they are a smoothness you are happy with. This will be the final texture of your counters. If you’re like me you’ll sand, vacuum, sand, vacuum, debate, probably sand some more and then finally wipe them all clean to prep for the final step. As you’ll see below this step isn’t always pretty and I’m pretty sure I was dripping sweat at this point.
No wine glasses were harmed in the making of these countertops.
Step 10: After all dust has been removed prep your Top Coat and get to work on sealing your countertops!! Use a brush for the edges and a foam roller for everything else.
I seem like such a dainty painter. Get your head in the game, Painter!
Step 11: After drying at least 6 hrs, score your painters tape before removing for the cleanest lines.
Didn’t quite get it all in the first try.
Step 12: Admire your work while you wait 48 hours for anything to touch the counters and 7 days for full heavy use of counters. Hopefully it’s a job well done!! I’d do it again, but only in a house I own.
The Final Product!!
New hardware on all the cabinets too! (suprisingly, that was harder than updating the countertops)
If you’re still reading this lengthy post, I hope this insires you to try your luck at renovating yours!
Professional countertop transformer, out. Katie