Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Project - a Kitchen Counter Re-do

I know, I know, I've been lax with my photo-a-day project.  I have plenty of excuses though!  I've been very busy with ArtfulMemory.Com and new drawings for the Torn Paper Design series as well as many other designs for that store.  And I'm still working my part-time job more than I'd like.  Soon, however, you'll see some photos here, but not necessarily what you'd expect out of me!  I'm getting ready to start a major project in my kitchen - I'm preparing to "resurface" my old, ugly, outdated, chipped, stained and worn kitchen counter tops in a unique, DIY way. :)

Above you'll see a sneak peek of how the counters should look when I complete this project.  This is actually a granite chip I picked up at Lowes called Bella Noche.  When I get done, I hope the counters will look very similar to this chip as far as color and pattern.

I'll be using very few products.  The main product which will be providing my background color and save me on quite a bit of painting time is Duck GRANITE contact paper.  Here's a photo from the Lowes site, but the colors are not as clear on screen.  The paper has a deep tan color, with some medium gray and a few gold specks here and there.

The colors in this paper match the tan/med gray colors in my granite chip.  I chose this contact paper for a couple of reasons.  First of all, it's thicker than most contact papers.  It's made by DUCK, and Duck Tape is one of my best friends. :) It also has a light sandy "feel" to it, which goes along with the stone look I'm after.  I saw other granite-look contact papers online in various places such as Amazon, but I couldn't find one in the exact colors I wanted.  After feeling several different types and thicknesses/textures of papers in the stores, DUCK clearly won out with quality and thickness -- and I wasn't sure how these online ones would feel, nor would I be able to tell their thickness online.

Our cabinets are 1970s paneling - not too dark wood, but they do have a dark brownish-black wood grain running through them, and they have a golden hue to them. (you'll see photos soon) I was going to paint the cabinets a lighter color - I did a test on the inside of one cabinet door, and just didn't like it.  Not to mention, the paint came right off with a light wiping, days after drying. NOT GOOD...my wood just does NOT want to be painted!  Since this wood paneling is also prevalent in the attached dining area and HUGE living room, I decided work with the wood and it's colors rather than try to change it.

I'm very chemically sensitive and didn't want the mess of dust from sanding down cabinets inside, as well as the strong smell of paint.  I also felt if I changed the kitchen wood colors, then I'd feel a need to change the dining room wood colors, and then the living room (as I mentioned above - it's HUGE!), and then the ceiling beams, and then the built in wood bookshelves, and so on.  So I looked at things a different way and decided changing the counters (which are white with green running through them and have obvious surface problems from years of wear and tear), and changing the cabinet hardware, and changing the wallpaper at the top of the kitchen as well as the top of the dining room walls, would be the easier, cheaper, and less chemically invasive way to go for me for right now.

We've already changed a few appliance items in the kitchen - the fridge, the microwave, the dishwasher, and the toaster are all silver/black (stainless look).  I still have to eventually do something with my sink, stovetop/venthood, and double ovens....which are all....AVOCADO GREEN.  Unfortunately changing those appliances is out of budget for me at the moment, and I want a nicer looking kitchen NOW.  My patience has run out!

So here's the plan, and I'll share it here on this blog, even though it has nothing to do with my art (well, I guess it is pretty artistic...). :)  The first step in the plan is to get the junk off the counters, and heavily clean them.  The second step will be to apply the tan/gray granite contact paper.  The third step will be to add my paint colors to the top (via sponges and/or wadded up paper towels to create the textured stone look).  And the fourth step will be to roll on a polycrylic coating for protection.

I did see some other products online I thought about getting before coming up with my method above.  For example, there is a highly recommended system by Giani Granite, but I figured I would need two kits at least for my kitchen, and that was more than I wanted to spend.  I'm being careful with my budget - I've spent just under $80 so far, and I think I'll have supplies left over to do some accessories or repairs in the future if necessary.  I still have to buy all of that cabinet hardware I need (knobs, drawer pulls, and hinges for a LOT of cabinets!).  The Giani kit is the same concept though, except I'll have less painting because I'll have the contact paper serving as my base colors.   Another product I looked at was the EZ Faux Granite Contact Paper. Once again, out of my budget (I would have needed at least two of their 12' rolls @ $90 a roll...), and once again, the colors weren't exactly what I was looking for.

Of course after I'm done with the counters, I'll have to get more accessories to better fix up the display of things ON the counters, as well as get and install all the new cabinet hardware, but that's a whole 'nother deal and will come after I get the counter top complete.  So stay tuned - we're going to take before, during and after photos to show you the progress!


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