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I wanted to share my personal experience and tips for any of you considering doing this. I researched this project thoroughly before I actually took the plunge, and in my opinion, this method produced the best results.
For inspiration, search online for granite colors. Print out 3 or 4 that you like.
With the Rust-Oleum paint, sanding or priming is not required. The primer is built into the paint. When applying the Rust-Oleum paint, use the sponge rollers for big areas and paint brushes for corners and back splashes. Work fast, it sets up quick. Make sure you're in a ventilated area or turn the fan on if you're in a bathroom. This stuff is potent! Let dry (about an hour, maybe 2). If you prefer another coat, you can. I did. I felt better about 2 coats. Let dry.
To create the faux granite look you want, pour only the color of craft paint you're going to be using at the time onto a paper plate. They dry fast. You will have to keep adding paint to the plate. Use a new paper plate for each color. Start however you want. I did light to dark then back to light.
Once you have the look you want, let it set up for about 20-30 minutes. Come back and rub your hand over it. You will be able to tell it's dry. If it feels a little rough, it's because the craft paint tends to make "peaks" where you have used the sea sponges. I used a 240 grit sand paper and VERY lightly sanded over the counter top. Then I wiped it down with damp paper towels. Make sure all the grit from the sand paper is off. Let it dry.
If you're painting a large area, get someone to help you with the Envirotex. This varnish is not forgiving of mistakes. You will need to work quickly. You will need someone to mix and pour it while someone spreads. The directions that are included in the box tells you everything you need to know. Read them front to back. Twice. Pay attention to the edges and do what the box says. If your fan is still on at this point - turn it off. Close off the vent to whatever room you're in and close the door if you can. This helps with the drying time and keeps stuff from floating in the air and landing on top of the wet varnish. I had a few "cooties" in my final outcome. Cat/dog hair and/or dust. If you're a glutton for punishment, once it's dry, you can lightly sand the counter top and reapply the Envirotex again. I left the master bathroom how it dried, but I redid the middle bathroom and I wish I would have left it alone. It's all up to you.
Once everything is dry (24-72 hours, depending on the temperature in your house), you can start unmasking. The tape that has any dried Envirotex will have to be cut with a razor blade. You can remove the masking tape once its semi set up if you like. I didn't want to risk dragging or pulling the varnish. The razor blade actually wasn't that bad.
I have included before, during, and after pictures. I also did the counter in the built in cabinets in my hallway. You can do virtually any surface you want!
By Michelle from Bakersfield, CA
I just finished creating faux granite countertops and I'm so thrilled! It was easy and the total cost for each countertop was about $70. Here's what I did:
Rustoleum says the clear coat is heat resistant but I wouldn't put a hot pot on it. I don't think it would hurt it but it might go cloudy. Just use a hot pad. If you're in a situation like me where my countertops were shot it's worth a try. Even if it only lasts a couple years. It's worth it.
I started to do this project, after sanding (with a sander) I gave up. The dust and mess is unbelievable. Covering the formica with luan is much cleaner and easier, and then go from there with numerous options!
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I am getting ready to faux-granite paint my counter. I have blue painter's tape around the walls and sink. My questions is: how well will the tape come off after the Envirotex cures? Is there a trick? I've been looking online, but can't find anything.
Usually, you carefully remove the tape while the paint is still wet. When it dries, some paint can peel off with the tape, the tape can lift the paint, or the paint will seal the tape on the wall. Call the company, I've always used plain masking tape, not blue painter's tape.
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I would like to know more about faux granite counter tops.
By Gi from Baton Rouge, LA
This is a granite paint that comes in a kit. I did the Bombay black but this is a picture of the Sicilian Sand Color.
You can get more information on it from here.
Gi, Honestly, what I did was spend several days reading down over all the posts having to do with anything re: painting laminate countertops. Also, much info. can be gained by doing a search on the web. If you read down over all the posts, you will find references to helpful websites. My island has been done for about 2 months now, and I've received so many compliments. Overall, I'm glad I did it, but I probably will not do the rest of my counter tops. Although most people probably wouldn't notice, it (envirotex finish) scratches easily, and I wouldn't say it's as durable as my laminate. But it does look beautiful. (12/15/2009)