Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Painted Counters - Chapter I.2

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, I had dark green / hunter green countertops. *cue the record-scratching, stop-in-your-tracks sound* Oh wait. I still do mostly. I just have a white island countertop now. Which is a promising start. But it's been about a year of people looking at me funny when they hear my explanation of why my counters look crazy/gross and feel rough/textured. Almost a year of that and procrastination from the fear that it really would not turn out well even with fixing it.

Anyone remember this post? Artwork on my Countertops!
The house had laminate dark green countertops. The laminate that's supposed to give the illusion of granite, kind of. So, not terrible, but I was NOT a fan of the color.

And since day 1, I've dreamed of having white counters, but saving for some kind of solid surface was going to take a loooooong time. Then one day, I ran across this post from Pretty Lil' Posies. She made it sound so so easy, and I thought, "I can do that!" so I set the wheels in motion by buying craft paint, etc.

It all seemed to be going well, until I added the green.

My inspiration piece of silestone had flecks of bright green that was transparent, almost glass-like. But my attempt to mimic that just looked neon. So I tried going over it with some white to tone it down, but it still didn't look good. It was time to face the music and get to paint removal.

The craft paint was water based, so I tried using water and a scrubber. It was slow-going, so I thought, 'Well, now I know what I'm doing and how I want it to look, so I'll just chip away at this over time. Meanwhile, I'll do the island counter.'

Sadly, I forgot much of what I learned from that first attempt and what I should have known about painting. This next part is rather embarrasing to admit, but it's part of the tale. I don't remember anymore why I did this - maybe just because the island was a lot bigger than that first section and I was in a hurry, or maybe because the first section took so many coats to cover the green that I thought this would be a shortcut, I don't know - but I decided to pour a big puddle of primer directly on the island and then smooth is out and work it around the entire space. BAAAAD IDEA. Apparently I forgot that in the first post, I mentioned that the primer dried fast.

Brase yourself for lots of cringing. This is like horror painting. The Freddie Krueger of painting.

Are you ready for this?

I'm so ashamed! Look a way! Shield your eyes! Ohmygosh it's so embarrasing!

I tried to get the whole counter covered with the fast-drying primer, because I didn't want to waste the 2 or 3 cups of it that I poured on the counter! Wow was that the wrong thing to do. It was sooo bumpy and rough.

And then, not knowing enough about household painting, I thought what might fix it was just to paint over it. Turns out, though, that it's not like spackling where it'll just fill in the crevices and grooves. But "Trial & Error" is becoming my best friend... that I hate.

More primer later, I started with the gray sponging.

And then another shade of gray sponging.

And then the realization that it was too much gray. No biggie. All I needed to do was go over it with some white sponging.

Shoot. Still too much gray. Need more white. (Can you see the line where more white meets gray? I was working from left to right and the line is sort of diagonal from the top left corner of the picture.)

And more white and more white and more white. Some people thought it looked pretty good, but I still didn't like it and I couldn't see the end of adding more white to get it the way it was supposed to look. And it was still really bumpy and textured. Grrrrrrrr. Did I really just mess this up again?!? Here's a close-up.

I know it's sad, but please tell me it's also a little funny. I think it is, at least. Mostly 'cause it's so embarrasing, though. And because it's in the past.

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