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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's raining in the basement! (Alternately titled: Painting bathroom counters.)

It all started one day when Brennan yelled up from the basement that it was raining.  Raining in the basement.

Apparently, the old shiny yellow brass faucets in both our half bath and the boys' bathroom swivel.  And swiveling faucets?  Apparently they are a toddler playground.  Because if you can swivel a faucet, you can make a waterfall off of the counter and onto the floor.  And turn the bathroom floor into a wading pool.  Which of course, makes it rain in the basement.  Now what about all of that doesn't sound FUN????

Hint:  All of it.  

So after it rained in the basement for the third time, I called Brian and told him that we were replacing the faucets, like YESTERDAY.  But while we had faucets off of the counters, we might as well paint the counters like I'd been planning, right?

Right.  The half bath counter was a beige marble-ish.  Not actually all that ugly, but it wasn't what I pictured for that room.  The boys' bathroom however was an especially horrid pinkish marble-ish material.  Maybe it wouldn't look so awful if the tub surround tile wasn't the same shade of mauve, which was just made worse by the weird shade of builder beige on the walls.  Blegh.

I had heard good things about Rustoleum's Tub and Tile Paint  so I decided to go that direction.  First up, supplies:  Rustoleum Tub & Tile kit, 4-inch paint roller (& tray if desired), fine-bristled paint brush, Comet, sponge, Lime Away, abrasive sponge, tack cloth, 400-600 wet/dry sandpaper, bucket, and lots of elbow grease!

Remove your faucet and any old caulk from the counter.  Scrub the sink and counter with comet and a sponge and rinse well.  Then scrub with Lime-Away and an abrasive sponge; rinse well.  Next up, sanding.  Sanding is pretty important, as this is how you're going to get your surface nice and grabby for the paint.  I'll be honest, 400 grit sandpaper felt like I was just caressing the surface of the tile.  So I went rogue and grabbed some 320 from the garage.  The 320 felt like I was actually sanding something rather than giving the tile a vigorous rub down.

Sand sand sand til your arm feels like it might fall off, then wipe the surface completely clean with a tack cloth.  The sanding created a really fine white powder all over the surface, so I wiped with a damp cloth a few times, then wiped with a dry one.  Finally, I let the surface air dry a bit to be sure that it was completely dry.  Tape any surfaces that you might not want to get the tile paint onto (walls, vanity, etc).

Now it's time for some epoxy!  I'll admit that sometimes I'm not the best at following directions.  Sure I read on the box and from several websites that this stuff was stinky, but I wasn't prepared for just how stinky it actually is.  I now have no nosehairs left.   (Kidding.  Kind of.)  I mean, I had windows open and fans on and the kids were shipped off to Grammy's house for a sleepover, but I just kinda figured that needing a respirator was dramatic and that a little N95 mask would to the trick.  Um, no.  The scene went a little like this:  Kelli opens can of paint and can of activator.  Kelli's eyes begin to water.  Kelli realizes she's an idiot.  Kelli yells for Brian to go buy her a respirator.  Kelli thanks Jesus for making her buy a house that's 3 minutes from Lowes and 5 minutes from Home Depot.  Moral of the story?  Use a respirator.  You and your still existent nose hairs (and probably brain cells) will thank me later.

Painting the countertop is actually pretty easy.  The sink was a bit more tricky, but still not terrible.  The Rustoleum box recommends using a 4 inch roller with foam cover (or something with a very very low nap) and a very fine bristled brush for the edges.  I actually used a cheapo foam brush as well.

So, here's where you'll begin to see photos of the process of painting both sinks.  And you'll notice that one is nicely taped and carefully painted and that the other one is ... not.  We each started one sink and someone got kicked off of his project because **cough**PAINT BUBBLES**cough**.

First, I used the fine bristled brush to cut in around the edges of the counter.  I actually did the entire first coat with a brush instead of a roller.  I found it much easier to get a nice thin coat on with a brush.  On the other hand, Brian went straight for the roller.  No tape, no brush, just a nice, thick coat with a roller.  You know what happens when coats of paint are too thick?  Bubbles, my friends.  Bubbles.

I can't even.  By the time I saw it, they were half dry.  So, I let it dry, sanded the bubbles down, and went back for the brush!  Brush for the edges, roller for the rest.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

The trick with this stuff is not to get a super thick layer on there, but not too thin either.  Too thick = bubbles and drips.  Too thin = weird texture and marks.  I started with a thin layer and worked up from there.  We let each coat dry for about an hour before starting another coat.  The third coat was when I really started to get serious about texture.  Certain areas of the counter and sink were a bit more challenging to achieve a smooth finish - namely the corner behind the faucet and the bottom curve of the sink.  For behind the faucet and the tops of the pieces that crawl up the wall, I found that using the foam brush to kind of dab the paint on was pretty effective.  The sink just took a lot of smoothing with the roller.  Even the thinnest layer seemed to want to drip a bit. After awhile, we just called it good and decided to let it cure.

Same sink, I swear.  Just funky lighting.

Rustoleum recommends 24 hours of curing before touching the surface and 72 hours of curing before getting the surface wet.  After the third day, Brian installed the new faucets in both the half bath and the boys' bathroom.

In the half bath, I went with this pretty lady ...

Isn't she gorgeous???  And for the boys' bathroom this guy with a plate to cover the extra holes  ...

Handsome, yeah?  When I saw them I just drooled. And gushed. 

And I'm so hopelessly in love with the finished products that I don't mind the little bits of uneven texture here and there or the little drip mark in each sink.  They are barely noticeable unless you stand at the perfect angle and realllllly examine the whole thing.  And if anyone has that kind of time on their hands, they can feel free to critique my counters.  

For us, it was the perfect budget makeover for our 90s-tastic sinks!

Linked up at: My Fabuless Life,
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  1. The new faucets look beautiful with the newly painted sinks!

  2. damn, that looks good. I've been hating the color of my kitchen counter tops for all years and have been wondering if it was possible to paint them...looks like it is! Does your counter feel slick like a regular counter or like paint?

    1. Sam! How in the world did I miss this? Anywho... it still feels slick, but definitely different than the cultured marble felt. Not like paint necessarily, just different. I'm guessing your kitchen counters are laminate though, so this product wouldn't work. Rustoleum does make a countertop paint though! I'll have to try that out somewhere :D

  3. Love this. I see you painted the cabinets as well. Is that black or a different color?

    1. Hi Leah! Yes, I painted the cabinet a really dark navy blue - Blue Coal by Valspar. I love the contrast between the navy cabinet and the bright white sink :)

  4. I love this! I have a horrid beige sink with "gold" swirls. How is the paint holding up to cleaning? Thanks for your post!

    1. Hi Betsy! Thanks for stopping by :) Both sinks that I painted are holding up BEAUTIFULLY! It's been about a year now and they look like the they did the day we finished. I use organic cleaners and a sponge to clean them, but also use Clorox wipes on them a few times a week ... little boys make big messes ;) I'm planning to write a follow-up post very soon all about how well it's going. Check back soon if you'd like to see recent photos!


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