If you have DIY’ed in your lifetime, you know that part of the beauty of DIYing (has that already been accepted as an official word?) is that usually there’s very little to loose and very much to gain- if not in great results, then in gained experience, patience, perseverance, creativity, courage, humility… (sounds like parenting, right?) Now, when a DIY is a success…oh that feeling! Today I’m showing you my success story with my faux marble countertop! And I’ll show you exactly how to succeed yourself.
I am currently savoring that happy feeling, as I am more than pleased with the results of my faux marble counter DIY.
As the space where I stand with my daughters to light my candles every Friday night, this nook definitely needed attention. While I knew carrara marble is what the space called for, it is not in the budget right now and I didn’t see it becoming a budget priority in the near future, so I decided that faux marble was the way to go. I had little to loose here, (it would be hard to make this counter any worse than it was) and much to gain, honestly.
I am so happy with the results! It looks so real, it’s unbelievable. I’m going to stop right now and just show you what I mean.
The other advantage is that this project was super cheap! I spent a total of $31 on it! :-) :-) :-)
You will need:
– A less than lovely counter that makes you want to cover your eyes whenever you look at it (I had)
– foam roller and brush to prime your surface (I had)
– a bird feather (two is even better) (Thank you to my dear friend Sharon who got two for me from Galveston.) (The feather from the Bedikat Chametz kit would do the trick.) (free)
– Some gray paint. I used this acrylic paint from Target. ($1.99) You can use house paint samples also. Some tutorials said to use different shades of grey and to use black and although I had all those, I ended up using this perfect grey only- the painting technique gave me enough shades and gradations of grey to make it look very real and the way I wanted. But, every piece of marble is different so if you want darker veins, you might need to play with adding black.
– White primer (I had)
– Artists sponge ($1.99)
– Old paint brush (I had)
– white iridescent glitter ($5.99)
– Envirotex Lite ($21 after a 40% off coupon, but I could have bought the cheaper smaller and cheaper bottle and been totally fine.)
– bowls to mix the Envirotex Lite (I had, and I bought a measuring cup at the .99 c store)
– at least two paint stirrers from the hardware store (free)
– cheap plastic spreaders (a large one and a small one) (I had, but they are very cheap at the hardware store and/or even the dollar store.)
If you’re not at ease with paint and need to relax, I suggest you make yourself a cocktail. (byejoe is what I would suggest of course, but whatever works.) You definitely need to be relaxed and willing to play with the technique a bit. I’m going to give you a summary of what to do, but if and when you’re willing to try this, I recommend you take a look at this tutorial and this one, as I found them to be the most helpful.
If you are comfortable with paint and/or after having your cocktail, just start by dipping the feather in grey paint and making lines, doing a twirling motion to the feather as you go down your line. Dip your artists’ sponge in white paint and start adding texture on top of the feather marks.
Use your old dry brush and brush over the white and grey paint. Below you can see how I’m starting to brush over the sponge marks. Clean your brush on a piece of dry cloth after each time, so that you’re always with a dry brush.
Keep playing with these three steps (feather, sponge, brush), vein by vein, and you will magically start seeing carrara marble appear before your eyes.
The beauty of this is that you cannot go wrong. You can keep playing with your grey painted feather, the white paint on your sponge, and the brush as much as you like, until each vein has the level of depth and shape that you want.
As you’re moving forward and getting the veins to look how you want, sprinkle some iridescent glitter (it’s the very very fine kind). You want to do it while the paint is still wet. The fine glitter gives the surface an awesome touch, as it looks like natural stone sediments are left on the “stone”.
After everything has dried, (I waited two days) follow the instructions in the Envirotex Lite box carefully.
Before I started working with the resin, I prepped my area very well because whatever the resin touches, that’s it, and I didn’t want any of my walls or cabinets to get resin. I actually took of the painters’ blue tape and used frog’s tape when I covered the walls with paper, as it would seal the edges keeping the resin away my walls even better than blue tape. I used paper and plastic to cover the cabinets and the wood floor. I even added another layer of white plastic (shower curtain) on top of this pink disposable tablecloth from the dollar store. I was extra careful.
I had no problem using the Envirotex Lite. My husband enjoyed watching the whole process ;-).
I wish I had covered some areas with the thick liquid better. I would say I was a little shy and not as generous as I could have been with the amount of resin. You can be generous when pouring and not worry, it levels itself, you hardly have so spread. Having my husband use the light from his phone to illuminate the surface well while I was spreading the resin was very helpful.
Use a sponge brush to catch any drips off the edge so that you get a smooth edge. The resin creates an almost glass cover over the counter. I could go back and re-cover some areas, that aren’t as smooth because I wasn’t so generous, but I won’t. It’s really minor and most areas have a totally smooth thick coating. I took out the frog’s tape within an hour of being finished; probably within 30 minutes. You do not want the resin to dry solid with your tape there! (Yes that silly grey outlet has to go!)
And here’s one last look at the results.
I can’t wait to stand here this Friday night! Talk about beautifying a mitzvah!
I’m already thinking about the art I need for the wall in that nook- something Jewish, something related to Shabbat, feminine, large, maybe a watercolor by Mrs. Raichman… I’ll keep you posted.
Do you have any counters in your house that you dislike? Would you be willing to try something like this?
Want to learn about the intersection of Judaism and Interior Design? Click here to bring “Mi casa es Su casa: Kabbalah of the Home” to women in your city.
Thank you to Heather from Something Borrowed Floral Decor for the beautiful roses.
All pictures by Yael for JLP