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Quartz look for under $100?... wait, what?

I get asked often why I do DIY when I have so many friends and connections in the trades???... I'll tell you why.... My house is the the perfect place to take risks with little consequence!! If I can help a client achieve a look they want for a fraction of the cost, I will!! After so many years of marriage and so much DIY construction my husband is still amazingly supportive when I tell him I want to "try" something that may potentially save my clients/friends some money. This project he loved!! He actually said Leah this might be your best one yet!

When its time to update your kitchen, you will often update the counter tops with some kind of stone - granite, marble, or quartz are among the most common. Being an interior stylist who has worked on many kitchens I can tell you that, it’ll cost you around $5,000++ to install quartz counter tops in an average-sized kitchen with 35 square-feet of counter space ($2,500 for installation, and $75 per square foot for the actual quartz). Did you know you can have counter tops that look exactly like marble, or quartz for under $100? Sure, it may require a bit of time and effort, but after about a weekend of work, you can have beautiful faux, marble, or quartz counter top without breaking the bank.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Heavy duty, stain blocking primer sealer I used Valspar Bonding sealer

  • Plastic drop covers to protect your cabinets and floors

  • A heavy duty white paint I used Valspar Latex Porch floor

  • A roller designed for smooth surfaces, a craft sponge, a small paint brush,

  • and a water-based Polyurethane I used Varathane Wood Finish Matte finish. After trying 2 others polys, this one is still my favourite as it did not dry yellow like the others

  • acrylic paints in grey, black or taupe. It your choice how dark you want your veining to be and small artist paint brushes.

  • an empty spray bottle for water

600-grit sandpaper

  • painters tape

  • box cutter/exacto knife

  • TSP

  • Step 1: Remove everything from your counters, including all small appliances, food, and silicone caulk with knife

  • Step 2: Clean your counter top thoroughly to remove all grease, wax, dirt, and oils. Avoid using any harsh cleaners, as this can prevent your new surface from adhering properly. I used TSP. Also because my counters were originally a butcher block I did used wood filler to fill in any deep wholes or cuts. You want a smooth surface to start.

  • Step 3: Prep your area- you will see I did not, but do as I say not as I do!! :) Apply a liner of painter’s tape above your counter’s back splash, on any walls next to your counters, and on any cabinets that touch your counters. Also, carefully apply painter’s tape around your sink, so you don’t accidentally paint it. Cover any areas with plastic sheets that you could drop paint on, and pull out your stove and cover it with plastic.

  • Step 4: Apply primer to your clean counters. Use a roller that’s designed for smooth surfaces. Apply in even, thin layers, and paint small sections at a time. Use a sponge brush to apply the primer to your corners and/or back splash. Apply two coats if necessary, but wait at least two to three hours and sand in between coats. Once your counters are completely coated with primer, allow them to dry completely overnight.

  • Step 5: Apply your white paint. Use another roller that is designed for smooth surfaces and a sponge brush for corners and back splash if you have it. I applied another 2 coats but again I waited about 3-4 hours in between coats, then let it dry over night again.

  • Step 6: This is where you can get creative. use the acrylic paint and brush to create a not so perfect line (make sure to keep your lines going in the same direction for a more "real" look) Spray the water from water bottle on the line and watch the magic happen. Use you dry paint brush to move around some veins to get them to be where you want them to be. TIP Work with one line at time as the acrylic can dry fast. Continue this process until you are satisfied with your look, the let it dry completely!!!!

  • Step 7 : Apply your top coat. I found this the most difficult part of the entire process, as it is hard to get the top coat on evenly without leaving streaks. Use a roller or sponge applicator designed for smooth surfaces, work quickly, and do not roll back over the same area repeatedly. If you over-brush or over-roll, this will leave streaks or bubbles. You can sand between coats with 600-grit sandpaper if necessary. Add three coats of topcoat, and wait at least two to four hours between coats.

Now sit back and enjoy your work.......

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