When we found our house it was about 80-90% complete. I was able to change the backsplash but the brown Santa Cecilia granite was already cut. Now don't get me wrong, granite counter tops, deep sink, inset range, soft close drawers, crown molding, the list goes on. This is certainly the nicest kitchen we've ever had and everyday when I'm in there (which is the majority of my day) I am so very thankful! However, I have been dreaming of marble counter tops and brass hardware for years now, like literal dreams at night, in my sleep but, $7,000 to replace brand new counter tops is definitely a pipe dream!!
I am a very stubborn person and if I yearn for something that badly, I usually find a way to get it. So I searched and searched and searched and came across this counter top cover. I knew I couldn't use the Rustoleum paint kits, since they are real granite that would mess up our re-sale value but a removable cover is something I could definitely do! I read every review, watched every video, and gained all of the information I could before I ordered. I ordered just enough for our island so I could test it out and make sure it would be worth purchasing enough for our whole kitchen.
We installed it and for the next week I did everything I could think of to make sure it would wear well. I placed hot pots directly from the stove onto it, I allowed dishes to slide across, i allowed small spills to sit for a while. I used it as much as I could and in all honesty, it held up nicely much to my surprise! I was so happy with the way that even in a small amount it had already started to transform our kitchen.
I had posted an Instagram story about the counters and received so much feedback wanting to know HOW! So, I reached out to Instant Granite and we've teamed up to bring you this tutorial and 20% off your entire order if you choose to purchase. (scroll down for installation and code).
You can see the before here.
I wanted to do something to give this sitting nook a little more character. My original plan was to do pecking cypress planks but I couldn't find a supplier in our area so onto plan b...a modern shiplap! My husband was all for doing the real deal but the time and money it would take wasn't worth it to me. This isn't an old farmhouse where new shiplap would give it some real value. Plus with three littles and two businesses I am always trying to find ways to save time. I'm not sure what provoked or inspired this idea to use vinyl floor planks but it came to me one day and now that it's done I'm fairly certain it was the best idea I've ever had!! It was super easy, took almost no time, it was cheap and looks great! Total win!
(scroll down for tutorial)
Doesn't it look so good!!!
I spray painted the existing brushed nickel T-bar pulls. They look great but I wouldn't recommend it, even with a protective coat they are already wearing a little in a couple of places we use often. I will be saving up for some real pretty ones to replace with soon but for now I do think these look great!
The new runner is from Overstock and can be found here!
Scroll below for tutorials on counter top and shiplap.
Faux Marble Counter Top Cover
Use code: RECREATES20 for 20% off your entire order!!
Squeegee applicator (that comes with your order)
Hair Dryer (or a heat gun if you're a pro)
Gloves (for the heating)
Start by cleaning your counter tops really really like reeeeeeeally well. You don't want any little crumbs trapped under your vinyl. We cleaned them as you normally would and made sure every morsel was gone, then we used rubbing alcohol to remove any hard sauce or grease.
Roll out your vinyl and cut off the excess edges. Make sure you leave enough to wrap the edges and up underneath.
Make sure you leave enough at your edges too, this part you will cut off with a boxer knife when you are done. Peel back about the first 6 inches, cut off the excess backing with scissors.
Now it's time to apply! Swipe your squeegee up and down to adhere and smooth out air bubbles. We found that if you went side to side it produced a few air bubbles so we only did this when it was necessary. Don't freak out if you get a wrinkle but do not try to keep smoothing it, you don't want it to tare. After you are done applying you can zap it with the hair dryer while you smooth and it will make it extremely faint. Once your first few inches are down and applied you will slowly pull the backing from underneath away from yourself while you smooth using the squeegee. I found this video very helpful in explaining the process!
Okay now when you get to your sink or stove you will cut it out, be sure to take care doing this so you don't cut it too short.
For the corners I cut as closely as I could while I smoothed. I did this carefully and eventually cut off the excess with my box knife.
I ended up needing to cut a seam here on the corner but the you can barely see it! The mister spent a while caulking after I had finished and he never even noticed it until I told him where it was.
We took out our faucet so we'd have the best results and I'm happy we did! I had the seam run down the middle of the sink just like our real granite did. It's much less conspicuous that way. Here is the video tutorial on how to place around a traditional sink with an outer lip.
I cut closely to the corner but leaving enough to still cover my edge. Then I heated up this corner and pulled and stretched with one hand (gloved because it will burn your hand after a minute) while heating with the other. Below is what it will look like after you've done this. Then I trimmed it all up and we added a clear silicone caulk to ensure water wouldn't get underneath.
Now corners, if you have rounded corners like mine this part was tricky and took some practice. If you have squared off corners it's no problem. You can watch a video tutorial here. After a few practice corners it started working really well. You will again, heat and pull/stretch until all the wrinkles are below your edge (be sure to wear a glove to protect your hand from the heat). Here is a video I watched on the method that I used.
A FEW TIPS
-Take special care that you don't accidentally throw out your squeegee with the box (I know because I did it twice!) However, if you have major Mom brain like I do and forget the company is so nice in sending you a new one at no cost immediately!
-Part of our counters (on the long side) weren't the exact same width. It wasn't off by much but it was enough to throw off my vinyl, it was going so perfectly and then I had a gap so I suggest overlapping against your wall or back splash to cover any errors in your counter width. After you will trim off the excess with your box knife.
-If you get an air bubble and notice it pretty quickly, by pushing it down and out before you've wrapped your edges you will most likely be able to get it out. If you aren't able to notice one immediately after you've finished prick it with a tiny needle and zap it with your blow dryer while smoothing out the air. Appliance Art also suggests wiping with a warm damp cloth after you prick but I didn't use that method.
-If you have a mistake you can peel it up gently and reposition. Now, when we did this a couple of times we had a ton of super small bubbles. Don't freak out!!! If you prick a couple teeny tiny holes after a week or two they should actually come out all on their own.
-If you do go to pull it up and it stretches from your pulling, you can zap it with the dryer to get it back to it's shape.
- Under our corners we had a little bit of extra vinyl from the pulling and stretching. We used caulk to adhere underneath so it wouldn't hang down and show.
-For the best results caulk all of your edges and remove your faucet(s). This makes it look professional and flawless!
Okay so here is my full review and honest feelings:
This was not the easiest DIY I've ever done. It did take time and patience, attention to the details. I got frustrated a few times but I'm hoping with my tips and advice you won't! However, I am 100% over the moon with the end results. It has completely transformed the look and feel of our kitchen and for just a few bucks you can't beat that! It wears so well, you can't cut directly on it but I have placed hot pots immediately from the stove onto it and it did nothing. It doesn't stain at all (like real Marble and even Formica does) I love it so much I will be using it in both bathrooms as well. If you want a quick fix and you just can't bear your ugly countertops anymore then you need this in your life.
Faux Shiplap Tutorial
We used these Tivoli Planks from Amazon because I liked that they would have a subtle wood grain texture, a wide plank width, and they were the cheapest I could find in that size.
So before we start here is a few FAQs I've received so far:
- If they are peel and stick why do you still need to use nails?
This is because the adhesive on the back of vinyl floor tiles is made to allow for the tiles to move slightly with heating/cooling expansion and retraction. It's not strong enough to withstand gravity and stay up on a wall, even the smallest amount of it will eventually fall without being reinforced.
- What did you use as spacers?
Wellllll....we didn't use anything. We eyed balled it because we are just crazy like that! However, I've seen others doing a real wood faux shiplap use nickels or tile spacers.
- If it's vinyl do you need to use a special paint?
I did not, I had a ton of white samples from SW that a sweet client gave me so I just used that. At first I was worried about it scratching off a bit, especially since it's our garage entry and that's a high traffic area for us. However, it has not scratched off AT ALL!!
-What is the benefit to vinyl planks vs. using MDF or real wood planks?
So cutting down large sheets of MDF is the cheapest option, but it's also the most time consuming and uses heavy duty equipment. Not everyone has a table, circular, or miter saw and a handy husband! Real wood planks would cost 2-3 times as much as the vinyl, and you will also need a saw to cut. This method is ideal for a beginning DIY-er or someone with a small budget wanting to add character and charm to their space.
-Why not use liquid nails or a bond adhesive?
Well you certainly can but you will also severely damage your dry wall that way. It would also take more time and caution. I don't recommend doing that!
Okay, let's get started!
Vinyl Tile Planks
Nail Gun (we used an electric brad nail/staple gun)
Box Knife Cutter
Dark Craft Paint
White Wall Paint
Small Paint Brush
Foam Furniture Roller
Figure out your starting point. We started at the top so any long cut planks would end up at the bottom. Peel off the backing, stick in place, and then start nailing. Again, we just eyeballed our spacing.
We used 5 nails in both the top and bottom of each plank. These are big planks and we wanted to make sure they stayed put. My sweet friend Courtney at The Hamby Home tried this method in their nursery (which came out BEAUTIFULLY btw, you can see here) after seeing my IG story. She attempted to use less nails and then had some planks fall over night so she had to go back and add more. I highly suggest using ten total. You can purchase this inexpensive nail/staple gun for $20-$30 at many stores including Walmart and Home Improvement. I use mine ALL OF THE TIME!
I wanted mine to be seamless all the way across, the staggered look is much more Farmhouse style and I wanted a more modern take. I originally thought I was going to have to caulk those seams but after painting you can see them at all. If you have any you had to cut you will probably need to caulk those areas though.
We did use this nifty vinyl tile cutter but only because we already had it. Just like with any vinyl tile you can cut yourself by scoring your line using a straight edge and box knife then bending to break off. This will still give you just as clean of a cut. The vinyl cutter is a tad faster and it can be found here. For the planks that go up to our crown molding we just cut using scissors. It does come out a little jaggety but it's filled over with caulk so you can't tell.
I wanted the dark likes in between to be predominant, I just think it looks best that way. After we had it up I went through and painted in between with a small paint brush and dark brown paint. I would have used black but it's all I had on hand. Once painted white you can't tell at all. I thought this part was going to take forever but it actually went quicker than I thought because, really, you can be as sloppy as you want and it won't matter.
Last step is to PAINT! This step took the longest and more time than I had anticipated. I highly recommend you use a small foam furniture roller (like the type pictured below) versus a traditional fluffy one. This will decrease the amount of white paint that seeps into the crevices. I did about 4 very thin coats so my dark lines stayed looking sharp. If you want a clean and crisp look, take your time and be careful on the edges you'll need to use a brush for.