So if you remember from last week, in the continuing saga of my little green bathroom makeover, my friend Vicki and I worked like dogs and got (nearly) everything done and looking great: including prep and painting, installing new cabinet knobs, a small art project, and accessorizing.
It went from looking like this in the morning…
…to THIS by the end of the day.
Woo hoo! Such a huge improvement.
But there were a couple of big things we couldn’t get done.
Because Bob the Handyman Extraordinaire wasn’t available that day (NOTE: book the good ones well in advance!), I had to wait another week to get the sink and faucet replaced. This also meant that I had to put off my Big Countertop Experiment.
I hated my vanity
Since Day One, I’ve despised the vanity that was covered in dingy, black laminate with blue gray swirls running through it, trying to fake me out into thinking it was granite. Gag. It had to go. But there was no budget for the clean white marble of my wildest dreams. I could have painted it, but that would have taken a week or more to do it right. Wasn't gonna happen. So naturally I turned to Pinterest for some inspiration.
After running across a woman who had covered her kitchen countertops with contact paper of all things, I thought "hmmm." I did a little more research and found a company who made photo quality, vinyl decals actually MEANT for walls and countertops. Unlike contact paper which comes in 18” widths, these decals were 24” wide, meaning there wouldn’t be any seams: a big plus. And it came in a beautiful Carrara marble pattern, AND it was only $16. What did I have to lose?! SOLD.
Anticipating how tricky it could be to put down a 5’ long, really sticky decal, I recruited another friend to come over and lend a hand (I have some VERY NICE friends), and, with the exception of a couple of small wrinkles, and a few bubbles, it all went very well. It only took about 15 minutes to install, and it looks amazing!
If you’d like to try a decal to cover up some ugly countertops, I have a few suggestions for you:
First off, clean the countertops really well, including some light scraping with a palette knife to get off anything chunky or gunky, and then wiping it all down with rubbing alcohol. The surface needs to be incredibly smooth to prevent bubbles from grit stuck underneath.
Definitely get someone to help you if the countertop is longer than a few feet. One of you can be wielding the squee gee while the other person is s-l-o-w-l-y pulling off the backing as you go along.
Remove the sink instead of trying to cut around it. (This is why I needed Bob the Handyman to do his thing before I did mine. ) Gently roll the decal down across the hole where the sink was, and then use a sharp craft knife to cut out the hole after it's all adhered. Then re-install the sink and faucet. SO much easier. And you'll get infinitely better results.
Here are the only tools I needed: a little craft knife (thank you, Dollar Tree),
a pair of scissors and a little plastic squee gee.
I don’t think I would try a decal in a kitchen. Too much wear and tear in there, plus hot things and sharp things which could melt or cut the vinyl. But it could look pretty fabulous on a coffee table, or a desk or dresser top. The stuff looks REALLY real.
This isn't a permanent solution or necessarily the highest quality one. But if you're saving up for something high end, don't feel like spending a bunch of money, or need it done NOW, this might be for you!
Wanna see what the bathroom looks like with the "new" countertops?!
I think it looks pretty smashing, and, if I decide that I don’t like it after a while or if it’s not working, I’m only out a few bucks, and I can pull it all off.
For now, I have a great looking countertop in a darling little bathroom that makes me happy every morning. And THAT'S all that matters, right?! :-D
P.S. Big thanks to my buddies Vicki and Linda, without whom I'd still be wallowing in bathroom ugliness!
If you have questions or comments about using a decal on your countertop, or need some help with your own bathroom project, leave a comment below or email me today. I'd be happy to help find a solution to your design problem!