GFM Tested: DIY Countertop

As I’ve already mentioned, my chosen summer project this year was to update the main bathroom in our house ahead of the arrival of our house guests in August. It’s mid-September, so I thought it might be time to share how that project went.

I went into the project with two major goals in mind: To actually get the thing done, and to do it as budget-friendly as possible, without it looking like rubbish.

So when it came to the bathroom vanity, which is the original, built-it, metal-doored vanity, with ugly laminate countertop and rusting sink, I wanted to do my best to update the look and function of the vanity, without actually ripping the thing out.

Looking at it, though, I was starting to doubt this was possible.

The sink had to be replaced. And the plumbing redone. There was no getting around that. So, we ripped the sink out. And after a trip to a Restore (where the proceeds of the store go to Habitat for Humanity), I found a white ceramic sink for $25. It was slightly bigger than the original sink, but as luck would have it, it fit into the countertop as it was.

We cleaned out underneath the sink, the cabinet itself was also metal and cleaned up very well. So far, it was looking like the vanity overhaul was going to be a success.

But what could be done with that countertop. I’d started pricing out a small portion of counter, when my sister-in-law told me about the research she’d done into countertop-refurbishing when she was working on their bathroom. They ended up having to replace their counter, but she still had all of her research. Plus, she’d found a really fun looking tutorial that involved spray paint.


So we decided to give it a go, figuring if it turned out to be a complete disaster, we could always just replace the countertop.

We used this tutorial from Pinterest as a guide into the wonderful world of countertop painting.

The sink was already out, so we didn’t have to worry about working around a sink. I’d recommend that, if you’re able. It just makes things so much easier.

My sister-in-law and I sanded down the old countertop, then wiped it down and dried it with microfibre cloths. The tutorial warned that you really have to make sure the walls and other surfaces that you’re not doing to be painting are covered well, so we taped off the walls around the countertop, then covered the walls and vanity cabinet with many layers of newspaper.

Then it was time for the SPRAY PAINT.

We were so excited. But the actual spray painting went fast.  Too fast, if you ask me.

We followed the tutorial pretty closely, except for a few minor changes:

  • We used a white base coat
  • We used 4-5 coats of the stone accent spray paint, but that was because I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so I screwed up a spot on the counter top and had to fix it
  • I didn’t sand it nearly as much as was recommended in the tutorial
  • We used the Minwax as a sealer from the beginning and I did 3 coats of that

I’m fairly happy with the final results. We’ll have to see how it stands up to use, but I figured that if the woman who wrote the tutorial had success with this method in a kitchen, it should hopefully holdup well in a bathroom?  We’ll see. Either way, this was my favourite part of the bathroom project and now I totally get the appeal of being a graffiti artist. Watch out, Banksy!