I can’t believe it’s almost been a year since we moved into this house. It’s so fun to look back at all the changes we’ve made so far. The kitchen is definitely the space that has changed the most. Staining the cabinets was a BIG job but so worth it.
The most recent change in the kitchen is the updated counters. Instead of buying new counters right away I decided to use Instant Granite to give them a temporary makeover while we move some other remodel projects, that have higher priority, to the top of the list. Instant Granite is a peel-and-stick vinyl that gives counters the look of granite or marble. Pictured below is what the counters looked like before.
The original plan for the kitchen was white cabinets and butcher block counters. But of course I changed my mind at the last minute. I went with a dark cabinet finish and that changed the plan for the counters. That also meant a change in the budget.
You can see my last post for the basic how-to. Now I want to share some more specific tips on how to make the process a little easier along with a list of pros and cons that might help you decide if it’s something you want to try in your own home.
- Slightly overlap the corners. Think of it as wrapping a gift. Use a sharp exacto knife for a clean cut and use a hair dryer to “melt” the layers together. Just try not to overlap it too much because it will show. Also, if the knife isn’t sharp enough then you’ll have a jagged edge, like this.
- Because of the size of the island I had to cut the film into sections. I cut two large pieces to cover the top, and two strips to cover the edges on the ends. If you have to do this just try to make it as few pieces as possible based on the measurements of the piece.
- In order to warp it tightly underneath the edges just use the thin edge of a squegee or durable piece of plastic to push it up against the edge then cut off the excess with an exacto knife. Just be sure that you have removed all the air bubbles before you do this.
- If you’re applying it over the sink rather than under you have to lay it over the sink then cut out the openings over the sink before you apply it to the surface. I ended up cutting this section into two pieces, right in the middle of the sink, because it made it so much easier to work with. If you have someone to help, then let them hold the free end while you apply the film. This should keep you from having to cut it into more than one piece.
- After you apply over the sink, and have removed all the air bubbles, use the exacto knife again to cut around the sink then you can shrink it down some, if needed, with a hair dryer. Then caulk around the sink before you use it. This will prevent water from getting underneath it.
- Have a partner. On the long sections it’s so much easier if you have someone to hold the free end while you are applying the film on the other end.
- Be patient. It takes time to get it right. You might have to peel it back and reapply several times in order to get all the air bubbles out. Don’t worry, they will come out. And it’s okay to keep peeling it back if you need to since it takes several hours for it to fully adhere to the surface.
- Be sure the counter is super clean before you start. I cleaned them with Lysol wipes and then dried them with coffee filters since they don’t leave lint behind.
- You might see a few wrinkles in the surface after the film has been applied. You can smooth it out by blowing it with a hair dryer while rubbing a soft dry cloth over it.
- Don’t use abrasive cleaners. I use Lysol wipes and Mrs Meyer’s products and they both work really well. However, it’s still a good idea to wipe up any spills immediately.
- It looks amazing!
- It’s super easy to clean.
- It’s a low cost way to give your kitchen a major change.
- It’s removable. This makes it a great option for renting, temporary solutions and even DIY projects. Think accent tables, shelving, drink trays…so many possibilities.
- If you don’t get the corners right, it’s very obvious.
- No one is going to walk into your house and think it’s real marble. But if you have faux granite over formica, that’s not fooling anyone either. Honestly, that’s not a concern for me.
- The film is 36″ wide and is available in any length which means it will fit most standard counters. But for pieces that are wider than 36″ the film will have to be cut into sections. For example, I had to cut two large pieces for the top of my island, which means I a have a line running across the center. But I like to keep flowers and some other accessories on the center of the island, which means the line isn’t noticeable.
After I updated the counters I realized the kitchen was the perfect place for my new rug from Fab Habitat. It has the most amazing texture and the shades of blacks and grays are a great contrast with my new light counters.
This is the Kismet rug which is made from reclaimed rubber. So it’s heavy duty and easy to clean. Perfect for high traffic areas like the kitchen. Especially in ours since this is where the fur kids like to have their meals.
Just in case this is your first time here, this is what the kitchen looked like when we moved in. So far I’ve painted, stained the cabinets, updated the counters and replaced the light fixtures. Next on the list is new appliances so I’m hoping we can get six months to a year out of the Instant Granite, then replace the counters.
Overall I’m really happy with my new counters and I’m loving my kitchen. For only $160.00 I was able to buy enough Instant Granite to cover the counters and island. Plus, I have some leftover so be on the lookout for some faux marble DIY projects.
I would like to thank Fab Habitat for providing the Kismet rug for my kitchen makeover!