Wednesday 14 November 2012

Faking The Breakfast Counter Top

The original plan for redecorating the kitchen included new counter tops.  The ceramic tiled breakfast counter, that was in the pass through from the dining room to kitchen, had been removed.  With finances putting the more elaborate plans on hold, I was scrambling for a way replace that section of counter, without committing myself to a surface that would dictate what I could install, when I am able to order new counter tops.

I'm fond of the look of aged zinc and thought I'd have a go at creating that look with paint.  I had a big box
store cut a piece of poplar to length.  Poplar is a little pricey, over $5 a foot but I needed wood that didn't have knots showing.  I was kind of surprised when it rang through at $3.12.  As we left the store, my girlfriend starting saying, "Start the car!  Start the car!".  Why was she doing an Ikea ad?  O'mgosh.  I was only charged for 6" of board!  An ethical person would have marched back inside and corrected the error, but I was not waiting in that line up again.  I hope this isn't doing something terrible to my karma and I have to come back as something weird to atone for it!

This is the ill gotten board set in place. ~

My BIL came over to show me how to counter sink screws with a little auger tool that goes on the end of the drill.  ~

 The next step was to create the look of rivets by hammering upholstery tacks in along the sides. ~

I brushed flat black paint on in different directions, leaving bits of wood showing through. ~

Now the paint layering begins.  I used a craft paint in rust, daubing it on with an old paintbrush where the wood was showing.  Then, I added a pewter coloured craft paint. ~

I'm going back and forth between a bit of sea sponge dipped in the rust and pewter and the old paint brush that is used to smoosh the edges of the daubs into the next colour. ~

It's important to take a creepy picture of your hand looking like a wrinkly crypt keeper's appendage!

Next, I need to add some shine in spots to create the look of metal.  I used Modern Masters craft paint in champagne and aged bronze and did the same daubing, smooshing technique. ~

At this point, I'm using my fingers along with the sponge and brush and smooshing my little heart out.

It all needs to be toned down a bit and I dipped my old brush in the black paint and used a newspaper to wipe most of the paint off the brush.  You want to go very lightly with this step, barely brushing across the whole board. ~

You could use this technique to create the look of marble, slate, granite;  anything you can dream up. They sell kits for around $100 that are really just the same thing with a sealer included.  I'm guessing the sealer is just some kind of epoxy.  I'll use a flat finish on this to keep it looking like aged zinc.  If I was going for granite, I'd use a shiny sealer.

This turned out really well and I seriously doubt anyone would realize it's not metal until they touched it.

Since I had all the paints in my craft stash, someone gave me the upholstery tacks and I ripped off a big box store for $15 on the poplar, the total cost for this part of the kitchen redo is $3.12. ~

Well, that and a very guilty conscience!

I'm sharing this with:  Alpabe-ThursdayOpen House PartyLink It Up ThursdayShare You Cup ThursdayHome And Garden ThursdayKnick Of Time TuesdayThursday Favorite Things Blog HopCreative Things ThursdayShare You Creations PartyInspiration FridayFeathered Nest FridayFantabulous FridayFlaunt It FridayCreative Bloggers' Party and HopSunny Simple SundaysThe Power Of Paint PartySaturday Nite Special


  1. Ha! I think it turned out very well! You are very brave and have a great eye.

  2. I am amazed with your talent...this looks JUST like for the karma something nice for someone to re-rout the bad stuff I always say

  3. Your breakfast counter looks great. You had a good idea for an inexpensive fix.
    Mary Alice

  4. Wow! Hey, would you consider coming to stay with me for a few months?

  5. This looks great Maureen, so realistic especially with the tacks.
    Don't be racked by guilt, I would have done the same !

  6. Great job, Maureen! It looks great and goes well with the black-and-white wallpaper.

  7. Wow! That is really cool. You are very talented! Love it!

  8. OMG, don't feel guilty! I am sure that has happened to everyone at some point. Shhhhhh!!! I have a set of Christmas dishes that only cost me a dollar apiece. Your countertop turned out fantastic! You really have an eye for detail!

  9. LOL - start the car, it. Turned out nice and you can't beat the price.

  10. This came out great. I would never have guessed this was faux....and you can't beat the price!
    Marianne :)

  11. That is a lot of work but so worth looks amazing!!


  12. I love the way that looks!

  13. Great project! I'm sure that the big box store has overcharged you at some point, and you didn't catch it! Does that help the conscience? Sally

  14. It looks great- really really great. I don't think I could take the guilt...and my hubby's condemnation...but...let's see....WHAT will the payback be? Ummm...because it was measured in INCHES...I am thinking you may come back as an inchworm....just a thought- xo Diana

  15. Your counter top looks really pretty. We just had granite counter tops installed. Been married 42 years first time I ever picked out counter tops.


  16. Oh! How beautiful! Love it lots!

  17. Oh my! Your countertop is gorgeous! Well done!!


  18. WOw! That looks amazing!!! And I admit, I wouldn't have taken the wood back either if it were a big box store. I've been ripped off by big box stores enough times that I figure it all evens out. :)

  19. You are so creative! Love how it looks with your wallpaper (which I also love!)

  20. Very creative and love the look ~ great post for 'Z' ~ ( A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  21. Very nice job, Maureen. Brave of you to just jump right in. Good idea, and good execution. You may decide to keep it. It's unique.

    Regarding karma. As I see it, the fact that you confessed to the world through your blog clears your soul. The universe wanted you to have that wood at that price!

    My hands look even more creepy, so I wear gloves for a photo-tutorial if I can, and I always wear gloves to faux finish or do any painting.

  22. It turned out very well. You ought to be very pleased with the result.

  23. It turned out great. I love the color combo with the toile.


  24. What a great quick fix! It goes perfect with your kitchen, I bet it will be a while before you change it!


  25. Bear With Me...NICE♥ Be sure to 'pay it forward' for your guilty conscience♫♪

  26. It looks GREAT!! The rivets are really awesome and give it a great finishing touch....
    Have you fooled anyone yet?
    The before and after shots are quite the contrast... :)

    hugs x

  27. Cashiers make errors all the time. I seriously doubt they would adjust it in their favor considering their gross error. Next time you're in there, bring the receipt, and I guarantee the manager will just say, "It happens!"

    My friend went to the same Big Box Hardware store as you (I imagine it rhymes with "Gnome Repo", got home with her paint, and discovered it wasn't semi-gloss like she wanted. The manager told her to "name her price" and she ended up by getting ALL her paint free, not just the "oops."

    Good faux zinc, BTW!

  28. Ha! Ha! If I was with you, I would have been yelling start the car too! Maybe it was Karma that gave it to you at that price! Nice project and I'd say you sure "got the look"!!

  29. Nice project! You are creative and very talented. Thanks for sharing!

  30. Your a brave women & it paid off...looks great!

  31. Hi Maureen, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from Fantabulous Friday.

    Countertop looks so beautiful! As for ethics, I wouldn't worry about it. A wise woman once explained it to me this way: for every time that store errors go in your favor (like the 6" vs 6'), there are probably 2 - 3x it goes in the store's favor that we don't catch. It all evens out in the end, I'm sure.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. If you’ve never visited yet, I hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  32. This is a wonderful transformation! What a great idea. I'm following you, too--from The Country Farm Home!

  33. well, I guess I'll join the 34 others before me who said this is fantastic. Can't wait to try it on something myself.

    When she was 10, my little sister got too much change for a $10 bill one time and when she told my ex he said "how are you ever going to learn to be honest if you don't give it back?" She replied: "how is that guy ever going to learn to give correct change if I just give it back?" The ex shut up cuz she made a good point.

  34. Maureen ... you are a true artist. Look great.
    Audrey Z. http:.//
    Timeless Treasures

  35. Well this turned out spectacular Maureen!!!
    Hmmm - you're making me think - I can't stand looking at my ceramic tiles any longer -
    Come visit me,

  36. Wow! I am new to your blog and i love it here already! Definitely coming back more often.

    HatZ off to your great turnZ out really fantaZtic!

    All Z-beZt,

  37. stunning! who need to invest in granite when you can do it yourself? Actually, I could never do that myself. But I admire those who can! And love blogs that show the process.

  38. wow, that is terrific. Well done!Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things hop xo

  39. You really did a great job. I would never have though to do that. Sure does look like the real deal! Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup.

  40. Love it Maureen. It's got so much character now.
    Brilliant work with the paint...I wish I could send you my green glass would have looked so good in a corner with bamboo. If only they couriered glass :-/

  41. That is amazing! You knew how to put all those little steps together. It looks great!

  42. Wow!!! These look amazing! You did a fantastic job. A few months ago I "painted" my old counter tops with the Rustoleum kit... It's been awesome!!! Have fun in your new kitchen.

  43. Nice redo!!! Used to be, if your item's priced didn't come up at check out you got it free. Think that applies here:) I posted "dolled up" to Homemaker on a Dime. Following you now. Follow me too at

  44. You are so talented! It looks absolutely amazing :-)

  45. What an incredible transformation! You are so clever.
    I love this!

  46. WowZZZZZer! This is one of the most incredible looking things I've seen in a long time! Wow! Wow! Wow!

    I am soooo impressed! Just really really cool stuff!

    You are really talented!


  47. IF your karma is messed up, I'm surely going to hellllll.