Painted Bathroom Sink and Countertop Makeover
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Painted Bathroom Sink and Countertop Makeover
by Kelli from I’m Flying South
Luckily, our new home was fairly turn-key aside from needing a few appliances. Built in the 1990s, the house is full of cultured marble and shiny, yellow brass. It was a foreclosure that the bank came in and fixed up a bit with new carpet and fresh peachy-beige paint on every square inch of the walls, making it clean and very livable. While the colors and fixtures are not aesthetically our taste, we have been able to take our time making it our own. If you want to check out my first big victory over the peachy-beige paint, feel free to wander over to my blog.
One of very favorite projects so far is our painted Bathroom Sink & Counter Makeover. It was a fairly quick, easy, inexpensive update that made a HUGE difference in the feel of the rooms. After a little water leak incident in the basement, we decided that the old, swiveling, shiny yellow brass faucets in both our half bath and the boys’ bathroom had to go. And while we had the faucets off of the counters, we might as well paint the counters like I’d been planning!
So let’s walk through the process of the painted bathroom sink and counter, shall we? The half bath counter was a beige marble-ish. Nothing terrible, but just not our style either. And after painting the walls (Pantone Illusion Blue – Valspar) and the cabinet (Blue Coal – Valspar) and changing out the cabinet hardware, the counter was just screamin’ for a makeover.
First up, supplies:
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- Rustoleum Tub & Tile kit
- 4-inch paint roller (& tray if desired)
- fine-bristled paint brush
- craft sponge brushes
- Lime Away
- abrasive sponge
- tack cloth
- 400-600 wet/dry sandpaper
- lots of elbow grease!
Painted Bathroom Sink and Countertop Makeover – Getting Started
Remove your faucet and any old caulk from the counter. Scrub the sink and counter with comet and a sponge and rinse well. Then scrub with Lime-Away and an abrasive sponge; rinse well. Next up, sanding. Sanding is pretty important, as this is how you’re going to get your surface nice and grabby for the paint. I’ll be honest, 400 grit sandpaper felt like I was just caressing the surface of the tile. So I went rogue and grabbed some 320 from the garage. The 320 felt like I was actually sanding something rather than giving the tile a nice massage.
Sand, sand, sand till your arm feels like it might fall off. The sanding creates a really fine white powder all over the surface, so wipe with a damp cloth a few times, then wipe with a dry one. Finally, I let the surface air dry a bit to be sure that it was completely dry. Tape any surfaces that you might not want to get the tile paint onto (walls, vanity, etc).
Now it’s time for some epoxy! I’ll admit that sometimes I’m not the best at following directions. Sure I read on the box and from several websites that this stuff was stinky, but I wasn’t prepared for just how stinky it actually is. I now have no nose hairs left. (Kidding. Kind of.) I had windows open and fans on and the kids were shipped off to Grammy’s house for a sleepover, but I just figured that an N95 mask would dothe trick. Um, no. I lasted approximately 3 minutes until I sent my husband to Lowe’s for a respirator! Apparently it takes more than the manufacturer and several testimonials to convince me to save my brain cells.
Painting the countertop is actually pretty easy. A painted bathroom sink was a bit more tricky, but still not terrible. The Rustoleum box recommends using a 4 inch roller with foam cover and a very fine bristled brush for the edges. First, I used the fine bristled brush to cut in around the edges of the counter. I actually did the entire first coat with a brush instead of a roller. I found it much easier to get a nice thin coat on with a brush.
Painted Bathroom Sink and Countertop Makeover – Beware of Bubbles!
The above photos are actually of the first coat in the boys’ bathroom, because it’s the one I started … and it’s just … better. My husband and I each started one sink and someone got kicked off of his project because **cough**PAINT BUBBLES**cough**. The man just doesn’t believe in the whole tried-and-true “multiple, thin coats” method. But he is insanely handy and awesome to have around, so I’ll keep him.
So while I was brushing on my nice thin first coat, Brian went straight for the roller. No brush, just a nice, thick coat with a roller. You know what happens when coats of paint are too thick? Bubbles, my friends. Bubbles.
Painted Bathroom Sink and Countertop Makeover – Brush the edges
Don’t do that! By the time I saw it, they were half dry. So, I let it dry, sanded the bubbles down, and went back for the brush! Brush for the edges, roller for the rest. Lather, rinse, repeat.
The trick with this stuff is not to get a super thick layer on there, but not too thin either. Too thick = bubbles and drips. Too thin = weird texture and marks. I started with a thin layer and worked up from there. We let each coat dry for about an hour before starting another coat. The third coat was when I really started to get serious about texture.
Certain areas of the counter and sink were a bit more challenging to achieve a smooth finish – namely the corner behind the faucet and the bottom curve of the sink. For behind the faucet and the tops of the pieces that crawl up the wall, I found that using the foam brush to kind of dab the paint on was pretty effective. The sink just took a lot of smoothing with the roller. Random little bubbles would form and even the thinnest layer seemed to want to drip a bit. After rolling out the imperfections for awhile, we just called it good and decided to let it cure.
The prepping and painting process took roughly 3 hours – 30 minutes for prep, 10 minutes of painting per coat (maybe closer to 20 minutes for the last coat), plus one hour drying time between each of the 3 coats. Rustoleum recommends 24 hours of curing before touching the surface and 72 hours of curing before getting the surface wet. After the third day, in went with this pretty lady
Isn’t she gorgeous??? It’s the English Country Double Handle Centerset Faucet (in Oil-Rubbed Bronze) by Kingston Brass. Words cannot express how much I love her. It’s probably unhealthy to be this in love with a faucet. I’m fine with it!
Painted Bathroom Sink & Countertop – Budget Breakdown:
- Rustoleum Tub & Tile – $25.97 at Amazon (and enough for 2 counters & sinks!)
- 4-inch roller and cover – $0 (from our stash)
- Brushes – $0 (from our stash)
- 400 grit sandpaper – $3.97 at Lowe’s
- 320 grit sandpaper – $0 (from our stash)
- Comet – $0 (from our stash)
- Lime Away – $3.99 at Meijer
- Sponge – $0 (from our stash)
- Abrasive sponge – $2.99 at Meijer (we used Scotchbrite)
- Tack Cloth – $2.09 at Lowe’s
Kelli, thank you so much for sharing with us! Such a nice budget-friendly update to those 90’s sinks!
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While you were letting it cure, did you have to leave your home for a few days or were you able to sleep at home? I wanna do this so bad but I don’t wanna have to stay somewhere else for 3 days.
I want to do this sooooo badly to our bathroom. It is BORING beige; I want white. Or faux while marble. 1) do you recommend individual products or the kits? 2) I don’t recall if you answered about need to leave home due to smell. I know you emphasized need for respirator, but is evac necessary? 3) I might have to spring for replacement toilet…not sure I’m up for painting THAT! Your thoughts? And kind of the same for tub/shower enclosure. Just seems like A LOT! (and a lot to go wrong) Thoughts? Recommendations? I love your blog!!!
i usually clean my sinks with comet, after you paint with rustoleu what can you clean the new painted sink with?? thanks. Kim
Comet would be a bit too abrasive for this surface. I try to use some kind of “natural” cleaner on it, but with 3 little boys in our house I more often resort to Clorox wipes. This has worked fine over the years. Good luck!
Hi! I loved your tutorial and how detailed it is. I’ve been reading blogs and articles on how to paint bathroom counters before taking the plunge and redoing mine. My question is can I use this on Formica bathroom counters? Both my bathrooms have Formica (one is gray and the other is pink. Yes pink… uck!). I’d like to make the counters white, but everywhere I read it says to put a sealer it on it (poly) and it can turn it a bit yellow. If I can use the products you used on formica it would save me the headache of having to put a sealer on it. Help! 🙂
Thanks so much! I don’t think that this product can be used on Formica, but if you contact Rustoleum their customer service department is generally good at pointing you in the right direction for the material that you want to resurface. Good luck!
Instead of using LimeAway, try toothpaste and 000 steel wool. No protection needed, and it does a great job cleaning off lime and calcium deposits from sinks and tiles for a much lower price. Even gel toothpaste will work.
Thanks for the tip, Kim!
So I just did my bathroom counter and there are a few bubbly spots/rough feeling spots. Can these spots be sanded down and then have another coat applied over top or do I have to sand back to the original finish and start over? Most areas look great but there are a few spots that just can not be left as is.
I’m by no means an expert, but I would imagine that if you sand it down it will lose the glossy finish. It seems worth trying though!
Can you please tell me what blue paint you used for the cabinet? It’s beautiful!
Hi Tina! It’s Blue Coal by Valspar. https://m.valsparpaint.com/color-chip.php?id=2074&g=1020&r=lowes
Hi, I see it’s been several years now since doing this, wondering if it’s still holding up decent? Thinking of doing this also, but wanting something to last a while. 🙂
I did this in 2 bathrooms – my half bath & my boys’ bathroom. The half bath is holding up beautifully! It’s the only bathroom on our first floor, so it gets a lot of use, but it’s really just a bunch of hand washing all day long. I use Method or a similar cleaner once a week and a Clorox wipe in between as needed. There is a tiny spot of staining from the label on the bottom of a candle getting wet, but my (Now label-less) candle lives there so I don’t see it.
My boys’ bathroom hasn’t held up quite as well. But they are ROUGH on it. Constant scrubbing of hardened toothpaste and other unidentified things have dulled the shine quite a bit, and there are a few stains from various things. That said, there are no chips or scratches, so I think I could do another coat pretty easily to take care of those things if I wanted to. They’re still young though, so I’m going to let it go until they’re older and can be more accountable. I hope that helps!
Thanks for the update, Kelli!
You mentioned the smelly epoxy but not what you did with it. Is it important?
I’d like to know too! Planning on doing mine in 3 weeks
You mentioned that you used bright white paint on your sink. Can you tell me what kind? Or was it only the tub and tile?
This is exactly what I want to do! Thank you so much for posting this!!
Can you somehow change the color of the sink paint? Everything is white, beige,or black that I’ve seen. I want a medium blue. thank you
Is your old countertop painted or the laminate? I am going to try to paint over the old paint and was wondering if your techniques will work?
I’m about to jump in with both feet and paint my counter top and sink in my master bath. My question is I want some color in mine. Can the paint be tinted or could i use acrylic craft paint and get the marbled look by swirling or dabbing it in with the counter top paint? Thanks!
I am also interested in knowing if this can be done with other colors besides white/neutral colors.
So I convinced my husband to do this to our bathroom sink this weekend but he wouldn’t listen to any of the tips that I got from your post. So of course there are bubbles everywhere and drips. We are waiting the 72 hours before we sand and try again. I was wondering after we sand the bubbles away do we clean it with a cleaner before applying another coat or just clean it with water? Also, do you just apply another coat to the spots we sanded or do another coat on the whole sink? Thanks for your help! Hopefully my husband will listen this time when I give him tips!
Wow! This looks so awesome – I need to do this in our home… like bad haha. One bathroom especially needs a lot of love. Even the toilet and tub are brown :O Great job!
Thank you so much for this! Our new house has granite counter tops in the bathrooms. The bathrooms were recently remodeled like, 5 years ago but they arn’t my style. I feel bad painting granite but can it be done so you think?
I love this — I really want to do this, I’ve seen this product or another product by Rustolem, the appliance epoxy.
How did this hold up over time? Wear and tare?
It’s holding up beautifully! Kelli gave us an update that we shared here with other painted countertop reviews: https://www.remodelaholic.com/diy-painted-countertop-reviews/