When everything else looks dull in your kitchen, the best way to brighten it up is to add a faux finish to your countertop. Faux finishing using a roller brush is an option if you're not fond of using stencils. Rollers can be bought in arts and craft stores or your local home supply store. Though faux finishing is usually done on walls, it can be done just about anywhere the house. If it can be painted, it can be faux finished.
Step 1: Clear the Countertop
Make sure that your countertop is clear of anything that can fall or topple over.
Step 2: Clean the Countertop
Using a sponge and soapy water, clean the countertop, making sure it is free from grease, dirt and grime. If you paint over these, the paint will chip and crack in no time. It's very important that the surface is spotless.
Step 3 - Smooth the Surface
After the surface is clean and dried, use medium grit aluminum oxide sandpaper to sand the surface evenly until it is smooth and free of bumps. Once you're done, dust off the counter. In order to be sure no dust is left on the countertop, use a hand-held vacuum to suck out all possible remnants of your sanding.
Step 4: Apply Oil Primer
Once sanded, apply the first coat of oil primer using your brush. The best way is to paint an even, thin layer using a horizontal stroke.
Step 5: Apply Paint
Once the primer is completely dried, pour just enough paint in your paint pan. Take your textured roller brush and dip it the water based acrylic paint. Roll it a few times until the whole roller surface is completely covered. Shake off excess paint. It's best to practice first on a piece of cardboard to make sure that once you start rolling on the paint it's nice and even. One smooth, firm motion is the key. Acrylic paint usually dries within a couple of hours.
Step 6: Apply Urethane
When the paint has dried, you can now apply your first coat of clear urethane. For drying time, check the label. It will vary depending on the manufacturer. Before applying the next coat, sand lightly. Urethane should be thinly applied to avoid visible brush strokes. Never exceed the manufacturer's recommendations for the number of coats to be applied. This will always be printed on the label. It's important that everything is dry before you start using your kitchen countertop.
Step 7: Preserve the New Finish
Now that you're done, you will need to treat the countertop with moderate care to preserve the new finish. Don't cut or use sharp materials such as knives directly on your countertop. Open metal cans and other heavy objects can scratch your countertops in no time, so avoid this by always using a cutting board. Maintenance should be done at least every 6 months by sanding and applying a urethane.