How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

Today I’m sharing a project with you that is a super easy and inexpensive way to update an 80’s home  – painting cultured marble.  My late 80s tract home features lots and lots of cultured marble and oh, did I mention that I strongly dislike cultured marble?!  For those of you not familiar with it, cultured marble is a solid surface product made from resin that is designed to look like real marble.  Perhaps modern-day cultured marble is different from what I have in my home, but sadly, what I have discolors easily {it turns yellow over time}, chips, and honestly, doesn’t fool anyone into believing that it’s real marble.  Not only are ALL of my bathrooms covered in this product, but all of the bases of the columns in my home are topped with it.  To me, it just has a dated look and I was ready for a change, so I broke out the paint!

I decided to paint all of the column bases white to make them look more like painted wood and therefore, fit better with the trim and moulding that I someday hope to have!  These areas get lots of wear and tear because people sit on them, the kids throw their backpacks on them, etc., but they don’t get water on them {like countertops in bathrooms would}, so this tutorial doesn’t apply to bathrooms or kitchens which need to be water-resistant.

Here’s a look at the BEFORE:

TIDBITS TWINE Cultured Marble BEFORE 2 How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

In addition, the columns and bases were in desperate need of some caulking!

TIDBITS TWINE Cultured Marble BEFORE Caulking How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

The cultured marble was showing a lot of wear and tear, not only because it was discoloring in certain areas, but also because it had a lot of dings and imperfections {I think the green spot might be some slime from a birthday party a few years ago that stained…}.

TIDBITS TWINE Cultured Marble BEFORE Chips How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

Here’s a look at the dining room for farther away.  You probably never knew the dining room was surrounded by columns since I’ve never showed them before!!

TIDBITS TWINE Cultured Marble Project BEFORE 2 How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

This project is really easy and only requires a few steps and supplies {detailed supply list at bottom}.  Plus, I didn’t do any sanding beforehand, which makes this project even easier!

TIDBITS TWINE How to Paint Cultured Marble How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

Step 1: Clean

I used glass cleaner to clean the cultured marble, but then went back with a damp rag to ensure that no contaminants were left behind that would cause an issue with paint adhesion.  It’s really important to make sure that the surface is free from debris, but also chemicals or other contaminants that will keep the paint from sticking.

 

Step 2: Caulk

If your cultured marble ajoins a wall or column like mine, be sure to caulk!  Caulking not only gives everything a more seamless appearance, but it also greatly helps with cleaning because it doesn’t allow dirt and grime to settle in between the two surfaces.  I had a confined space to work in so I didn’t use a caulking gun but instead used a tube, but using a caulking gun is more economical.  Cut the tip at an angle for a more precise application, gently squeeze a thin line along the area to be caulked and then smooth out with your finger.  Continue to run your finger over the line until you get it just as you want.  Be sure to keep lots of damp paper towels handy to help wipe away excess!  Also, be sure to use paintable caulking!

 

Step 3: Prime

This is a super important step since cultured marble is a slick surface, making it difficult for paint to adhere.  I had professionals paint the columns in my bedroom and they used a special primer called Kilz Adhesion, which is a bonding primer specially formulated for slick surfaces, such as cultured marble.  This has held up tremendously for us and is my #1 choice for this project!  Unfortunately, this product is not available in all states, including California where I live.  {Not sure how my painter ended up with it then!}  As such, I couldn’t use this particular product for my painting project and so set about testing out a few other primer options.

I ended up using Kilz Premium and was happy with the results.  Here’s a tip: Don’t roll the primer onto the cultured marble, as it doesn’t provide enough coverage to adhere well or to cover the “veining” in the cultured marble.  A brush worked best for me!  {I even tried rolling and back-brushing, but just regular brushing turned out to be the best method for this project.}

 

Step 4: Paint

I gave the primed cultured marble 2 coats of latex semi-gloss so that the sheen would match that of the columns, baseboards, and other trim in my home.  A good brush is a must!  I know that Purdy is the gold standard in painting, but I actually prefer the ProVal 2 1/2″ angled brush.

 

Step 5: Top Coat {Optional}

As I mentioned, the area I was painting gets a lot of wear and tear so I decided to add a top coat for extra protection and easy cleanup.  I used two coats of a satin finish Polycrylic.  {The satin finish actually gives the same look at the semi-gloss in paint.} While it goes on smoothly and easily, even the tiniest speck of dust will instantly show because it’s on a white background with a clear coat.  It’s best to do this step when you’re alone at home and be sure to turn the air/heat off so that particulates in the air don’t blow around and settle in your wet surface!  :)

 

Here’s the finished result!  It’s brighter and cleaner and no longer looks straight out of the ’80s.

TIDBITS TWINE Painting Cultured Marble AFTER1 How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

Here’s a closeup….more more yellowish, veined “marble”!

TIDBITS TWINE Painted Cultured Marble Closeup1 How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

Whatever you do, don’t skip the caulking step.  Here’s why it’s so important:

TIDBITS TWINE Painting Cultured Marble AFTER Caulking How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

Here’s a recap of the supplies I used:

  • ProVal paint brush
  • Kitchen & Bath Latex Ultra caulk in bright white
  • Kilz Adhesion Primer {If not available in your state, use Kilz Premium Primer}
  • SW Emerald Latex paint – Swiss Coffee Semi-Gloss
  • Minwax Polycrylic Finish in Clear Satin

 

 

So far, I have seven columns done and seven more to go!!!
Signature How to Paint Cultured Marble {an Easy Update}

 

 

 

 

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Updates in the Living Room

My living room is the first room you see when you enter my home and is probably the room that least represents my style.  It’s a mix of old furniture, hand-me-downs, and recently, some new pieces, too.  It seems like forever ago that I first shared with you my plans for updating the living room and originally, I didn’t plan to share it with you again until the project was finished.  But why?  That’s not how real life works and that’s certainly not how I work!  I don’t just get an idea, run out and buy everything, and poof my room is done!  {I wish!}

If I wasn’t working within a budget, I could easily find things I love and purchase them, but finding things that I love and that work for the space AND that fit within a budget – well, as I’m sure you know, that’s much more difficult.  Sometimes you have to make concessions in certain areas that then force you to make changes in others.  And changing the plan is absolutely okay!  So long as you know your goal, it doesn’t really matter how you get there.

So today, I’m sharing some of the progress I’ve made in the living room.  It’s NOT finished – not even close!  And while I have some new pieces, none of them really tie together just yet, but for me, that usually happens in the final stage where the details and accessories help to pull everything together.

This is where my living room design plan originally started.  Remember this?

TIDBITS TWINE Living Room Olioboard Updates in the Living Room

Well, I did eventually make my own gold-framed chalkboard…

TIDBITSTWINE Boxwood Wreath Updates in the Living Room

 

I also finally purchased the wing back chairs I’ve always wanted.

TIDBITS TWINE Lorraine Chair 2 Updates in the Living Room

 

My original vision for the room included adding two windows.  The room is particularly dark, but unfortunately, adding windows just isn’t realistic.  Instead, I found this amazing 7ft tall, arched wall mirror that mimics the panes in my existing window and bounces the light around the room.  I ordered one more for the other side of the fireplace {it hasn’t come yet} and I’m waiting on my handyman to hang them.  For now, they are just leaning on the wall but already, I am in love.  While I do love the black color, believe it or not, I might end up painting them…I’ll decide later once I finish pulling the rest of the room together.

TIDBITS TWINE Arched Mirror Updates in the Living Room

 

I love that the mirror has a panel at the bottom with this beautiful detailing…

TIDBITS TWINE Arched Mirror Detail Updates in the Living Room

 

I also wanted to add some lighting to the room, but again, that wasn’t in the budget.  Instead, I found these gorgeous brass candlesticks that I added to the mantel.  The arms swivel allowing me to fold them up a bit so they actually fit on my narrow mantel.  And of course the design also includes lots of books and boxwood….two of my favorites!

TIDBITS TWINE Living Room Mantel Update Updates in the Living Room

 

Over the weekend while shopping at Target, I found a chunky cable knit throw in my favorite shade of blue.  It of course had to come home with me.  :)

TIDBITS TWINE Cableknit Throw Updates in the Living Room

 

And last but not least, I bought a cowhide rug!  For those that follow me on Facebook, you know that something came over me the other week and I suddenly decided I wanted to add a cow hide rug to my living room.  It looks a bit odd at the moment since it’s sort-of floating in the space with no coffee table to help anchor it, but I think I’m going to love it.  You can tell I literally just unfolded it for the picture since it still has lots of creases in it… :)

TIDBITS TWINE Cowhide Rug Updates in the Living Room

 

 

So now you know…for me, designing and updating a room is a process that takes time.  I buy a few things, live with them for a bit, return what I don’t like, keep what I love, and then continuing buying until the room finally comes together.  The only big ticket items left are the sofa, coffee table, and writing table, but I’m waiting until I sell my piano to figure those items out since my baby grand piano is taking up pretty much the entire other side of the living room.

 

What’s your design process?  Do you figure things out and buy all at once or buy a little at a time?
Signature Updates in the Living Room

 

 

 

Sharing at: The ScoopSavvy Southern Style

 

 

 

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Front Door Mini-Makeover {Plans & a Mockup}

I love decorating with a touch of drama.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be bold, just something that catches your eye and makes a statement.  I try to add something interesting to every room in my home, which I think is why my front door has always bothered me.  It’s rather….well…plain!  Years ago when the house was painted, the door was painted to match the trim.  Simple?  Yes.  But interesting? No.  See what I mean?!

TIDBITS TWINE Front Door BEFORE Front Door Mini Makeover {Plans & a Mockup}

 

So, it’s time for the front door to get a mini-makeover.  To start, it needs a fresh coat of paint.  I’ve thought about using a beautiful color but truthfully, I want something that is a bit more timeless and classic in keeping with the rest of my home’s exterior and so I’ve decided to go with classic black.  I love how a black door makes a statement without overpowering the space.

Black Front Door with Lanterns Front Door Mini Makeover {Plans & a Mockup}

 

I think black doors are particularly stunning when they tie in with the trim or other accents on the house.

 

My home, however, doesn’t have shutters and I can’t afford to paint any other part of the house at this time, so the black door will be standalone, much like these:

Black Front Door with Transome 2 Front Door Mini Makeover {Plans & a Mockup}

{via Pinterest}

 

While oil rubbed bronze hardware doesn’t really show up on a black door {and truthfully, brass on a black door is my favorite}, I’m not currently in a position where I want to change it or paint it, so I’m going to leave it as-is and live with the look for a while.  I do think that our plain paneled door needs a bit more detail, though, and so plan to add a door knocker and some house numbers.

 

One of my favorite door knockers is actually on Etsy, but I’m not sure about the color and I don’t know that I want to spray it to match my existing door hardware.  What I love about this brass beauty, though, is that it features a classic lion head design but is framed in a beautifully detailed oval shape.

 

Instead, I might just go with a simple design like this one from Lowes.

Gatehouse Doorknocker Front Door Mini Makeover {Plans & a Mockup}

{via Lowes}

 

 

Given that I live in a tract home and all of the houses on my street look the same, people sometimes get confused and show up at the wrong house {even though there are house numbers on the mailbox}.  So, I thought adding the house number to the front door might clear things up a bit!  I don’t really want to add anything three dimensional and so am looking instead at some vinyl decals like this one from Etsy.

 

 

Just to make sure I’d like the look before I start painting, I did a little mockup in Photoshop.  {Please forgive the appearance – I really only know the basics in Photoshop and so did my best!}  As you can see, I changed the door to black, added a knocker, and added some vinyl house numbers.  I might also paint my existing planter and move it from the far side of the porch to be near the door and help tie the look together.  It looks better already!

TIDBITS TWINE Front Door SAMPLE MOCKUP Front Door Mini Makeover {Plans & a Mockup}

 

Provided that the weather holds and that the kids are occupied, this is what I’ll be doing this weekend!  Somehow, I think Photoshopping it will be easier than actually painting it, but I’m going to give it my best.  :)

 

Signature Front Door Mini Makeover {Plans & a Mockup}
 
 
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