23/01/2021

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Home & Commercial Expert

People are in awe of this TikToker’s DIY ‘marble’ countertop hack, but an expert says copying it successfully would take ‘serious art skills’

Transforming her granite countertops into this faux-marble took Melissa Mondragon and her husband four days and cost under $200. Melissa Mondragon
  • TikTok user Melissa Mondragon shared a video showing how she transformed her granite kitchen countertops with a realistic faux-marble look for under $200 and in four days. 

  • Some loved how it turned out, but others said it was “like putting carpet over real hardwood floors.”

  • Insider spoke with interior design and home organization experts who said it would take serious DIY and art skills to replicate the success of this DIY hack.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A TikTok user wowed viewers with a video that showed how she transformed her granite kitchen countertop into a very realistic looking “marble” one with a $180 DIY kit.

But her followers and some interior design and home organization experts are skeptical of this hack, and how well people could actually re-create it.

“I would think you’d need some serious art skills to really pull [a DIY marble countertop] off well. From some of the photos I’ve seen, most do not,” Iantha Carley, an interior designer and owner of Iantha Carley Interiors, told Insider.

The video shows Melissa Mondragon and her husband covering their kitchen’s granite countertops with white paint before painting marble “veins” and covering it all with a coat of epoxy, with the popular TikTok voiceover “nobody’s gonna know” in the background of the clip.

Mondragon’s video has over 36 million views and almost 20,000 comments at the time of writing. 

But her TikTok followers had a mixed reaction to the finished product. Some were impressed and one person asked Mondragon and her husband to “do [their] house now.” A few others didn’t like it, though, defending the aesthetic value of the original granite.

“Painting granite should be a crime,” one of the top-liked comments reads.

“This is like putting carpet over real hardwood floors,” another said.

Responding to some of the negative feedback, Mondragon told Insider, “Some people, I’m sure, like it, some people don’t like it. That’s fine. I don’t mind negative comments at all because the more people comment on the video, the more interaction there is, the farther it goes.”

Mondragon, who is a food blogger, said part of why she gave her countertops a makeover was because she needed something that “looked clean,” and as a photographer, she values “a neutral, clean-looking space.”

Melissa Maker of Clean My Space told Insider that while she agrees it’s “sacrilegious” to put paint on granite and she understands the outrage, replacing granite countertops with marble can be very expensive and she thinks Mondragon’s hack is a good option “for someone looking to refresh a space in their home without buying new countertops.”

It took Mondragon and her husband four days to paint the faux-marble countertop

Mondragon told Insider that she and her family moved into their current home about six months ago. The house came with the granite countertop, a feature she wasn’t particularly fond of.

So, she decided to give the kitchen counter a makeover ahead of the more extensive renovation her family is planning to undertake this year.

She and her husband started by doing a deep clean of the surface before applying a primer for “shiny, smooth surfaces” to avoid any potential chipping. The following day, they applied the base coat of paint.

Mondragon said that they allowed four hours of drying time between each coat.

marble
The couple started by applying a base coat of white paint. Melissa Mondragon

The next step might have been the most artistic part of the whole process – painting dark veins that made their project truly marble-like. The last step was applying the epoxy.

Epoxy resin is a strong, durable substance that provides protection against heat and chemicals, which is pretty essential for a countertop.

The whole process took Mondragon and her husband four days. She told Insider that the hardest part was “the pressure of painting the veins on to get them to look in an aesthetically-pleasing way” but that they were happy with how it turned out.

marble
They drew dark veins that made it look like marble. Melissa Mondragon

“The whole process is easier than I thought it would be and then the end results, we thought, looked really professional in person,” she said.

A spokesperson for Giani, the company that produces the kit Mondragon used, told Insider that their product is “completely inert and safe for food contact” once it cures all the way, which takes about a week. 

A home organizational expert told Insider this DIY project is ‘a good in-between option’

“This is a project fit for an experienced and confident DIYer,” Maker said, echoing Carley’s point that it would take advanced art skills to pull it off.

“It would be really important to prepare and prime the surface properly, use the correct type of paint, and to seal it properly,” she continued.

She added that “it’s something that is a good in-between option for someone who is looking to refresh their space but doesn’t yet have the budget to replace countertops.”

That said, Maker thinks this is a hack best reserved for lesser-used areas than a kitchen counter.

“If the area someone wants to refresh is a cabinet countertop or fireplace surround that doesn’t get a lot of heavy use, I’d say give it a try,” she told Insider. “In a kitchen or bath, I’d really recommend saving until you can get a proper replacement.”

“A DIY project such as this appears to come with a false sense of savings,” she added. “If you factor in your time, it’s probably best to leave it to the professionals.”  

Mondragon, however, isn’t letting the negative TikTok comment deters her. She told Insider she’s continuing with her kitchen renovations and plans to tackle the backsplash next.

Read the original article on Insider

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