July 19, 2014

Transformation of a 1970's Formica Countertop into a Granite Beauty

 As you all know I spent this week down at the seashore helping my dear friends Donna and Tom prepare their new beach home for its first set of vacationers. The house was built in 1979 and the harvest gold countertop (cringe) in the rather large kitchen was original to the home. 

And in need of some serious updating.

Donna and Tom love the look of granite but to replace the existing countertops with granite, or any other material for that matter, was way out of budget. As the result of some intense internet research, Donna found a product on line that you can use to paint your existing Formica countertops to look like granite. What did she have to lose...the kit was inexpensive enough and nothing could look any less appealing than the current color of the kitchen's counters. So Donna enlisted my help to see the project through.

After a thorough cleaning, no it was more like a complete scouring, along with some painstaking measures to tape off the perimeter of the counter tops including the faucet area, I rolled on the base coat primer which was in a pure black. Then it was off to the beach for a few hours with the kids!

Once the primer was allowed to dry for a full 8 hours, the top was wiped clean with a dry cloth and then it was ready for step two, the addition of the color minerals needed for the mottling inherent to the look of granite. This was done with a sponge and the three colors which came in the color kit Donna chose.

We decided to keep the counters relatively dark to contrast the pure white cabinets, so the bronze mineral paint was dabbed on in a random pattern and then flecks of the pearl white were added. I also went over the entire surface with the black onyx mineral paint.

After the paint had dried for 4 hours, the surface was sanded down using a sanding block with 600 grit sandpaper. This was to remove any rough peaks which may have formed while the paint dried. Again I wiped down the surface to remove any residual paint dust and then I rolled on a clear topcoat and the countertop was allowed to dry for another 4 hours. This step of rolling on the clear top coat was repeated. After the second application of the topcoat the blue painters tape was removed from the cabinets and back splash. The tape was scored around the sink and carefully removed so not to pull any of the new counter paint off with the tape.

I went ahead and gave the top a third application of the topcoat because Donna wanted a high gloss finish.

Here is the side by side.

I have to tell you how easy this product was to apply and the process is truly idiot proof. But to be honest I did have a few spots where the painter's tape was inadvertently placed over part of the laminate. This was an easy fix using a small crafting paint brush and some of the black onyx mineral paint to cover the unpainted surface. I also had an issue with some of the paint bleeding up from the counter's back splash onto the textured tile of the wall above, but that could have been due to poor tape to surface contact. All I did to fix the problem was to liberally paint over the areas where the black paint had bled with some of the paint Donna used to change the tile color, and then just wipe the excess paint off the back splash with a damp paper towel.

The name of the product Donna and I used is by

Click here for the link. The counter top kit Donna selected was Bombay Black and it retails for $79.95.

The result...Donna and Tom are just thrilled with their new granite countertops! In the next few weeks I will share with you their entire kitchen reno including some startling before photos. This reno, believe it or not, was done for just under $2000!!

Hope y'all are enjoying a wonderful weekend!


 My note: 
This post was not solicited by the Giani Company nor was I offered or did I receive any product in exchange for an endorsement. I just wanted to share this product with you because I really believe it does produce a beautiful faux granite countertop using a clearly fool proof process at an unbelievably reasonable price!


July 16, 2014

Heading Out For Awhile

Hi Everyone!

Today I am packing up the kids and heading for the beach for a few days to soak up some Jersey shore inspiration and to help my best gal pal Donna as she continues to work on her new beach bungalow.

But I did want to share with you something I have started to work on in our living room. The other day I posted my summer coffee table vignette and it really inspired me to make a few changes in the space. 

I decided to take the summer beach inspired look of the coffee table into the rest of the room. In an effort to do so, I have begun to edit out all of the red accents that have been in the space for the past almost 12 years. 

Then yesterday as I was rummaging around in the basement I found this picture which came with Mr. Rosemary Lane when we moved here in 2002.

It is actually a fairly large piece and fits over the fireplace mantel perfectly. I think it would be a rather dramatic focal point in the room.

Also yesterday I took a little liberty with an old floor lamp and some spray paint.

And she got a new shade to boot! 

I have a few more ides up my sleeve to give the room a freshened up feel and a little touch of a beachy vibe. So now it is off to "da Beach" for us and I will be back soon!

In the meantime I wish you all a wonderful week.


July 13, 2014

Simple Summer Coffee Table Vignette

For this vignette I wanted to keep things light and very simple because we really do use the living room in our home as the family room, so this road side find table gets A LOT of use. 

I brought in from the back patio two pretty wire candle holders I bought last summer at the Christmas Tree Shops, and paired them with the wine cork serving tray I made a couple years ago. (To read how the wine cork tray was made just click here.)

An inexpensive somewhat beachy looking faux arrangement was added to the tray along with a small coordinating starfish. I then placed a pretty piece of blue glass in the way of a small vase on top of a stack of summer issue decorating magazines. I love to peruse through them while enjoying a little kid and hubby free alone time.

I am really liking the soft blue in this space...I may have to shop my home for more blue to add to the rest of the living room!

Wishing you all a great start to your weekend plans!

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July 9, 2014

Two Features on One Day

So excited today as 21 Rosemary Lane is being featured at two different blog link parties.
The first feature is at The Dedicated House "Before and After" link party where our new guest bedroom is the star feature.

The Dedicated House

Thank you Kathryn for the honor!

And the second feature is over at the blog  Ivy and Elephants where Paula and Patti have included our summer entry as one of their featured links at their weekly "What's it Wednesday" link party.

Ivy and Elephants

Thank you so much to the lovely ladies of I&E.

What a way to pick up the middle of a week! 
Speaking of which I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful week of summer!


July 8, 2014

Blueberry and Lime Mini Cheesecakes

This recipe was adapted with minor changes from Southern Living Magazine July 2014 issue

Simple ingredients + easy directions = a killer looking and fabulous tasting dessert. 
When it comes to baking this is my favorite equation!

These darling little cakes were sooooo incredibly easy to make that even I couldn't screw up the final product. It is possible that you could have the ingredients to make this yummy dessert in your kitchen right now, that's how no fuss this recipe is.

All you need is as follows...

12 paper baking cups
14 graham crackers
2-3 T melted butter
pinch of salt
12 oz. cream cheese (an 8oz package plus another half package) at room temp
1/3 cup sugar
2 T lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
about 1/4 cup of blueberry preserves
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat your oven to 325 degree F. In a food processor or blender, pulse the graham crackers until they are finely crushed. Add the melted butter to the cracker crumbs along with a pinch of salt and mix. Using a standard size muffin pan, line the cups with the paper baking cups. (Note: I used foil cups lined with paper. This made it easier to create a nice clean presentation of the mini cheesecakes.)

Press about a tablespoon and a half of the graham cracker mixture in to each one of the paper cups. Bake in the oven for 6 minutes, remove from oven and let cool. Again reset your oven to 325 degrees F.

While the crumb crust is baking, blend together with a hand mixer the cream cheese, lime juice, sugar and vanilla extract. Then add in the eggs one at a time blending until all the yellow yolk disappears. 

Divide the mixture between the 12 cups and then bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the cream cheese mixture is set. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes then cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.

Now this is why I used the foil and paper baking cups.
Remove the foil cup and then gently peel the paper cup off of your cake and discard. Place your cheesecake back onto the opened foil cup and top it with a dollop of blueberry preserves, three or four blueberries and garnish with some lime zest.

See how easy this was. And yes my kiddies and Mr. Rosemary Lane loved 'em!

Wishing you a great day!!!


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