Today I’m bringing back this hugely popular post on our painted cultured marble tub surround.
Since I get so many questions on this topic, I thought I’d address them all here.
As you can see in the before images below, we had a green cultured marble surface surrounding the tub.
Actually, it’s more than just the surround.
The marble in our Rhode Island home was an early nineties/late eighties dark green.
It was something we knew we wanted to change, but getting rid of this was going to take up a lot of our renovation budget.
So a new pristine porcelain bathtub or white marble bathtubs were not going to happen here.
We did a little research and learned we could paint over it with epoxy paint!
As you can see below, we also changed out the bathroom floors.
How To Paint Over Cultured Marble Counters
Can you paint over cultured marble and stone?
The answer is absolutely, yes!
But, first things first.
Back when we first looked at this house, we were blown away by so many of it’s unique features.
It’s an older home with a lot of built in cabinets and interesting details.
However, one thing which stuck out was the dark green counters, vanity top, tiles and tub surround in the primary bathroom.
Here’s the before photos of our bathroom.
I saved these from the real estate listing.
Before images showing the green cultured marble bathtub and cultured marble countertop.
The dark green cultured marble counter tops are not my style.
I toyed with the idea of leaning into this color and either using wallpaper or paint to make the green look more intentional and cohesive.
However, we’d have to go with a very dark color palette in this bathroom to do this right.
While a dramatic, dark green primary bath can be beautiful – this was not the vibe we were going for.
We wanted a light, coastal style bathroom to go with the rest of the home’s beach decor.
The Process for Painting Over Cultured Marble Sinks and Bathroom Countertops.
We hired a painter to do the entire house.
We asked him to try painting over the cultured marble for this project, he was open to the idea – even though he had never done this before!
So, the research was up to us, the execution was all him.
We looked into different types of paint and eventually chose an epoxy over polyester resin, as it’s much more durable.
Even using a professional painter for this – we still saved SO much money.
The cost of the labor and paint was a fraction of what it would have cost us to replace the tub surround.
We had our painter use this epoxy paint kit, which outlines the steps to take.
To start, the most important step in this project is the prep.
It stresses the importance of a clean surface, as did the online research we did.
You need to really make sure the surface is clean.
This is a critical step for getting the paint to adhere in a nice, even finish.
The Homax kit comes with a special cleaning solution for this very reason.
If the surface is not cleaned thoroughly, the paint will not adhere to the stone surface.
Once the surface has been cleaned thoroughly and dried, tape off the area with painter’s tape.
Epoxy paint gives off some very harsh fumes.
Make sure you’re in a well ventilated area, open windows and wear a ventilator mask.
Paint with either a brush or a high density roller.
Start with a thin layer and gradually build up.
It took three coats to completely cover the preexisting marble here.
You’ll need to let each coat of paint dry for about an hour before applying the next coat.
Once you have the desired coverage, you need to let the paint cure.
The instructions said 3 days but really it takes more like a full week, just to be extra safe.
The tub surround came out so great, we decided to go ahead and have our painter use the same paint to cover up the green marble in the shower as well.
The green cultured marble shower was not as intense, but I was happy to see it go.
As you can see, we went with a new solid surface of stone on the sink and countertops vanity.
We ended up replacing the actual bathroom sink bowls here, so ultimately going with a new surface in natural stone made the most sense.
In addition to painting over the marble here, the full renovation entailed painting the bathroom walls, putting in tile floors (taking out the wood floors) new mirrors and a sconce too.
The painted marble surfaces blend so seamlessly with all of the other new elements and really brought down the total cost of this renovation.
We also changed up the window treatments and went with just a simple shutter.
However, we did end up keeping the bathroom fixtures in the shower stall…I really like them!
Hopefully, you found this post helpful.
If you do end up painting over your cultured marble countertops, let me know!
Even better, send me a photo – I’d love to see it.
If you have any other questions, please shoot me an email or leave it in the comments below.
I’ll be more than happy to answer them.
One last note on this – when cleaning the painted area, be sure not to use abrasive cleaners.
And, be sure to use a soft cloth.
Which reminds me… I’ve already answered a popular inquiry on the best white paint colors to use for trim and baseboards, (just in case your wondering:)
I also wrote a very popular paint color review on the white paint we used on the walls throughout this whole house: Benjamin Moore White OC -151.
It’s a sophisticated bright white paint color, I think you’ll really love!
For even more info on countertop materials, don’t miss this review on marble vs. quartz counters.
Finally, for even more great design inspiration, be sure to check out these posts by clicking each title below:
Last, but not least…
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Everyone chimes in with their best advice!
We also spill our favorite design sources and tips – it’s SO great for hunting down hard to find items and pieces.
Lastly, to help you even further with your home projects, download my FREE DESIGN CHEAT SHEET!
It’s loaded with all sorts of quick tips and handy measurements.
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