We can do it

Monday, March 18, 2013

Resurfacing Countertops

Old formica countertops.  They look worse in person

When we bought our current house it was in good shape but needs a lot of updating.  Now that all my kids are in school full time and I don't have a job, it's given me the freedom to try my had at different things.  One thing I have discovered is that I really enjoy home renovating and updating.  My latest venture was to resurface the countertops in my kitchen.  I know that eventually this house is going to be a rental property so I wanted something fairly sturdy and can put up with abuse.  Although I do love my painted bathroom countertop I knew that the daily use in a kitchen might be too much for that process.  I did A LOT of research, as is my obsessive way when I want to do something new.
I looked at Rustoleum Countertop Transformations - this still intrigues me and I might try one day, but not in my kitchen.  I wanted to try it in my bathroom, but it can't be used over corian or cultured marble etc.  I also considered doing a concrete overlay but it was pretty costly for a kit.  I prefer to go with kits, so I am not surprised when I don't have all the materials I need.  It's a good way to get your foot in the door for trying a new home project.  Just when I was about to buy a concrete kit (about $450) I stumbled upon Countertop Epoxy.  You've gotta check out their tutorial video. SO COOL!!

My Craigslist score - $20!!  BEFORE

My awesome custom table!

I know that granite is the thing to have these days, but I'm not a huge fan of the upkeep or the $$$.  I like things that are artistic and totally unique.  Countertop Epoxy totally fits the bill.  And their counter kits are only $300.    That was WAY cheaper that even choosing out new Formica countertops!!

Levi, is the most awesome guy - an ex-Marine who totally hooked me up with my kit.  He is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable.  I chose the Copper Patina kit.  Levi suggest that I cover a table first to get the feel of the process.  So I bought a cheap table off of Craigslist.  Found this baby for $20 and it is HEAVY SOLID WOOD.  Score!  I had a pal come over and experience the process with me and it was a lot of fun.

First layer of copper

My countertops scared me a little but I felt more confident after the table.  So I decided to do this alone.  I do not recommend doing it solo.  It is a sticky and time sensitive process.  In the kit you get a gallon of resin and a gallon of hardener.  You mix the 2 for what seems like forever - about 4 minutes and then transfer it into another bucket and add you paint.  Mine was a gorgeous copper color.


I did my first color and was already in love.  (My first attempt at the counter resulted in a bit of a disaster on my part...I forgot to add the hardener - who does that??)  But I called Levi in a panic and he talked me through it very calmly.  And if you know me at all I am quite the spaz.  My second attempt went very smoothly.  FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!!  I used a putty knife to spread the epoxy the second time and it was 100% easier.  Like spreading honey.
 Then I mixed more epoxy and added the accent color - forest green.  Sounds weird but man does it make the counters POP!   I poured the accent color on top of the copper in random lines and patterns.  Then I used a paint brush to spread it around a little and get it into the copper.


The next part is the most fun - time to fire it up with a torch!!  I never used a torch before and it made me feel like a badass Rosie the Riveter!  
I would do this again in a heartbeat.  I am sure it will make an appearance in the next house we live in.  This is a fun project and will bring a very unique look to your home.  The best part is, it is VERY heat resistant (up to 500 degrees!) and can withstand over 12000 psi - even stronger than concrete.

Thanks, Levi!  I love it!!


Levi Comstock said...

This is Brandy and Levi from Countertopepoxy.com and we are so happy you posted pics and a little tutorial about your process, so glad it turned out like you'd hoped!

Anonymous said...

really glad I found this! I have 105 square feet of countertop in my kitch that is in good shape but Mauve, yes Mauve. 80's hangovrr.
I think the rustoleum kits look like dodo. I saw several houses with them before I bought this house. After refinishing 2200 sf of hardwood floors all by myself with hand tools last summer I think I can do this.

Gingers Mom said...

Brandy and Levi, thanks for all your help and patience. You're awesome.

Anonymous, If I can do this project half decently, anyone can. Mine has several flaws but I am still happy with it. It set in less than 48 hours.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that looks great, the green really adds to the copper. Good job.

Anonymous said...

Love your new countertops! I can't wait to do my old, worn out tile. I do have a question for you. It looks like from your photos you have s slight bump along the edge, a "no drip lip" like me. Did you have any trouble coating it with the epoxy? Any tips, tricks, or suggestions?

MyHelpingHand said...

Beautiful, how does it look over tile? Does it hide grout lines?

Anonymous said...

Helping Hand--
I won't be getting to my counters until the end of August, but they suggest using spackling to fill in the grout lines. Like everything else, the prep work seems to be the key to a successful project. I'm looking forward to redoing my counters, and I'll let you know how they turn out.

MAndersen said...

I ordered my kit and started prepping my mdf tonight! A little nervous about starting but excited too...I should take some pictures. I'm wishing there were more testimonials like yours! Great job!

Bobbi said...

Amazing inspiration! Looks like you left the sink in place and taped it off. How did that work out, can you see the old color peaking out under it? And about the backsplash, did the epoxy run off it? How did you apply the torch so close to the wall without burning the tape or drywall?

Heather said...

Hi there! Your counters look great! I was hoping you would answer my quick question about your blog! My name is Heather and my email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

Enis Hodzic said...

Oh! That was quite a job! It’s really nice that you achieved a satisfying result. Definitely not bad for a first project. It also looks durable. Anyway, I think you should consider having marble or granite countertops in the future. They’re good investments

Ensi Hodzic.

Anonymous said...

Where do you buy this product? I absolutely love the copper look. Fantastic job!!!

RD Robertson said...

Thanks for your furniture collection. I think you have bought it from Boutiqueken. Because the Boutiqueken is one of the best furniture sellers. I like your furniture collection.