Do your countertops need a makeover? Yeah, so did mine...many times...

Before:

After:

My trials and mostly errors

So, I did it - I finally put my house on the market. I bought it 3.5 years ago with the intention of remodeling it and flipping it, and here I go! When I first acquired the house it needed a lot of work. I had never done any home renovation and my knowledge was limited. But, I have dove head first into all projects with enthusiasm and research. I believe you can do anything with a little preparation and not a lot of money. 

My countertops were at first a horrible 70's yellow laminate. I lived with them for a year before I did my first countertop face lift  I shelled out close to 100 bucks for a Giani granite kit. Basically it was an assortment of paints that you sponge on in layers to create a faux granite finish. Then you seal it with polyurethane. It was okay...not exactly what I wanted though. It never really looked like granite...I don't think that is possible with sponging on paint to begin with. Plus, if you seal with polyurethane you are always going to deal with a milky discoloration whenever the surface gets wet for an extended period of time. While the milky discoloration is temporary, and disappears after the surface dries, still it's not ideal for a surface that sees some water. 

The second product I used was Rust-Oleum counter top paint. I chose black. When it says it takes 3 days to cure, trust the instructions. I didn't - and I had the indents to prove it. But it was an overall decent product. Not worth the 20 bucks, as it is basically varnish...but oh well - marketing I suppose. 

With the impending sale (I hope) of my home, I decided to use it again and wait the 3 full days for the hard finish without touching it or placing anything on top. I chose a dark gray color, I thought it would better suit my colors rather than the harsh black. Result - horrible gray ensued. 
Picture
   ...I  chose Pewter. Um...yeah.

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CLASH of the grays! (Ignore the clothes pile)

I am in LOVE with my "new" countertops, and you can be too! Directions below. 

I researched a bit and found some others who had used Krylon Make it Stone spray paint and then used a 2-park epoxy resin over this...The photos were mouth watering. And, after all, what could be worse than my lavender-gray disaster? 

I bought 2 cans of Krylon Make it Stone. You could use any texture spray paint though. I sprayed the countertops after taping everything off and then some and STILL got that stuff on my appliances. But no worries, it does come off easily once dried. Don't try to get it off while it's still wet because it just smears the pigments and creates a bigger mess. 

I used a black granite and a gray sandstone....or something of that nature. For my space I used almost 2 cans of it, but if I didn't have the lavender gray doom base, I would have only needed one can, say, if I had a black base color.

I let this dry a couple of days. I could have moved onto the next step sooner than this, but I was busy with other things, (e.g. massive freakout cleaning trying to get my home show ready).

Then I used Enviro Tex Lite pour on 2-park epoxy resin. I used 1 box, but I bought 2 (future cool crafts here I come!). I got mine at Hobby Lobby for 30/each, but had a coupon for 40% off (sign up for their mailing list and you will be gifted with one every week). Basically, as with an 2-part deal the ratio is 1:1. You stir the resin together, working against the clock, spread on your surface, blow out any air bubbles, and marvel at the gorgeousness left behind. 

I would suggest not doing the front of the counters if you don't have a sloped ridge. I plan on using regular polyurethane or even polycrylic for that part. The front doesn't see much wear and tear and water brutality as the tops, so I am not worried. It will still have a nice shine, and transition just fine into the high gloss tops. 

Before & Afters and not many durings.

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Here she is with only the spray paint on.

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I bought two 32 oz. packages

 


Jen
05/15/2013 18:35

The counter look fantastic!

I took the plunge and painted my bathroom vanity using craft paint after seeing some beautifully done faux granite counters using this method. Sadly, I'm on my second redo and am still not happy. I have a similar (in color) back slash tile waiting to go up, but it just doesn't look right with the vanity colors nor pattern.

Did you use two different colors of Krylon Make It Stone Spray paint or is in just one color? Didn't find anything that is a Krylon gray sandstone color and would actually prefer a lighter color, more at medium gray.
But like yours so much I wouldn't mind attempting to create the same finish, same color.

Thanks!

Reply
Andrea Huntley
05/15/2013 18:40

Hi Jen, I believe I used black and a lighter gray sandstone type color for the Krylon. I might have even used Rust Oleum...it doesn't need to be Krylon, any stone effect spray works. I have even seen them beautifully painted in a single color with the envirotex 2 part resin over top. Really whatever you choose and if you are happy with the results then go ahead and resin over that! Good luck and have fun!!

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Jen
05/16/2013 13:37

Hi Andrea!

Thanks so much for the reply. I was just outside spraying sample boards. First spray is the black on a gray base. It's looking mighty gray, guess it needs a few coats. Anyway, I'm excited to be experimenting.

Thanks for posting yours!

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Andrea Huntley
05/16/2013 13:42

Mine looked pretty gray too at first. I just kept spraying. I didn't wait to keep decorating, just went over and over in a short period of time. Then hands off or you will smudge!

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Jen
05/16/2013 15:33

It is looking darker now with additional coats. Experimenting with different base colors. Just one more quick question if you don't mind...The Envirotex makes me a bit nervous with the short time frame, being told it's not forgiving of mistakes and the bubbles most of all, not to mention a probable uneven top. Can't get that in stores here, found something similar though, but am wondering if it clouds when it gets wet. Any other tips you may have for applying this stuff is most welcome and appreciated! Thanks again!!!

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Andrea Huntley
05/16/2013 17:22

I didn't have a torch so I gently blew on any bubbles, but really I don't have many. While my resin is not perfect, it is hardly noticeable with the darker countertop color. I suggest taking a thick piece of card stock paper or even an old greeting card an using the level edges to spread your resin. Don't worry too much and less screwing around with it the better, remember most of these products are self leveling. If you get drips or it goes on the sink don't worry now, it will easily come off with a paint scraper. I would suggest pouring it on thick for that polished wet look. I am not sure about other products, if it is a 2 part epoxy resin it should do the trick. Polyurethane based products will turn milky when damp and yellow with sunlight and age.

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Jen
05/16/2013 20:02

Okay, got it. Caulking around sink needed replacing so I just pulled it. The other is 2 part poor, also. Thanks again so much for the replies and tips. I'll let you know how it turns out!

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ohsvelte1
07/14/2013 23:56

Thanks for your incredibly detailed account of the process. I'm so excited to do my kitchen countertop this weekend!

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12/15/2013 17:25

I hope your project was a success!!

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Mindy
10/18/2013 12:53

I love your work. It looks great and thank you for sharing. I tried the rustoleum coating (black) with some glitter and polyurethane top coat and it didn't seem to seal very well bc I am getting dents whenever I drop something on the counter. How durable is your countertop and how long has it been lasting for you?

Also, did you wait 3 days for the rustoleoum coating to dry before spraying on the krylon mak it stone paint? Or can I just spray it on a few hours after? I want to try your method on my mom's countertop this weekend if possible. Thank You in advance.

Did

Reply
12/15/2013 17:32

Hi Mindy,

What kind of polyurethane did you use? When you say you get dents it would signal a curing issue - did you wait for the rustoleum coating to completely cure before applying the polyurethane over top? A hard cure is usually 7 days for oil-based paints or laquers like that. If it wasn't fully hardened and you put poly over it that might have caused the issues.

I did wait the 3 days before spraying the Krylon. It might have been 1-2 days, but I know there was a time period when I was rockin' just the plain gray countertops. If you are planning to use envirotex resin as a final top coat then there should be no issues with cutting the dry time. You also don't need to use special countertop paint if you are using resin, either. Any paint will do: latex, acrylic, or oil based. Just get your color where you want it to be as a base, let it dry the recommended time on the can or bottle to recoat (usually 1-4 hours), do some light coats of your make it stone and then come back the next day to pour on your resin. Should be nice and hard by then. You really want to let the krylon make it stone harden overnight because the nature of the paint and what causes the faux stone texture is chunks of paint splatter, so it is thicker.

Definitely pick up some envirotex or similar two part pourable resin. Polyurethane doesn't compare or hold up!

I sold my house shortly after I did the project, but I just completed another paint job on my new house where I did the kitchen island and it is holding up great!

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Jen
10/25/2013 10:30

Hey Andrea,
Just wanted to tell you my bathroom countertop turned out pretty well. (I'd love to show you a pic, but don't know where I could post one.) The epoxy scared the begeebers out of me, but that also went rather well, at least for a first time user. Missed a few small spots and got some dust particles on it, but it can barely be seen and I love the shine!
The one thing I hadn't counted on is when something like even a small jar of facial moisturizer is on it, it leaves a dent. Depending on the weight of the item and how long it's left there, the area does spring back, but it makes me crazy.
I put felt on the bottom of a flower vase and tray I have on it and that did the trick. Other stuff I just set on a towel as I use it.
Wondering if you had the same thing with the kitchen counter and how that's working itself out.
Hope all went well with the house and thanks again!

Reply
12/15/2013 17:43

Hey Jen! Glad to hear of your success, but let's talk about the issue with denting.

I know I am a little late at responding to comments, but are you still having this problem?

My first question would be how long has the resin been in place? During the first week (or even two) I would give any resin project some extra TLC. It has a cure time of 72 hours - so three days. But I personally was very cautious for about a week. Also, check out what Envirotex has to say about the denting issue:

Surface Care. Furniture polish will prolong the life of the
surface and clean smudges, etc. If scratches
occur that cannot be polished out, clean with
acetone, then recoat with Envirotex Lite. This
additional coat will remove all surface
blemishes. Envirotex Lite is heat resistant,
however, if should not be intentionally
subjected to high temperatures such as
cigarettes, cooking utensils, etc. Envirotex Lite
is water and alcohol proof. Objects, when left
on the surface for a period of time, may leave
impressions on an Envirotex Lite surface (the
coating is made tough, yet flexible so as to not
be brittle and prone to shattering from impact).
Impressions usually disappear in a few hours at
normal 72° - 75°room temperatures. The warmer
the environment, the more quickly impressions
will appear and after items are removed, will
disappear. This characteristic, coupled with
outstanding moisture and chemical resistance,
makes Envirotex Lite an ideal coating for bar
tops, coffee tables and dining tables.

Another commenter had a similar issue (above) with denting...she used polyurethane instead of a resin, but I wondered if the paint was allowed to fully cure? Resin really seals everything in, so this shouldn't happen...however, depending on the thickness of your paint, type of paint, how many coats, dry time, etc it is possible. Also, did you follow the instructions on the resin as close to perfect as possible? The most important thing is proper mixing - it must be a 50/50 ratio to acheive the best results. The contained should have a flat bottom, the sides should be flat, and the stirring tool should have a flat bottom. You really need to scrape the sides often and well, and whip the mixture so it is distributed evenly to allow the chemical reaction to occur which results in the setting of the product. The resin also needs to be mixed in 2 containers in a dual method - you will remember it from the instructions if you did it - trust, it was a pain.

Hopefully this issue has resolved by now!

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Jeanne
11/23/2013 14:58

We used Gianni in our master bath a few months ago, and although it seems to be holding up well, it is lacking. We are in the process of a military move and will be renting our house. I am giving our second bath a facelift and will be attacking the countertop with Rustoleum stone spray paint and Envirotex. Hoping it comes out as beautiful as yours so I can go over the master bath countertops.

Reply
12/15/2013 17:52

Hi Jeanne,

I hear you about the Gianni. It is lacking, to say the least. Not to mention the steep price tag for what is essentially an assortment of latex paints, sea sponges, and polyurethane one could easily purchase for less than $30. My biggest complaint with the Gianni is this: Seriously, WHO do they have doing the counter tops that they feature on their marketing materials, I want that guy - because they obviously possess some crazy good faux effect painting skills.

I wish you luck on both the move and the project! The kitchen and the bathroom are the most important features of a home when talking bang for your buck, in buying, selling, and income property.

I sold my home (the one I did the counter tops on) last May, was living in assorted parent's basements for about six months and just purchased in October. I just did another envirotex counter top project on a large kitchen island. The counter tops are laminate just like my previous ones, and the color is dated goldenrod yellow 70s deal....which is odd considering the home was built in 05. Anyway, I went light with all my cupboards so I decided to go light with the counter tops as well. I love the way they turned out, but just a heads up stains happen and they are really hard to get out. I have 2 small pink stains already and I just did the counter tops 2 weeks ago....So be cautious. What got mine was sweet and sour sauce. So I would imagine that ketchup would stain as well as other condiments.

Happy DIY'ing!

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Jules
01/15/2014 23:00

Countertops look amazing....question. If I wanted to use the Krylon, paint the top and then put some glass pieces in it for a little craziness could I then put the epoxy over and it would still be smooth?

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JILL
01/19/2014 09:56

Your counters look fabulous. I am currently using rustoleum countertop paint, so far, good. I am wondering if I use poly over the top if it will make it shiny and protect better???Any thoughts???

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Liz
04/15/2014 13:33

How many square feet was your countertop?

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walt mclaughlin
05/29/2014 23:26

Tried Krylon Make-It-stone. Bad product. On the bathroom sink it is subjected to water (surprise). Will not stick or dry and water removes it a bit at a time. Used sealer. Followed all directions. Emailed company: "This is a
decorative product marketed and sold as such. The label illustrates
decorative, no/low moisture surfaces - planters holding shells and dried
flowers. It is not labeled as a counter or sink paint. There are those
types of coatings on the market and they are labeled for that use."

BEWARE!

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mary
09/02/2014 11:19

hi i did this fab project and im suuuper happy.....only thing is ive put 2 coats of the resin over the stone paint and it still isnt smooth..what can i do...3rd coat??

Reply



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