Keep reading to see how to do Diy Epoxy Counters
Click here to see the first portion of this post
I applied the Envirotex Lite Epoxy on the first section of the counter, just the corner piece. and was relieved. I started to worry about the application of the Envirotex, so I did a bit more research, and found that some people just used Minwax Polycrylic to seal the stone finish.
To Shine or Not to Shine
So, I bought a can, and slathered some onto my test board. I did 2 coats. But I wasn’t happy with the finish. I was kind of excited about the glass-like finish of the epoxy. So, next step was to do a sample of the epoxy on the test board (Yay, test board!) This is not a great picture, but you get the idea of the difference in finishes. The Epoxy is super shiny. I guess if you aren’t a fan of the high gloss finish there polycrylic might be the way to go. But warning, it’s a bit rough to the touch.
I just used a tiny bit of the 946ml (32 fl oz) size of the Envirotex. Probably about ¼ cup of each. Here was my biggest lesson: Be careful of DUST, HAIR & FUR. Having said that, we were working on the floor, which is filthy. really, why bother to wash the floors, if you are covering them up with laminate? There was a lot of dust on the sample piece, so a good lesson to get it set up, and then leave the building!
There were a lot of disclaimers on the instructions as to how it will be sticky or have soft spots if you don’t mix it right. I taped off the island portion of the kitchen to help keep the dust down. The place is starting to look like a crime scene…
Also, it helps to crank up your temperature to about 90 degrees, (which is confusing to me because I’m Canadian and I use Celsius) to help cure the product. Step one: remove the cat ! Then I vacuumed of the floor to pick up any stray dust/fur. Also, I reversed the hose on my shop vac, and blew off the counter tops to remove any dust/fur that might have been on the surface. Then just sit tight for a few until the dust settles.
Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble
I mixed up the products as per the instructions. It looks kind of weird when you are mixing it, as it gets super bubbly. It looks sort of “foggy” I don’t have any pictures, as I was mixing for 2 minutes, on a timer, so no time to stop for photo ops – sorry! Once the epoxy was all mixed up (twice) I poured it onto the surface and back-splash. I then used a plastic putty spatula to spread and smooth it out. The tricky part here, and the part that I knew would be a bit problematic, is the molded back-splash. If I had known a good way to remove it I would have. Probably should have researched more, I’m sure this was do-able. I hate those crappy little moulded back-splashes, and would never install them. I prefer the counter stopping at the wall, and then a tile back-splash between the counter and the cabinets. I will be tiling this one, above the existing back-splash.
It’s Go Time!
I poured some of the Envirotex epoxy onto the top of the back-splash, and I also used the putty knife to pull some of the liquid up the back-splash. Similarly with the rounded counter edges, I pulled the liquid over the edge, and tried not to let too much drip on the floor. If you are not refinishing your floors, like I am, you would definitely need to keep them protected. Here is a closer shot of the counter, where you can see the difference in finishes from the flat surface to the backsplash, which is a bit more “bumpy”
Make it Work
The epoxy is workable for a long time. I think I was still smoothing out bits and pieces an hour later. It took me about 15 minutes to get it all spread and smoothed out. I wore a shower cap (no way I am sharing a photo of that!) because I didn’t want any of my hair ending up in it. I was waiting and waiting for all of the bubbles that I kept reading about, but for the most part they were tiny and few. I did purchase a propane torch to excise them, however, the blowing through a straw method seemed to be more successful. Add one Propane Torch to my arsenal of tools.
I did use a very bright flashlight to check for bubbles and fur. I did even pick out about 5 bits of fur, using a toothpick. Once you manage to pick out the fur, just use the straw to blow on the liquid and it will re-smooth. In the end, there is definitely a difference between the finish of the main flat counter area, and the back-splash and edge areas. But, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It’s not like you cut food on the back-splash. I love the glassy finish of this. And I am doing this for re-sale. And ultimately, it is soooooo much better than the 1994 dusty rose counters. We sold the condo so I can’t attest to how well they stood up. I do know that you don’t want to cut on them without using a cutting board, as Greg did that not long after and left a mark 🙁
Here is what the finished product looks like:
Now onto the larger section of the counter. But I’m feeling more confident now. Here it is all sprayed up with Make it Stone:
And here is what the kitchen looked like once it was all done
Click here if you want to see how the rest of the condo renovation turned out
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