Dustman Remodel - Counter tops

I had no idea (well maybe a tad) how much money can be poured into a kitchen. During this remodel the kitchen was honestly one of the least of my concerns. And that seems to be backwards from the way many people think as I’ve learned. One of my main focuses was to make sure the flow through the house made sense, and that included the kitchen. Fancy counter tops and cupboards were on the bottom of my list in regards of budget.

Even so, I get it and for a few weeks was very much drawn in to the options. Being the researcher I am my process is a little inefficient. I have to look into every possible option before crossing them all off the list again and going back to the original plan. And depending on the topic that can take awhile. Is laminate worth it? What about the fancy kind of laminate with the cool texture? Well if I’m going to just do laminate I might as well keep what I had and fix it up. Unless…I want to do something nicer (down the rabbit hole I go). Soapstone looks nice and wow it feels nice too. But that’s pretty heavy, and I’m not sure if these old cabinets can handle it okay. Quartz is pretty neat, at least the more solid options. And it’s durable right. Except the fact that everyone I know quartz has spent so much on it that they still baby their counter tops like it’s fragile. Well that ruins the point that it’s sturdy. What about copper or stainless steel? I love that texture and even the marks that would come with age along withe patina. But again, is it worth it for future resale (not sure how far in the future) when it would still take some skill and cost to make it happen.

Back to the cheapest options I could think of that eliminated all the crazy pattern options that make everything look busy even when it’s cleaned up. A painted counter top with an epoxy finish over the top for durability. I did go through a season where I sampled doing an ardex concrete finish on an extra piece of the laminate. That was really helpful for me because I learned that even with some of the non epoxy sealers, staining was very easy to happen. My counter top goals for this house: clean, white if not the exact same colors as my walls, no black edges (like laminate), very cleanable, low cost (so I don’t feel guilty later if I want to upgrade).

So I did it!

Because I had changed the layout of the kitchen I had to have someone chop off the parts i wasn’t using. Then I was ready for the project.

I primed the counter tops. Then a painted a few coats with the same paint as my walls. Then I bought the two-part epoxy and supplies from amazon (about $175 total). I set out all of the pieces flat in the garage. Working quickly, mixing equal parts together, stir till clear, pour and brush evenly across entire piece. For some of the light texture I wanted, I used a dye mixed with alcohol to spray across and I also tried some white spray paint which I like. Try to not let bubbles form or pop them quickly before they set. The vertical backsplash was the most difficult because the epoxy kept running down. In hindsight I wish I would’ve taken a few more days to separately work on those while leaning the counter tops vertically the the backsplash would be level with gravity. Anyway, then a friend helped me install them once my kitchen was ready for them (like 2 months later). Then I used a sander and evenly sanded all of the counter tops to create the matte finish. Doing this makes it a little less easy to clean but you also don’t always see fingerprints and smudges.

I used the laminate that was already in place and chopped off the ends and peninsula that I wasn’t using.

I used the laminate that was already in place and chopped off the ends and peninsula that I wasn’t using.

paint on left and ardex feather finish concrete on right

paint on left and ardex feather finish concrete on right

later I found white ardex so I tried that in the back of the sample. Then I covered it all with epoxy once I saw how easily the ardex stains (even with a water based sealer)

later I found white ardex so I tried that in the back of the sample. Then I covered it all with epoxy once I saw how easily the ardex stains (even with a water based sealer)

IMG_8382.jpg
IMG_8389.jpg
IMG_8391.jpg
Javon0056.jpg
Javon0049.jpg
Javon SteffenComment