The kitchen countertop in our condo in Florida was in sad shape. It was stained, pink (that was the original color choice 20 years ago) and just plain ugly! Hubby and I had looked to re-laminating, or replacing the countertop this year. The condo across from us had a nice cosmetic lift prior to sale last year. The man who did the work did an excellent job re-laminating the neighbor’s kitchen countertop, so we asked for his name and telephone number, and said we’d call him “next year”.
Well, when we arrived in January one of the first things I did was look for that man’s name and phone number. You can probably guess what happened. After looking and looking, and looking (and this place ain’t that big), I came up with nada.
So now it was on to plan B which was either find a fabricator and have them make a new laminate countertop, or replace with quartz or granite.
When we purchased this condo we knew we needed a new countertop, sink and faucet. The faucet we installed last year had 3 months of actual use and was going to be transferred to any new sink we purchased.
The quartz option was immediately discarded; at $65/sq ft to start, it did not make sense in this condo. The view is the main draw to this place, it is not upscale in any way.
Starter granite looked fine for our purposes, but the cost worked out to approximately $2800 for our small countertop. While that did include an undermount sink, it did not include the plumbing to reconnect the dishwasher, garbage disposal and install the facet.
After looking at a ton of granite places (they all start to blur), Hubby finally decided “we” could redo the countertop ourselves with a refinishing product.
He then went on a mission to look for something that would look semi-decent, be usable after a few days, and be durable.
He decided on Daich Coatings. They make a lot of different products for residential and commercial buildings for both countertops and floors.
We decided on Sundance in the mineral collection. Warning: our finished color looked nothing like the color on the website. Hubby also chose to get the two part epoxy instead of using the one part clear coat that came with the kit.
Our kitchen countertop is approximately 45 square feet. The coverage listed on the website is: Coverage Area: Kit covers 30 – 35 sq.ft. of countertop or table surface, so we ordered two kits.
And now Hubby has a second kit to bring home and use on a rental.
One kit more than covered our countertop, applying two coats of well, everything.
If you order from the website and are in a hurry, you may want to call first to see the ship time. This is a Canadian company, so it needs to clear customs. In some real irony, they ship out of Buffalo. Well, looks like that second kit is returning home.
Before Hubby started, he taped off all the areas where countertop met wall. He removed the sink as we were replacing it when the countertop restoration was finished. The suggestion from the Diach coating was to cover all the cabinets too. Hubby took that suggestion to heart, and used Tape’n Drape.
This turned out to be a very smart move as the product did splatter a bit, and there was paint and clear coat on the Tape’n Drape when Hubby removed it.
If you have any gashes or tears in your laminate, now is the time to “repair” them. We did not (it was just stained and ugly), so Hubby went on to the sanding.
He used an orbital sander (80 grit) for the large, flat parts, and hand sanded the backsplash and edges using 80 grit sandpaper.
Next up was the primer coat. He put on one coat in the evening, allowed it to dry completely, then put on a second coat the next morning.
Next up was the color coat. The color coat is premixed, but you stir the speckled granite up from the bottom. Hubby said stir well so that it really mixed up.
He followed the directions on painting, and said the roller that is included in the package is garbage. What he ended up doing on the second coat was rolling out the color, and then stippling the paint with a decent brush. Stippling is basically bouncing your brush up and down to paint, instead of moving it side to side.
This is what the SpreadStone Mineral Select Countertop looked like after the second coat. Already it was a huge improvement, and Hubby had not even sealed it yet.
After the paint coat, Hubby sanded twice; first with 120 grit, then with 220 grit. He vacuumed between sanding, and used a tack cloth in between sanding grits, as well as at the end of sanding.
He said if he had to do it again (and he will be at a rental), he’d get an even finer grit for a third sanding pass.
Hubby chose to go with the two part epoxy instead of the one part that came with the kit. You had to stir a long time to combine (3 minutes), and the epoxy went a long, long way. The first coat he applied, he mixed the recommended amount and had a ton leftover. This goes on quite thin. He halved that amount for the second coat, and had a bit leftover (but not a ton).
This is what it looked like the morning after the second coat.
Removing the Tape’n Drape. was simple, removing the painter’s tape took some finesse. First he cut the edge where the tape abutted the wall, then he used a spackling knife for pressure so none of the coating came up with the tape.
This is the finished product.
And this is our kitchen put back together. In all, this project took four days from start to finish.
When Hubby suggested this idea, I was a bit wishy-washy about it. On the one hand the price was right. Two kits (we only needed one) and the two part epoxy and we were in for about $250, significantly less than the $2800 for granite. I figured for a bit less than 10% of the cost, we could give it a go. Worse comes to worst, we installed granite anyway and were out $250.
In the end, this was the right decision for our condo. It looks fabulous! No, no one will ever mistake it for granite but the stone is attractive. The surface is rougher than Hubby would like (and why he’s do a third sanding pass with a finer grit), but I rather like the roughness. Clean-up is a breeze. My chief complaint is the color is nothing like I expected. For us, that did not matter much. We painted the kitchen cabinets the same blue we used on the bathroom vanity make-over so the tan-ish color and blue specs work well. Someone else might not be as happy with the color deviation.
All-in-all I would recommend the SpreadStone Mineral Select Countertop in all but higher end homes. It looks good, and the process was pretty straightforward and very easy to do.
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