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  • Katie Tanner

Epoxy.. Should I cover my counters?

After painting our bathrooms Sherman Williams Alabaster white and the cabinets a light blue, the dark tan Formica counter tops HAD to go. While considering my options and after a quick Pinterest search, I learned of epoxied counter tops! My favorite bloggers made ugly outdated laminate counter tops into beautiful faux marble counters. After watching many videos and reading tutorials, I felt as though I could tackle it myself... except for the veining of the marble. I decided to go with solid wight. Because I did not need help and it seemed to be the best cost effective upgrade, I was sold.

The steps seemed straight forward:

  1. Clean counter top

  2. Scuff sand

  3. Clean again

  4. Paint the counter

  5. PREP for epoxy, cover EVERYTHING

  6. Use Epoxy

  7. Cure 24-38 per instructions





Some of the bloggers used the Rustoleum kits and some purchased their own products. I decided to go the second route as it seemed more cost effective. I figured it costing less than 200$ for both bathrooms. I got my materials and began. Although the tutorials were great, I had ALOT of trouble that I did not encounter in my research. Below, I will cover each hurdle I faced!



Mistake I Made:

Not taking seriously covering everything.

I spilled so much epoxy…especially on the sinks. You can see and feel spill lines in the sink basins. I believe I can get it off with serious scrubbing, but I have not tackled that yet. And It has been at least 1 year. Also, the epoxy spilled out onto the floor from my plastic drop cloth covering the cabinets. I learned it is not enough to just cover the cabinets, but you to need to have a trough to catch it in on the floor. I did not think of that and ended up with epoxy on the floors… However it came off easier than the sink!


You NEED a heat gun.

Many blogs said a hair dryer will be fine. It was in fact NOT fine. There are air bubbles throughout the counter top. The heat from the hair dryer was not enough to pop all of the bubbles and it shows big time. The smaller counter is not as bad, but the double sink counter top has significant bubbles.


Not having enough epoxy

I heavily underestimated how much epoxy I needed, to the point I had to redo both counter tops. In efforts to be as cost effective as possible, I rounded down on the box estimate assuming it would be fine. Although epoxy is self leveling, if there isn’t enough it cannot level correctly.


More Effective Technique to Cover the Backsplash

I wasted a lot of epoxy trying to pour it on the backsplash. I only had a large cheap mixing bowl to activate the epoxy and poor it on the countertops. It was too difficult to get the smaller areas filled, specifically the tops of the backsplash, behind the sink, and the back corners. I was using a plastic knife to spread it in those areas, but it made the epoxy unlevel. Also, there is epoxy slightly on the walls because of that. It isn’t too noticeable but I know its there.


Spots from Sanding:

A combination of the two above is that I sanded down the air bubbles and did a second coat of epoxy…well the dust is a different color than the counter and you can clearly see the air bubbles. They look like little spots


Minor Annoyances: Epoxy got ALL over my hands. I used gloves, but the epoxy would get on the gloves so id have to take those off. Then it would get all over the plastic knife I was using to spread the epoxy. I had to use a tough scrub exfoliating soap to get it off my hands. For someone who has a texture aversion to sticky, it was basically my nightmare lol.


Yellowing of Epoxy

Something I did not anticipate was how fast the epoxy could turn yellow! Each corner has yellowed and underneath a wooden tray there is a yellow square. Honestly, I do not know hwat caused this, but it sure is frustrating. Maybe if I had painted the counter tops a darker color it would not be as noticeable, but it sure is frustrating.


My final thoughts:

Epoxy is not for Beginner DIYers

If you have experience with epoxy, I am sure you can have great results. Many bloggers have beautiful counters! As a first time user of the products, it was a pretty bad idea to go straight to my counter tops. I ended up spending more than simply replacing my counter tops with new Formica. And as someone who was not extremely knowledgeable in the topic, I made several mistakes along the way that HEAVILY impacted my results.


Overall, I'm glad that I tried something new and attempted epoxy counter tops, but I would not use this product again for this particular circumstance! They do look good enough for now, just not permanently. I hope this helps anyone considering covering counter tops!


Thanks!

Katie

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