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Give New Life To Your Old Countertops
Give New Life To Your Old Countertops
The look of marble at a fraction of the cost
Mike Berner

When I was imagining new countertops for this kitchen, it was clear to me that nothing would look as good as marble. But marble is soft and porous, making it prone to scratches, stains and chipping. It’s also expensive. Then I came across this epoxy coating that you pour right over the existing countertops. I was blown away by how easy it was to mimic the look of a marble slab—at a tenth of the cost.

Everyone is amazed by the transformation. You’d have to look closely to see my mistakes that give it away: a pair of drips down one edge and a slight orange peel texture in the corner from overworking the topcoat. The countertops are tough, too; we dragged heavy pots and pans across them without damage.

If your countertops are in need of a refresh, consider covering them with epoxy for a stunning new look.

1 CUT OFF THE BACKSPLASH

Cutting off the backsplash isn’t necessary and adds extra work. But I really wanted the look of a genuine marble slab. With an oscillating tool and a carbide blade, I cut into the backsplash, flush with the rest of the counter. Once the backsplash was off, I had to glue a piece of wood between the counter and the wall to fill the gap. Then I sanded it all flat. You’ll also have to remove your sink before applying the epoxy.

2 ROUT THE CORNERS

An old carpenter once warned me that applying finish to sharp corners won’t work; it won’t work with epoxy either. Epoxy needs a rounded edge in order to bond well to the corner and to flow over it. On the ends, use a 1/8-in. round-over bit with the router positioned horizontally so the bit can follow the shape of the front edge. If the front edge isn’t rounded over, use a 1/4-in. or 3/8-in. round-over bit.

3 PATCH SEAMS

Fill any gaps and seams with all-purpose body filler. This includes seams at miters, inside corners at the front edge and the gap between the counter and the backsplash. Fill and smooth out particleboard that’s exposed after routing or cutting. Body filler is a twopart system that will harden in a few minutes once it’s mixed together, so work in small sections and move quickly.

4 SAND IT SMOOTH

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October 2019