My five-year-old son Miller is our family’s master of disaster. True to form, Miller decided to sneak away during a family get-together to play with a scented candle burning in the bathroom. He first thought it would be a good idea to melt a plastic fork over the flame, then got scared when the fork lit up, so he covered it and the candle with a nearby towel, which in turn caught on fire.
We quickly smelled the smoke and prevented a tragedy. The bathroom countertop, however, suffered an ugly third-degree burn that discolored it badly.
Hopefully, Miller learned a lesson.
Countertop Repair Options
You can completely replace a countertop, but that can get expensive, depending on your material of choice and whether you DIY or hire an installer. Another option is to cover the surface in tile, a material that offers a wide range of looks and patterns.
For the project shown, tile was not the best choice because of the contours involved with the integrated sink of this single-piece vanity top.
Recoating the top sounds like a good idea, but you can’t simply paint a countertop, or the regular wear and tear of usage will damage the paint in short order.
You’ll find a few different countertop coating kits on the market, and I’ve used some of them with varying results. I tried a kit based on a faux painting technique meant to mimic the look of granite, but the end result was not at all convincing.
I’ve also tried the Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Kit and found greater success with its durable coating on flat surfaces (less so on 90-degree corners). The Rustoleum kit, however, relies on plastic chips to approximate a stone finish, and while the end result was an improvement, it did not really look like natural stone.
I then learned of a countertop product called Spreadstone that incorporated genuine stone into the coating material. Maybe real stone had been the missing ingredient to get the look I wanted. I contacted the manufacturer Daich Coatings with a few questions—most importantly: Would the Spreadstone coating erode over time from running water if I used it to coat the sink? The manufacturer reps ensured me the coating would hold up, so I took them at their word.
Here’s how I applied the Spreadstone product to give an old countertop a new look.
First, patch any deep cracks or holes in the countertop surface with drywall spackle.
Any wood or concrete countertop surface needs to be sanded free of any pre-existing coatings. For laminate countertops, the surface should be thoroughly scuffed with the 80-grit sandpaper included in the kit, which gives the surface “tooth” for a better adhesive bond with the Spreadstone product.
To give the new countertop coating a seamless appearance, I recommend removing the faucet and sink drain to prep and coat the surface beneath.
Once sanded, thoroughly clean the surface of sanding dust using soap and water, then rinse and allow it to dry completely.
The Spreadstone Mineral Select Kit includes the brush, paint tray, roller and roller-covers required for the job.
As with any painting project, use masking tape and plastic or drop cloths to protect any surrounding areas during application of the new finish.
The first component is the base coat, which should be mixed well prior to use. Use the brush to apply it to corners, edges and tight areas. (Wash the brush with soap and water after each use so you can use it on later phases of the project.)
Use one of the kit’s 4-inch rollers to apply a thin, uniform base coat to all flat areas of the countertop. Wash the roller in preparation for a second coat to be applied after the first has dried to the touch (approximately 30 minutes later).
Apply the second coat to eliminate any “see through” of the underlying countertop surface, then allow the base coat to dry for a couple hours.
Before applying the second component, it’s important to use a paint stick to thoroughly mix the stone material evenly into the product because its weight makes it settle at the bottom of the can.
Use the brush from the kit to dab (rather than brush) the Stone Coating along edges, corners and tight areas of the countertop. For the large, flat surface, first saturate one of the 4-in. rollers with the Stone Coating in the paint tray, then apply it in a continual “X pattern” over the entire surface. Roll the edges of the countertop downward.
To distribute the texture evenly throughout the surface, push the stone material around using varying roller pressure until you get the look you want. Once you’re satisfied, roll the wet material a few times with even pressure to flatten any buildup.
Wash the roller with soap and water and allow the stone coat to dry for two hours.
Next, apply a second coat just like the first. Spot-apply the coating to even out thin areas. Roll the entire surface evenly then allow it to dry for 24 hours.
Once the stone coating is completely dry, sand it with the 120-grit sandpaper included with the kit and clean away all sanding dust with a damp cloth.
The last component of the countertop finishing kit is the clear coat, which adds a semi-gloss finish that resists staining.
First, stir the clear coat gently to avoid producing air bubbles. (Do NOT shake the can.)
Use the small brush to apply the clear coat to edges, corners, etc., being careful not to let the coating pool on the surface. Coat the rest of the surface using a 4-inch roller. Roll over the wet surface a few times, but don’t overwork the coating as it dries, which would risk roughening the finish.
Allow the clear coat to dry for four hours, then apply a second coat in the same manner and let it cure for 24 hours before use.
After curing, cut away all painter’s tape with a sharp utility knife and apply clear caulking where the countertop edges meet a wall.
The old countertop now has a new texture that features genuine stone aggregate, which lends it a much more naturalistic appearance than the other coating products I’ve used. I would compare the look to a concrete countertop with a fine stone component in the mix—and a huge improvement over the fire-damaged laminate.
As far as durability, the Spreadstone coating has so far performed with no signs of wear. Granted, it’s only a couple weeks after application, so I can’t say with certainty how long it will last, but so far, I have a good feeling about its long-term prospects.
As far as skill level required, this is an easy DIY project that anyone can do if they follow the instructions. The actual working time is minimal, but you should take note of the elapsed cure time for the various phases of the project. You’ll need to block out about three days in which the sink will be out of service while the different coatings dry.
On this project, I used the Spreadstone Mineral Select Kit in “Natural White,” but the coating is available in eleven different colors. Find out more about the Spreadstone Countertop Finishing Kits at www.daichcoatings.com.