Envirotex Lite, the real magic in this recipe, is an epoxy resin that is often used to coat bar tops, so it can stand a lot of wear and tear. The only places I know of where you can buy this is Hobby Lobby or Menards. I know some people get special coupons for Hobby Lobby, but I do not, so I found a better price at Menards.
Here is my before:
After, alternate view and close up:
|After, other view|
Now, this process is covered in detail on a lot of other blogs, but what the heck, I will give you a break down too, along with my own commentary about the process. So if you want to try this, here are some instructions.
Step One, Caulk and Sink Removal:
Shut off your water supply, and unhook your faucet pipes. Keep an eye under the sink for the next few hours to make sure nothing is leaking.
Remove the caulking around your sink, and then your sink itself. Have you never removed caulking before? Best tool is a metal putty knife. Have you never removed a sink before? Best tool is a strong friend. We ended up giving it a few swift hits from underneath to loosen it.
Also remove any caulk on the counter edges.
Step Two, Prime
Apply with a roller. I used Zinsser primer. Follow the directions as to how long to wait before applying a base color
|Step 2: Zinsser Primer|
Step Three, Base Color
I used Rustoleum flat black (oil based). Is it strange that I like the smell of oil based paint? Even if you do, turn on your vent (or open a window if you have one). Allow this to dry overnight (or follow directions on the can)
|Step 3: black paint|
Step Four, Sponge on Metallic Paint
Okay, you can get creative here. I ended up mixing two different colors of metallic paint, basically trying to approximate the look of stone. I used both a sea sponge and a crinkled up plastic bag. Just dip and dot. Easy, and surprisingly fun. You don't have to let it dry between these colors; you actually want them to blend a bit. And you can go over an area more than once... layering is a good thing. Don't worry about thickness. It won't matter after the final steps.
I ended up preferring the plastic bag over the sea sponge, surprisingly. Something about the sea sponge seemed to make prints that just looked like a child's craft project. A note about plastic bags: if your bag has any lettering on it (especially red), just cut that part out of the bag or the color will bleed.
First color: copper:
|Copper, applied with sea sponge|
Then, second color: silver:
|Silver, applied with bag|
Final color, more black:
Yeah, it looks terrible after this, but just you wait. Let that puppy dry for about 24 hours.
Step Five, Glitter
Martha Stewart black glitter. Sprinkle around generously. You can't see it in my pictures, but it is more evident in real life. Some people use more than one color of glitter, but I think the black did the trick for me... I just wanted a stone like look, not a glammed out counter, if you know what I mean. I didn't take a picture of the glitter, though, because I was too excited to move on to...
Step Six, Envirotex Lite
This was the big moment, the grand finale, what I had been waiting for! True story, I bought a $2 remnant of formica and practiced this whole process on it before even starting on the bathroom counter... mostly because I was nervous about this last step.
Here are my thoughts on Envirotex Lite:
- Read the directions... for realsies, don't just skim them.
- You are mixing two liquids together; a resin and a hardener. Mix exact parts of each bottle, don't eyeball it.
- Use containers that you don't care about and will throw away afterwards. You will not have a choice.
- Cover your counters, your floors, and anything else in the line of fire as much as possible, and even then, check everything afterwards thoroughly for drips. This stuff has the consistency of syrup, people.
- This stuff does not taste like syrup, though. If you are like me, and end up getting it in your mouth (and hair, and all over my arms...) wash it out immediately.
- Don't be afraid of the blowtorch step (to pop the bubbles). It's really not that bad. And your only other alternative is the drinking straw method, which invariably leads to #5.
I couldn't believe it... there were still little bumps sticking up from the uneven paint. I thought I had messed up horribly.
|Close up of bumps. Second coat of Envirotex took care of this issue.|
I called the company the next day (by the bye, their customer service is stellar), and they said I could apply a second coat 24 hours after the first. So I did. Much better.
|Same spot, bumps gone!|
Step 7, Wait
Yeah, it really takes 72 hours to cure. Even after that, it would dent if I set anything down on the counter... but the dents would disappear in an hour or so. It turns out, it takes Envirotex a few weeks to really harden, so take it easy on the counters for the next 3 or 4 weeks.
Step 8, Faucet?
Do you hate your faucet? Now is really a good time to replace it... when your sink is sitting out, it is super easy to install (takes about 10 minutes as opposed to an hour or so for an installed sink). Nice faucets are around $100, but can really make the difference. I got new flex pipe tubing too, because... what the heck.
Step 9, Reinstall sink and caulk counters
Apply some caulk to the underside of the sink, and place it in. Hook up your faucet, switch on the shutoff valves. Caulk the counters where they meet the backsplash. Use acrylic if you can swing it. It is tough, but it is the best! Maybe I should do a separate blog on how to caulk... hm.
One more look at the after:
What have I forgotten? I can't think of anything, but if you have questions, let me know!