Countertops in kitchens and bathrooms get a lot of wear and tear, and sooner or later you'll be faced with the feeling that they need to be replaced. But what if you could avoid the expensive option of installing a new kitchen or bathroom counters, and instead just paint them?
Tempting though this might be, it's not the normal recommendation--at least not with ordinary paint. While laminate cabinets can sometimes be painted, a hard-working surface like a countertop is not very suitable for an ordinary paint surface.
But there is a great product from Rust-Oleum, the Countertop Transformation kit, that is as easy as painting but creates a completely resurfaced countertop.
What the Kit Includes
This kit contains most, but not everything, you will need. It supplies all surfacing materials and a few tools (stir sticks, dispenser, sander, and scraper). But there are other items you'll need to purchase, such as a paint roller, paint trays, brushes, painters tape, and safety gear.
This may sound like the materials you need for a simple paint job, but the reason the Countop Transformation kit qualifies as true resurfacing is that the process applies four full layers over the existing countertop:
- Base Coat: A time-sensitive adhesive.
- Wetting Agent: A solution which keeps the adhesive wet.
- Decorative Chips: The thick, solid layer of "surface" that will get sanded down.
- Protective Top Coat: A clear coat.
The decorative chip layer gives the countertop the solidity and thickness it would not get with paint alone.
Be aware that this project is a bit time consuming and labor intensive. It requires a full five hours or so of work, spaced out over an even longer period to provide that time needed for the individual layers to cure.
And it is a little messy. One step involves sanding down (or "knocking down") the rough layer of decorative chips after they have dried.
Pros and Cons
There are both pros and cons to using this product, which you should be aware of before tackling the project.
- It's a real surface. As mentioned, you are applying a new surface of solid materials--those decorative chips. So it's less apt to scratch through than a paint job would be.
- It's a great look. The chips help you achieve a stone-like look. You can't do that with paint.
- The kit instructions are easy to follow. Everything is explained (even how to measure the square footage of your countertop) and nothing is left to chance.
- It takes time. It's a daunting time commitment. The task alone requires no less than 5 hours and 20 minutes, judging by the instructions' estimates. This doesn't include time-intensive prep time needed to tape around obstructions, such as a cooktop or sink.
- Little margin for error. The instructions are peppered with warnings about narrow time frames and about how the second set of hands might reduce the possibility of the application coats drying on you too fast.
- Expensive. Countertop Transformations is not cheap: more than $200 for 50 square feet of countertop. Larger kitchens may require two kits.