So, I managed to apply the Envirotex Lite epoxy on the first section of the counter, just the corner piece. Have to say I am a bit relieved. I was very worried about doing this piece. I started to worry about the application of the Envirotex, so I did a bit more research, and found that some people just used Minwax polycrylic to seal the stone finish.
So, I bought a can, and slathered some onto my test board. I did 2 coats. But I wasn’t happy with the finish. I was kind of excited about the glass-like finish of the epoxy. So, next step was to do a sample of the epoxy on the test board (Yay, test board!) This is not a great picture, but you get the idea of the difference in finishes. The Envirotex is super shiny.
I just used a tiny bit of the 946ml size of the Envirotex. Probably about ¼ cup of each. Here was our biggest lesson: DUST AND HAIR/FUR) Having said that, we were working on the floor, which is filthy (really, why bother to wash the floors, if you are covering them up with laminate) There was a lot of fur on the sample piece, so a good lesson to get it set up, and then leave the building!
I cannot lie, I was feeling kind of stressed out about this step. Lots of disclaimers on the instructions as to how it will be sticky or have soft spots if you don’t mix it right. I taped off the island portion of the kitchen to help keep the dust down. The place is starting to look like a crime scene…
Also, it helps to crank up your temperature to about 90F, (which is confusing to me because I’m Canadian and I use Celsius) to help cure the product. Step one: remove the cat ! Then I vacuumed of the floor to pick up any stray dust/fur. Also, I reversed the hose on my shop vac, and blew off the counter tops to remove any dust/fur that might have been on the surface.
I mixed up the products as per the instructions. It looks kind of weird when you are mixing it, as it gets super bubbly. I don’t have any pictures, as I was mixing for 2 minutes, on a timer, so no time to stop for photo ops. Once the epoxy was all mixed up (twice) I poured it onto the surface and back-splash. I then used a plastic putty spatula to spread and smooth it out. The tricky part here, and the part that I knew would be a bit problematic, is the molded back-splash. If I had known a good way to remove it I would have. Probably should have researched more, I’m sure this was do-able. I hate those crappy little attached back-splashes, and would never install them. I prefer the counter stopping at the wall, and then a tile back-splash between the counter and the cabinets. I will be tiling this one, above the existing back-splash.
So, I poured some of the Envirotex epoxy onto the top of the back-splash, and I also used the ‘spatula’ to pull some of the liquid up the back-splash. Similarly with the rounded counter edges, I pulled the liquid over the edge, and tried not to let too much drip on the floor. If you are not refinishing your floors, like I am, you would definitely need to keep them protected. Here is a closer shot of the counter, where you can see the difference in finishes from the flat surface to the backsplash, which is a bit more “bumpy”
The epoxy is workable for a long time. I think I was still smoothing out bits and pieces an hour later. It took me about 15 minutes to get it all spread and smoothed out. I wore a shower cap (no way I am sharing a photo of that!) because I didn’t want any of my hair ending up in it. I was waiting and waiting for all of the bubbles that I kept reading about, but for the most part they were tiny and few. I did purchase a propane torch to excise them, however, the blowing through a straw method seemed to be more successful. Add one propane torch to my arsenal of tools.
I did use a very bright flashlight to check for bubbles and fur. I did even pick out about 5 bits of fur, using a toothpick type stick. Once you manage to pick out the fur, just use the straw to blow on the liquid and it will re-smooth. In the end, there is definitely a difference between the finish of the main flat counter area, and the back-splash and edge areas. But, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. It’s not like you cut food on the back-splash. I love the glassy finish of this. And I am doing this for re-sale. And ultimately, it is soooooo much better than the 1994 dusty rose counters.
Here is what the finished product looks like:
Now onto the larger section of the counter. But I’m feeling more confident now. Here it is all sprayed up with Make it Stone: