Saturday DH and I went to Lowe’s to look at the Rustoleum Countertop Transformation kits. I’d heard a lot of great things about them, and our countertops were in desperate need of transformation. We’ve been here just a month shy of 4 years and they were in bad shape when we moved in.
We ended up choosing a dark color, “Java Stone.” Everything we needed was included in the kit, except for 2 2″ synthetic brushes, drop cloths, 2 6″ roller sets (we only used 1), 2 different kinds of rollers, and a paint pan. The kit runs around $300 at most places but it’s cheaper at Lowe’s, I think around $249, and it was on sale for $198. On top of that, we used our Lowe’s card and saved an additional 5%. Not too bad.
I think the worst part of the process was clearing the counter off! My kitchen table is completely covered – Keurig, microwave, snack basket, fruit basket, coffee mugs, etc. etc. Once everything is removed from the counter, you need to wash it with gentle soap and water and let it dry. After the counter has dried, you use one of the enclosed sanding blocks, and using quite a bit of pressure with both hands, you have to sand the entire counter in circular motions. This does require some elbow grease, but luckily I was, uh…busy…doing…other…stuff…and missed this fun part! Don’t tell the hubs, but really I was just avoiding the kitchen at all costs.
After the whole counter, including the front and the backsplash, is sanded, use a shop vac to vacuum up all the dust. Then you’ll need to wipe down the counter with a damp rag to make sure all the dust is gone. Once the counter is dry and dust free, use 2″ painters tape to tape off all the way around the counter to make sure you don’t get paint anywhere else.
The base coat for Java Stone was a dark chocolate brown. When we started putting the base coat down I had the momentary thought of “Oh no, what did we do?!” because it was so dark and blah looking. After you get the base coat down, you have only 20 minutes to get the decorative chips on before it dries, otherwise they won’t stick. The chips come in clear bags and you have to dump them into the chip spreader, which is similar to a seed spreader. I was worried about this part, wondering how to get the chips applied evenly, but it worked perfectly! After the chips have been applied, you’ll more than likely have a big mess to clean up. We didn’t use a drop cloth but in retrospect, it probably would’ve been a good idea. Who woulda thought? The good news is, it’s an easy clean up, as ours wasn’t paint, just the decorative chips to vacuum up.
The base coat and decorative chips need to dry 12 hours or overnight before you get to enjoy sanding again. The kit comes with a sample to show you how smooth the chips should be sanded, but if you want them to be left a little rugged you can do that too. Our backsplash is a little rougher than the countertop. Be very careful sanding the edges! The front edge, where the countertop meets the front of the counter, that joint can be oversanded very easily…that’s definitely experience speaking. After sanding, you’ll again have to vacuum up the dust and use a damp rag to make sure there is no dust left behind. At this point, the countertop may look a little lighter than you thought it would turn out. It will darken up once the top coat is on.
The final step is to apply the protective top coat. This is like a thin epoxy; you have to mix two parts together, and once they’re mixed, it has to be used within 4 hours and then thrown away. Again, you’ll use a brush on the backsplash, and then a foam roller on the countertop and the front. The top coat has to dry 48 hours before you can use it for things like meal prep, but 7 days to be fully dry to put appliances back on it.
Overall, we were really happy with the results! The only thing we weren’t thrilled about was the front edge, where we over sanded. Even then, we were able to touch it up and it’s almost unnoticeable. I would say it was worth the money, and the cleanup was very easy.
Here are some pictures we took of the process.
You can see here the base coat, and the hubs applying the decorative chips via the chip spreader:
Here the chips are all spread, and you can see the mess on the floor:
Here is after the base coat and chips have dried overnight and have been sanded:
Here is the final result! Just need to take the tape off the edges!
I love it! I can’t wait to do our cabinets with their cabinet transformations kit next!