I was recently given the opportunity to try out a Countertop Transformations kit by Rustoleum. The kit isn’t recommended for use on cultured marble, which is what we have in our guest bath, so what to do? Younger sisters are always good to use as guinea pigs. So are their bathrooms. Umm, that doesn’t sound right…. Anyway, we worked together to start her bathroom update with a countertop makeover.
Lynn lives a few hours away, so we’ve had to work on this project in stages. Here is the before:
Yep, mauve countertops, and the vinyl flooring is mauve as well. There may have also been mauve carpet throughout the house once upon a time, but Sis would probably deny it.
Anyway, though you can use the kit with the sinks in place, we decided to make things easier on ourselves and remove them. (I.e., Lynn’s hubby Cory pulled them out.) We also figured we’d end up getting new sinks. Which we did.
Here is the kit we used:
I won’t go into great detail about the process since a detailed video as well as written instructions are included in the kit, but will give you an overview and a few pointers.
First step is to clean, then thoroughly sand the countertop. Make sure you remove all the sanding dust from the countertops, or the adhesive will stick to the dust, not the countertop.
See all that pink dust? It’s a very good idea to wear a mask during the whole project.
Oh, you’ll also notice, we peeled and scraped away all the caulking around the edges and sink openings.
We masked off the walls and placed tarps on the floor. It would be a good idea to mask off a wider area than we did- the color chips actually stuck to the wall and cabinet and we had to sand them off later when we were painting the walls.
The first layer is a black adhesive that looks sort of like tar. I didn’t get a picture of that, had to work quickly. This was probably the trickiest step- getting the adhesive on thick enough and yet not so thick that it sagged or left ridges. (We had a couple of minor sags on the back splash.)
Then comes the fun part. The color chips go into a spreader and you fling them all over the countertop. They fly everywhere! Be generous, there are plenty- we had a thick layer over the countertop and still had a couple of bags of chips left over.
We left it overnight, then brushed away the excess and sanded down the chips. (Rustoleum includes a sample to show how smooth you need to sand your countertop.) At this point, we noticed mauve spots shining through where we didn’t apply the adhesive thickly enough. It’s simple to touch up with a damp sponge and more adhesive. Spread more chips on those spots and wait until dry, then finish sanding.
After cleaning up the sanding dust, we applied the top coat. We ended up with a couple of minor roller marks in the finish, but not terribly noticeable.
On our next visit, Richard and Cory installed new white sinks (the old ones were almond). We reused the faucets. Much better! But now the walls were looking kinda’ dingy, sooo…
This week, Lynn and I painted the walls- we first tried to save money by mixing a few leftover paints that resulted in a blindingly bright blue. I won’t strain your eyes with a picture.
We repainted using Glidden in a much softer, calmer shade from Martha Stewart called Ice Rink. I love this color! Doesn’t it look fresh and clean?
I had to leave at that point, so the mirrors and outlet covers weren’t yet reinstalled.
Over all, the Countertop Transformations kit was easy to use and pretty forgiving, though the perfectionist in me is bugged by those little boo-boos I made with the roller. But this countertop makeover was definitely an improvement over mauve laminate. Lynn is pleased, so I will have more opportunities to use her as a guinea pig.
One more pic, a side by side comparison:
So, what would you do with the cabinets? Update with new hardware? Paint? What color? If paint, would you paint the mirrors to match the cabinets? (The floors will eventually be tiled.)
Disclosure: Rustoleum provided the Countertop Transformations kit, but did not ask me to give a positive review. All statements are my own opinions and true to my experience with the product.