Love the look of marble but not the price? That’s exactly what started this DIY Epoxy Countertop journey for us! When we planned to completely gut, remodel and expand our starter home into our forever home, marble countertops were at the top of my wishlist! After the pandemic, 3 local hurricanes and supply chain issues we were well over budget in the construction phase so marble was the first thing to go :(
As a back up plan, we intended to use wood for the countertops since it was a less expensive and still beautiful option until we could afford the marble I had always dreamed of. Knowing I was a little disappointed, my husband Skip began researching epoxy and marble alternatives. When he found Stone Coat Coutnertops White Marble Epoxy Kit I was cautiously optimistic. Could these really be as beautiful as they looked in pictures for such a fraction of the cost of marble? We took a chance and ordered a small kit with the the intentions of making a sample. Once we did, we were completely hooked! We have used this White Marble Epoxy Kit for our kitchen countertops and also a marble table top.
In my earlier blogging days, I wrote a blog post about the marble table top but did not take detailed pictures of the process. I do plan to update it soon but if you’d like to read it, you can find it here. I did make a short Instagram video of the process that you can watch here and a follow up video here.
With so many things on the to-do list for an entire home remodel, the bathroom has been neglected for almost 2 years. Let’s take a look back at the scary situation we started with. Yikes!
For our initial phase of the remodel, we removed and changed out the tub and toilet (which by the way sat on the front porch for about 6 months and drove me absolutely crazy!), changed the floor, changed the ceiling and painted the walls. So we basically freshened it up and got it usable but not beautiful. And it stayed in the “freshened up” stage until January 2023 when we made a huge push to get things done for a magazine shoot (more about that later).
At that time, we added a peg rail accent wall, painted the vanity and light fixture, added decor…and then ran out of time. So the bathroom has been at about 90% complete for the past 8 months. Determined to get this thing completely finished, we planned to replace the countertops with epoxy and the timing was much better to create a step by step look at the process to share with you.
Well, I think I’ve built up the anticipation for long enough so let’s get started with the process we used to make these beautiful surfaces!
P R O J E C T T I M E F R A M E:
Since there needs to be time allotted for drying, the project takes several days to complete but only requires short increments of actual hands on. The initial steps for the undercoat and colorant application for this countertop project took approximately 1 hour of hands-on time. The final top coat took approximately 30 minutes. Drying time for both steps is 48 - 72 hours. So with that said, the entire project including installation can be completed in under a week or less. Recommended temperatures for epoxy are from 60 - 80 degrees so working in a climate controlled area is best.
S U P P L I E S :
- Stone Coat White Marble Epoxy Kit (Click here for the project calculator) For reference, 1 gallon of epoxy covers 20 sq feet.
- Stone Coat Art Coat (optional but recommended by manufacturer)
- Stone Coat Ultimate Top Coat (optional but recommended by manufacturer)
- (1) 4” Cabinet and Door foam roller
- (1) 4” Foam roller handle
- (1) Foam Roller Tray Liner
- (2) Paint stirring sticks
- (2) 2” angled brushes
- (1) Tile Trowel (1/8” - 3/16” V notch)
- (1) Handy Paint Pail with 2 liners
- (4) 16 oz plastic cups or disposable plastic measuring cups
- (2) Plastic spoons
- Vinyl gloves
- Brown paper & plastic sheeting or garbage bags to protect your work surface
- Blow dryer or heat gun
- Handheld propane torch
- Oscillating tool with flat blade
- 3/4” MDF for countertop surface. (This is the method discussed in this tutorial but the product can be applied directly over existing countertop surface also).
- Table saw and JigSaw for cutting countertop surface and sink insert.
So now that we’ve gathered all of our supplies, let’s get the process of making beautiful epoxy marble countertops started!
P R O C E S S :
1. Measure and cut pieces of countertop using MDF or desired wood product. For this project, we needed to cut out a countertop surface and trim pieces to fit around the vanity.
2. Lightly sand MDF with 220 grit sand paper by hand to prep and clean the surface. Wipe dust off of the surface with a dry cloth.
3. Protect your work surface. I used my dining room table as a work surface, so I added 3 layers of brown contractor paper and then covered the work surface and drip area of the floor with heavy duty garbage bags. You will also want to elevate the countertop pieces from the work surface with scrap wood.
4. Using the 4” foam roller, paint the surface with the white undercoat provided in the kit. Apply liberally covering the entire surface.
5. Let the undercoat dry for a few hours until completely dry to the touch. The under coat for this project took about 2 hours to dry.
6. Calculate amount of epoxy needed. Stone Coat Countertops has a fantastic calculator tool on their website to make this step super easy. You can access it here.
7. Measure amount needed and label clear cups with the amount needed and label them A & B for the next step. You can also use disposable plastic measuring cups but we opted to use the clear cups we had on hand.
8. Mix the Epoxy in a 1:1 ratio. Far example, if you need 3 cups of epoxy for your project, you will need 1 1/2 cups of Part A (Resin) & 1 1/2 cups of Part B (Hardener).
9. ****VERY IMPORTANT***** You will add Part B FIRST to the lined pail then add Part A. Mix thoroughly, stirring vigorously using a paint stick.
10. Set aside a small amount (~1/8 cup) of the clear epoxy mixture in one of the plastic cups. Add ~ 1/2 teaspoon black colorant to the epoxy mixture using a plastic spoon and stir until well combined. This black epoxy will be used to add the black veining so set aside for later use.
11. Add ~1 1/2 to 2 tsp white colorant to the remainder of the epoxy mixture in the pail stirring vigorously in a circular motion until well combined. The mixture should have a pearl look.
12. Pour the white epoxy mixture onto the white countertop surface.
13. Trowel using a 1/8” V notch trowel. Since my project pieces were small, I used a small plastic trowel. Coat surface evenly working the epoxy all along the surface and use an angled brush dipped in the white epoxy mixture to cover the sides.
14. Begin dabbing the angled brush with medium pressure onto the epoxy coated surface in a random pattern. This technique removes trowel marks and helps to vary the white background. Continue this process over the entire surface and edges.
15. The next step will involve adding the black colorant. To do so, dip the end of the paint stirring stick into the black colorant. As the black epoxy runs off the bottom of the stick, drizzle it over the white epoxy surface of the countertop in a veining pattern of your choice.
16. After veins are created, use angled brush to feather (spread) the lines using the same dabbing technique as previously done with medium pressure. Continue feathering just along the drizzle line you created with the paint stick. You can also opt to leave some of the veining lines unfeathered if you choose. As a side note, you will be able to further (spread) the black colorant in the next step so it’s generally better to lightly feather the veining at this stage if you want a tighter veining pattern leaving more of the surface covered with white marble.
17. Use a hairdryer or heat gun along the veining lines to apply heat and move or spread the colorant further. This is where the magic happens and your artistic creativity can really shine through in your project! It’s actually my favorite part!! It’s so satisfying to watch the colorant move along the surface and create a beautiful natural looking veining pattern! Ok I digress…moving on!
18. Once you have your veining pattern just the way you want it, let the surface dry for 48 hours. (It’s hard I know!) There will be air bubbles but don’t worry, those will be removed in the next step.
19. After the countertop has dried, it’s time to move onto to the final steps. Since there are air bubbles in the surface, those will need to be removed by lightly sanding the entire surface with 220 grit sandpaper.
20. Next, mix another batch of epoxy in the same manner as the previous step (equal parts A&B adding Part B FIRST). This epoxy will be used as the top coat/clear coat so no colorant will be added in this step. (*Please note for white marble epoxy Stone Coat Countertop recommends adding an Art Coat and an Ultimate Top Coat for added durability and to further prevent yellowing. We didn’t have these products on hand so we used the clear epoxy as we have in previous projects. Please see their website for the steps needed to add those coats.*)
21. Use a trowel in the same manner as before evenly coating the surface and an angled brush to coat the edges. Also repeat the feathering process over the entire surface for this clear top coat as done previously.
22. To remove air bubbles from this final top coat, use a hand held propane torch to lightly cover the surface and remove the air bubbles. I kept the torch flame ~ 6-8” from the surface to prevent overheating.
23. Let the countertop dry for 72 hours prior to handling or installing a sink. (Countertop and sink installation will be covered in a separate blog post and video).
24. If your edges have drips or runs or if the color is faded, you can touch up the areas on the edges by mixing a small batch of the black colorant and clear coat and reapply as needed.
25. Use a razor blade or power oscillating tool with flat blade to remove all drips from the under edge of the countertop.
26. Enjoy the gorgeous countertops you created and celebrate with all of money you saved!!! This total project cost under $200 and was well worth this small amount of time needed to get this done! I am honestly so proud that I completed this project with the help and guidance of my husband! It was so much fun and made such a huge impact in our bathroom. Full bathroom reveal coming soon!
If you’d like to see a short video of the process on my Instagram Stories Highlights you can check it out here. I would love to see your DIY’ed countertop creations! Please tag me on social media or send me an email with some before and after! Happy DIY’ing friends!
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