DIY: How to create custom countertops that look like real stone

Houston – From granite to marble to poured concrete, the countertops in your home can take your look to a whole new level. But stone is expensive, and that’s before you pay someone to install it. You can get gorgeous counters for a fraction of the cost of real stone, and no one will know the difference.

Epoxy countertops

Epoxy has been around for years, but now people are using it to cover countertops. You can pour epoxy over any material from MDF to Formica to granite or even glass. It is super easy to do (if you do it correctly). To get a lesson, we went to RK3 Designs in Seguin where owner Rhonda Dracoulis showed us how to create a beautiful countertop from an old piece of laminate.

The process

“Prepping is 99% of your success,” Dracoulis said. She said most DIYers don’t give themselves enough time for this and it is the most important part of the project.

“Epoxy is very sticky,” she explained. “It will find any little crack that it can and get through there.”

That’s why she said you should account for at least half a day to a full prep day.

  • Start by covering your floors in the area where you will pour the epoxy with plastic. Then put brown paper on top. Tape those down so that no epoxy will get on your floor.
  • Tape underneath the counter you plan to cover. Then go over that taped area with plastic sheets, taping those on top so the epoxy can drip from the counter, slide down the plastic and onto the floor covering.
  • Use painter’s tape and more brown paper to protect your backsplash behind the countertop.
  • You have to make sure that you have no 90-degree angles on the edges of your counters. If you do, you can use a router to smooth those so that the epoxy will roll over the edge.
  • Before you pour the epoxy, you have to paint the counter surface with a bonding primer that will allow the epoxy to adhere to the counter. Use two coats; and wait at least four hours for the primer to dry.
  • Next, use two coats of Behr Paint and Primer. Let your countertop dry overnight.

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