25 Thursday Jun 2015
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During the pop-up camper restoration project, I failed to get this posted. I know so many people are looking for inexpensive ways to update or restore old campers so I thought I’d add my two cents. I hope you can overlook the miserable picture quality. These were taken on an old piece of phone that I refused to give up on.
The existing counters were made of particle board that had gotten wet and swollen. Hubby said we needed something light weight and I wanted something pretty. After hours on Pinterest, I decided to try faux marble.
My husband used the old counters as templates to create new ones from a thin plywood. He sanded them down good and coated them with a tinted primer. Then it was my turn to make them fancy.
I made a trip to Lowe’s so I could get an idea of what I really wanted. They have a variety of sample cards with pictures of the granite and marble they offer. I found one I really loved.
Rounding up the supplies from Walmart was easy. What wasn’t easy was finding a durable clear coat. Most people used a brush-on clear poly acrylic. I couldn’t find that at Lowe’s. Then I found out you needed a ton of coats and I knew I didn’t have the time for that.
I’ve worked with resin before and thought this would be a great choice. Aside from craft stores, where resin is a little pricey, I had no idea where I could find a large amount of pourable, self leveling resin. I was completely surprised to find a bar resin at Home Depot.
Here’s my supply list:
- Granite sample card from Lowe’s
- 4 bottles of craft paint
- Paper towels
- Latex gloves
- Popsicle sticks
- 2 small plastic containers – Large plastic cups will do
- Something to cover my work area – I used freezer paper
Using a paper plate to hold my paint, I dabbed one color at a time until I thought it looked good. When that color dried, I started with the next. It doesn’t take long for each color to dry. By the time you wash your sponge and get the other color ready, the previous coat is dry.
When I had sponged all of my colors I used the first color to blend it all together. I did this by making a mixture of my beige paint and water. I would say it was more water than paint. Maybe a mixture of 25% paint, 75% water. This is where the paper towel comes in.
I crumpled the paper towel and dipped it in the paint mixture and rubbed the entire surface of my counters. This brought down the brightness of each sponged color and blended it well.
The next day I felt that everything was dry enough to pour the resin. WARNING – - – This stuff is sticky and will ruin anything you don’t want resin on. Use gloves!
Mix your resin as instructed by the manufacturer. From my experience, you must stir the resin very well to mix it. I also let my resin rest for a few minutes to help reduce the air bubbles. When it settles, slowly pour it on the counter top. As you can see, I used painter’s tape around the sink hole to prevent drips. There are a couple of YouTube videos that show you how to pour it. Do not touch it to see if it’s dry. Just leave it alone for at least 24 hours.
On the large counter I didn’t pour resin on the sides. Instead, I used a craft sponge brush to brush the resin on. I didn’t need a thick coat really. I just wanted it to be shiny and pretty.
The resin will level itself out. Use a popsicle stick to drizzle resin on any spots you think are low or didn’t fill in well. When your counter is completely dry in about 72 hours, you can use a fine sandpaper to make it perfect. Then use a wax to make it shiny again.
If the resin scares you, Minwax makes something call Polycrylic. You can brush on a few coats of that and get a good result too. I don’t suggest using polyurethane. That has been known to yellow over time. Just know that it will take several coats to achieve a very thick layer of gloss.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. I’m no expert but I did 3 counters and they held up perfectly to abuse.