DIY Marble countertops

For under $300

Getting an idea

If you've spent countless hours scrolling through Pinterest trying to find the perfect countertop just to find out its going to cost you $7,000?! Look no further, this DIY marble countertop hack is perfect for all of you home DIYers. The total cost of this project is around $300 depending on the square foot of your counters. This DIY is labor intensive and recommended to have a buddy to help you especially with the resin coat at then end.

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Created by Designer Abby Gottfried

What You Will Need:

-Bonding Primer
-Base Color Paint
-Montana Marbling Spray
-Epoxy Resin
-Plastic Tarps
-Heat Gun
-Foam rollers
-Few "chip" brushes
-Bucket or large container (stir epoxy)
-Paint stir sticks

#1 Clean Counters, Tarp off Cabinets

This was what I started with. A tan laminate counter top that just wasn't giving me that wow factor I wanted. For this DIY I decided I wanted to do a faux black marble counter top. Start by giving your counter tops a good clean, I wiped mine down twice with clorox wipes just to make sure there wasn't any grease or dirt.

Countertops Before 

#2 Apply Bonding Prime

After you wash your countertops thoroughly, wait for them to dry completely. While they are drying, you want to make sure that you cover all of the cabinets and lay down a plastic drop cloth so your paint and epoxy has somewhere to run off onto. When the counters are dry, you can begin with applying a bonding primer on to the counter tops. This bonding primer will help the paint stick to the counter top in a smooth application. I used Sherwin Williams "extreme bonding primer" for mine.

Bonding Primer is applied to the counters.

#3 Apply Base Coat

After you add your primer, You want to apply whatever color you want your main marble base to be. This could be white, grey, black, etc! I chose tricorn black from Sherwin Williams in the sheen satin for this project. I purchased one gallon because I had an accent wall I wanted to paint with the black as well, and it was plenty. You will want to apply two coats with the color of your choice with a foam roller paint brush, leaving time between each coat to dry.

Base Coat applied to Countertops

#3 Spraying Marble Texture

Once you apply the two coats of black, you're going to begin adding your marbling design throughout your countertops. I used "montana marble effect spray" to my countertops. I purchased this in black, silver, and white to create depth for the most natural look. Make sure to hold it a few feet above and swipe away from your body for the most natural effect. 

I can not emphasize this enough, You want to make sure you test this out on a piece of wood, cardboard, or scrap piece you may have lying around the home before you spray on your counters. Don't forget to shake up the can really well before testing. Everyone's preference for the marbling is different, So just play around with it and you will start to get the hang of it. If you do spray it on and don't like your pattern, just roll over it with the same base color and it creates a really cool depth effect.  

After the "montana marble effect spray" is applied

#4  Epoxy Resin

There are a few places you can get your epoxy resin from. I used a kit from lowes called "glaze coat". When you pour on the epoxy you want enough so you can add it to the countertops without running out. Since you have about a 15 minute window to apply the epoxy and it takes 8 minutes to mix it doesn’t leave you much time. So prepare ahead of time.

Mixing The Epoxy:
The epoxy kit comes with two different one gallon containers. One is the resin and the other is a hardener. When you mix the two together at a 1:1 ratio and stir well it creates the epoxy resin to become a workable surface. 
Measure out your 1:1 ratio in a plastic bucket, pour enough to get you through the counter area you will be applying first. More is better than less for this step. Stir the epoxy for 8- 10 minutes with a paint stir stick or a blender bit for a drill if you have one.
Once you have stirred the epoxy per what the directions say on the epoxy, you can begin applying the epoxy to the countertops.

Pour on the epoxy in back and forth pours staying away from the edge as the epoxy will naturally fall over it and you can add the extra around the edge if need be. Take another paint stir stick or something with a flat edge that you can help the epoxy fill the countertops. If you have a back edge to your countertop, you want to make sure you pour a little epoxy and run along the top edge, then take a brush to paint up the sides of it.

After you feel good about your pour, and blending you need to level it out. You can either take a sander to the bottom of the counter to add some vibration. Or most heat guns will be fine to go over the top. Make sure if you are using a heat gun you aren’t too close to the counter. Hold it a few feet away in a back and forth wiper motion. The heat gun will help get out all of the small bubbles that occur when you pour on the epoxy to create a beautiful smooth finish.

About 20 minutes after the pour, you need to stop playing with it. You begin to lose time when you can pick things out, fix an empty area etc. Use a toothpick to pick out small things like hair, fuzz, paper, etc. If you are unsatisfied with your epoxy coat you can always light sand down your coat after it dries and add a 2nd coat which is what I did for the best results that really make the counter look like real marble. 

Countertops after the epoxy resin is applied

#5  Clean Up, wait time

Wait about 72 hours for light use on your counter tops. However, your counter will continue to harden for the next month so refrain from heavy objects, placing paper products that might stick (food boxes like rice, mac and cheese) and setting glasses on the counter top as they may leave a ring. To clean your epoxy counter top use a mild dish soap like dawn with a little water on a rag and wipe it on your counter. Using harsh chemicals can cause your new counter tops to be foggy or scratch so read your labels. Now enjoy your new marble counter tops for under $300!

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Final Look