Top positive review
858 people found this helpful
Great results - helpful tips below
on October 28, 2011
We used this product (Desert Sand color) on our circa-1990s white Formica counters with wood trim. We had 39 sqft to cover; based on the reviews here, we opted to purchase two small (30 sqft) kits for $300 instead of the large (50 sqft) kit for $250 (we bought at Home Depot), since we were worried about having enough of the adhesive base coat. This turned out to be a great idea for two reasons: 1) we had plenty of the base coat, and 2) we had two sets of everything - sanding blocks, scrapers, etc., which saved lots of time since we could both be sanding and scraping simultaneously. In hindsight, I find it odd that Rust-Oleum stresses that this is a 2-person project, but they only give you enough supplies for one person to be working at a time.
Our only deviation from the instructions was that I used a 5" orbital sander with 60-grit sandpaper to rough up our old counters - this saved a ton of time. Other than that, I can't stress enough that you MUST follow the instructions to the letter if you want a good result. This is a project for Type A, meticulous people. :)
My observations after doing this project:
- I agree with previous reviewers who noted that they short you on adhesive base coat but give you WAY more chips than you'll need. You can dump half the chips on the floor (and you will, as you apply with the spreader) and still have plenty. I don't think the 50 sqft kit would have provided enough base for our 39 sqft of counters.
- The adhesive base coat dries quickly - if your counters are broken into multiple sections, do each one separately - first section base coat, apply chips; next section base coat, apply chips - etc.
- The wood trim on our counters had a beveled/ridged edge. I was worried that it would be hard to cover this evenly and bring out the detail when it was time to scrape and sand - but the base coat and chips adhered evenly, and a very light touch with the scraper and sanding block was enough to bring out the decorative edge beautifully.
- We took a flashlight and carefully inspected every square inch of the counters before we rolled on the final coat, to make sure none of the original counter showed through; if you really scuffed up your counters and you lay on the adhesive base coat as super-thick as they suggest, this shouldn't be an issue.
- No matter how carefully you roll on the final top coat, you may be able to see some subtle lines in it once it dries, when the light hits it at a certain angle. For us, it's minimal and barely noticeable.
- Getting the tape off at the end is incredibly difficult and requires extremely precise scoring. We used a box cutter and took our time; if you go too fast, I can see how it would be easy to start a tear that runs into the finished countertop. Go slowly and score it all the way through.
- I disagree with Rust-Oleum's claim that this product gives you a natural stone look; nobody would mistake this for stone unless maybe they're standing in the next room and looking at it from afar. To me, it looks like an upgraded laminate - not stone, but much better than what we started out with.
- This project makes a MESS and the top coat gives off a lot of fumes for several hours after it's applied. Definitely keep kids and pets away for the duration of the project.
Overall, we're really pleased with the results, and our friends and family can't believe we did it ourselves - we've gotten several compliments that it looks like a professional job. In going back and re-reading negative reviews, it's obvious in nearly every one that they didn't use enough base coat, or didn't follow instructions closely enough. If you over-buy and follow the instructions, this is a great product.