Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hi DIY's! This is a project I've wanted to do for a long time but since I use my kitchen so much I really had to time it right. Everyone knows how much I like to cook and repurpose old things and my kitchen was no different. When I bought this house I gutted it and rebuilt it the way it fit me. Since I'm a big man I don't like to bump into things while I'm trying to do something so out with all the needless items and I'm 6'4" so, I don't like working while bending over either. This kitchen was originally a "Galley" type (more like a hallway) and I wanted to be able to exit the back of the house without having to go through the kitchen so I needed an Island. I just saw cut the floor from the wall where all the service was over to where the new sink would be. I bought several antique sideboards that I thought were interesting and built the cabinets around them. This post is about the countertops so I'd better get to it. I rescued two pallets of Travertine pavers headed for the landfill because they had gotten broken during shipping from Italy and I like the way they looked and thought they'd make great stone countertops. You be the judge? This is what I started with~ (Yuk)

 That's my helper my oldest Grandson Robert when he was about 3.
You can see I got rid of all the linoleum and carpet and then stained the concrete floor to look like stone.
Here's what it looks like now 
You can see my old Imperial stove, another refuge from the dump. It came out of an old restaurant years ago and I've been dragging it around with me wherever I've lived. There's no gas in this neighborhood either so I plumbed the house for gas and installed two 100# propane bottles outside. I also took the overhead cabinets and hung them along the back wall of the garage so I didn't lose any storage space.

 I took out some walls and built the paralipsis arches

 All the lighting is now low voltage and suspended

So, back to the countertops- When I first built them I finished them with sealer just like the floor. It was very rustic and beautiful, but hard to keep clean so this time I refinished them with high temp
  two part Epoxy resin so they would be sealed and       flat on top like granite and easy to care for. 
But first             I had to take off the old finish! Ha, ha, ha.
     I taped off the room with 7 mil plastic to isolate as      much of the dust as possible and wore gloves and                                        a respirator.
 Then after I got it all clean and down to the surface I used blue masking tape to create the "form" so the epoxy couldn't run off and it became self-leveling to create a flat surface. What you can't see is that I put a bead of clear caulking along the edge about an inch below the surface and when I taped the edge it sealed it so the epoxy couldn't run through any small cracks.
 Epoxy isn't very forgiving, so once you mix the two parts together you're committed to use it immediately because of the chemical reaction. It will get hot and start to harden very quickly.
 I put little colored glass tiles embedded in the grout.
    There are fossils of ancient sea creatures that you                    can still see through the surface.
After the epoxy cured I stripped the form work and scrubbed the latex Caulking off and sanded the outer edge and gave it a rounded chamfer to make it all nice and smooth.

     Next was a few coats of semi-gloss paint on the                 edges to match the rest of the kitchen.
You can see how the finish really magnifies all the detail in the stone and gives the kitchen quite a dramatic effect.
I hope you like the results as much as I do. I can't wait to get back to cooking in it! Thanks for looking and please subscribe and tell your friends. Feel free to contact me any time.
Old is new and vice versa. Our only limitation is our imagination so lets all try to keep something out of landfills and remember, we only live in a disposable world if we support corporations that produce junk.


  1. Thanks so much very educative. I would like to know more about such topics and hope to get some more helpful information from your blog.

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