In this post, I’ll show you exactly how I was able to transform my kids bathroom vanity counter from laminate to a beautiful marble that’s durable and affordable! You’ll never believe how amazing these DIY marble epoxy countertops look and feel!
Awhile ago I started to transform the space in my kids bathroom. I choose to go a bit more bright and colorful in this room. I hand painted a fun mural and choose some colorful art pieces to decorate.
In addition, I painted the vanity a beautiful blue color and chose gold hardware and lights for the bathroom.
A few weeks ago, I also replaced the vinyl flooring with the most beautiful faux-marble groutable peel-and-stick tiles that I’ve ever seen! I’m obsessed with them!
So to “finish” the space off (this is a “phase one” renovation because the vanity will eventually be replaced as well as the tub/shower) I chose to use a marble epoxy kit that I had leftover from my office renovation to cover up the laminate countertop.
The results were amazing!! Now that I’ve used the marble epoxy twice, I’ve learned a LOT. In this post, I’ll share with you the step by step process as well as some of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way.
Want to save this post for later? Pin it to your favorite Pinterest board!
Step One: Prepare Your Surface
At this step, you can choose to tape and cover the cabinets beneath the counters with the plastic that comes in the kit.
You’ll notice that I taped off my area but did not set up the plastic until later. I paint a LOT so I was confident that I wasn’t going to get any on my cabinets but I would have been fine with touching them up if necessary.
Either way, it’s up to you! You’re the boss, applesauce!
You can find the marble epoxy kit that I used right here.
Step Two: Prime the surface
The kit actually comes with SO many things! Two paintbrushes, three rollars, three containers of epoxy, a big container of white primer, gloves, plastic, and so much more. Seriously, there’s a lot in there!
For the next step, I poured the white primer on the surface of the counter and used the roller and brush to paint it on. BTW if you’re looking to see this process in video format, checkout the highlight on my Instagram profile (it will say “Marble Epoxy”)
On a related note, you’ll notice I forgot to take actual pictures of this process as I’m using scenes from my IG stories #oops
I ended up doing three coats of the white primer. I lightly sanded with 220 grit sandpaper in between coats to ensure that it was as smooth as possible.
Pro tip: save your paint brush and roller by wrapping them with a small plastic bag (mini garbage bags work great for this) in case you need to do touch ups and for the veining step.
I highly recommend the Zibra brushes, you can keep them wrapped for SO LONG without them drying out even a little bit and they wash out wonderfully! I learned first-hand when I did my office renovation and it took me over a week to finish painting the board and batten. The non-Zibra brush that I also wrapped was completely dried out. The Zibra brush looked like I had never walked away from it and it washed out completely!
Once you’re happy with the coverage of white, you can start the fun!
Step Three: Add Veining
You can add as much or as little as you’d like! I decided to add quite a bit in order to match the flooring. I also paid attention to the direction of the veining of the floor so that the two surfaces would be consistent.
To add veining, you’ll take the small paintbrush that comes in the kit and the grey paint (also included). Just dip your brush and drag a line across your surface. I like to let me hand hold the brush very loosely and twist it as I go to create variations in the line.
If you get to the edge, be sure to continue down the side as well!
Next, you’ll take the spray bottle from the kit and spray the line a few times with water. Take the dry paint brush and dab the line until it blends to your preference. The more you dab, the more it will fade the line, resulting in a very light vein.
Continue until you’ve completed the counter surface.
Once you’ve completed the veining, you can optionally add white highlights. The kit comes with white highlight paint and a sponge which I used for my office desk. However, I didn’t feel that it made much difference.
This time, I waited until the grey veining was dry and took out the brush I used when I painted the primer. I lightly dabbed the brush (which still was wet with the white paint, I did not add more paint to it!) around the grey veining and used a paper towel to dab and blend it. You could probably also use a sponge for this.
I felt that this made much more of a difference! The white highlight paint they included in the kit felt very thin, but the primer paint was thicker and helped bring more depth to the veining.
Once you’re happy with how your veining looks, you’re ready for epoxy!
Step Four: Epoxy Coating
If you haven’t already, be sure that you cover your cabinets with plastic as the epoxy WILL drip off the sides.
At this time, I recommend putting gloves on and safety goggles as well. Don’t worry, there is no odor to this epoxy!
To start, you’ll want to take a can of the epoxy resin and a can of the epoxy activator. Follow the instructions and pour the activator into the resin, then stir for exactly 3 minutes and 15 seconds with the paint-stir stick that’s provided.
I like to make sure that I have a clean brush and roller ready to go on my counter before I pour.
I start by pouring a decent size “puddle” of the epoxy on the counter top and then I use the clean roller to push and guide it around the surface. Do not “paint” it on, it needs to liberally cover the entire surface.
Something I’ve learned about the edges is that it’s best to “waterfall” the epoxy right over them and then lightly run your brush along the edge to make sure it’s all evenly covered.
You’ll want to make sure the entire surface looks smooth and shiny.
Add MORE EPOXY If you notice any spots that look like THIS:
In case you’re wondering, this is what happens if you try to “stretch” the epoxy.
Once I fully covered all of the surfaces of my counter, I chose to heat the epoxy a little bit with my hair dryer. This step is totally optional but I wanted to ensure the smoothest possible finish without even the tiniest bubble.
I set the hair dryer to hot and low and held it about a 12-16 inches above the counter. I didn’t do it for very long, just enough to get rid of any tiny bubbles I saw.
Next, you’ll need to remove the tape after 1-2 hours. You’ll want to do it before the epoxy has fully set or the tape will be cemented into it and impossible to remove. In my opinion, the epoxy is fairly wet and sticky for quite awhile so you do have some time but I like to set a timer on my phone so I don’t forget!
Also, I’d recommend leaving the plastic covering your cabinets overnight but remove it the next day. The epoxy won’t be dripping anymore by the next day and it won’t be fully set so if you did get any drips on your cabinets or floor, you can peel it up a little bit easier than you can once it’s set.
You can gently use your counters after 48 hours! Epoxy will be fully set after 7 days. I’ve not had a problem with using them after 48 hours.
The Final Reveal of the Marble Epoxy Counters!
First, let’s check out what this space looked like prior to the epoxy kit. Here’s the before:
Sorry about the toilet paper roll BTW – I honestly didn’t even notice it until after I took the picture! 😂
Anyway, here’s what it looks like now! As a reminder, you can add as much or as little veining as you’d like. I choose to add more veining to this surface than I did to the office desk in order to try to match the amount of veining in the floor tiles.
A recap of some “lessons learned”
To recap some of the tips and tricks I learned (the hard way) here’s a little list for you:
- Lightly sand in between each coat of primer and before you pour your epoxy with 220 grit sand paper to ensure the smoothest finish.
- Pay attention to the direction of veining, especially if you have other similar textures in the room. You’ll also want to pay attention when you’re going around a corner like in a kitchen. Continue the veining in the same direction, don’t “turn” with the corner.
- Test out using your paint brush with the primer on it vs. the white highlight to see which option you like better. Remember, it’s just paint!! Until you pour the epoxy, you can paint over anything you don’t like and re-do it.
- Be sure to wear gloves when working with the epoxy!
- Use the plastic provided to cover the cabinets below your counters WELL!! The epoxy will drip and get under the plastic if you haven’t secured it all the way.
- Be liberal with your epoxy, don’t try to stretch it!!!
- Don’t “paint” the epoxy on, pour it on and then guide it with a your brush and roller.
- Push the epoxy over the edges like a “waterfall” so that the edges are super smooth!
- INSPECT the epoxy before you walk away, make sure you didn’t miss any spots!
- Use a hair dryer set hot and low to remove any tiny bubbles
- Set a timer to remove your tape after 1-2 hours so you don’t forget – leave the plastic because the edges will continue to drip.
- Remove the plastic the next day and inspect your cabinets and floor to make sure nothing dripped.
- Wait 48 hours before using your counters
Transforming your space can be affordable and easy with DIY marble epoxy countertops!
Such a big difference with a little paint and epoxy!! It’s absolutely a win-win when you can have a durable option that’s also beautiful and affordable!
Remember, if you’d like to check out this process, head over to my Instagram and click on the highlight that says “marble epoxy”