Stone coat countertops is most known by that guy–you know the one with the voice–who enthusiastically explains how their epoxy is amazing, incredible, affordable, the answer to all of your problems in life!
Okay, I joke. But Stone Coat epoxy countertops are probably the most well-known epoxy source, and you can use them to create faux marble countertops or so many other unique designs.
I recently wrote a detailed review of Stone Coat Countertops, and if you’re deciding whether Stone Coat is the best fit for you, I highly recommend you read that first.
The end verdict is basically that Stone Coat’s epoxy resin kits are high quality and can be a great solution–BUT their instructions are absolutely awful. It caused us to have major problems that could have easily been avoided.
That’s why I’m here to walk you through the extremely messy, detailed, confusing, and terrifying process.
Dramatic? Maybe just a little bit.
I’m going to write this article with everything I really wish I had known before tackling it myself. With these tips, you can transform your crappy old countertops into stunning pieces of your kitchen.
Plus, check out my kitchen makeover on a budget (under $400 total, in fact) for more ideas!
I used this epoxy resin on a friend’s kitchen, and we covered the countertops and the tile pieces that served as the backsplash. Here’s the kitchen before the faux marble magic:
If you’re looking for a different tutorial for your backsplash, read how to apply a peel and stick backsplash. and instructions for my DIY subway tile backsplash.
Stone Coat Epoxy Countertop Supplies
Obviously, Stone Coat Countertops offers a bunch of different kits. However, you’ll also need an extensive number of additional supplies in order to complete this. I spent HOURS watching their videos and scouring the internet to figure out all we’d need. Here’s the full list:
- Microfiber roller (for epoxy undercoat and top coat, if you use it)
- Paint brush for chopping (and likely more than one)
- Painter’s Tape–SO MUCH TAPE (preferably the wide kind)
- Covers for your cabinets and floors and walls and EVERYTHING (Could use plastic sheeting, paper dropcloth, or garbage bags)
- Heat gun
- Tongue depressers or paint sticks to mix
- Gloves (get so many gloves, and then get some more)
- A drill and a mixer attachment
- Plastic buckets to throw away after
- Rags on rags on rags… this project is SO MESSY
- TSP to degrease surfaces
- Bondo (somewhat optional, depending whether you have cracks or imperfections in your countertop)
- Square notch trowel (may come in the kit)
Stone Coat epoxy is heat resistant up to 470 degrees, FDA approved to be food safe, zero VOC, and contains strong UV inhibitors–which basically means it won’t yellow over time. Their art kits and countertop kits are great quality.
Step 1: Prep Countertops for Epoxy
Don’t underestimate the prep work for this project. It’s SUPER important because of how permanent, durable, and messy epoxy is. It took me about three hours on my own, and
Here’s all the work you need to do:
- Cover all the floors with paper
- Cover all cabinets with plastic or paper
- Thoroughly clean and degrease countertops
- Apply bondo to cracks or chips
- Possibly remove backsplash tile, depending on your needs
- Check countertops with a large level
Checking the countertops with a level is something I’ve never heard them recommend, but we learned it the hard way.
If your countertops are not perfectly level, the epoxy will slide unevenly. If you know in advance that the countertops are leaning one direction, you can leave the tape on longer to prevent this from becoming a problem.
Step 2: Paint the Undercoat
Now, when I was doing research, I thought maybe Stone Coat’s undercoat was a special concoction of things.
But nope–it’s just paint. So you don’t need to use Stone Coat’s undercoat, you can just use white latex paint. It’s the exact same process I used to prime the countertops I painted to look like granite.
Once your countertops are clean and the bondo is all set, you just roll paint onto the counters with a microfiber roller.
This part is extremely easy and goes super fast. Make sure you do two coats so the countertop is a blank slate, ready for epoxy.
Step 3: Mix the Epoxy
Oh boy–this is either the fun part or the extremely stressful part, depending on how much anxiety you have 😉
In my full Stonecoat Countertops review, I talk about how the first time we attempted this, all of the epoxy hardened in less than four minutes.
That was a MAJOR mistake and a HUGE hassle.
So here are the exact steps for mixing your epoxy:
- Plan to mix your epoxy together in room temperature
- Pour part B (the hardener) into your bucket first
- Follow with part A at a 1:1 ratio (so pay close attention to how much you pour out of each)
- Use your drill and the mixer attachment to mix the epoxy together for two minutes
- Immediately pour out the epoxy mixture into different, smaller cups to mix the colors in (We used about five separate cups with different colors)
- Immediately add the dyes and pigment colors into each separate cup
- Mix each really well with a tongue depresser or paint stick
- Add each small cup back into the large bucket, mixing them or not mixing them to get different results
- You can add spray paint in the large epoxy bucket in between layers
This is what the Stone Coat Countertops guys are doing in this video, starting at 17:32. Although I have issues with their how videos and ALL the information they are lacking, I would still absolutely recommend you watch the process of mixing-separating-mixing-combining in this video to see it in action.
If you purchase a countertop kit, it may come with its own colored dyes and metallic powder sets. However, you can pick and choose your own dyes and powders to customize your color.
I actually felt that the kit we received had TOO many–there was white dye, black dye, three different metallic powders, and black and white spray paint. You really don’t need all of that, BUT I’d recommend the “Diamond Dust” because it added a shine that I just loved.
Important tip: If you watch their videos, DISREGARD any time they say “this is a no-stress process” or “you have plenty of time.” You really don’t. Once you mix all of the epoxy together, it will start hardening immediately–UNLESS you are actively mixing and pouring it out. Once it’s on the countertop, you have more time to mess with it.
Step 4: Pour Epoxy
Now we get to the REAL fun parts!
BEFORE YOU POUR, the last prep step you need to do is add tape to the edges of your counters. This will hold the epoxy flat onto the surface while you adjust the colors and design. Once you’re done adjusting it, you’ll remove the tape and let the epoxy fall over the edges of countertops.
It’s hard to know exactly how much epoxy to pour out at once, so start conservatively.
Plus, the epoxy will be different colors from the top to the bottom. For example, ours was dark in the beginning and then became much lighter as we went on.
Because of that, you want to get epoxy on all the counters, then have some leftover to add, adjust, and balance the colors the way you want them.
Keep in mind–do not put the epoxy down to adjust.
Pour first, adjust later. You can save a LITTLE epoxy in the bucket, or separate it into smaller chunks to keep it from hardening.
This part is BEAUTIFUL, just BEAUTIFUL to watch. You can see a short video of it if you click on this very low-quality picture.
Once there is enough epoxy on the countertops, you can start mixing and blending and adjusting.
Now, when I say “enough epoxy,” it’s actually kind of difficult to know for sure when there is enough epoxy. Since it’s thick, it won’t immediately start moving around and spreading after you pour it.
You have to use the trowel to scrape all of the epoxy across the countertop to get it to cover. This is when you’ll see whether or not you actually have enough epoxy on the surface.
After you use the trowel, you might think, “HAVE I JUST RUINED THE ENTIRE THING?!” because there will be clear straight lines from the trowel.
But panic not! It’s all going to be okay.
The next part is using the “chop brush” (which, again, is not a special proprietary product, it’s just a paint brush) to really make the magic come up.
Chopping is FUN. It immediately creates that feathery look and helps you customize the look you want.
This is also when you can go back and add lighter or darker veins and then continue to chop until your heart’s content.
Don’t Forget the Heat Gun!
When I watched the Stone Coat videos, I thought that using a heat gun or torch was somewhat optional.
But NO–you absolutely need to use a heat gun with Stone Coat’s epoxy resin.
The reason is because after you chop and the epoxy starts settling, it will naturally create lots of air bubbles. LOTS of air bubbles.
Running a heat gun over your epoxy while you’re chopping and adjusting will expose and pop all of the air bubbles that you can’t see–it’s actually VERY satisfying.
The videos show that you can also use the heat gun to move the colors around. The heat gun only makes very subtle changes to the colors and placement of the epoxy–the biggest changes will come from the chop brush.
Important tip: Keep in mind that your chop brush will take on the colors that you’re chopping. After a few minutes of mixing white and grey epoxy, it will start being very grey. This is why it’s a good idea to have more than one chop brush, ESPECIALLY if you want your countertops to be a lighter color.
Step 6: Cover the Countertop Edges + Wipe Drips
Once your countertops look perfect, you can take the tape off the edges and use your hand to get the epoxy onto your edges.
In our case, this is when we noticed the epoxy sliding off one side and realized that the countertops weren’t level to begin with.
THEN, after about 2-3 hours, the epoxy will be hardening and it’ll be time to wipe the drips off the bottom of your counter. You can use your hand or anything with a straight edge to get this done.
Step 7: Seal with Top Coat (Optional)
In my many conversations with Stone Coat Countertops, they explained that epoxy countertops really don’t actually need a top coat. Epoxy in itself is basically indestructible. It’s also extremely shiny which is what, in my opinion, makes it so PRETTY.
But Stone Coat offers a top coat that is super high-quality and completely scratch resistant.
The most important thing to note is that the top coat has an extremely matte finish, so it changes the look of the epoxy that way. But I can attest the fact that it’s CRAZY sturdy.
If you choose to apply the top coat, here are the steps:
- Mix the top coat mixture with a painting stick
- Pour mixed top coat into a paint tray
- Use one paint roller to apply the top coat like normal, including the edges of the countertop
- Use a DRY second paint roller to roll on top of the top coat to remove excess product and remove lap lines
- Don’t over-roll! You only need a thin coat
After you’re done applying the top coat, it will take 8 hours and dry and be ready for use in 24 hours!
Important tip: The top coat will start hardening after 15 minutes, so don’t pour all of it into the painting tray at once. Plus, make sure you use painting tape to de-shed your rollers to ensure that there are no little fuzzies permanently embedded into your brand new countertops.
Result: Stone Coat Countertop Epoxy
The final result of these countertops honestly did make alllllllll the stress worth it. They were beautiful!
In the 5 months since we completed these countertops, they look brand new and have had NO durability issues at all. Even though I had *literal* nightmares about this, the end result was beautiful and I’m even considering doing this project again.
If you want to watch a one-minute video format of this process, here ya go: