Finally! I’m back to share what the countertops look like now that’s all said and done. As a reminder, here’s what we started with way back when we bought the apartment…
Here’s a couple of pics of the kitchen that I snapped with my phone a few weeks before we started this project:
The countertops looked okay, but up close the narrow one was chipping (it was actually just painted wood) and the wider one was dingy / impossible to keep clean because it had a rugged texture, so it was time to move on.
After 5-6 days, three coats of micro concrete, three coats of resin, changing the faucet+ sink, adding a shelf back in, and trimming everything, here’s what we have now:
You probably think I’m kidding, right?! It looks pretty much the same from afar. But the biggest difference is in the finish of the material. This one’s much softer, you can tell it’s properly sealed, it’s super easy to clean compared to the old countertop… and I really like that both sides of the kitchen now have the same countertop + trim. It’s not obvious in the before pics above, but it was pretty obvious in person that they weren’t the same. Anyway, here’s a few detail shots of the countertop…
Since the first coat was super dark, after sanding the second + third coats we ended up with this cool effect on the edges of the countertop where you can see the color of the first coat. I’ll be honest, not everyone’s a fan (most people have asked us if it’s supposed to look like that) but we really like it. It’s actually what gives the countertop the industrial vibe.
You can see that the resin gave the countertop some sheen – it’s not too noticeable, but it really helps the countertop seal and it’s what makes it easier to clean, I believe. Here’s the new sink + faucet:
We are super happy with it. We got it to sit almost flush with the countertop, which was we were going for (we really wanted an undermount sink but couldn’t because the original countertop is laminate and it was a bit risky even if we were covering it with micro concrete). Plus it’s huge compared to the old one, we can now fit the oven trays properly in it. The faucet pulls out and has a shower setting. We bought both the faucet + sink online (Aliexpress.com). Oh and just because I’ve never shown you guys this, in Spain it’s pretty typical to have the cabinet above the sink be a drying rack. It’s open underneath and drips onto the sink.
I also mentioned that we surrounded the cabinet on the other side of the kitchen with micro concrete, as well:
As you can see, the cabinet surround is not as thick as the actual countertops because otherwise it wouldn’t fit; it barely fits as it is and almost bangs up against the passthrough trim. On the other side of the pass through we added a shelf back in. We used to have a shelf spanning the whole wall, where the passthrough now is, and wanted to have one again for our glass bottle collection and a couple of other things.
Those are my favorite brackets from Ikea. The shelf is wood covered in micro concrete as well, and we hung it the same height as the top of the cabinet on the other side of the passthrough for continuity. And I’m kicking myself for not installing another outlet below the shelf while we worked on the passthrough and the tiles were up.
So, the verdict on the micro concrete? We really like it. I think it’s a great and cost effective way to resurface your old countertops (EasyFloor gave us the materials, but it would’ve cost us around 150€ to do all 7+ meters; approx. 7-8 yards). One huge plus for us was that it doesn’t have seams. We’re actually considering covering our tiled kitchen floor with micro-concrete, too, just because the seamless feature would make the floor easier to clean. But that’ll be a project for next year, because we’re flying to Boston in three weeks. Oh and we’re planning on spending 4-5 days over Thanksgiving in NYC with a few friends – any recommendations on what to do / where to eat?
P.S. EasyFloor gave us the micro concrete + resin, but didn’t otherwise compensate us nor pay us to write this post.