Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Kit

One of our Haven sponsors was Rustolem and they have some wonderful innovative products that I have enjoyed trying out. They were great and sent me primer for my new house and when I asked if I could try out the countertop kit, they didn’t hesitate to send it out.  I chose the Onyx color and figured it would be a great way to extend the life of my not so pretty guest bath countertop.  I can’t afford to gut those bathrooms at the moment, so anything I can do to make them prettier, well, that’s what I’m doing.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I have to say, that I love the way they turned out.   So much fresher and more up to date than the old dated laminate from the late 70’s.  I can live with it now and make it work with my décor.

Here’s a step by step on how I did the countertop and how it turned out.  It’s a 2 day process.

old laminate countertop before

Here’s a reminder of the Before laminate.  Dated. 70’s. OK, ugly!  There’s mauve in there, uggh.

Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Onyx after

And the After is so much better.  It’s glossy and smooth in a pebbly way and should clean up very well.

Rustoleum Countertop transformation kit

Here’s how I did it.  I was sent this kit for free to try out, but didn’t receive any other compensation for doing this.  I wanted to try it and was happy to do so. The kit retails at the big box stores for around $150 and it does more than one countertop.

Countertop Transformation kit

It comes all packaged in a nice and tidy kit with all the materials labeled.

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The first step is taping all your edges, along the front, sides, and backsplash area, making sure to mask off anything that you don’t want paint on.  The comes sanding down the counters, removing the gloss from them.   This gets messy when the chips start flying so it is a good idea to have a dropcloth on the floor too.  I didn’t do that and vacuumed up chips after, they were a mess!

materials needed

The first can is the black top coat, a thick gloppy substance that resembles tar when it goes on.  You want an old paintbrush for the sides and backsplash bringing it out a couple of inches and then that is where the roller comes in.  You want to try to keep a wet edge as your working your way around the countertop.  I didn’t get pics of this step, but cover every inch of the countertop making sure there  is nothing white showing.  You want it pretty heavy, because then you’re going to fling those black chips all over it and you really want it to stick well.

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Here is is all covered with the Base coat.  Nice and thick.  It doesn’t have to be really smooth, it will level out.

chips for countertop

Next, you will fill up that white contraption, somewhat like a fertilizer spreader with the black chips.  I filled up the spreader with chips and then pressed the button, turning the wheel and chips went a-flying.  All over the countertop.  Just go back and forth, whirling the spreader and making sure that all those chips fly and stick all over the countertop, covering every inch of the black base coat.  It should stick very well, but there’s a wetting agent in a bottle just in case it starts not sticking well.  You have about 20 minutes to do this and that is plenty of time.

after chips

And here’s what it looks like after flinging those chips.  It does go everywhere so be aware of that.  In the sink, on the floor, everywhere.

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See what I mean?  Chips everywhere.  But they do vacuum up fairly easily, they reminded me of spilled coffee.  Now, let everything dry well overnight.  You want to do the 2nd coat within 24 hours of the first one.

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Next day, here’s what it looks like.  Then you get a scraper tool and another hand sander block out and hand sand the chips down, scraping off the excess and sanding smooth the surface, preparing it for the final top coat.  You do wipe down well with a damp cloth in between these steps too and then let it dry before going on to the top coat.

after sanding

Here’s what it should look like after sanding, sort of gray looking as everything gets smoothed out.  I didn’t get mine completely as smooth as the sample they had in the kit, but I was happy with it anyway.  It was smooth enough for me.

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The 2nd coat is mixed together, Part A and Part B, which turns into a thickish poly looking topcoat that you’ll brush and roll on.  You want this thick as well.

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Ready to brush it on the backsplash with the paintbrush. By the way, I used an old paintbrush and threw it away.

painting on top coat

Brush the backsplash first and then move down to the flat area and roll.

adding topcoat

Rolling and brushing, be sure to cover evenly and thickly.  It will self level and mine wasn’t perfect by any means, but for the most part it’s smooth.  There were some thicker parts back in the corner of the countertop, but it dries clear and is not that noticeable. I brushed all around the sink getting it into all the corners and edges of the countertop and ends.  There are areas that are thicker and thinner on the countertop itself, but overall it looks really good.

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After that, let it dry overnight before you mess with anything.  I left the tape on as that is what the directions said to do.

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Still wet.

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The whole countertop all covered and drying.  It takes several weeks to completely cure, so it should be good and dry by the time I move in.  NOTE:  It is very dry by the 3rd day, so that it can be wiped down and very dry to the touch.  Like most paints, the complete curing time can takes weeks, so you should just be careful during that time. 

after sink

The next day, I used a utility knife and cut around the sink and backsplash, removing the Frogtape.  It came off pretty well without a lot of damage. You can see the edge of the sink here and under the rim, it’s a little messy where the sink is raised a bit.  There was old caulking in here that I took out and I think I’ll tape around the sink and go back and recaulk it in white and try to clean up the edge line a little bit. I think that will make it look cleaner.   Around the sink is the hardest part to get nice and smooth with a clean line.

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There was one little spot to the back of the sink where it pulled off some of the black when I cut the tape.  I went back and added a little solid black back on top of it and it should dry out fine.  That doesn’t bother me.

Rustoleum Countertop Transformation Onyx after

And here is the finished product again.  Overall, I’m really, really happy with it.  It’s much better than the old one and the finish feels good to the touch too.  It’s very shiny and feels almost vinyl-like and should clean up well.  I’m going to eventually get a frame up on the mirror too.

So, if you have an old countertop that needs sprucing up, I can definitely say that this Rustoleum product worked great for it.  You have nothing to lose anyway by trying to cover up an ugly countertop that you don’t like anyway, that’s the way I looked at it.  I’m happy enough with my masterbath countertop, so I’m leaving it as is, but this one looks much better to me.

What do you think?  Would you try it?

{Disclosure:  I received my Rustoleum Countertop Transformations kit for free, but did not get paid for my review.  My opinions and experience with the product are entirely my own.}


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. I’ve seen several bloggers try this product and it looks amazing! I do wonder: Does it have to be so glossy? Is there a more matte finish?

  2. Rhoda, that looks great! I never would have thought it would turn out that good. I would love to do this to my kitchen counters. The only thing that gives me pause is having to wait for it to cure. I don’t think I could go without the use of my counters for very long. :(

  3. In the photos it looks similar to the black honed granite we had installed in all of our bathrooms during our big gut job/remodel project last year. Ours aren’t glossy, though. The price seems steep. I think someone could replace a countertop your size with an in-stock laminate purchase at one of the big box stores.

  4. That is a great solution for countertops that you want to restore/change. It looks great! What a difference!

  5. Well at that price I will probably look to replace my countertop in the hall bath rather than try this. It was good to see the process. I am such a perfectionist that it would drive me crazy to try to achieve a perfect surface. But I do think your bath looks worlds better with this new surface!

  6. The end results is great – major improvement! I wonder if it would be easier to remove the sink before applying? I’m a little concerned about the time it takes to cure – I’m not the most patient person when it comes to doing that…lol

  7. Wow! You’re turning into quite the DIY pro!!!
    I’ve always wondered about that product. Thanks for walking through all the details. I’m wondering, if you were to do it again….are there some things you’d do differently? Like maybe removing the tape while it’s still damp?

    • The tape comes off best the day after. I bought 2 large kits and one small to do my kitchen. My only problem is some spots are thicker than others of the finish coat and now I am looking for a product I can pour over it for a more even ever smother finish coat. Other than that, I am very pleased with the results. I am 70 and did it all by myself. It took me a week but I was not in any hurry. Yes, I would do it again.

  8. Wow, good job! I wondered how well this product would work. Would it have been easier if you removed the sink first? The chips would have ended up inside the vanity so maybe that’s not a good idea after all.

  9. I like the look; I was reminded of honed granite, also. You’ll have to let us know how it wears with use and cleaning. While it is true that the cost is high compared to a stock laminate countertop replacement, one certainly wouldn’t want to go to the effort of replacing the counter without replacing the sink and cabinet, too. Therefore, this is a cost effective fix to tide you over for the short term until you can accomplish a bath remodel.

  10. I like it much better than the original. I don’t think that I could wait for it to be done. I get too antsy.

  11. Love the after. It really did a great job. The cost is a bit steep, but if it covers more countertop then your job required, perhaps a kitchen countertop, then I think it isn’t too bad. The cure time is a bit of a concern. It really has made a huge difference in your bathroom, and once you get the mirror framed will be the icing on the cake! Almost don’t want the reno to end….have so enjoyed watching the process….but will be thrilled for you when you finally move in!

  12. Rhoda…what a wonderful transformation…you did a great job…that is certainly a great product that Rustoleum has….The only drawback for me would be that you have to wait a while for it to cure…but the counter so far looks fantastic!! A far cry from the shiny mauve laminate!

  13. Looks great! I have seen this used on other blogs and was interested in using it. Thanks for the info…esp including the cure time…I had not read that before in any of the other reviews. That does sort of kill it for me, not sure I could be kitchen free that long – I”d probably just get the black in stock laminate counters and put them in.. I have used the cabinet transformation and am very pleased with how it turned out.

    BTW…I received the cleaning kit from one of your previous give-aways…Thank you! Will be hitting the grill this weekend.

    Thanks for all the info. I know you are getting excited to move in!

  14. Thanks for showing us how this works Rhoda…and I guess I have to agree with the some of the other commenters, I would hate to wait that long for it to completely cure. How much would a small piece of laminate for a bathroom counter cost these days? Just wondering how it compares in price to the Rustoleum kit.

  15. It looks good, and you are right about going for it if you dislike what you have. I wasn’t impressed with their cabinet transformation kit, but this one looks better. I have plans to just use paint and epoxy-not much better cost wise.

  16. Elizabeth H says:

    Looks great. I will be using that product on a vanity top soon. Thanks for the tutorial.

  17. HI, all! Let me clarify the dry time. It feels completely dry on the 3rd day after the top coat went on. I can wipe it up and it’s totally dry. BUT, I did read that it takes a couple of weeks to COMPLETELY cure and that’s the case with most paint products. Don’t let that scare you!

    As far as taking out the sink, I do agree that it would be a smoother application if you did take out the sink. That’s the only hard part, getting it smooth around the sink. The directions did say to leave the tape on until it dries & then score the tape and remove.

    For the cost, I’m not sure how much laminate counters are, but it could be for a small bathroom that you could do a new laminate countertop for the same price. You just have to do your homework and decide what is most cost effective for you. I’m happy with the way this one turned out and hopefully it will last me a couple of years until I can afford to gut the whole vanity and start over. I’ll keep you all posted on how it holds up.

  18. Thanks for clearing that up Rhoda!! I think it is a good solution for a bath that you want to change up temporarily while you save to redo the bathroom completely.

  19. Your counter does look so much better. I’d love to do something about my kitchen counters but the wait and curing time would make it impossible as the counters get daily use.

    I do love how you detail the process of so many of the projects you’ve worked on. Your home is looking beautiful and I can’t wait to see it when you’ve moved in and decorated!

  20. Rhoda, this looks wonderful! It amazes me that there are so many solutions to updating rather than demolishing! Your tutorial is great; thanks! Your counter tops looks fabulous!

  21. I have seen this at the store and wondered how well it turned out. Thanks for sharing your process and opinions. At first the glossy-iness kinda scared me but it looks much better in the shot directly above the counter. That shot shows a lot of the texture. I agree this is a nice hold over until you are able and ready to replace the entire vanity. Plus, you got to try it for free!

  22. When you mentioned you were going to do this last week, I couldn’t wait to see the results. I did this in our kitchen at the cabin about 3 years ago using a product called gianigranite. The process was similar, and since it was done on a weekend home the drying time for us wasn’t a problem but you’re right. It takes weeks to CURE, but it’s totally usable after three days. They’re a bit cheaper in price, and the finish is a little less shiny. They kinda want you to believe it’s a granite look, but in my opinion it’s more like laminate. Either way, it’s a low cost alternative and even after 3 years the counters show no signs of wear or tear. If this is in your guest bath, I’m sure it will last as long as you want it to.

    Great results!

  23. It looks very nice, but at $150, you would have something to lose if you hated it. I would think $150 would go pretty far toward replacing just a vanity top. If you were doing more countertops it might be worth the price, but for just one, I don’t think I would go to all that work and espense. Also, if one were living in th ehouse, the curing time could be a problem.

  24. Looks 100% better!
    Brenda

  25. …i am simply so very very happy for you…you make me proud to be a southern woman…(and that counter top is pretty great too)…blessings laney

  26. Beth Morrow says:

    Looks great! You are one industrious woman! I can’t wait to see the completed bath!

  27. Linda Coleman says:

    What a fabulous improvement! You did a wonderful job! You always inspire me. I need to get up and do something, anything. :)

  28. Rhoda, that looks SO much better! Looking forward to seeing this room completed!

  29. Looks great, Rhoda! I’m so glad it turned out so well!

  30. Thanks for sharing! My husband and I have been talking about doing this. We just moved into a great house with not so great countertops! This looks like it would be worth it!!

  31. Rhoda, the countertop looks 100% better! I wouldn’t be able to live with mauve either. Couldn’t do it in the 80s either! I think the whole point about using this product is that you would not go to any additional expense to remove the sink if you were using this. A great solution, in my opinion!

  32. Christina W. says:

    So much better! I would definitely give this a try.

  33. This looks so good and what a transformation of this bathroom. Way to go Rhoda – another great DIY and detailed tutorial. Best I’ve seen using this product and I have been wondering about this kit for a while now. You are right….everyone needs to weigh their options, budgets, etc. in every DIY job. This should hold you until you gut these bathrooms. Plus, it will give us yet another fabulous post to look forward to when you do gut this bathroom and do a total redo! I’m not sure I have the patience to paint my countertops…but love the look! The product sounds great and not bad for the price. The paint, clear coat, tools etc. individually priced and added up makes sense for the total cost of the kit.

  34. Looks great, Rhoda! Yes, I would try it if I needed to update an old look. It looks like honed granite! YOu did an awesome job!

  35. You did a great job. I think replacing the laminate with new laminate would cost a lot more than the kit once you figure in the cost/time of pulling the countertop, sink and faucet, and then replacing it all. You would probably end up with a new sink, the faucet would break, and the list would continue. And all you would get was new laminate when you really wanted _________ (fill in the blank). I think this is a good cost tradeoff product. Thanks for letting us watch your work in process. You are so bless to have parents who can help you. Enjoy your new home. It really is yours as you put so much sweat equity into it.

  36. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the this review and application. I’ve been looking at this product for awhile and wanted to do the color you chose. I think I will go ahead and give it a try. It will definitely be one of my fall / winter projects.

  37. $150.00, i don’t thnk so. too much work and down time. in trussville ala we can set granite that size for less money and it’s granite. i understand why you did it,- it was free and it does look good but can’t help but wonder how long it will last. good luck with the reno. it seems it all never gets down before you have to start over again.

  38. Mike Davis says:

    It may not be as cost-effective in a bathroom but for a kitchen it was much cheaper than a new countertop. We recently did this and I have a little bit of insight/advice.

    Apply good quality tape, like Frog, not painter’s tape as it isn’t sticky enough. Use plenty and press the edges down with a putty knife so ensure good adhesion.

    Do NOT mix all of the epoxy/final coat at once, mix enough to do the job and leave the rest in the containers. If you make a minor mistake or need to patch after 4 hours you can do so, my wife mixed it all at once so now we need to try and find some additional epoxy. Rust-oleum hasn’t been helpful in trying to locate the epoxy as a stand-alone even though they claim it’s available at Home Depot/Lowe’s and other retailers. Last we heard from them they say it’s only available to contractors but a google search came up with nothing.

    All in all it’s worthwhile. We also used the Cabinet Restoration but we’re not happy that Rust-oleum seems to want us to buy an entire extra kit to get a little bit of extra epoxy sealer. If I was sure it was just epoxy I’d use something else but as the color changed after applying it I suspect it activates or interacts with the “chips” in some way.

  39. I just finished redoing my kitchen counters with this product and I had a not-so-pleasant experience that I thought I would share.

    First of all, it is a LOT of work. Although they advertise that it can be done in one weekend, I think that can only be true if you’re willing to work 16 hour days, which I was not. So it’s stretched into a week-long project. Tough to go that long without a kitchen (no sink, no oven, no counterspace, no place to wash dishes, etc. and living off microwave meals. Yuck!)

    Further, although I measured carefully based on their recommendations, one kit was not enough to do my whole kitchen even though they advertised that it was. There just was not enough base coat, so I was not able to put it on as thickly as described. I ended up having to order a half-kit but by the time it came, of course it was days later and my kitchen was unusable for several extra days. When it came, I discovered that the half kit had the same size can of base coat as the bigger kit! BUT I had 4 bags of chips left over! (6 in the larger kit of which I used 4; 4 in the smaller kit of which I used 2). So something is not right here with the materials they send with the kit.

    The chip spreader that came with the kit did not work — it kept jamming — so we ended up spreading most of the chips by hand. And they went EVERYWHERE. No kidding, I’ll be vacuuming up chips and chip dust for days, I’m sure. Very messy and we’re tracking charcoal-colored footprints all through the rest of the house. :(

    Finally, because I did not have enough base coat, it didn’t cover well and there are several places where the old counter is showing through. We followed their directions to the letter for ‘touch-up’ but the results were less than ideal.

    Lesson learned; I would NOT do this again (I’d call that person in Alabama who claims to be able to place real granite for the same price) and let them give me the real thing!

    • Hi, Gigi, sorry you had such a bad experience with the kit. I do think doing a whole kitchen would be a lot more challenging and I probably wouldn’t have tackled that either. One countertop in a bathroom is not much work to do and I really do love how mine turned out. I can see how doing an entire kitchen would be difficult and I really hate that you didn’t like the outcome.

  40. I just finished my bathroom cabinets using the espresso color of the Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations. I wrote up a how-to article with pictures and tips based on what I learned. I definitely am please with the results. What do you think of my writeup?

  41. I applied charcoal countertop transformations in my kitchen and am very pleased with the results. It does require work and is messy but a shop vac cleans up the chips easily. The product covered all imperfections on our laminate countertops and gave the kitchen a completely new look. I also used the buttercup cabinet transformations and it is absolutely beautiful. It saved us thousands and I highly recommend both products. It is well worth the work and minor inconvenience of not having full use of the kitchen for a few days. I LOVE these products.

    • HI, Ellen, thanks for sharing your positive experience with their products. I’m so happy that you got a brand new look!!

  42. I just finished the cabinet and countertop restoration kits in my kitchen. They both took time and labor, but I LOVE how my kitchen turned out and the countertops (in charcoal) look amazing. Unlike the earlier poster, I bought two small kits and only used one. All of my products worked as described and I am very happy with the way it has turned out.

    • Carla, that is great to hear! I’m glad you had good success and let me know about it. I’m very happy with mine too.

  43. I completed this project in my kitchen just last week. I love it! I did it alone and found that the sanding part was actually the most time consuming part of it all. I suggest to others, work in a pair! One person is much harder than two would be. I am so pleased with the results. I paid $250 to do my entire kitchen. I have replaced with laminate before in a previous home, and trust me, this was much easier and I didn’t have to worry about every thing being squared up. This was much more budget friendly as well. Highly recommend it!

  44. Great job! I have had one of these kits sitting in my garage for over a year now that Ive been too scared to pull out and try.. your outcome gives me motivation

  45. I think you could have purchased a new ready-made counter top at Lowes or Home Depot for what the kit cost for that size vanity top. It is an improvement to the faux marble Formica/laminate you had, but it’s wiser to spend your money on improvements that don’t look so DIY.

  46. I just finished applying the chips tonight to a wet bar counter in our bonus room and it already looks amazing. I bought this kit a year ago and waited as it seemed a bit overwhelming, but it was so easy except the sanding but so worth it. I am doing a guest bathroom next. Yay!!!

  47. I too have the not so lovely 80’s in both bathrooms, mine are faux wood. As the price is a bit steep for one bath, I wonder if I could get both done from one kit?? In one bath the countertop is 46″ and the other is 9 1/2 foot. What do you think?

    • Hi, Rhoni, be sure to read on the box, but I do think you might be able to do both with one kit. It should tell you the square footage on the box that it covers. I did have quite a bit left over after I did this one.

  48. my backsplash is laminate, going all the way from countertop to bottom of cupboards. So I have vertical surface approximately 16″ high behind counters made from same laminate as countertops, with stainless steel or aluminum strip between counter and backsplash. It doesn’t seem that this system will work on vertical surfaces, afraid it will all slide down to bottom. Any suggestions for alternative fixes?

  49. We just used the Countertop Kit in our kitchen. We just purchased the house and the countertops were an awful bright blue shade, I don’t know what the previous owners were thinking. We picked the pebbled ivory. My husband and his friend sanded and did the first step on Friday. On Saturday, my husband sanded the surface, wiped and painted on the top coat and all I can say is wow. It is amazing. I love the way they look. We are painting and replacing the tile but the kitchen already looks 100% better. We purchased the larger kit ($250) but a steal when comparing it to Granite which we had originally considered. We will be doing the same thing in our bathrooms. We have very long, double sink vanities. I was just going to replace one, but they are 71” and 85” and those are anywhere from $499 – $999. A 61” cultured marble vanity top with molded sinks is $194 to get 10 extra inches is $499. So for us a $150 (the smaller kit will easily cover the bathrooms) is well worth it.

  50. Wonderful Tutorial! Your photos and instructions were very easy to follow, and I did just that, working out how I’d approach my counter in my mind as I read. Also, your taste in colors and putting things together is delightful. (That is the hard part about decorating for me. I see all these great ideas in magazines and I want to do them ALL. But you can’t. You need to select wisely, know what to edit, and know when you are done.) I took your house tour and loved every room. That said, in your close-up counter shot, I can see where the poly top coat is thicker in places, and that imperfection would drive me crazy. My home is not purrfect–I appreciate worn wood floors, chippy finishes, and live with clawed furniture–but the countertop would bug me. Too, the cure time is too long. I have a few cats that jump onto the counters to drink from the faucet. If I deny them, they whine. (Yes, they have water bowls.) If I lock them out of the bathroom, Monkeydoo immediately starts pulling at the door bottom, over and over again, with his front paws (noise I don’t want heard in the condo downstairs). I could not fight with him for weeks waiting for a complete cure. Nope. Not for me.

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