Author Topic: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls  (Read 23210 times)

Jared

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Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« on: November 05, 2006, 12:41:08 PM »
Just thought I'd share a recent experience with y'all...

Some of you probably remember the 2 or 3 related posts I made a few weeks back, asking advice on prepping & refinishing Cultured Marble (which is basically a glorified plastic).

Here's how it came out:

(DEAD LINKS REMOVED)

Here's how I did it, step-by-step:

1.  Disassemble any and all hardware that penetrates the Cultured Marble surface (faucets, etc).
2.  Clean surfaces EXTREMELY WELL.
3.  Scuff sand every inch of cultured marble surface.  I found a 1/4-sheet finishing sander was quite helpful in this step.  Make sure no gloss remains - but don't sand too deep, or you'll create more imperfections to fill in the next step.  ;)  NOTE:  you might want to mask for the dust this will create, especially if you have to sand off a previously-applied coating.
4.  Fill any imperfections in the surface & sand the filler smooth.  I used the polyester-based bondo with great success(grey with white hardener cream).
5.  Mask for spraying.
6.  SPRAY bonding primer (XIM recommended, I used the UMA water-based) with an HVLP rig.
7.  Lightly sand primer.  (no power sanding here!)
8.  SPRAY your finish coating of choice.  I used Fuhr 260 Aluminum Oxide Modified Urethane - Waterborne; I chose this coating due to deep tone color needed, and excellent water/chemical resistance properties.  Note this finish needs to be sprayed on in THIN, multiple coats (especially with a deep tint).
9.  Depending on coating chosen, you may want to lightly sand (by hand) between finish coats.  (I did, as my test boards showed this particular coating wanted to "rope" if applied on a smooth, non-sanded coating.)

I strongly recommend avoiding any non-spray application techniques on Cultured Marble...  for some reason, this kind of surface seems to hinder the self-leveling properties of the coating when brushed, rolled, or padded.  However, when sprayed, the coatings self-level beautifully.  This applies to both the primer and the finish coats.


This kind of project can really save a ton of $$ for the homeowner, as in this case the demo & rebuild of the shower walls alone was quoted at over $2000 - and that was before they considered replacing the tub *or* the sinks & countertop...  So, instead of dropping a few grand on replacement of the countertop & shower, this homeowner decided to spend a whole lot less and refinish instead.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2012, 03:11:24 PM by Jared »

Offline rmichael

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2006, 04:16:37 PM »
As usual Jared.. Beautiful Work!!  ;D 
I would be interested to know if it holds up well in use, those areas will be very demanding of the finish, again, Great looking results..

rmichael
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Jared

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2006, 04:23:26 PM »
Thanks!

I too am quite interested in the longevity of this finish;  at first I was quite skeptical, as the first 48 hrs or so it had cured enough to appear as fragile as a latex semigloss at partial cure...  but a few days later it had cured to quite a tough surface - at full cure, it is even scratch-resistant (to a degree, of course).

One of my local dealers steered me towards this Fuhr stuff...  I had never used it before as it is primarily used for flooring, which I don't do.  But the dealer sold me on the fact that the finish is highly chemical resistant - which was a big plus with the homeowner because the reason he needed to refinish was due to countertop damage from nail polish remover spills and spatter that had eaten pock marks in the cultured marble surface.  Add the manufacturer's claim of a waterproof finish, and I thought it worth the risk to give it a shot.

But, as you point out, only time will tell as to how well it will really hold up in this constantly wet environment.  Since this particular job was done in the house in which I live, I will be able to witness this firsthand.  I will report back in time, or if/when the coating fails anywhere.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2006, 04:30:55 PM by Jared »

Offline Lynjowoman

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2006, 05:42:30 PM »
Jared

Great job. Love the color.   :)


lynjo
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Jared

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2006, 06:43:37 PM »
Thanks lynjo!

The color on the cultured marble surfaces is Pratt & Lambert #8-20 ("Earth Tone").

(The urethane is in a satin finish, which is actually the same sheen level as the semigloss on the walls.)

The wall color is ICI's "Golden Pond".
« Last Edit: November 05, 2006, 06:47:18 PM by Jared »

Offline brushworks

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 07:26:57 PM »
That's a lot of pride in craftsmanship at work there, Jared.

Great looking improvement!

Michael
When asked, "what do you do for a living?" I reply, "I market the world's best windows and doors."

Offline DecorativeWalls

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2006, 04:33:28 PM »
looks like another great job Jared.  :)

that is a really nice color.   going to have to check out the golden pond.    In the picture almost looks like a deep pumpkin to rust .

Looks great.

Jared

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2006, 07:33:07 PM »
Here is the color sample & info for "Golden Pond" from Glidden's site.

http://www.glidden.com/colors/getColor.do?colorid=357

(I suppose the "deep pumpkin" effect is due to the lighting in the room; it *does* have that feel in the bathroom somehow.)

It has been a while since we did the walls in that bathroom, but if my memory serves me correctly, we got that color out of the "ICI Master Collection" fandeck.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2006, 07:36:03 PM by Jared »

Vin

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2006, 11:40:38 PM »
Jared can formica tops be done the same way?


Job turned out really nice.

Jared

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2006, 12:27:12 PM »
Yes, formica and other laminates *should* work the same way...

but with the harder daily use a formica countertop might get, I'd consider AquaBond instead.  (It is even more scratch and impact resistant, I believe.)

see this thread for a bit more info:
http://www.painterforum.com/yabbse/index.php/topic,836.0.html
« Last Edit: November 22, 2006, 04:37:18 PM by Jared »

Vin

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2006, 11:13:40 AM »
Thanks for the link and the info Jared thats a big help

we've been using a alkyd base from KM thats pretty good but its already showing signs of not holding up.

Offline mjmpainting

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2006, 02:41:35 PM »
That's really nice Jared. And good research to find such a great specialty product.

I guess it could go on a laminate counter?

I did a simple job just using a B-Moore oil enamel covered with their satin polyurethane clearcoat and it has held up very well for the customer. The stuff is like rock. It certainly can't compare to the beauty of the job you did but then again, this was cheap old laminate... job just wasn't priced for spraying or a specialty coating! It was just a quick cosmetic fix for a pink powder room counter. 

« Last Edit: December 13, 2006, 02:45:31 PM by mjmpainting »

Offline Lynjowoman

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2006, 07:33:34 PM »
Mike

Looks good.  Sometimes a quick fix can make a world of difference.   :)

lynjo
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Jared

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2006, 07:45:19 PM »
Great looking job there!  The "cosmetic fix" of yours appears to be a real winner.  ;)  And I agree, that BM polyurethane is great stuff.

Yep, this urethane *can* be used on a laminate like formica etc - just be sure to use a really good bonding primer, scuff a real good "tooth" on the surface prior to priming, and sand lightly between *every* coat.  If you are not going to spray it, I'd suggest going with another coating - it can be applied by hand, but it just doesn't level out very well unless sprayed.  If you absolutely have to apply by hand, use a *good quality* paint pad.  Avoid those cheap pads that shed.  

But, the factor that will make most clients choose another coating (like Aquabond) for these surfaces is the unfortunate cure time of 4 weeks or more - in the deep tinted color we used, we didn't get full cure until about week 6...  I found this out when I went to move a soap dispenser on the counter during the end of week 5 and found the coating had cracked and shrunk in a very small spot under the dispenser, exposing a bit of the primer underneath.  A quick touchup seemed to do the trick - but the point is, the countertop really can't be used for quite some time after refinishing with the urethane I used...

However, that incident was the only problem I have had so far.  The shower walls have held up 100% so far, as has the rest of the countertop.  But before you go reproducing this experiment of mine - realize that it is, in fact, an experiment.  ;)  (I think that was my 10th disclaimer for today, heh)

Offline Mike the painter

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Re: Refinished Cultured Marble Countertop & Shower Walls
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2006, 08:10:21 PM »
Nice job. :)