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A few years ago, I experimented with tiling the top of our counter top. I used travertine, (which is a form of limestone), due to its resemblance to marble at a cost far less. Unfortunately, travertine is relatively soft and after a few years started to become pitted around the sink area. I decided to try using Glaze Coat by Famowood to seal the tile and give it a shiny bar top appearance. I am very pleased with the results. It completely sealed the tile with about 1/16" of epoxy and filled all the pits. The tile looks brand new again.

I trimmed out the tile edges with cedar. I decided to use cedar due to its natural resistance to water and insects, (I live in Florida and that is always a continuing battle), and the fact that I had a bunch of it in the shop. :) My only concern was that cedar is very soft and I did not know how well it would hold up to kitchen abuse.

The solution was to use General Finishes PolyAcrylic
. This is an absolutely amazing product. It is water based, has very little to no odor and dries extremely fast. It is the easiest finish I have ever applied and it added the much needed hardness and durability to the soft cedar. I applied 5 coats for maximum protection and depth of appearance. It looks fantastic!

To make the trim I used a round over bit on the router table to round the top and bottom edges. I then cut a rabbet on the table saw to form a lip that covers the edge of the tile. The top of the lip above the counter and formed the perfect frame for the Glaze Coat pour.

I made the back-splash from a darker cedar and experimented with coating it with the Glaze Coat. Although it formed a barrier that will be impervious to water, I would use the PolyAcrylic in the future. The Glaze Coat added too much thickness and gave the back-splash a "plastic" appearance.

If you are wondering about the faucet "mount"...the water in Florida is very aggressive and it ate away the metal plate that came with the faucet. It only took about 2 years to all but dissolve the plate. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I made a mount from the same cedar I used for the back-splash. My wife loves it and that works for me.

I just need to do some touch up paint and I'm done with the top.

Gallery

Comments

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Great looking counter top.
 

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aggressive water? OMG never heard it put that way before… is it really safe to drink? Thinking I may not retire in FL now haha.

BTW, its good to see results of the eposy top… i have a bar in my blog and was considering this stuff. Hope mine turns out as well as yours.
 

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Looks Fantastic!

It's good to know there is such a great Top finish for ruggedness!

Do you pour & spread or brush it on?

Thank you.
 

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Great job looks like Ice!
 

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Thanks guys.

@Brian, I have city water. It is supposed to be safe but it tastes aweful with a high chlorine taste. I use a reverse osmosis system for drinking water. The water is very hard and is brutal on most metals. Regular sink valves only last a couple of years before they sieze up. When I first moved into this house I needed to replace the main water shutoff. I went with a brass valve that is still working perfectly 8 years later. Any future sink or toilet valve changes will be brass. It costs about 3 times as much but well worth it!

Suggestions for your bar top: Make sure it is level before you pour and build a simple frame with a plastic sheet to cover the top to keep the dust off. It should sit about 2 inches above the surface. If you can close off the area and run an air filter for a while before you pour…even better. You can make a simple, cheap air filter by attaching a furnace filter or air conditioner filter to the intake side of a box fan. Make sure you turn the fan off before you pour though.

@Joe, pour and spread with a wide disposable plastic putty knife. It is self-leveling so you just spread it quickly, wave a propane torch 6 inches above the surface to pop the bubbles and leave it to cure. Full cure in 72 hours. You need to cover the surface to protect from dust. Here is a good video.

 

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Like you put glass on the surface. Wonderful job.
 

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Love this. I never would have thought of it! How is the glazecoat holding up to counter top use? Also, is it food safe?
 

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It is holding up very well. As far as being food safe, I would say yes. There are many very knowledgable people who believe that all finishes are food safe once they are fully cured. That is assuming we are talking about fully curable finishes. Having said that, I do not put unprotected food directly on my counter top as a practice. I certainly would not be concerned with incidental contact.
 
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