Have you considered upgrading your RV counters? Epoxy countertops are a durable and stylish choice that can be customized to match your RV interior and your personality.
We poured our own epoxy countertops while renovating our 20 year-old truck camper. This process was fairly involved, but the results were well worth the effort. In this article, we’re sharing how we did it, plus our best advice for a successful pour.
Ready to epoxy your RV countertops? Let’s get into it!
What is an Epoxy Countertop?
Epoxy countertops are painted and sealed with a durable epoxy resin. You make them by mixing a resin and a hardener — and sometimes glitter, gold flakes, or coloring — to create a durable and glossy seal on many mediums.
Epoxy resin is sometimes used on its own to make crafts, but it makes the perfect countertop sealant and protectant for beautiful DIY countertop upgrades.
The Benefits of Epoxy Countertops
Epoxy countertops have many benefits over other countertop materials. Using epoxy to seal your countertops is a lot less expensive than purchasing new counters or having them installed.
Secondly, it looks great! Epoxy countertops are attractive and durable enough to stand up to the rigors of a busy kitchen.
Lastly, epoxy countertops are fairly easy — especially when compared to the labor of tearing out your old countertops and installing new ones.
The Disadvantages of Epoxy Countertops
Although you can create epoxy countertops easily, you still have more labor involved than just painting them. Pouring epoxy takes preparation and a keen eye.
Epoxy countertops aren’t the cheapest DIY countertop upgrade out there either. But, they are the most durable, so it all evens out when comparing the cost to longevity.
➡ Not sure if epoxy is the right choice for your camper countertops? Check out your other options here: Renovating Your RV Countertops Is Easier Than You Think
Epoxy Countertop Kits: Making Epoxy Resin Easy
You can choose from two main types of epoxy resin. One type requires heat treatment and sanding, and the other doesn’t. The differences just depend on the manufacturer.
Since heat treatment and sanding is a lot more work than we felt like doing, we went with a resin that didn’t need it. The one we used is from Leggari Products, and it was an all-in-one kit for our DIY counter upgrade.
You can choose from many different countertop styles, including faux marble, faux granite, fake wood, faux stone, concrete, and so much more! Check out all of Leggari’s countertop kits here.
What Tools Do You Need for a DIY Epoxy Countertop?
The tools you need to complete your epoxy countertop upgrade will depend on the type of resin and kit you decide on purchasing. If you’re the handy type, you may already have some of these items in your RV tool kit.
Here are some of the main tools and materials you might need: isopropyl alcohol, gloves, drip cloth or drip paper, painter’s tape, disposable epoxy mixing spatulas or drill, buckets and measuring cups, wiping cloths or paper towels, spray bottle, sanding sponges, heat gun (for bubbles).
If you purchase a kit, it will include instructions detailing all the tools and materials you’ll need for your job. Leggari kits include primer, epoxy, metallics, and an optional top coat.
If you decide to completely DIY this project, you’ll need to piece together your own “kit.” This might include buying epoxy and hardener, paint and paintbrushes, sandpaper, and more.
Tips for a Successful DIY Epoxy Countertop Experience
Now that we’ve completed our own epoxy countertop pour, we’ve got some handy tips to help make your experience easier.
Don’t Skimp on Taping or Plastic
The first tip is crucial: do not skimp on taping or protecting the surrounding area. Epoxy is liquid, and it can get everywhere if you’re not careful. Once it dries, it’s pretty much on forever. If you think you’ve taped and covered enough, do more. And then maybe even a little more after that.
Babysit the Drips
Be sure to check on the edge drips and scrape them off periodically. This will help keep your edges looking cleaner and save you work later.
Pop All the Bubbles
Is popping all the bubbles tedious? Yes. Is it really necessary? Also, yes. If you don’t pop the bubbles in your epoxy countertops, you’ll have to live with them forever. They don’t go away unless you pop them, and they might drive you crazy for the next twenty years if you don’t.
You can pop the bubbles in epoxy by poking them and lifting them gently with a toothpick, or you can try using a heat gun from several inches away to help bring them to the surface. If you’re like us, you might even find the process a little fun!
Pouring epoxy countertops is a big, messy job. Prepare yourself for the time involved, the mess, and not being able to use your kitchen or bathroom until you finish the job.
Also, once you mix the components, the clock starts. While you don’t have to rush, you should be ready to do the steps consecutively and without much if any interruption.
Also, make sure you have all the supplies you need to prevent extra store runs or having to stop in the middle of the project. This could effect how your end result turns out.
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Step-by-Step: How to Pour an Epoxy Countertop
The steps for pouring an epoxy countertop vary by kit. Here’s the Leggari Products manual and the steps we followed to upgrade our counters with a non-heat epoxy countertop kit.
Remove the Sink
The first step in prepping the countertops is removing the sink. This is fairly straightforward, but the exact process will differ depending on what type of sink you have. Be sure you turn off the water to your sink before attempting this step.
Round Your Corners
Rounding your corners with a sander will help ensure you have an aesthetically pleasing finished product.
Prep & Sand Your Surfaces
Next, you need to prep your countertops. This might include sanding, rounding the corners, filling in any holes, gaps, or cracks with Bondo putty, and more.
Ensure you clean your countertops from any grease, oil, crumbs, or old caulking. Wiping them down with denatured alcohol after prepping will help remove any leftover residue.
Here’s where your tape and plastic come in handy! Cover your backsplash, tape anything you don’t want to get epoxy on, and protect your floors and lower cabinets.
Tape and cover everything that the epoxy could run into or onto as it drips off your counters and spreads out.
Keep Your Materials Close By
Keep all your materials within the same room or area, if at all possible. You don’t want to track epoxy around your home or have to run to grab something while your epoxy drips everywhere.
Prime & Paint Your Countertops
Once you set up your work area and protect everything, you can prime and paint your counters. After you prime, paint, and let them dry, it’s time to move on to the next step.
➡ Don’t stop at your countertop! Give your entire RV a makeover with these 5 Easy RV Interior Painting Ideas to Spruce Up Your Camper.
Pour on Your Epoxy Base Coat
Once your paint dries, mix up your epoxy basecoat and carefully apply it, following your manufacturer’s instructions. For this step, using a foam roller will help ensure that you get a smooth coat without leaving behind any roller hairs.
Give the Edges Some Attention
When you pour your epoxy, be sure to pay attention to the edges. After ensuring the base coat evenly covers the whole surface, use the wet roller to apply it to the edges. Take care to keep your feet away from the countertop edge as the epoxy base coat will drip.
Pour on Your Highlights and Effects
After pouring your base coat, you will add your highlights and effects and blend it out. Your personal touches will vary depending on what type of kit you get. Here you get to have fun, be creative, and start seeing your new countertop design come to life.
Scrape Off the Drips (and wait)
Once you’re satisfied with the look and the edges, scrape off the drips and come back periodically to scrape them again. As the resin cures, it will slowly drip off the edges. Scraping them off will prevent you from having to sand them later.
Sand It Down (if required)
If your kit requires you to sand down the surface before the top coat, you’ll do that once your basecoat and highlights dry.
Add a Top Coat (if desired)
A top coat will increase the lifespan and durability of your new epoxy countertops. It also gives it a great shine. On our countertops, we added a two-part urethane gloss top coat.
How Long Do Epoxy Countertops Last?
Epoxy countertops can easily last ten years or longer with the proper application and care. This is why it’s so important to get it right the first time. Your countertops could easily last for the next decade, so you need to prepare, have everything you need on-hand, and follow the instructions.
Did You Know? Long-lasting upgrades like epoxy countertops increase the resale value of your camper.
What Does it Cost to DIY an Epoxy Countertop?
It can cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to $1,000 or more to do your DIY epoxy countertop upgrade.
The kits from Leggari Products cost around $400 per 50 sq ft. If you have a tiny space, you will only need one. If you have all the necessary tools on hand, your only up-front cost will be the kit purchase.
Is Pouring Your Own Epoxy Countertop Worth It?
If you want to upgrade your countertops yourself but don’t want to buy or replace them entirely, try an epoxy DIY. They’re relatively inexpensive and last for several years.
Plus, you get the added benefit of knowing you did it yourself and made it look exactly how you wanted. Epoxy countertops are truly a work of art.
In addition to upgrading your RV kitchen countertops, consider taking your renovation a step further with these Innovative RV Kitchen Sink Upgrades That Will Save & Purify Water.
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