A few months ago I was asked to review a countertop transformation kit from Encore, but since I had already painted my counters, I needed a guinea pig. I called up my friend Julie and said, “Please don’t be offended by this, but you have pretty ugly countertops, would you like a free makeover?” Luckily she just laughed, and then said yes! You can see for yourself how “interesting” they were, with the green leaf print.
They always reminded me of those leaf sketches you’d do in elementary school. 🙂
I chose the Stirling Silver Encore kit, which I thought would look nice in her kitchen.
The first day we applied the bonding coat. You could still see the counters through the first layer but the bonding coat was definitley thick and heavy duty.
After a great deal of sanding, and a lot of sweating, we added the second layer of the bonding coat. Once the second layer went on you could no longer see the green countertops underneath. The kitchen already looked better!
The second coat was much easier to apply and made the countertops much smoother than the first.
The second day we started adding color. This layer was so much fun to apply because you could see the swirls of color and it was so pretty!
As my friend and I were putting it on we kept saying, “this is so cool!” I tried to capture the look of the color in these pictures but they don’t really do it justice.
After the first color coat was completely dry, Julie and her husband, did a final smooth sanding and then painted on the the final color coat.
This is what the counters looked like the next morning when I showed up. I was amazed at the transformation!
It’s so cool that it actually looks like concrete and I love that a million people can use this kit but your counters will always be unique because everyone will apply the color a little differently.
After another very light sanding Julie and I painted on the final gloss coating. It’s a very thin gloss but it seals the counters and gives them a little shine. Here are a couple pictures I took while the gloss was drying.
The best part about the Encore kit, other than the fact that the transformation is beautiful, is that you can use your counters the next day! It’s recommended you let the counters completely dry overnight, but then you can put all your stuff back on the counters! When we painted our countertops I had to wait a week before I could do that!
Here are some “after” pictures for you to enjoy.
Can you believe how much more modern her kitchen looks?! I think it even made the cabinets look better!
The gray color is beautiful, I absolutely love it. Julie and her family love it too and they are glad that this is the only kind of green they’ll have on their counters from now on! 🙂
Here’s another close up, just because it’s so pretty and I couldn’t resist. 🙂
Here’s a breakdown of Julie, and my opinions, of the product and the refinishing process.
* The product is very durable and thick
* The color is beautiful
* The directions and video tutorials are very helpful and easy to follow
* It took a lot of work over the 3 days but the work was pretty easy. As Julie said, “if a 9 month pregnant woman and a girl friend can do it, anyone can do it!” We also had a lot of fun throughout the process.
* The color was a little darker than expected (we still love it, but it is darker than the swatch online)
* Insufficient product amounts. We had enough product to complete the project but on some steps we used every single grain of sand and then on other steps we had tons left over. We wish there had been the same amount of product for each of the steps because on a few of the steps we were stressed out that we were going to run out of product.
Let’s look at the before and after again, just for fun.
What do you think of the countertop transformation? I absolutely love it!
To find out more about Encore, the complete countertop refinishing system, and to see other transformations, follow them on Facebook.
I’ve had some readers ask what my friend thinks of her countertops after she’s had the counter tops for about a year. She is still very satisfied with them! She has had no problem with stains and only one issue with scratching. The scratch did not scratch the color off but more created an indentation in the counter. She said that the counters are a little softer but she has not had any flaking or any places where the color has stained or faded!