Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Skimstone, Spreadstone

It what might be a misguided attempt to (1) save money, (2) provide a complementary pairing with the backsplash; and/or (3) see how a product will turn out, I elected to use Spreadstone on my FD project's countertops.  These countertops were Formica in the ubiquitous 'butcher block"  pattern. Granite was not going to work from a design or a cost perspective.  I would have installed Formica countertops; however, I could not find a color to work well with the backsplash that was also going to be void of the dark lines that show at all seams on lighter colored Formica. 

Some time ago, I conducted an experiment with Spreadstone on a portion of old maroon countertop (very fashionable in 1987) that had been removed from my kitchen during a much-needed upgrade.  It had a long life of 20 years.  In my product research in looking for alternatives to formica countertops, I came across Spreadstone.  My natural curiosity and a search for an attractive, cost effective countertop resurfacing led me to my testing.

For this FD project, I chose Skimstone solely on the basis of the more extensive ability to color the product through the color-paks.  However, this project had two complications that I was not expecting.  First, the existing countertop had a metal angle and a metal concave strip in the back corner (the backsplash was FRP board which was removed).  Removing the metal strip caused some countertop damage that had to be repaired.  Second, the shorter side sections of the counter were mitered to the longer section, resulting in an ugly line that had gapped open.  (One had become grease laden, which I did not know until after I put my first primer coat of Skimstone on, and it required that I go back and scrape, sand, fill, sand etc....). 

After conducting secondary repairs,   I put on my second bond coat of Skimstone. The Skimstone did not adequately cover the mitre seam  nor the repairs.  To make matters worse, there was still kitchen activity from tile man and painters.  (There really is a reason why process is important and safeguarding interim work).  There were splashes of 'stuff' on my countertops which I feared would not be coated in the color application, but would show through.  I put one more bond coat on (which depleted my gallon prior to finishing).  That coat still did not cover these discolorations. 

Since I had worked with Spreadstone previously, I thought that I could use this product (on top of the Skimstone)  to provide the coverage that I was looking for.  I made a trip to Pressure Works and obtained a gallon.  Spreadstone comes in a white base v. the gray base of Skimstone.  I had it tinted Ivory.  I troweled it on, and it went beautifully over the Spreadstone Bonding Primer.  It covered all of the imperfections in the form of repairs and splashes. 

My confidence in the outcome of this project was lagging badly when I looked at the quality of the finish after 3 coats of Skimstone.  (Not the product's fault, but the substrate).  As the Spreadstone had a bit more elasticity in the finish coat, which really helped it glide on.  Also, as it was opaque, it cleared up the splotch issues. I had a glimmer of hope that I ultimately wasn't going to have to trash the countertop and install something new.

To ensure a smooth finished product, I sanded between all coats. I borrowed an orbital sander and used 80 grit with a super light touch on the bond coating (which is coarser than is recommended, but my 220 grit was wearing down to fast).  That gave me a really nice base.  Today I troweled on the color (3 layers).  I chose "mocha" which I thought would harmonize well with the backsplash.  When I'm finished with the poly coats today, I'll post some pictures of the finished product.

Skimstone Countertops in Mocha
Overall, the end result (left) surpassed my expectations--which means I'm not embarrassed by it and I would be perfectly happy with this in my own home.  I'll have a final verdict after it is completely finished.  I have far too much time in the project; however given that it was my first time in completing such a project, my learning curve was--well, flatlined!

P. S.  I see that  Royal Design Studio is offering far superior pricing on Skimstone Products than the Rudd Store (where I bought my 'stuff').  I'm not sure if the shipping differential offsets the base product differential.  To be sure, there is vast difference in the base pricing.





2 comments:

  1. Hi..i agree with your analysis...I have used both products and I would choose SpreadStone from Daich Coatings over Skimstone as its easier to work with and you can faux finish it to your delight. It is more forgiving and can take on a very high end appearance like a high end tile or stone. The best thing about SpreadStone is that it can be used both indoors and outdoors so it is great both on a countertop and on your front porch or even your garage floor.

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  2. I have never used SpreadStone, but I have applied Skimstone in my home, studio, and I teach classes. The color choices are unlimited, can be blended into the acrylic solution, or on the surface. Textured, smooth venetian plaster appearance, multi color blended on the surface, flat, shinny smooth, skip trowled, even painted. Primer is the most important layer, if it is required, it must be smooth. Check our site at www.artworksspokane.com

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