Thursday, May 27, 2010

Countertop Makeovers: The Fossil Bar

We have a bump out in our kitchen.  I guess the idea was to place a breakfast table there but it really was too small to seat people comfortably.  The rail was white metal with a lovely hunk of wood on top.  Our friend Scott, made us a counter from two solid pieces of MDF complete with nice bull nosed edges.

Before the counter was installed, I used MFM and Primetch to change the rails into a rusted metal.  I applied Venetian Plaster to the wood top and glazed it.  The floor is sanded because I did a finish on it as well.

This a matching banister in another part of the house with a better view of the finish I described above.

Scott even wrapped the counter around a support beam-good job!

I rolled the MDF with Texture Coat and then troweled on a layer of Quartzstone.  I used a brush and plastic wrap to work over the bull nosed edge.  This layer was sanded and cleaned.

I decided my counter would be a Fossil Stone.  I went on-line and studied authentic fossil stones including how the real fossils are revealed from the rock.  When you use a stencil like this it is easy to veer into cheesy and I wanted the finished product to look and feel as realistic as possible.  I noted that the real fossils had a very polished appearance so I elected to use Stucco Lux for this step.  I applied some Midnight, River Rock  and Delta Brown Stucco Lux colors with a Japan Scraper over the Faux Effects Fossil Stencil set.

Murray is giving me some moral support (he really thinks it is food).

The stencils look best if left "broken" in areas.  The most difficult part of placing a pattern is deciding how many to actually complete.  I decided that a few would be almost covered with the following layers.  The Stucco Lux polished very well as I bladed the finish.

This layer was the most difficult.  I troweled Sandalwood, Goldenrod, and Rich Creme Stucco Lux colors at the same time, working wet plaster into wet plaster.  The Stucco Lux wants to "bite" into the surface so blending the colors was not easy.  I did finally add some So-Slow extender and that helped.  My brillant idea was to add some of the River Rock and Delta Brown with this layer.  These darker colors overwhelmed the golds and cream and didn't want to blend.  I ended up repeating this layer just to soften the hard edges between colors.  Stucco Lux dries much lighter and should be enhanced with a sealer.  I tinted some Stucco Lux Sealer with Earth Brown Faux Creme Color and sealed this layer.

I used the darker Stucco Lux colors on the edge of the counter.  By pulling a dried chip brush through this, it made the edges resemble stacked rock.  The golden layer was brushed over the stacked rock and softened with cheesecloth.  The sealer was applied in the same manner.

I scrapped very hard over the fossils to pop and polish them. This is a Trilobite and the spiral shells are called Ammonites.  These fossils were abundant in the Mesozoic age.  I call the Ferns-Ferns.  This would be a fun project for a kids bath counter and teach them a little about Anthropology at the same time.  Maybe I should call this the Ross Geller countertop?

I activated a layer of white colorant over the entire finish to add depth and movement.

The final color layer was more activated colorants in earth tones. 

The sealer provided a nice slick surface for activation.  You can also glaze on top of the sealer.  Your glaze will bead up on the surface but it will bond solid.

I rolled 1 coat of the Gloss Water-based Rock-kote epoxy.  To avoid lap lines, use a black foam roller, thin with water, and I add a few drops of retarder.  This is a two-part gold label product.  The next day I did a light sand with 600 wet sand paper, cleaned it, and rolled a thick coat of C500 Satin.  This bonds nicely with the Rock-kote for a finish that feels like polished stone.

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