Easy Basement Bar Transformation
Huge thank you to ETI Envirotex for sponsoring this month’s contest and providing the Envirotex Lite Pour-On products to complete my project. Although I received product to complete this post, all opinions are my own.
When I first heard about this contest, I was SO excited as I’ve been looking at resin projects for a while now. I debated which piece I wanted to flip. It was a rather short debate as I have really wanted to redo my basement bar since I purchase my home.
Now, I seriously hesitated about refinishing the bar as it isn’t your typical piece of furniture, but I couldn’t find any other piece in my home (or at several resale shops) that spoke to me. So, I went for it. No better way to test a product than to put it to the ultimate test!
I knew this would be a massive endeavor though. Check out the before picture. The bar is 2 feet wide with a curve on one end and measures about 10 feet in length.
My vision was to get rid of the 1970’s basement bar feeling and upgrade to a more casual, family functional mini-kitchen. I was thinking something along the lines of a studio apartment or mother-in-law suite.
1 Gallon Size Envirotex Lite Pour-On High Gloss Resin
Various paint colors
Grout spreader (optional)
The first step in my project was to fully clean the existing bar. I used a mild detergent and rag to clean the stone finish and grout. Then, I cleaned the counter surface with an abrasive cleaner and allowed everything to fully dry.
I used leftover primer from another project to give the counter area a clean white surface to begin. Once this dried, I added a light blue base coat followed immediately with a sponge roller using a royal blue color. I could have stopped the painting process here, but I’m a bit of an overachiever.
Once dried, the project was not what I envisioned. I expected a marbled effect from the paint combinations. Thus, I searched the internet for some marbling techniques.
You can check out some of the progress in the collage below.
I opted to cut in some light blue and royal blue accent areas. Again, I loved what I had compared to where I began, but it still wasn’t what I envisioned.
Next, I tried using a marbling technique where you add dish soap to a paint and water combination. With this technique, you literally blow bubbles onto the surface you wish to marble. Umm, no, this didn’t work. Once dried, my marbling looked more like diseased rotting blue flesh pockets. Sorry for the visual.
Back to square one!
I decided that I did not want to get rid of the colors, but I did sand away the roughness created by the bubble technique. It definitely gave the piece character and made it one of a kind, but it was still a bit overwhelming with the light and dark contrasts.
I ended up using a dry brush technique with the royal blue. If you are unfamiliar, you drip your brush into the paint but remove all the excess paint so that you have hardly any paint remaining. Then, lightly cross over the areas you are painting.
Success! Mind you, I did not end up with blue marble. However, the final paint brought everything together and kept the one of a kind aspect. It will definitely be a conversation piece for years to come.
Using the Resin
The resin was actually very easy to work with. However, I would caution you to thoroughly read the directions and follow them.
The product is designed to work best at a temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your product has been a room temperature prior to beginning your project. I began using the smaller bottles I received and moved to the larger size after I ran out. However, I did not take into consideration that it would take longer for the larger size to achieve room temperature. Thus, my first results were a bit spotty.
The mixing cup set was the perfect accessory for this project as you will measure equal amounts of each liquid into separate cups. You then pour the first cup into the second cup and stir for 2 minutes. To ensure that your product is completely mixed, it is recommended to transfer the contents of the 2nd cup into a 3rd cup and mix for an additional minute.
Once you have fully mixed your product, simply pour onto the surface and use the included wooden stick to spread the resin.
Tips for a larger size project
• You may find it useful to use a grout spreader
• You may want to have a helper mixing your product while you spread the resin
• Wear gloves and old clothing
Due to the size of my bar surface, I ended up going in sections. Starting at the curved end, I poured the mixture onto the surface and spread. I mixed another batch using a timer to ensure it was fully mixed. Then, poured the next batch immediately next to the first and so on.
I found this method worked great! The resin is self-leveling. However, you may not initially see missed areas as they are generally small. This gave me the opportunity to add a small amount to the previous section. Just make sure that you have not allowed too much time for the first area to have dried beyond repair. Remember to keep spreading if you resurface an area.
I would guess that the process of mixing, pouring, and leveling took me less than an hour on my own.
The fun part of this process is getting rid of air bubbles. Totally brought back childhood memories of popping bubbles on a windy day! I used a chef’s torch as it has the function to remain in the on position, and well, I don’t think I should be trusted with a welder’s torch!
The heat from the flame will cause the bubbles to rise to the surface. The goal is to achieve a glass like finish to your final project. Thus, you also want to make sure you do not allow the flame to remain in the same spot for too long as it will cause the resin to spread and give an uneven finish.
As I wanted a new feel for our area, I chose to white-wash the brick on the bar. I cleaned the glass block and hung battery operated Christmas lights (not shown) behind them.
I had recently purchased 2 barstools at a garage sale. Thus, these got a fresh coat of paint and new fabric applied to the seat cushions.
Now you will see from the finished picture, I also redid the entire wall behind the bar and added a few unused kitchen cabinets- one underneath the bar and one in the corner for the microwave, dishes, and coffee. This will all be detailed in a future post.
This was a very time-consuming transformation. However, the resin portion itself was actually quite easy to achieve. I dare to say I’m addicted! I already have 2 other projects in mind for resin.
I would probably advise someone new to resin to attempt a smaller item for a first-time project.
Confession time. My first attempt at the resin did not give the desired result. As I mentioned early, I had not allowed the products to reach room temperature. This put my project into a huge delay as I had to wait for the product to cure before sanding and recoating.
The sanding process was the most time-consuming part of the whole project. However, I was thrilled with the results. I was able to sand away the unevenness while not harming the painted surface beneath the resin.
Envirotex Lite Pour-On product cures to a high gloss finish in about 8 hours and reaches full cure in approximately 48 hours. One coat is sufficient for a superior high gloss finish.
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