Firehouse kitchens get A LOT of traffic morning, noon and night. While firefighters are known (watch them on the Food Network) for their culinary skills, a kitchen does need some updating every once and awhile. Ray Dymond, Jr. with Dymond Quality Builders was given the task of remodeling the existing countertops for the brave men and women of the Twin Valley Fire Deptartment located in Chester County, Pennsylvania…..Quickly! Fires wait for no contractor to get on with it so the countertop remodel work needed to be completed fast with minimal mess and odor. Enter Direct Colors Concrete Overlay, Acid Stain and Epoxy Sealer!
Can’t overemphasize the importance of good surface preparation for overlay applications. Not only does the existing surface need to be in good condition (no cracks, damaged/missing areas or voids in the Formica) but it should be scuffed to encourage good bonding, thoroughly cleaned and dry before beginning. Grit and dust will prevent the overlay from adhering properly to the Formica so don’t skimp on cleaning! Vacuum after scuffing, scrub the surface with a degreaser and water solution and lastly, rinse, Rinse, RINSE! Allow the countertops at least 24 hours to dry and more time if you’re working in humid conditions (think Louisiana, y’all!). For the complete application instructions, read our How to Apply Concrete Overlay Guide.
Once your overlay is down and has cured for at least 24 hours, you’re ready to acid stain. Since Direct Colors Concrete Overlay has been specially formulated to take acid stain well, feel free to cut the acid stains with water or leave them on for a shorter period of time and get the same rich color results. For more on acid staining overlay, listen to our recent podcast, Customers Ask Top Acid Staining Questions.
There’s no one way to acid stain concrete. Dymond ordered our Large Acid Stain Sample Kit which includes one quart of each acid stain color. He’s selected Desert Amber as his primary color with subtle accents of Avocado and Coffee Brown. Working with the stains when both are still wet gives the finished look a more integrated and natural appearance.
Direct Colors has countless how to videos, guides, blog posts, and podcasts to help our customer achieve the look they’re hoping for in their homes, businesses or firehouses. If you’re thinking of tackling a countertop remodel project yourself but don’t live near Dymond Home Builders, I would suggest beginning with our How to Acid Stain Concrete Countertops Guide. It has all the info you’ll need to make some initial decisions about colors and products. We you’re ready to make it happen we also have several how to videos from professionals like Ray Dymond, Jr., on specific acid staining techniques to help the process along.
Dymond has chosen our 100% Epoxy Countertop Sealer for its deep, high gloss finish. While it’s absolutely true that nothing pops color like an epoxy, it’s not for everyone or every environment. For example, epoxy sealers should never be used outside or even in areas indoors where direct sunlight routinely occurs. Epoxy can yellow with prolonged exposure to sunlight. Hmmmm. Now this wasn’t an issue in our firehouse kitchen remodel but it could be in yours. For more info on how to treat your countertop sealers right, listen to our podcast on Care and Maintence for Countertop Sealers.
We have how to videos on applying epoxy that we hope will make the process easier. For higher traffic kitchens or to simply extend the life of the epoxy finish, consider top coating your countertop with our 500 Solvent Based Polyurethane. Unfortunately, this product does have a strong odor during application which would not have been appropriate for our round-the-clock firehouse but might be an option for other projects.
Remodeled Firehouse Kitchen Featuring DCI Concrete Overlay, Acid Stains and Epoxy Countertop Sealer