Well, as you might imagine, remodeling inside a tiny house can be challenging, but also doesn’t really take up a whole lot of time and is typically not super costly. I mean, you don’t need a ton of material to remodel a kitchen that’s not even 7 feet long and is basically inside your living room. Unless, of course, you’re us, and you decide to make it super awesome and use some crazy compound called epoxy to make your new countertop look like a bar top. Because if you know us at all – we go big or go home.
For a quick reminder, here is a before picture of our kitchen:
We’ve lived here for almost 5 years now (crazy, right?), and we sort of pieced this together when we first built it, based on what we could afford at the time and our skill level. Well, our skill level for building stuff has exponentially increased, as well as our budget, and we decided it was time for an upgrade. Also we didn’t have the forethought to seal our old original countertop, so over time it started to develop mold, and since we used rough cut wood it actually shrunk over time, which created huge gaps in our shelving and countertop. Which creates a huge mess, as we discovered.
You live you learn.
So we went on a hunt to find the *perfect* new countertop. R swung by our local sawmill (where we’ve gotten lots of stuff over the years) and scored an awesome 16′ chunk of rough cut for $45. We cut that sucker in half, and decided to make two awesome countertops out of it. I really wanted that shiny bar top look, so we bought some epoxy and got to sanding!
The sanding was really the most time-consuming part. We actually bought a Ryobi sander specifically for this project. We cut a hole for the sink and then prepared for epoxy. If you’ve never used it, that stuff is crazy. Almost as soon as you mix these two liquid compounds together, they start to heat up and harden, so once you start mixing, there’s no turning back. You basically sacrifice 2-3 plastic mixing containers, stir sticks, brushes, and plastic spreaders because there’s no cleaning that stuff up afterwards. Oh, and you need to have a blowtorch handy to scorch the bubbles out of it while it hardens.
So essentially R mixed the compounds together (and it’s for a very specific amount of time), then started to pour it on the boards while I’m ready with a spreader and a brush to attempt to get it to even out and cover all of the wood before it hardens. Every video we watched on this process, someone is like, “you don’t have much time, so don’t think about it, just do it!”, so honestly we probably rushed a little more than we needed to. It dripped off the sides for a lot longer than we were expecting.
But! In the end we had two beautiful glossy coated bar tops!
We let those sit for about 4 days to fully harden before we did anything else with them, then we dismantled our old kitchen and set up the new one! All of the other wood we used wasn’t rough cut so it won’t shrink this time, and we stained it all so it would stay protected from water and whatever else. We even added a backsplash!
Doesn’t it look great! We have more space and it’s all shiny and pretty. Now, what did we do with the other piece? We put it on our deck as a bar top! Actually we even have a third shorter piece from the same chunk of rough cut that we’re not sure what to do with yet, but it got epoxy’d too and is sitting in our loft. We’ll find a purpose for it someday.
Next event – a Deck Party with all the finest meats, cheeses, and ales. Loki approves.