How NOT To Refinish Simulated Marble Bathroom Counters

Real Estate Appraiser with Accurate Valuations Group, LLC LA St Certified 851

How NOT To Refinish Simulated Marble Bathroom Counters 



Summary, on a budget, these newly refinished counters do like nice and may last for several years.  However, they're a 35 year old dated style of counter.  It's a better idea to apply new slab granite or granite tile counters replacing bathroom counters than to paint and spray old 35 year style old counters, if you can afford to do so. For whatever method you choose, try to choose a solution that won't peel and flake over time.  Read ALL below before making a judgment call here


I even found this video on Youtube which shows a somewhat similar process but different faux style



As Greater Baton Rouge's Home Appraiser, I'm in and out of many homes each month. I see some really great ideas on updates and upgrades and every now and then, some not good ideas. This implementation I'm rating on the not-such-a-good-idea-scale - that is refinishing 34 year old already dated cabinets and bathtubs wall...with this technique. 


What the homeowner did was have a friend come in for 2 full bathrooms and 1 half bathroom, leave old bathroom counters in place while refinishing them with paint, flakes and epoxy type hard surface resin.  The process did involved sanding and priming surfaces. 




This company charged $2,200 to apply this process, which seemed to me to be extemely expensive and the comments below confirm my opinion.  

What was market (potential buyers) feedback?  After 75+/- days on market and 1 price revision, home still hasn't sold.  Feedback from the market was that for the price they were asking, slab granite should have been installed.  In fact, this home was on the market longer and possibly missed late some buying opportunity. 



Will this finish peel and flake over time?  
General Answer is "Yes" unless this process has very recently been improved.

What's the feedback from these photos?  


I asked my Facebook friends, mainly in Real Estate, for their feedback and here's what I received below.  Two local Home Inspectors and 3 REALTORS or 5 local real estate professions in and out of homes constantly confirmed this finish DOES PEEL AND FLAKE over time.


"How durable would those surfaces be? I'd be afraid that they would scratch or peel easily, but maybe not. I agree that $2,200 seems like way too much for a paint job. Is it regular paint?" - Lorraine Grula 


"While the surface is "new" the sculpted style is still dated. I may have chosen to remove them and go back with granite at that price." - REALTOR® Kindra Fletcher


"I've seen this material flake and crack as well. For $2200 it would seem that they could of done granite with a nice tub insert or maybe tile on the walls." - REALTOR® Dwight Hudson


"It doesn't last very long unless the process has improved a lot in the past 10 years since I last saw it done. It does usually last long enough to sell the house." - REALTOR® Carmel Streater


"I have seen a few of those spray on rehabs. I have also seen a few of those that were flaking. I am sure there are different materials. And of course there are different installers. Prep makes ALL the difference with this stuff. As a buyer looking at one that has been already done, you won't know one way or the other until it is too late. I am not convinced yet." - Home Inspector Mike Jordan


"Mike is right. I see it quite often where it peels and flakes off. Also can only use certain cleaners. $2200 seems high. I think a low budget replace could be done for about the same." - Home Inspector Kevin Dinkel




Any feedback on a better alternative, especially for the bathtub walls?  
Thank you for your time! 

Comments (3)

Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Bill - It has been my experience that any painted or applied surface will fail over time. The heavier the use, the quicker that will be.

Nov 07, 2014 09:46 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Bill, I had some sellers who had some kind of space age goop applied to kitchen counters that looked really awful, and it was less expensive than putting on foremica.  It looked great and made the kitchen look a lot less weary.  But $2000 sounds high.

Nov 07, 2014 09:58 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I assume you are taling about cultured marble? If taken care of, I've found they can last a very long time. Part of the issue often is that it's not enough to just update the counters, you need to update what they sit on.

Nov 07, 2014 10:31 PM

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