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Nautical Theme Countertop

October 25, 2009 Home Charms No Comments
Nautical Theme Countertop

Nautical Theme Countertop

Typically in Boca Raton, older homes on the water are considered “tear downs” and when sold, they are bulldozed and McMansions are put in their place.  We lived in such an older home (40 + years old) and on a wide canal just off the Intracoastal Waterway, so we knew if the home was ever sold, it would probably meet the fate of the bulldozer.  Of course, at the time, I thought we would be in that home till they carried me out feet first, or we went to an old age home.  During our remodel of our Boca home, we decided to incorporate materials, textures, and items we liked into the project, not for resale value, but since we had planned to be there many years, things that we would love and enjoy on a daily basis.

We looked at several countertop choices, the most prevalent in Boca was granite, and the most popular type was “UbaTuba”, by a 65% margin.  I didn’t want our kitchen to look like every other house in South Florida, white cabinets being the prevailing color and “UbaTuba” granite.  We went with rich burgundy cherry all wood cabinets, and for the countertops, my husband agreed to build them out of more of the Brazilian Cherry flooring that we had on the floor.  We simply ordered more flooring.  I thought this was a great way to save money on the project.  Little did I know that it would be so labor intensive, labor on my husband’s part that is.  We would work all day at our company, then come home and work on the house.  I didn’t have the stamina that my husband had, and would go to bed.  I would wake up around 1 in the morning and here the zzz-zzz-zzz of the hand sander.  He even made a bull-noze edge around the whole countertop out of flat flooring, and to this day, I don’t know how he did it.

After the countertops were finished, we found a great nautical chart map of Florida at a shop that specialized in all things nautical, with color photos of each of the inlets going out to the ocean.  We started on the peninsula with a full map of Florida, with a photo of “Government Cut”, the inlet in Miami Beach that leads to the ocean, where the cruise ships and sea-planes leave from.  You have seen this waterway on just about any movie or TV show filmed in Miami (Miami Vice, The Bird Cage, CSI Miami, etc).  Then we proceeded up the coast including Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, up to Jupiter next to the sink.  Jumping over the sink we started with “The Florida Keys” and went all the way down to Key West next to the refrigerator.  We burned the edges of the maps and photos to give it a more rustic flair.  After which we coated the whole countertop with 3 coats of clear epoxy resin, kind of what you see on restaurant tables and bars.  And if you have never worked with that kind of stuff, I don’t suggest it for the faint of heart.  You have only 30 minutes to work with it, and it is the consistency of a thick honey.  You have to use a blow dryer to get any bubbles out and to smooth the surface.  It’s a 2 person task, one pouring and smoothing, one blow drying and catching any drips with a brush.  After it dries for 24 hours, you sand it down and start all over again.  Then after another 24 hours, you do it all again.  My husband suggested a 4th coat, but I thought it looked just fine with 3 coats.  Guess I was done with that project.

Oh, and you shouldn’t set anything hot on the surface nor use it as a cutting board.  We found some great thick glass rectangles 2 ft. x 18 inches from Target to put on either side of the stove for any hot pots   And since I didn’t cook very much, it wasn’t going to be a problem keeping the counters neat and clean.

After all was said and done, they came out magnificent, and any one who saw them had the same comment:  “WOW”!

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