Copper countertop update (pic)

DandoMarch 8, 2012

No dings, no dents. (looks like it in the photo, but, really....no whammies)

That's one of the 8ft sections. Off to the other 8ft section right now.

It's a shame that I don't need root canal. I think I'd prefer that right now. LOL!

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CEFreeman

Oh, wow.
How magnificent.
Each ding would be a ding on my heart, but you can't argue with the beautiful patina it'll develop.
What a gorgeous kitchen you'll have!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:13PM
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clarygrace

Really nice! can't wait to see it finished!!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:21PM
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ucgal

Nice!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:23PM
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tubeman

Stunning!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 1:40PM
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Angie_DIY

Oh, be still my beating heart! (Well, don't be completely still, but you get my drift.) Lovely! You have done very well!!!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:09PM
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antiquesilver

One of my favorite metals! Just beautiful.........

Copper outlet covers would be great too?

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Poohpup

Beautiful! Just BEAUTIFUL!! I can't wait to see the finished kitchen!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Circus Peanut

Yum! And please don't fear the dings. They all blend together after a while and soon you'll embrace them happily. Copper's a soft metal and you can't expect it to perform like stainless steel (nor, I think, do you want it to, having so delightfully chosen copper.) DIY?

3.5 years and going strong, even with dings:

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 3:01PM
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meggswife

So beautiful! I actually prefer it more worn... thanks for the photo Circuspeanut.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 3:03PM
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oldbat2be

Wow, those are both gorgeous, love them!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 5:52PM
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mmhmmgood

Love the copper! Shiny new and three years they both look great!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 12:39AM
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cat_mom

Oooohhhh!!!! Aaaaahhhh!!!! Nice, nice!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 1:24AM
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Dando

Circuspeanut: Can you just instantly give me a year so my countertop looks like yours? That's the look I want, and I just can't wait!!! LOL.
OH, the outlet covers ARE copper.
One little section to go, later today. YEA!!!
2nd photo: Homemade tools of the trade...LOL!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:05AM
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springroz

I have always LOVED copper!! I had it in my previous kitchen as accents.

Our friends DIY a copper bar in the guest house that is gorgeous like yours and circuspeanut's!!

Can't wait to see the final,because the cabinets look beautiful, too!!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:32AM
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bumble_doodle

Dando, could you please show more pics of your cabinets? I have the exact same thing (stained) and have been trying to get up the nerve to paint them. I LOVE the color of your cabs and the countertop is stunning!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Dando

bumble doodle: Okay, here ya go. Kinda worried about the black nickel hinges and knobs. (maybe they should be copper colored, but, if those were copper....then the faucets would have to be copper...then the "everything" else would also).
I think it'd be TOO MUCH. I'm counting on the countertop to be the "splash". If I change the hinges/knobs, it might take something away? Besides, there will be stainless in there also...just not possible to keep going with copper.
THOUGHTS??? Are those okay, or should I consider changing the hinges and knobs?

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:12AM
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bumble_doodle

WOW, Looks great, Dando! Would you mind sharing the paint color? I like the black hardware too! I think if you switched it to copper then it would take away from the impact of those stunning countertops.

I'm heading to the airport in a couple of minutes but I'm hoping to follow this thread while I'm away. LOVE where this is going!!!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 11:26AM
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Dando

Pittsburgh Paints, semi-gloss oil. (96293 Old Mill)
We can still get oil here. I use oil on trim and cabinets IF they are a dark color.
I also accidentally painted some of the trim last night with Valspar Curry Green. Wondered what happenned today when I put newly painted trim up, beside older painted trim.
It was just a shade darker. BUT, it was SO close.
(then I remembered one of the bedrooms is Curry Green.)

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 7:40PM
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mabeldingeldine_gw

Dando, since a DIY copper counter is on my bucket list, will you share details of how you are doing it? The homemade tools look very intriguing!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:41PM
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Dando

I started with 16oz copper sheet (weighs 16oz per sq/ft).
Seems no two places that readily sell this stuff call it the same.
So, for buying copper sheet, for a countertop:
(16mil/.016/26ga/12oz is all the same stuff)
(22mil/.021/24ga/16oz is all the same stuff)
IF I had it to do over again, I'd have gone with the thinner copper. Much easier to work with, the edges would have been "crisper", and it would have been cheaper.
Installed much the same way laminate is installed. A fine thought, to be sure, but.....I'd never installed laminate.
I cut my copper sheets with big tin snips, cut copper about 1/2" too large. Layed it out on the countertop, measured 100 times, marked/skribed with a razor knife, removed, cut again, trial fitted again.
I left 2-1/8" overhang on the outer edge to be bent over. 1-1/2" edge thickness, then 3/4" to roll under. (1/8" shy of 3/4" so as not to hit the cabinet facing).
I then used contact cement on a perfectly smooth substrate. Cleaned and Sanded the back side of the copper, then contact cement on it.
Dowels every 6" to lay copper on, to keep it up off of the substrate. Started on one end, removing dowels, and pushing copper down to the substrate. Once all the dowels were removed, I wrapped a short chunk of 2" pvc pipe that I had left over from some plumbing work, with an old towel. And just went to rubbing the copper with pressure. It all stuck down great.
Then slowly, by hand (thumbs), began bending the edge over. LITTLE at a time...SLOWLY. Once I had a noticeable edge, I used the block of wood (far left in photo of tools).
Wrapped block of wood with that old towel, ran it down the edge a few times. Mostly pressure on the top edge to keep the copper from LIFTING on the edge. Then LOTS of pressure and while moving, beat that wood block with a rubber mallet.
Then, wrapped the middle "tool" with said towel, and same thing. Rubbed it back and forth, then while moving, beat it with rubber mallet.
Then, slowly fold the edge under, same as I just did with the upper edge. This time, I used the far right "tool", wrapped with towel, same scenario.
I then used a tiny drill bit and put holes in the lower edge, UP into the copper lip. Drilling just a bit (1/2" deep) into the substrate edge.
Used 5/8" copper roofing nails in these holes, under the edge to hold it all in place. GENTLY nailing them in so as not to knock any substrate loose while hammering upward. Tiny screws would have probably worked better. (it's all hidden under the edge anyway). Use a nail about every 2-1/2".
The seams on top are over grooves cut into the substrate. (saw blade width). Copper edge centers the saw blade groove. Used a wood chisel and hammer, and tapped the edge down into the saw blade groove. That made a tiny "V" anywhere on top that there is a seam.
I then soldered the seams with just typial "solder" and a big soldering iron.
Corners were soldered also, and NOT very pretty. Trying to solder a vertical corner....STINKS!
BUT, this was expected and gave it a rustic look. Sanding and fileing smoothed it all out.
Rustic comes from the silver color of the solder, not really being "exactly" where it should, and sort of "splothedy". (my test/practice soldering on scraps is really pretty though..LOL!!).
I have some copper colored stuff for solder joints, turns them copper color. It works, but, makes the seams look like just an ugly, beat up, stripe in the middle of a pretty copper sheet. (the silver SEAM looked much better). And the seam looks like a seam, instead of looking like something is wrong.
Then, LOTS OF power sanding with 320/600/1200 grit sandpaper to get rid of the factory scratches, and the new metal "grain". Then lots of polishing with "000" and "0000" steel wool to make it shiney"er".
At this point, I was no longer trying to remove ALL of the scratches. I was simply trying to make everything look "uniform", and...have a shiney surface for the copper to begin it's new "life".
I then polished/waxed it with some automobile wax/polishing stuff that I found in the garage.
It actually, looks good! (or at least, good enough for who it's for).
SANDING/POLISHING: I did this in sections. On each section, When I decided that that Michelle girl from Be Organic would probably like it, I then continued polishing for two more hrs. (that's just wrong of me isn't it....)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:58PM
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aliris19

Wow that's beautiful. Sorry to be unimaginative, but I actively like the dark hardware, better, I think, than I would copper. That would just be too precious I think. Copper is decidedly not-precious.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Dando

The 1st picture I posted, it looks brown. (camera I guess?)
The others look "copper". That's about what it looked like after installation.
THIS photo (with cooktop back in place). Cruddy cell phone picture. I'll try to do better tomorrow.
BUT, this is after my so-called polishing with sandpaper and steel wool. For a billion tiny scratches, it's fairly shiney. Notice the reflection of the wall outlet on the right side. I'm calling my polishing job.. "good enough for who it's for", and "a good place for it begin it's life"

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 2:04PM
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hosenemesis

Wow. What a job you have tackled, and it looks spectacular. Yay copper! I like the dark knobs too. The copper and green are fantastic together.
Renee

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 2:08PM
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enduring

Great job, thanks so much for sharing your project. It is beautiful. I think the existing hinges and knobs are fine, I would live with them a while before making any changes. I have a brass door knob on one of my doors and a black iron on another, I like the mixture. Maybe someday, but today each door has it's own personality.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 9:52PM
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mabeldingeldine_gw

I like the dark hinges, and I am completely impressed with your counter. Gorgeous.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:05PM
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AnnaA

Absolutely amazing! So beautiful and original.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 10:30PM
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eleena

Amazing! I am totally inspired! Love the hardware too.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 12:10AM
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BalTra

Stunning!!!!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 6:30AM
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Dando

Here, let me make everybody CRINGE. lol!
Had some issues with the oven when it arrived last week. But, nothing a little bit of body and paint work couldn't remedy.
Thus explaining the BRAVE decision of a color choice for the upper door.
Am I going to have to re-paint it black?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 3:08PM
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TracyO

I love it!! Oh my gosh don't go back to black. I'm jealous of your bravery. Totally works.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 3:21PM
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eleena

What is that thing on the wall above your cooktop, if you don't mind me asking? It might be just the picture, but it doesn't seem to work with the appliances. I might be wrong though...

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 3:49PM
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Dando

Copper wash tub lid.
It "should" work with the furniture and other "decor", and the copper countertop when it starts changing colors.
AND...it may not be in it's final resting place either. Won't know for sure until we get everything else...here and there.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:01PM
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eleena

Oh, I see. :-)

I sort of liked it on the first pix, before seeing the wall appliances, but now it feels like "too much of a good thing" to me. If it were my kitchen, I'd want the copper coutertops "stand out" by themselves, I think. But I am not an expert. :-)

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:13PM
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zeebee

Your countertops are lovely.

And don't go back to black!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 4:18PM
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