DIY Concrete Countertops

5/18/2016

I don't think I have ever been so excited to share something with y'all as I am these. With a little hard work and elbow grease Austin and I turned our not so cute laminate counter tops into gorgeous concrete counters. Best part, it cost us less than $100.
This project took us about five days, but we also have two little ones at home that needed us so most work wasn't done until after the girls went to bed. I think the most common question I am asked is if it was hard. This is a very forgiving project. If you make a mistake you can just start over. But it was extremely messy, we took a whole day just to clean after they were done.
 
What you need:
Feather Finish
Sand Paper (60, 80, 120, 220, and 320 grit)
Cement Color - Only if you want to adjust the color, it is also available in other color options.
Bucket


First start by sanding your counters down. We used the 60 grit sand paper to do this. We also took an box cutter and scored them really well. After they were roughed up we vacuumed the dust up and wiped them down the best we could.

Next you start applying the cement. First I want to say that this stuff dries fast, so you don't want to mix a lot at a time or you are going to waste a lot. We mixed about 2 cups at a time and when we ran out we made more and kept going. We did not do a section of the counter all in one batch. We also chose to add concrete color into our mixture to give it a darker color.

This is where things get scary. Or at least they did for me, putting that first glob of cement down on my counters was nerve wracking but this stuff is really easy to use. After you apply your first coat you will need to let it dry. Once it is you sand it down. We used 80 grit sand paper for this. I highly suggest doing this by hand or you will start to go through all your hard work and have to start over.

I kind of started freaking out here so listen to me when I say the first coat was the hardest to apply and the hardest to sand. It was a very rough surface but as you add more coats it gets better. After you sand it down take the vacuum to it again, and wipe it down. Do this for 3-4 coats, trying to make each coat smoother than the last. After the first coat we switched from the 80 grit to 120 grit sand paper for the sanding. Every layer work on building your edges and corners up. These will see the most wear and tear and it is important you have a good layer applied. I found it easiest to use cement that was starting to dry and a little thicker, then apply it with my finger.

After the last coat is applied you are going to sand it down with a very fine sand paper. We started with 120 grit then moved up to the 220, then the 320. You are going to want to take your time and make sure you are left with a smooth surface that you will be happy with. Once you are happy with it you can go ahead and clean the mess up.

The final step in this process is sealing the counters. There are lots of options out there but there are two basic ideas. First you want something that is food safe. Second you want something that will protect the counters from inevitable wear and tear. We decided to give Hemp Oil a try. It stained our counters much darker which gave them a look we love, but it doesn't seem to be protecting them from water and oil very well. We will be trying an acrylic concrete sealer next. Whatever you decide to use I suggest doing a test area because there are some horror stories out there of the sealer damaging all the hard work.

If you have any questions please let me know, and if you decide to give your own a shot please tag me in your photos. I would love to see. You can find me on Instagram here or on Facebook here. I look forward to coming back later to tell you about how this project has held up for us. But for now I am loving the cheap upgrade.

6 comments

  1. I have been dying for this post. I am so scared to do this, but I showed my husband the first time I saw it and he loves it.

    I guess my first question is... how do you add color?

    I'm new to diy house stuff... so with laminate counter tops (I'm not if that's what I have) does sanding pull that top layer off ? Or just make it course enough for the cement to stick.
    And last... (for now atleast) did you ever use an electric sander?

    I am sorry for all the questions, just really love your outcome!!÷ Can't wait to hear about your sealer.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ashley! I am so glad you love them and are considering doing it. I was scared and we are huge DIY people. But I promise this stuff is so easy to work with. If you make a mistake you sand it down and restart.

      The color is a powder, we added the amount we wanted to the cement mix, stirred that up, then added water.

      If you sand the laminate it does not come off. Just gives the cement a surface to stick to. This is the ONLY time we used an electric sander. The cement comes off super easily so hand sanding is easy enough. I will definitely come back and let you know how the sealing goes. We are going to try ordering something.

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  2. AMAZING!!! I am so impressed! I've been thinking about doing this to our bathroom countertops and you may have just given me the kick I needed to try it. I love the way they turned out! Gorgeous!

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