Our tiny kitchen is the heart of our home and gets used on a daily basis. We wanted to update it without spending lots of money. Our goal was to have a beautiful functional space we can love cooking in. Concrete countertops have risen in popularity over past decade. Concrete surface looks simple and rustic with a hint of industrial flare. I chose not to pour full concrete countertops using molds and such and opted for concrete coat over existing countertops instead. In our kitchen we have nice sturdy formica look countertops that were in great shape and I did not want to see them go to a landfill! So I purchased dry concrete mix and a food safe sealer on Amazon and went ahead and resurfaced our kitchen countertops. Today I would like to share this project in details with you and hope you will find it helpful if you are considering similar DIY.
I love a good Diy and so glad I tackled this project because we absolutely love the look of our new tops and their versatility! Also they’re so durable!
🔦📐📌I will post an update after we’ve used them for some time, I can’t wait to see how they perform!
📌Items you need for this project📌
✅ latex gloves
✅ concrete mix, this is the kind I used Ardex Feather Finish… https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GUAIT8?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share.
✅ sealant, I used this kind Cheng Concrete Sealer 500 Ml https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003YM7RRK?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
✅ sturdy container to mix concrete in
✅ plastic spatulas in 2 sizes I used small and narrow and large wider one
✅ sanding block or sandpaper, I used coarse to prep counter top and fine to smooth surface after the final coat before sealant
✅ lint free rugs for application of sealant and cleanup, I used cheap washcloths
✅ painters tape
✅ garbage can
✅ painters plastic sheets tor taping off the room if you’re doing heavy sanding
✅ respirator to protect you from dust
Let’s get started!
Clean countertops well with a degreaser. Remove any loose caulk.
Tape off all areas in contact with countertops with painters tape.
Scuff the entire surface of the countertop where concrete will be applied with coarse grit sandpaper. Wipe all dust off.
Mix concrete mix with water use 2 parts concrete dry mix with 1 part of water. Add few more tablespoons of water on top of the recommended amount, it helps to make it workable longer. Mix and work in small batches it dries quickly! Add spoonfuls of water to keep it workable as needed. Do not mix it too thin or you will end up with tiny hollow bubbles on surface, it happened to me and took a while to smooth them out!
Spread mixture evenly on the top of countertop starting from far corner and working towards you. Smooth it out as much as possible to avoid extra sanding. Once you apply the mix and it hardens some use your hand in latex glove to smooth it. It does wonders, I was able to smooth edges using this technique and I did not have to sand at all except for pre-sealant touch up. Let dry and cure for at least 48 hours before applying next coat.
Final coat will come out smoother and be much easier to apply than the first.
>>>Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have applied 2-3 coats of concrete depending on how thick you apply it. I applied 2 thick coats with lots of touch ups in between coats. I added thicker layers to the edges and corners because they’re heavy traffic areas.
>>>>>>If you are doing heavy sanding>>>>>>>>Tape off the room with plastic sheets to avoid dust spreading everywhere. cover your appliances and cabinets with painters plastic also. Sand the surface to smooth it out. Do not try to reach perfect even countertop, let it be smooth but it will be slightly uneven.
Clean up all dust off the countertops and apply sealant according to package directions. The sealant I used has mixing ratio of 1:1 meaning one part of sealant and 1 part of water.
>>>>>>>>I did not do heavy sanding at all and did not sand between coats. I only rand sand paper to get rid of any concrete “crumbs” and sharp lines so dust was minimal. Then I wiped down countertop with a damp washcloth to clean up sand dust and particles that came off.
MUST READ>>> ‼️You will need at least 4 coats of sealant to repel water and stains. After 2 coats I liked matte finish but noticed stains from water and whatever boys spilled on the counter. So I cleaned it up and applied two more coats with few hours of drying time in between. Finished surface after 4 coats of sealer is glossy but no penetrating stains anymore.
>>>>‼️More important tips:
- When working with concrete mix I was adding splashes of water when it was starting to thicken while I worked. Look up videos of how masons mix their mortar mix with trowel it may help. Or think of it like cake icing you need to smooth by working it over and over.
- If mixture has lumps keep working it and smoothing it repeatedly with spatula you are using to apply it until lumps are gone.
- Dip the tool you’re using in water when smoothing surface after concrete was just applied and is still workable to help create smoother surface. Doing this practically eliminates need for sanding.
- Smooth out larger imperfections while concrete is still pliable to avoid unnecessary sanding.
- Truth is the countertop will be drying in all shades of ugly gray-brown but do not be discouraged. This mix dries to a nice light heathery gray shade.
- You are not getting a smooth even surface, it will be uneven toned and rustic-industrial look.
- If you are unsure if this is for you try this technique on a piece of plastic, such as lid from a storage tub (do not try this on wood it will warp from moisture).
- It dries hard as a rock, well … concrete.
Please let me know in comments if you’ve tried it and how it went!
Enjoy your new concrete countertops!