Concrete Countertops DIY to Create a Special Atmosphere
“Are you sure we can do that?” Yes, I really am! I am absolutely sure that if anybody wishes they can make concrete countertops themselves. Use the chance, and try to make your own DIY concrete countertops with the help of concrete countertop solutions.
First step. Take formica countertop, then start the process of the future concrete countertops surface sanding (take a special coarse sandpaper — rough surface is better to “catch” and hold cement). The next step is to make concrete countertops clean; wipe it using the damp rag and then let it stay for drying. There is a good and very helpful practice: a painter’s tape is very applicable for using here. Apply it to the place that is located slightly higher the place where the concrete countertops wall tile joins with a backsplash. What is it for? To prevent sanding of grout and tile. Try to pick out the sink in order to reach the place of meeting the counter and a sink. It’s a very good idea to use paint stirrers and small containers (disposal ones) for concrete countertop mix. The size of such containers for making concrete countertops is approximately like those ones of popcorn buckets. You are going to need 4 or 5 of them to do all the work.
As a rule, the accepted proportion of water & dry cement is 1:2. Put them into paper bucket for ration mixing with the help of disposable plastic. Frankly speaking, our personal advice is to use 1:2 ration (a cup of water and two cups of dry cement), and then you have time to spread it quickly before it hardens and then dries. There is an experience of applying a small putty knife with wide blade, and a trowel large drywall.
A variety of tools for using when making concrete countertops is a handy issue, as when having different points you may use a different tool, or use one tool for different jobs. Using tools, take a thin layer of cement (concrete) and cover it all over the kitchen countertop top. It’s going to resemble as if you are covering a cake with cream. But don’t forget to use spackle as well, and with the same way of motion patch holes in walls.
It’s not obligatory to cover the entire surface with concrete on the first go; if there are some areas that are thinner than others, you will take the second go and cover those places again with the second covering.
For the right angle (if you come to it, for instance, with backsplash and counter), you may do the following steps:
- Spoon up some cement with a wide putty knife
- Pull it up (meaning from the concrete countertop)
- Then pull it on the backsplash
- Move towards you and backwards from wall
- With such actions of moving cement to opposite directions you will achieve a better and clearer look of the corner.
The most difficult part of the whole work can be making an angle of rounded shape on the backsplash top. Even if it takes to, you have to put some amount of cement on the rounded edge with small putty knife and it must be done as smoothly as it is possible. But if the sanding process before was done well then it will take less effort to make the edge round. And if you doubt, take more concrete than it is necessary and any time you can cut the excess with sending. And it would be much easier than mixing another batch to add some more concrete.
Let the first layer dry fully during 24 hours. After that, the first layer (the coat) should be sanded before one more coat is added. Use medium sandpaper for that.
It is not necessary to have a smooth surface immediately; you just need to sand down all things that are up higher than it should be. With a vacuum, get rid of the dust. For addition of one more layer you need to do concrete countertop mix. 3 concrete layers should be left for drying for a day (24 hours) between each of them.
The final layer is done, and you need several hours to sand surface and make it as smooth as possible. At first you may use coarse sandpaper, and when you repeat the process then use sandpaper with finer grade.
As an advice, we would like to remark to keep your hands safe and wear gloves. In case you don’t, few days later you may have your fingers not very happy after the process of sanding.
Of course, you can use a hand sander to do some initial sanding, but sometimes it may turn out to be too strong and may result in appearing some divots, though it should be smoothing but not creating them.
At this point it would be good to take off the painter’s tape; it has the wall quite efficiently. So, as the surface is already smooth, clean it from remaining dust and get prepared for the next step — sealing the concrete countertop!
Next, you will need at least 3 coats of sealer (it should be water-based). As it is recommended on the package, apply sealer using a brush and a short nap roller for those areas that are tight. The sealer consistency should be like a skimmed milk, that is why you need to be careful and try not to make splashes around you while rolling it on. A sealer can make a countertop slightly darker, but this contrast looks even better. As soon as the sealer is dry, you just re-install a sink and here you are, done and ready!
To be noted! As far as we are told there are no sealers safe for food. So, if you know that you will be using special chopping boards to prevent surface of the concrete countertop from food impact, then use a sealer that was recommended to you. But if you take your time and make some further research, you may find some sealers that are considered to be food-safe.
We should say that the project of making or remodeling concrete countertop is not going to be easy one. Especially if it is about your arms — be ready for them to sore when performing the final sanding round. But be sure, it’s absolutely worth it. We can even promise you that contractors will be impressed with your bravery and courage to make a DIY concrete countertop and how good it will turn out to be! Such countertop makeover costs about $100, but it is made with your own hands — and that is why it is priceless.