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DIY Concrete Countertops
Concrete countertops are a time intensive DIY project, but the results can be simply stunning.
We loved Jessie’s concrete countertops at Imperfectly Polished and couldn’t wait to feature them. The entire project took her almost one month to complete. Here’s a look at the final countertops. Wow!
Every kitchen—and therefore every DIY concrete countertop project—is different. But here’s a brief glimpse into Jessie’s tutorial to create your own concrete countertops. No matter what size your kitchen counters, be sure to measure multiple times before you build your forms for the concrete counters—or your brand new counters might not fit!
- melamine board
- concrete (countertop mix)
- table saw
- tarp or plastic sheeting
- painter’s tape
- silicone caulk and caulking gun
- mesh lath
- work gloves
- wire cutters
- concrete release agent
- concrete mixer
- sandpaper (50 grit and 400 grit)
- power sander
- high-gloss concrete sealer
- paint roller
- food-safe wax
- rag or sponge
You will need a table saw to rip the boards to size. You have to cut the bottom boards, sides, and all the smaller pieces for the backsplash forms. Your sides will need to be up to the thickness of your counters so measure correctly.
The next step is to assemble the forms.
It is important to use some sort of release agent, otherwise, you may have trouble getting your counters out and you don’t want to ruin those pretty things. We poured the release agent into a small spray bottle and lightly coated each form. We wiped them all down with a napkin because the directions say to use a thin, even layer. It worked like a charm. Don’t forget the sides!
We rented this mixer for $40/day. We hooked it up in our drive way and then poured the mixed concrete into a 5 gallon bucket to take into the garage. This way we wouldn’t waste a lot of concrete by
spilling pouring directly into our molds. We had some very narrow forms for the backsplash pieces and knew it would be easier to shovel it in.
Once you have the right consistency, pour enough concrete to fill your form about halfway up. Then lay down your mesh. Make sure it is good and centered. Then fill the form the rest of the way with concrete.
Once it is full, use a smooth board to screed it. What’s screed you ask? Let me explain (because I know these things now).
Firmly press a board across the top of your form. This will make it nice, smooth, and level. Since the top of your form is actually the bottom of your counter, you want to this to be level so your counters sit nicely on your cabinets.
Once you have done these steps over and over and over again until you have all your forms filled, lay your plastic sheet over top.
Before you can finish the surface, you need to de-mold the counters. Since we used the release agent, the counters literally slipped right out of the forms as soon as we turned them upside down.
We laid the counters onto a foam board to give them a soft place to land. We left them on the foam to do all the finishing work. Before sanding, we filled in all the little air bubble holes.
After you have sanded it all smooth, it’s time to install. We dry-fit the pieces first and checked to make sure they were level. If they were not, we simply shimmed ‘em up.
Here’s what the counters looked like after being sealed and waxed!
Thanks to Jessie at Imperfectly Polished for sharing!