When we decided to makeover our basement kitchen I knew that I wanted to get rid of our countertops. My hubby said NO so I put on my thinking cap and thought I’d try my hand at DIY concrete countertops. I did lots of research and in the end I’m loving it.
lots of tape and thin coverings for the cupboards
ok let’s get started. The first step to concrete your countertops is to scratch your countertops, going to want to get something sharp. You want a scuffed up counter top so that the cement will have something to hold on to.
wipe down every inch of that countertop! You do not want to start putting your cement on and have it clumped up with stray dirt. I used regular countertop spray.
You are going to want to tape off your backsplash tile. I had just tiled mine and didn’t want one speck to land on my new tiles. (you can see how I tile my backsplash here) And now for the moment you all have been waiting for mixing the gout. In my photo Im using a plastic mixing cup but don’t use that I ruined it! Get some extra large big gulp cups and use those. That way you can just throw the cup away with each mixing.
I started with a cup of concrete mix and a cup of water. It works best with the consistency of thick frosting. If its too thin it will run all over and if its too thick it will harden way to fast before you can smooth it out. Don’t make it too hard just think spreadable cake frosting.
First coat on and yup it looks thin! but that’s what you want. It looks better if you can do a few thin coats instead of a couple thick ones. Aslo the thin coats are easier to sand and to get smooth. You want your concrete countertop thick and sturdy.
I sanded in between each layer of cement, some blogs only sanded on the last coat. I think doing a quick sand inbetween saved me hours on the back end. But you do you and see what works best for your time frame.
This is the second layer. I did do this one a little thicker to make sure all the lamanite was covered with a good layer of cement. I love this photos so you can see the thickness of the cement.
try to get it as smooth as you can during this part. You only have about 15 min per batch so you need to work kinda quick or your concrete countertops will start to set and it will be hard to spread.
Heres a little trick that nobody showed me so I’m going to share it with you!! After the coat looks good go over the top of trowl marks with a damp finger. It makes it so much easier to sand when these lines are smoothed over.
The marks that are left behind from some hardened piece of cement or something are harder to sand out. Avoid this at all cost on the last coat of your cement. They will be almost impossible to sand out. you can add a finger full of cement to kinda buff it out. I love the other bigger holes they make it look like cement! you don’t want to go through all this work and have it look like laminate, do you? NO we are after a concrete countertops!
Lets talk edges next. the one saving grace tip I learned was to run your finger under the edge of your concrete countertops. I can’t believe how much cement got trapped there. Once that hardens you won’t be able to chip it off easily. and some times there is so much there would be no way to even open the door. That’s why Tapering off is a great idea and when you do make sure the tape sticks to the underside of the counter to help even more when you peel off the tape.
Pell off the tape carefully I scored the tape with a razor blade before I peeled it off so that it wouldn’t get stuck under the concert and be tricky to peel off.
Also I read lots of blogs that said don’t worry about the sink you can tape it off. Yes you can but there is a lot of finish work involved after!! I say if you have a handy hubby that is willing to take the sink out that would be your best option! Calk in the end saved me but I wish I would have taken the sink out.
Sand sand sand sand for as long as you can stand it. The more you sand the smother it gets. Again you don’t want it to be too smooth but you want all the thing that bug you gone!! Just know that each batch of cement will have a slightly different color it just will there is nothing you can do about that. Embrace all the fun imperfections That’s what makes it look cool
I do not have any photos of me putting on the impregnator because it was midnight and well i was tired!! but do put on a few coats and let it set for a few days before you seal it. dont skip this step the impregnator is going to the the barrier between the concrete countertops and spaghetti sauce!
The last step for your concrete countertops is to use a wax sealer for concrete or soapstone. I love this wax because it the kind I use for my upstairs butcher block. It works perfectly and make the counters a little silky but not shiny. I used two coats and it’s been perfect for months. If you want to see more photos of how I made over this kitchen you can see it here (budget kitchen makeover)