This was our (my husband and I) second attempt at doing concrete countertops. We liked our lakehouse kitchen so much we decided to try the countertops again, but this time with a molded edge making it not quite as rustic of a look.Here is the kitchen/countertops "before" pic. Outdated formica.
Here is the kitchen/countertops "before" pic. Outdated formica.
We started by removing all the formica countertops and installing the new sink, which will require the cabinets below to be reconfigured (but that's another project). The first time we did the countertops, we poured them outdoors, but this time we wanted to try pouring them in place. This required cement boards to be used as the base of the counter. Drilled in place to the cabinets. For the sink, we secured a thick piece of styrofoam cut to accomodate the outline of the sink.
Originally we had just done a plain square edge, but for these counters we ordered the edging mold from www.concretecountertopsolutions.com. The mold is screwed down to the cement board, then duct taped at the corners. Then we added welded steel wire mesh for reinforcement.
Next step - mix your concrete and pour into the molds. You want the concrete pretty wet... read the instructions on the bag of concrete for water to mix ratio. We used Quickcrete, very cheap and basic. If you want a smoother concrete there are finer blends that are much more expensive. I prefer the Quickcrete look over the fine blend...Here you can see I was using a piece of the old formica as my flat edge to get the poured concrete level. We used our palm sander to "shake" the edges. Do that for at least 15 minute per counter area to get the air bubbles out.
Let your concrete set up for 24 hours before you pull off the molds. These molds are build to break away on the bottom edge after pouring. We used a small crow bar to help get the molds off. Then use a palm sander with 80 weight paper to sand the really rough first layer off. This makes a giant mess, so wear a mask and make sure to tarp off your area.
The next step is to slurry the counters, using a fine blend of concrete mixed very thin that goes on the top of the counters to fill in any tiny holes or cracks. We used a product called Henry feather finish. You may only need to do this step once..or a few times depending on how well (level and smooth) you actually got your countertops poured. There were some holes in the edging, so I used some of the thicker slurry to fill those in by hand. The slurry dries really quick, so don't mix too much at any one time...or you will be throwing it away.
Then it's time to sand, you can continue to use the palm sander as you get closer to the finished countertop reduce the coarseness of sand paper. With these counters we purchased a diamond polished head for the drill. Add water to the surface and polish away, but again this is a messy step because the slurry will go flying. Cover any nearby appliances or cabinets/walls. I am going to redo the cabinets, so we weren't too worried about getting them dirty.
The last step in this process is to coat with concrete sealer, we used a product callled Clear Seal from Sealcrete. I did three coats with a small soft roller, but brushed the edges.
These are the finished counters and they are so cool!
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The full kithchen remodel will be posted in a few weeks.
Finished Kitchen - definitely a success!For more details check out the finished project:https://www.flawlesschaos.com/diy.html
- Quickcrete (home depot)
- Molds (www.concretecountertopsolutions.com)
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