EASY DIY Concrete Counter Overlay

The concrete overlay that you just trowel over is a super easy and inexpensive way to give your kitchen a mini makeover. I will start by warning you that this is process is messy, takes time and does have some draw backs. Please continue to read before decided whether this is for you.

Here’s a before and after.

My opinion on resurfacing counters tops is that I LOVE them and pictures don’t do it justice.

The price is unbeatable costing about $90 from start to finish, but they are not as durable as most counter tops. Heat is the enemy and as long as you know that you will be ok.

I started off with counters tops that were Corian and was unsure of what the outcome was going to be since all other bloggers I had read about started with laminate. I know you are probably thinking why we decided to cover our Corian, but after seeing pictures below you will know.

I gave my current counter tops a quick sand by hand, this should help the concrete stick better. 

At this point most of bloggers taped everything off. I will leave this choice completely up to you. I figured the time it took to tape everything it probably takes to clean it all up. However, I did tape around my sink and stove.

Note: You will need to approach this as an art sculpture and have patients. It will also take a few days to complete. If neither of these are possible then this is not for you.

Screen Shot 2019-03-01 at 1.42.49 PM
Picture from young house love

Young house love has a great tutorial as well and shown above is the list of supplies they purchased and I 2nd that. At the end of this post you will have another list of the supplies needed to seal the counters.

1. –  2 bags of Ardex was more then enough form kitchen
  • 2. Bucket medium to large from dollar store
  • 3. Bucket small from dollar store
  • 4. Sand paper 220grit and can use block for easier grip
  • 5. Spreading trowels small 1 from dollar store but other 2 from Home Depot. Must have ALL sizes shown.
  • 6. Gorilla tape
  • 7. Protective Gear

Make sure to follow the mixing instructions from the bag achieving a peanut butter like consistency.

MOST IMPORTANT is the layering of this stuff.  What I mean is the thinner and more even each layer is, the easier this stuff is to sand and keep even. Warning: One blogger put down a bunch at once and when it came time to sand it was a disaster taking forever to even out making a huge mess.

Make sure to mix in small amounts because this stuff dries fast. Use the small trowels to mix it in a medium to large bucket, leaving small bucket with water to put trowels in after mixing. Plop small amounts around counter. Once there are small piles around take out large trowel (making sure it is clean) start to spread as if icing a cake.

Continue to spread keeping it a thin layer with minimal groves and as even as possible. Don’t over think this knowing you can sand down any areas that become challenging. This stage you may see a little of your counter peaking through but that is ok. The focus should not be the direction of trowel because the different ways the trowel moves gives the concrete character.

THE HARDEST PART is the edges. I am saying it again, think of this a sculpture. Start by applying concrete with small trowel and then coming back after a few minutes of it hardening and smoothing it out with fingers. You may need to wet fingers a little bit to sculpt it. This may be the hardest part but also the most fun!

After you finish the 1st layer you need to let it dry before sanding. Some bloggers waited overnight, I will leave this up to you. After a few hours I notice my counters were dry. This maybe because I made sure my layers were thin and some others maybe thicker. You can tell when they are dry because the color gets lighter. **Make sure to clean ALL tools including buckets before making additional batch.

THE MESSY PART is sanding and you need to do this between each layer. If you followed my instructions earlier this should not be as messy as most bloggers say. The sanding is done by hand and just a light sand to prep for 2nd coat. I only suggest a power sander if you have an area that is in need of some serous leveling. You can also use a small trowel to do a quick scraping of some obvious ridges. The scrapper comes in extra handy when scraping under the lip of the counter to even it out.

Time to repeat. I only did a total of 3 thin layers, sanding between each. I read some blogs that applied more layers, but felt it looked great with just the 3. I knew I could always add more layers at a later date if felt the need. I have had these concrete counters for 1 year now and I have to say the 3 layers has held up.

Final step is to seal it. Below you will see the sealer and polyurethane that I used. The poly I used is not one of the expensive food safe products but is the more durable option. This is the thing, I don’t currently put food directly on the counter nor do I plan to in the future. We use plates and cutting boards in my house. This is something to consider when choosing whats best for you.

Both these items I purchase at Home Depot

The Impregnator is what will need to be applied 1st. You will need to apply a couple of layers for durability, with each coat drying over night. Once the sealing process is complete and has dried you can apply a couple of coats of poly. I chose a satin finish but there are few different finishes to choose from but would avoid flat.

PLEASE READ: I have had these counters for 1 year now and still LOVE them! I plan on doing a light sand and applying a quick coat of poly to keep it looking fresh. As I said above heat has been our only issue. Once we put a hot cover directly on counter and it made a ring mark for a bit but eventually went away. I also put crock pots on top of the stove while cooking just as a precaution.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s