How to Make a DIY Concrete Countertop
By: Danny Lipford
Concrete countertops can be used in kitchens or outdoors as tops for tables and picnic tables. When constructing a concrete countertop, be sure to use concrete mix that made for countertops, such as Quikrete Countertop Mix.
Start by building a form using melamine coated sheets goods, to prevent the concrete from sticking to the form. It’s a good idea to also apply a thin coat of shoe polish to the inside of the form to aid in releasing the form from the concrete.
The form should be perfectly flat and well supported, so it won’t sag from the weight of the concrete. Use thin wires to suspend a grid of concrete reinforcement wire or rebars in the center of the form.
Mix up the concrete and pour it in the form, spreading the concrete out evenly. Tap the sides of the form with a rubber mallet while the concrete is still wet to release any trapped air bubbles that could mar the surface.
Allow the concrete to harden for a week or more before removing the form. Sand any sharp edges on the concrete and polish the surface if desired.
After the concrete has cured for 30 days of more, apply a concrete stain and sealer to give the countertop a finished look.
Watch this video to find out more.
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Danny Lipford: The easiest way for a do-it-yourselfer to create concrete countertops is an inverted form. This means the bottom of the form will be the top of the counter.
Melamine material works best for this because it has a vinyl coating that will make it easier to remove when the concrete is dry. It’s also a good idea to coat the melamine with clear shoe polish to improve the release.
Inside the forms, a rebar and reinforcement wire grid is created to give the concrete strength. The thin wires that suspend it can be cut off later when it’s completely dry.
Concrete mixes designed for countertops are the best choice for this project. They’re formulated with plasticizers and contain less aggregate—or rocks—than mixes for general use.
After mixing according to the directions, the concrete is spread out in the forms until it is level with the top of the sides. In order for this to be consistent, it is important that the forms be on a perfectly level surface. Tapping the sides of the mold while the concrete is wet will help release any air bubbles that would mar the finished surface.
After the concrete cures for at least 24 hours, the mold can be removed. At this point the concrete can be sanded to remove rough edges and polish the surface. This counter will be used outside, so we’re only removing the rough edges.
After the concrete has cured for at least 30 days, it will be ready to apply stain and sealer to complete the process.
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