It’s already week three of our $100 Room Challenge, which means there’s only one week left, and I’m wishing there were about three or four. And another $100!
Today I’m going to be sharing some in-process photos of my new concrete countertops. That’s because there are no “after” photos to show you yet. Sad face. But hopefully that means next week’s reveal will be spectacular, since we’ve had very few previews along the way!
I’m sure the yellow cultured marble was the height of sophistication back in 1979, but have you ever tried to decorate around dirty yellow? Not a good look. And the scalloped sink just added that extra special touch of Miami-Beach-meets-the-Taj-Mahal. Time to catch up to 2016. In decorating, what do you do when you can’t afford to replace something? You cover it up! So I’m covering this bad boy with concrete and filling in the scallops.
There are some great tutorials on concrete countertops already out there, so I’m not going to write another one here. But I do want to share the ones I found most helpful, and then add a few of my learned-the-hard-way tips at the end.
Feather Finish Tutorials:
If you google “feather finish countertop” or “concrete countertop” you’ll get a whole slew of DIY tutorials and videos. Here are a few of my favorites:
Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body (This one I stumbled across near the end of the project and I wish I’d started with it!)
I was surprised to find that working with the concrete is pretty easy, and I was pleased with how well it applied to my countertops. What I wasn’t prepared for was how hard it was to get it applied evenly inside the sink. Turns out flat surfaces are a lot easier to work with than curved! But with a little trial and error, I think I’m pretty close to getting a good even finish on the counters and sink.
First coat: Pretty sloppy!
Second Coat: Still pretty choppy but trying to filling in the scallops.
Third Coat: I started using my gloved fingertips to fill in more of the holes.
Fourth Coat: Now we’re really getting somewhere! For this one I used the back of a plastic spoon.
Concrete Countertop Tips:
- Have patience. This is not a one day project! You’d be really pushing it to get it all finished in a weekend. It could probably be done, but at potential peril to your marriage.
- Use your safety gear: Gloves are a must if you’re handling the concrete because it’s really hard on your skin. A dust mask is absolutely essential for sanding, as well as good ventilation and a vacuum cleaner! And be sure to use safety glasses while you’re sanding, so you don’t kick up particles into your eyes.
- Building up the concrete in several thin layers is worth the time, and much better than trying to slap it on and sand out the imperfections later.
- Work in small batches. This stuff dries fast!
- Think of it as if you’re icing a very large, very ugly cake. With a trowel. (This might not help you work better, but it will make you think happy thoughts about cake.)
I’m itching to get finished with this part of the project, so we can install the new faucet and see how everything looks together! I think one more coat will just about do it, and then I can start making this room pretty again. Be sure to check back next week for the big reveal!
And in the meantime, drop by my friends’ $100 Room Challenges and see how they’re getting along: