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$100 Room Challenge – Concrete Countertops

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!

(Be sure to check out Week 1 and Week 2 if you’re just joining me!)

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!

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As a reminder, here is the sink and countertop I started with:

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:

Tidbits

Bless’er House

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.)

Concrete Countertop Resources:

Henry Feather Finish Concrete

Disposable Gloves (These are great for all sorts of jobs around the house!)

Mixing bucket

Dust Masks

Palm Sander

Sand Paper Replacements

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!

Week 1 ~ Week 2 ~ Week 3 ~ Week 4

And in the meantime, drop by my friends’ $100 Room Challenges and see how they’re getting along:


$100 Room Challenge Week 2
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Kristi Kelley

Friday 16th of October 2020

What do you suggest for someone who wants to do this, but has a sink that the edges are on top of the counter top.

Meredith

Monday 19th of October 2020

Yeah that's a tough one! I would say to leave the sink as is and just concrete over the flat portion of the countertop. You would need to tape around the sink before applying concrete to the countertop.

Tara Douglas

Thursday 1st of February 2018

How is it all holding up? The concrete? I’m about to do this in our kids/guest bathroom and wanted see if you have anything you would do differently?

Meredith

Friday 2nd of February 2018

Hi Tara, it's holding up beautifully! I've been impressed with how easy it is to keep clean. That's something I was a little worried about. It still looks great, but I can see where there is just a little bit of darkening around the sink drain. I'm guessing that's because water sits there and stains it. I think I'll be able to fix that with another coat of sealant, but I'm not in a big hurry because it's such a small thing. For me personally, I still wish I had a white porcelain sink, so that's one thing I might do differently if it was in the budget. But considering how little this cost and how well it's lasted, I'd say go for it! Good luck!

Stacy Sample

Sunday 22nd of October 2017

I am thinking of doing this in our bathrooms as we have, also, been blessed with the 70's style shell sinks that I hate with a passion. I was reading your comments about the application inside the sink with the concrete and how difficult you found it smoothing the rounded surfaces. I was wondering if the back portion of large curved kitchen metal spoon would be a good tool to use to form the curved surface areas? What do you think?

Meredith

Wednesday 25th of October 2017

I think it's definitely worth a try! Let me know how it goes so I can share your experience with other readers!

simple nature decor

Thursday 26th of January 2017

Wow, i can't believe I missed this post last week! This is amazing and it turned out just like if you poured the concrete into a mold. Great Job Maria

Meredith

Monday 30th of January 2017

Thanks Maria, I was surprised at how easy it was to work with the concrete. Now I'm wondering what else I could do with it...

Amy | Stow and TellU

Tuesday 24th of January 2017

I've been longing to do a concrete counter top for years. Marking it down for our future bathroom remodel. Can't wait to see this whole room when it's done. Thanks for sharing the other tuts on how to do this. Great reference!

Meredith

Monday 30th of January 2017

Thanks Amy, I always think it's helpful to have several points of reference when you're taking on an entirely new project!

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ABOUT MEREDITH


Creating a color-filled life. Conquering my little world one DIY project at a time. With lots of coffee and chocolate. Albuquerque NM. Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Facebook