Saturday, October 22, 2011

Concrete Countertops: Phase II

This has been quite the project, but it was well worth the time and energy we put into it. After we gave the cement a good amount of drying time...almost a was time to finish it. I told Nick my only requirement was that it was smooth enough to clean easily, that's not too much to ask of a kitchen counter right?

Saturday we got to work. First we had to grind the edge of the counter where the stove would sit, it was just a smidge to wide. Nick did the grinding and I followed behind with the shop vac so as to avoid making too big of a mess. Then Nick got to sanding the tops of the that was a dusty and dirty job. He sprayed the concrete with water as he sanded to keep the dust to a minimum, but it still got everywhere.

After the dust had settled it was time for step 2, grout. Before we could begin however we had to cover the floor with paper and the cabinets with plastic. A bag of black grout was purchased from Lowe's and then worked into the gap around the sink with a putty knife. We also rubbed a thin layer over the entire countertop to fill in any small holes or rough spots. Nick applied it with a trowel and then rubbed it off with a large sponge. I was the designated water girl, making frequent trips out to the hose to get clean water.

We let the grout dry over night and then pulled out the stain the following morning. Nick bought a can of semi transparent concrete stain at Lowe's and then had them tint it black in the paint department. Of course all they had was a large can so we have plenty of extra in case we need to re-stain it at any point in time.
Nick started applying it with a paint brush, but soon gave it up for a rag which was much easier to wipe on. I then followed behind with a clean rag to wipe off any excess stain until we had a nice even coat. As you can see from the photo below it was quite a messy process.

We gave the stain about 4-5 hours to dry before sealing it. We used a high gloss "wet look" sealer and used a large paint brush to apply it. After letting it sit for a few minutes I used a clean rag to wipe up any excess. It went on looking somewhat milky, but dried to a nice glossy finish. Don't mind the messy walls, we plan on putting tile there.

I have now been able to use the counters for 5 days and I love them. They clean up so easily and look so so good. Project complete.


Shannon said...

Wow! Those turned out amazing! They seriously look so good. It was fun to get on here today and find 3 new posts. Awesome. I'm so happy for you that you're in your own place and that the small things are starting to get attention. And that you have a toilet that works (that made me laugh out loud, and also gave me a bit of anxiety). Congrats! It's looking good! It will look so fantastic when it's all finished.

Annalisa said...

I love the countertops. I can't wait to see them in person. You have made such progress. I love that they are super glossy! and I love the color!!

Anonymous said...

I love these! I keep telling my Mom that she needs to do this to her counter tops.Remember the peach counter tops in that house? It might be a bit of work for her but I really like your end result. Great job guys!

Jennifer said...

Thanks guys. It was a lot of work, but we are very happy with them. I guess only time will tell how well they hold up. ha ha.