Today I am sharing a DIY for a project that I’ve been wanting to do FOR YEARS! To be honest, I’ve been a little scared to tackle this one, but I figured my butler’s pantry was the perfect place to try it out. The countertops were a reddish brown. In my kitchen, I painted my countertops to look like marble. But for this small space, I decided to do a DIY white concrete countertops. Here’s the before to jog your memory-
After painting the cabinets, here’s where we were-
diy white concrete countertops
Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:
If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. P.s. I’m trying to build that page up, so if you’d subscribe, I’d really appreciate that!
- Primer (Flexy Bo Binder)
- White Concrete (Canvas Micro-Topper)
- White Color Pack (to make the concrete as white as possible)
- Trowel Slick
- Gem Sanding Pad
- Satin Concrete Finish
step 1- sand the tile/laminate
Start by sanding the tile or laminate (I use the Gem Sanding Pad). You want to rough them up so the concrete sticks as well as possible.
step 2- Prime the countertops
Prime the countertops by painting them with Flexy Bo Binder. Again, this will help the concrete to stick to the tile or laminate.
step 3- cover the countertops with a thin layer of concrete
Mix the concrete with the white color pack (to make the concrete as white as possible) and add water. I used an inexpensive bucket and a small trowel for mixing. The consistency should be that of pancake batter. If you are doing a bigger area, you might want to use a drill mixer.
I know mixing concrete can sound intimidating, but it’s just adding water and stirring until it looks good. It’s pretty easy to see when you need more water or more concrete. See my video for how it should look.
For covering tile, start with a thin layer to just fill the grout lines. After the concrete has dried, give any uneven areas a good sanding.
step 4- continue layering concrete
Repeat step 3. Layer the base concrete with thicker layers. Again, I know this might sound tricky, but it’s just like frosting a cake. Keep going over it until it’s smooth. I promise, you can do it!
For me, the front edge of my countertop started out as a fancy bullnose. It was really tricky to cover with concrete! What worked best for me was to mix a separate batch of concrete a little thicker than the top. I layered it until it was flat. I probably had to do 6 layers to get it nice and flat. I waited 8 hours between coats so it took a few days to complete.
I’ll be honest, there were a few points where I was worried that I wouldn’t get my countertop to a point where I’d be happy. But I pressed on and the beauty of concrete is that it is forgiving. You can always add layers and sand down where it isn’t exactly how you want.
You can see the front edge built up a little more here. One thing about concrete is that perfection isn’t the exact look. There will always be some variations and small uneven areas which should be embraced.
BUT, I did find that using Trowel Slick helped make a wonderfully smooth finish! You just put it in a spray bottle and spray it on once the concrete has been troweled on. Use the trowel over the sprayed on trowel slick and you’ll get a beautiful finish.
I made sure to wear gloves when working with the concrete to save my hands from drying out. Also, I always had a drop cloth on the floor since concrete fell on the floor all of the time when trying to tackle that front edge.
step 5- one last sand
Keep layering the concrete until you’re happy with it. Like I said, it probably take me 6 laters because that front edge was tricky. After you’re happy with it, sand that countertop like crazy! I spent at least an hour sanding to get it nice and smooth. There was dust everywhere, but isn’t it looking pretty?!
Side note, I’ll have a tutorial for the botanical backsplash tomorrow! I painted over the mirror so it looks much different now.
step 6- top coat
Concrete needs to be sealed to prevent it from stains. For that, I wanted a satin finish so I used Aqua-Thane. I mixed 4 parts of bottle A to 1 part of bottle B. Then I simply rolled it on over all the concrete evenly. I waited 4 hours after the first coat and then finished up with a second coat.
Here it is, looking nice and pretty! I am really, really happy with how it turned out! There are some variations, but I think it just shows the character! I’ll show it all styled tomorrow. It’s nice and smooth to the touch (not chalky like before the top coat).
Let me know if you have any questions!
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Would this be safe for kitchen countertops? (Not putting food on it, but having food around it etc)
[email protected] says
Oh definitely! If you watch Fixer Upper they put concrete in kitchens all the time. I don’t see any problem with it in the kitchen at all. I honestly wish I’d done this in my kitchen!
That looks fantastic!
I am obsessed with concrete! I love this because the only tutorials I have seen involve building a frame blah blah blah. And, this is manageable. My kitchen has become a “tutorial kitchen” as I move closer to paying for new counters all together. My mind is racing with ideas! thank you ashley. found you via refresh restyle party!
[email protected] in CO
This looks amazing! Good idea to try it on a small area first!
Virginia | More to Mrs. E
I have a wood trim around my countertops do you think the concrete will stick to that?
[email protected] says
I think if you sanded really well, it would work. But I have never tried it, so I can’t guarantee it. When I did my countertops, I talked to the customer service at Z Concrete Forms (where my concrete is from). They answered all of my questions and told me what supplies to get for my specific project. I’d suggest doing the same so you get an amazing result!