DIY Concrete Counters: Sand, Seal, Wax, and Enjoy

If you are just joining this kitchen madness, check out the reveal, and part 1 and part 2 first!

Before we get started, I added a little Google Friend Connect thingy so feel free to follow along!  I’d love to have more friends around here:)

It’s the final day of this “how-to”!  That means the counters are almost done! yay!

Before you can finish the surface, you need to de-mold the counters.  Since we used the release agent, the counters literally slipped right out of the forms as soon as we turned them upside down.  Mike did unscrew the forms so he could save his screws, but it wasn’t necessary.

We laid the counters onto a foam board to give them a soft place to land.  We left them on the foam to do all the finishing work.  Before sanding, we filled in all the little air bubble holes.

It seems like they are unavoidable, but we were actually really glad we had some.  They give so much character and uniqueness to each slab from filling them.  We used a concrete patch from Home Depot to fill them.

This can be a little time consuming and wear on your fingers but it’s necessary.  We tried using different methods of rubbing it in {trowels, etc.} but our fingers seemed to work best.  Once all your holes are filled and dry {1-2 hours}, it’s time to sand it all smooth.  You’ll want to do all your sanding outside {or in a garage} where you have good air flow.  Trust me, these things let off a lot of dust when you are sanding and you don’t want to breathe that mess in.

We ordered some diamond grit sandpaper online {from the same site as our release agent} from the recommendation of the tutorials we saw.  However, now that it’s all said and done, I think we wish we wouldn’t have spent the money on these.  It cost us about $50 for both, which is a little pricey, but they do go a long way.  Cheng recommended using about 4-5 different grits, but we just got two {because of the price tag}.  We bought a 50 grit and a 400 grit.  Towards the end, the velcro on our 50 stopped sticking to the sander so we went out and bought regular old 60 grit and it worked great.  If I was doing these over again, I probably just would have used that to begin with, but you will need to buy a lot of it!  After you have sanded it all smooth, it’s time to install.

We dry-fit the pieces first and checked to make sure they were level.  If they were not, we simply shimmed em up.

Then we siliconed them into place.

We also put silicone along the creases between the backsplash pieces and the slabs.

We did not reinforce our cabinets because we have pretty good quality, sturdy cabinets, but there were places where Mike had to add some support pieces, like behind our dishwasher.

Since I’m not much for power tools, I just carried around the puppy so he wasn’t bothering my hard-working husband.

Ok, he isn’t that little anymore, but I still pretend he’s a little baby puppy:)

The big slab took some muscle to carry in.  Mike and I bribed three of his friends with food to come over and carry it in for us.  Thanks, guys!  Once they were in place, we sealed and waxed them to finish them off.

We used a high gloss concrete sealer from Menards.  We bought a small roller and simply rolled 3 coats on.  This dries really quickly and gives it that nice shine.

Finally, apply a food-safe wax. We used a carnuaba wax that is actually meant for cars.  Huh?  I know, doesn’t sound food-safe but it is, just make sure it is 100% carnauba.  We ordered ours through True Value.

This was really quick to apply.  It comes with a little polishing pad and you just apply it in a circular motion.

The directions say to apply and let dry to a haze and then wipe it with a dry rag.  I used part of an old t-shirt {that was clean, of course}.

Update: We ended up changing the wax to one made for concrete counter tops. You can read that post here.

And you are finally done!!!!  Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, and enjoy your beautiful, high-end kitchen.

Here is the price breakdown for our countertops:

  • melamine for forms: $90
  • mesh lath: $32
  • concrete: $210 {we had to purchase extra concrete for the slabs we repoured}
  • seal/wax: $26
  • release agent: $24
  • sandpaper: $60
  • mixer rental fees {once again-we had to rent this twice}: $80
  • foam board and plywood: $30
  • miscellaneous {concrete patch, silicone, screws, etc.}: $30
  • total: $582!

It cost us about $100 extra to repour the concrete so if you can avoid that, it can be even less:)  I hope these tutorials have inspired you to try this for yourselves.  I know it is a lot of work but it was worth every minute for us.  I would love to hear if you try this so please email, comment, and send pics!!!  Next week I will be going over how I painted our cabinets and tiled our backsplash.  I’ll also give you all the resources for the sink and faucet and how-to’s on our simple accessories.

***If you want a shortened version of my 3-day tutorial, head over to Tatertots and Jello today and see my quick steps there!

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve linked this up with The CSI Project and


Comments

  1. Jessie — Your kitchen looks absolutely fabulous. Great job!!!

  2. Lindsey says:

    SUPER impressed!! Looks awesome guys!!! Can’t wait to see all your hard work in person :)

  3. Inspired is an understatement! This looks amazing! I was going to wait till spring to tackle this one but I’m thinking fall now.

  4. Thanks so much for your awesome tutorial. I’m going to try to convince my hubby to help me with this. Two questions though, for the L-shaped section between your frig and range, did you do an L-shaped mold or two rectangles with silicone between? Also, did you just attached (silicone) the slabs directly to the wood from of your cabinets or did you put down plywood or something first?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Pam!
      For our L-shaped section, we made one long one {fridge wall} and a small one next to the stove. The main reason we did this was that the melamine boards that we bought were not wide enough to make an L shape out of it. We just siliconed between the two and it works great. We did directly silicone the concrete to the wood form of our cabinets. We considered putting some plywood underneath but because our cabinets are sturdy, we decided it wasn’t necessary. Good luck and please let me know if you have any other questions!
      ~Jessie

  5. Wow! Those countertops are great. I really wonder if I can pull that off.

  6. Beautiful! Would so love to be able to convince my husband we need new kitchen countertops! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  7. I am curious about how you did the sink opening. Is it just a small separate piece behind it? I am thinking of doing this in our small half bath. Since it’s only 42 inches wide, it should be very cheap. I’m thinking I could do a square undermount sink and that would be easy to form out. Would love to hear your ideas.

  8. These look amazing! Were they heavy to install??

    • Thanks:) The smaller pieces were not heavy-Mike and I installed all of them ourselves {really, Mike could carry them on his own:)}, but the large slab by the fridge was very heavy. 3 of Mike’s friends came over to help him lift it in so you’ll need some backup if you have any large counters!

  9. you guys did a FANTASTIC job! i came over to visit via the handmade home, and am super-glad that i did! what an inspiration!

  10. Wow! What a great tutorial! We are hoping to do concrete counter tops in our basement kitchen when we get around to finishing it. I’ll definitely be bookmarking this. Thanks, and great job!

  11. I’ve forwarded the links to my hubby so he can read all about how to do it :)

  12. Your countertops look lovely! Just a couple of questions – did you vibrate the concrete after you filled the molds? And how did you ensure that the metal lath didn’t come through to the top of the counters? Thanks again for all of your info.

    • Hi Wendy!
      We did vibrate the counters after filling the molds. We started by using our hand sander to vibrate but ended up using a hammer to tap the edges because it was a little easier to get around the forms. I think either method will work. As we poured the second half of our concrete, we just carefully filled it a section at a time over the lath and it stays in place really well because the concrete is so heavy. Hope that helps!
      ~Jessie

  13. Wow, these are gorgeous! I have been trying to convince hubby that we could do this for the last two years-I believe your wonderful tutorial may be the deciding point. THANK YOU!! One question, did you use any color on them?

  14. Super impressive! That looks like such much work, but it turned out great!

  15. I am constantly impressed by the projects people tackle on their own and your counter tops are no different! I love the unique look they give the kitchen and the glossy finish is such a bonus. When I read the title of your post I honestly expected something really rough around the edges but that’s not at all what I’ve found!

    Kudos to both of you for taking the initiative to make this happen on your own. You have some great reads on your blog and I’ll definitely be passing it on.

    Jessica

  16. this is totally what i needed to see today! what a great idea!!!! one question: how did you attach them to the cabinets? how do you think an “overhang” on an island (you know with stools underneath) how would that work? woudl it be strong enough to withstand kids leaning on it etc?

    • Hi Chelsey!
      Since the concrete is so heavy, all we had to do was silicone the slabs into place. They won’t be going anywhere:) I think an overhang could hold its own, but I would maybe put rebar in the concrete rather than the mesh. It’s stronger and would help keep it from breaking.
      ~Jessie

  17. i’m collecting bookmarks of other DIY’ers that have made concrete counter tops. i’ll be doing this later this year for our kitchen remodel. can’t wait!

  18. Wow! Amazing. Good job :)

  19. These look incredible! Do you have a final price/sq.ft.?

  20. I love this! Good job, it looks fantastic! Hubby and I will make concrete counter tops at our kitchen. You are our inspiration for now on.

  21. I’m feeling GOOD about this! A question though: from yesterday’s tutorial, when you show the pic of troweling on top of the mesh, it sorta looks ‘gloppy’ instead of ‘pourable'; is that the thickness I’m looking for or was that the too thick you were talking about? Thanks.

    • That’s awesome, Penny! I would love to see your counters when you get them done! The picture from yesterday’s tutorial is the one that was the “right” consistency. The consistency is very similar to a Wendy’s frosty {best comparison I could come up with}. It should be “pourable” but definitely not runny. It should still be pretty thick. You can google some videos-I would highly recommend the Cheng Concrete counter tutorial videos-and see it to help better understand how it should look. More water would make it easier to pour, but too much water makes it lose it’s strength so this is probably the trickiest part. I hope that helps!
      ~Jessie

  22. I just keep looking at this makeover because for some reason I feel that I could do this.. with help of course. How did you handle the area around the sink? Is that one mold or is the small piece in back seperate?

    • We did two slabs on either side of the sink and one strip along the back of the sink. I think it would depend on the type of sink you have but this worked very well for us. Good luck to you!
      ~Jessie

  23. I am so glad I found this! We bought a house that has concrete countertops and we think they need to be resealed. Do you know how often they need to be resealed and can we use the same seal you did? I don’t know if there are different kinds. Would I also need to apply the wax afterwards?

    • Hi Mary!
      I would assume that you can use the same sealer that we did. I have read different tutorials on sealing but our plan is to actually reapply the wax every few months. I think that adds the most shine and thicker layer of protection than the sealer does. I don’t think it would hurt to add both though. I hope that helps!
      ~Jessie

  24. I’ve been wanting these counters for long time but found them very pricey…done by professionals.Yet yours looks sooo fabulous you’ve inspired me to do my own…Thx so much!!!!The kitchen looks great!

  25. it looks ok but I import Granite and it looks way way better then concrete . if you need fine Granite from the world over just e mail me I have low!! price ( BUT!! I am a wholesaler)

    sovereignii@bellsouth.net

    • Doug Thompson you are a rude person. I have done concrete work for 20 years and must say Jessie you and her husband did a great job on these counter tops! Its all about the look you want. Concrete tends to look more natural, and granite more commercial. Besides concrete is perfect for DIYers, you are starting with a liquid mass that can be turned into any shape you can conceive of. My advice to beginners is small samples cost very little to make and in turn make great stepping stones, experiment and have fun. Great work you guys!

    • Doug,

      You’re a spammer. Granite is nice, but so often looks so ‘off the shelf.’ Concrete is a far more difficult endeavor and far more custom (probably more sustainable too rather than shipping granite from china and elsewhere).

      Good Job Jessie!

    • susanne says:

      Granite is the choice of the drones on HGTV and those whose taste is dictated by what their neighbors and family say they should like. It can look nice, but most often it is no more than builder grade and right there with “wall hangings” chosen to coordinate with the sofa. Give me a unique concrete countertop any day. Good job, Jessie, and kudos on your courage in tackling this project!

  26. Wow! Thank you! This is just what I have been looking for!

    P.S. You are gorgeous and I love the “puppy.” Is he a labradoodle? I have one named Chewbacca.

    • You are too sweet, Sarai! The “puppy” is a goldendoodle and gets away with way too much because of his cuteness:)

  27. An amazing writeup. I have been remodeling my kitchen and have taken on so many tasks that I wasn’t sure if the counter tops would be one of them. I’m encouraged that your project turned out so well.

    Love your doodle as well. Our golden-doodle puppy Reina loves to “help” at times and we always have to have a talk about opposable thumbs.

    After we get our cabinets fully installed I think we are going to try our hand at the concrete counter tops as well.

    Thanks so much for the motivation. :-)

    Chef Felisha

    • Aww I love hearing about fellow golden-doodles:) I’m glad the tutorial was helpful. Good luck to you! I would love to see pics when it’s done:)

  28. We are about to pour our own countertops (already built the forms). I got charcoal tint but it’s not dark enough for me. Did the sealer you used darken the color and give it a “wet” look? How has it held up? Any stains or water marks?

    • Our sealer slightly darkened the counters and gave it the wetter, glossy look. It has held up great. We haven’t had any stains or water marks and plan on re-waxing it every few months to keep the shine up! Good luck with yours!

  29. I’m interested in doing concrete countertops as well, but I’m curious about the waxing stage. How often do you need to wax your concrete countertop to keep it food safe?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Kristy! Waxing every 3-4 months is suggested to maintain your counters. It is a very quick process and I haven’t found it to be too much of a chore. We love our counters-I would highly suggest them!

  30. How big was your biggest slab? I’m thinking of doing this for our island top, but not sure if there is a size that is too big.

    • Hi Jilly!
      Our largest slab was the one on our back wall by our fridge-it’s 25 inches wide and a little over 7 feet long. As long as it has support underneath (cabinets in our case) it should be fine!

  31. These counters look so great! Do you cut things directly on the surfaces? Can you put stain-able foods directly on them, or will it leave marks? Thanks! Nina

    • Hi Nina! I don’t think it is recommended to cut directly on the concrete. I still use my cutting board:) As long as you seal the concrete properly, it will be stain resistant. Hope that helps!

      ~Jessie

      • My husband just said today that I need to be SURE to always use a cutting board…not cheats! It will scratch even with the sealing. If it’s sealed correctly, it should not stain…at least that is what our investigating has said…can’t wait to start using mine!

        • Yes, we haven’t had any problems with staining and I haven’t cut on mine so no scratches either:)

          • When you say sand it with regular paper, do you mean just sand paper I would buy from home depot?

            Thanks! and awesome

          • Yep! We bought diamond grit originally and I really felt like the regular sand paper {from Home Depot} worked much better.

  32. I’ve had your website saved for some time. We are doing a major kitchen redo. We wanted concrete counters and my husband has a lot of experience in DIY and has also done a LOT of concrete work in the past so with a lot of investigating we decided to give it a try! We are now at the stage where we need to seal. I love the look of the counters, even with all the little flaws. Mostly something only we will notice. BUT, the overall look is a bit rustic but so beautiful! My husband is leaning toward sealing with tongue oil. He’s building all the new cupboards himself. I’ve been basically without a kitchen for 3 months now as he’s not been able to take time off work and works long days. Once the counters were smooth we began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. FYI…he had to pour them in place because we have an old home and nothing is ‘plum’…uneven floors, ceiling, etc…so it was easier to pour in place and get them even. LOTS of WORK to say the least!

    • I forgot to mention that now that the counters are almost done, I love the look so much better than granite. It just suits me!! It has beautiful little veins, and colorations running through it. Close up it’s just gorgeous and from a distance…well…it’s gorgeous! I am in love with my new countertops…and thanks to YOU I gave my husband the go-ahead! Your pictures convinced me that the end result would make me happy!

      • I’m so glad we were able to help! We love ours too-they are just so unique and original! I would recommend them to anyone wanting new counters. Good for you for going for it and getting that hubby on board:)

      • Jessie – thanks SO much.. we are getting ready to tackle this project for our kitchen rno… and teresa–please post pix of yours! I’d love to see those as well! Thanks! Cindy

    • Wow! It sounds like you guys are doing a great job! It’s a ton of work but worth all the effort in the end:) I’d love for you to send me some pictures when you’re done-I’m sure they are gorgeous!

      ~Jessie

  33. I don’t know where I was all summer, Jessie, but your counters are just gorgeous! You and your handy husband must be so happy and proud! I’m going to take a look at your cabinet painting, too. I really would like to do that, but am intimidated.

  34. Great Job!

  35. Great tutorial….I keep coming back to concrete countertops. I think I am finally ready totackle this. One question though….Did you use any color in the mix or is that the natural color of the concrete? Looks great.

    • We didn’t add any tint. We wanted the light gray, natural look, but there is dye out there if you want a different color. Good luck! I’m sure you’ll love them as much as we do!

  36. Wow, this is simply amazing. Thanks for all the great tips & resources! We’ve been looking at options to replace our kitchen counter tops and the quotes we’ve gotten for laminate are more expensive than what you spent on yours!

    Definitely going to have to consider this, though like Teresa we might have to pour in place (darn old houses!). You guys did an amazing job thanks for sharing the step by step. :)

  37. Stephanie says:

    So i just read all three blog posts about the conrete counters and they are fabulous!!! We are looking for our first home and this makes an ugly kitchen counter seem doable now! love the outcome!!

  38. We’re looking to do concrete countertop for our bathroom vanity. If all goes well, we’ll do all concrete counters when we redo our kitchen.

    Just to clarify, if you don’t mind: are you saying you’d skip the diamond grit sanding pads and just go with regular sandpaper? I’d hate to spend a ton of money on those things. They sure are pricey! If we really end up needing them, do you think the 50 and 400 grit were sufficient?

    Thanks for your help and the amazing tutorial!

    • Hi Kelly! Yes, I would just use regular sand paper. Start with the roughest grit you can find and move your way up to the smoothest. Don’t waste your money on the diamond grit-we actually thought the regular worked better! Good luck, Kelly!

  39. Great post. Keep us update with your developments!

  40. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all people you really realize what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my website =). We will have a link trade arrangement among us

  41. Amanda says:

    We have begun the process of making our own concrete countertops in our kitchen (Quikrete purchased, forms built)and have referred to your tutorial MANY times:). If you dont mind, I have a few questions….

    You mentioned that you would have skipped wet polishing and just sanded with regular dry sand paper. What grits would you recommend using in order to get the results you ended up with (as we are going to try the process with regular sandpaper).
    Also, how did you decide on a sealer? My head is spinning just reading through all the information online and concrete countertop forums….everyone says something different. We were going to purchase Cheng’s sealer and wax, but have read some yucky reviews. I have seen the kind that you ended up using from Menards…do you know if it is a topical or penetrating sealer? From what I have read, most people recommend using a penetrating sealer but at this poit I just dont know what to believe! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • Jessie says:

      Hi Amanda!
      For sandpaper, I would start with 60 grit or 40 {something pretty rough} and then move your way up to the highest number you can find {maybe 200?}. The sealer we chose was recommended by a concrete countertop worker we met. We haven’t had staining issues so as far as I can tell, it has worked great. I would just try and avoid putting oil or acidic substances on the counters to help avoid stains. We try to wax again every few months to keep them protected and shiny. Good luck and let me know if I can help in any other way!

  42. Mark yampolsky says:

    Your countertop looks incredible. I poured a countertop for my outdoor kitchen. I plan to leave it grey and I would like to know what the sealer is you used. would you recommend I sand the counter first?

    Thanks,
    Mark

  43. You got my confidence up. I am seriously thinking about doing it. My counters sizes are about the same size as yours. So, How many sandpapers do I need to buy?

    Thanks so much for sharing your work with us.

    • I’d start with a package of 5 and see where that gets you:) I would guess more than that, but since we started with the diamond grit, it’s hard to say. Good luck to you-let me know if you have any questions along the way!

  44. Hey, these look fantastic. What size sander did you use? Shopping for sanding pads, I see a lot for a 4 or 5 inch sander but that seems like it might be hard to keep a level surface. Any suggestions you have would be great. Thanks!

    • Thanks, Dan! We use a 5″ sander and didn’t have any issues with keeping it level. It worked well for us!

  45. Is SealBest Ultra Gloss Concrete Sealer considered, “Food Safe?” The technical data sheets provided by the Manufacturer recommend this product for exterior use only on paving stone, decorative stone, and exposed aggregate concrete.

    • We used a food-safe wax {and re-apply every 6 months or so} over top of the concrete sealer so the surface is safe to use!

  46. If you want to avoid the pin holes in the concrete then use a reciprocating saw (minus the blade) to vibrate the entire form as you pour the concrete and keep vibrating until there are no more air bubbles coming to the surface. This works a lot better than using a palm sander around the edges. It really helps to have a 3rd person there just to vibrate the whole time and will ensure perfect surfaces. If you do get holes, you could also consider using non-sanded grout and try different colors to make it look more intentional. Also, with melamine you really don’t need to use release, I’ve never used it and have never had any problems.

  47. Hi Jessie!

    My husband and I are taking next week off work to make our counters and finish up some other kitchen related items. Cheng’s book recommends waiting four days before taking the counters out of the mold and an additional two before sanding and sealing. Did you wait a few days before sanding and sealing or did you do it the same day? I am hoping we can move a little faster than Cheng recommends.

    Thanks for the help!

    • Hi Kate!
      We waited the 4 days to let them cure and the removed the molds. I would say I started sanding the following day so no we didn’t wait additional time:) As soon as everything was sanded, I sealed it all and we installed them! We have had them for over a year now and no problems, so I would say that you don’t have to follow those exact times:) Just my very unprofessional personal opinion haha. Good luck!

      Jessie

  48. Have already poured my counters and used alot of your help, thanks. Was wondering what product you used to fill the ‘bug’ holes left behind? If all goes well hopefully this weekend I will have a new outdoor table with a concrete countertop!

    • We used the concrete patch filler from Home Depot. I believe it was also Quikrete brand. Good luck with your table! Sounds beautiful!

  49. What did you you to put two pieces of concrete together? Silicone or grout, I am trying to make it so there is as little a line as possible?

  50. Your are a truly amazing woman!!! Your husband is one lucky guy!!! Love your concrete work. I have a done a few vanities in my house and am now starting on large floor tiles. So can you do a tutorial for the guys on how to meet a girl like you that loves doing this stuff? :-)

  51. I would also compare local pricing between the two stones. Heres a good link – http://www.construction-bids.com/concrete-countertops.php for local pricing.

  52. Hi Jessie,
    Great job! Your counters look really really good.
    I’m interested in how the seams look. I have an 11 ft long counter to do and im struggling with trying to do it one piece or two but im worried about how a seam will look in the middle of the counter. can you post a picture of one of the seams?

  53. Did you use a pigment or a acid stain? Or is your counter ‘natural’ colored?

  54. Hi! Your counters are beautiful. We just bought a foreclosed house where the people did not take good care of their concrete counters
    Our contractor smoothed it all out, finished it out with black, and has sealed it. We still need to wax it and will give your recommendation a try. In everyday cleaning what do you use? I am a nervous wreck about ruining them!

  55. Wow, I wish I would have found this blog before I started my project, it would have saved me a lot of time on research. I just finished pouring one section as a trial run and if it turns out I plan on doing the same thing on the other side of the kitchen. When you poured the main countertop, did you consider a one piece pour instead of joining two pieces at the corner? I may attempt this for the other side instead of having a seam at the 90 but it would add some difficulty in installation.

  56. Jessie,

    your counters turned out great and good job documenting. We just poured our counters in place and want to finish in a similar fashion to yours, ie natural grey or subtle tint, and gloss finish. It looks like you are using an epoxy based sealer? My question is how smooth you would say your tops were after you sanded?

    Did they have more of a ‘sandy smooth’ feel or ‘glassy/milky smooth’ feel?? Did the sealer help make the tops feel more ‘glassy smooth’ after application??

    Thanks!

    • Hi Nick!
      They have a glassy/milky smooth feel/ Much like another other solid stone surface. There are a couple small areas where we had air bubbles that I didn’t get filled perfectly smooth, and those you can feel. As long as you try and get those out while you are making the counters and take your time to fill and smooth any that are there after you are done, you should have a nice, smooth finish. And, yes, the sealer gives it that glassy finish.

  57. What did you use to patch the bug holes in the top? I just poured my first counter and have a number of pits. I wanted to use the same grout as tile on the floor. Would using standard unsanded grout be a mistake?

  58. Hi Jessie –
    Sorry if someone else already asked this, but I’ve just been wondering a few things about concrete. First, is it rough to the touch? I love the look but I’d hate to think it’s like touching the sidewalk or something. Also, has yours held up well? And how often do you re-seal it? Thanks!

    • Hi Megan!
      No it’s definitely not rough at all. It has a nice smooth finish, just like any stone you would buy as a countertop. The sealer helps make it nice and shiny also. And they have held up great. We haven’t had any issues with stains, cracks, or anything else that you may think could happen to them. They look just like they did the day we installed them! I would like to say we re-seal every 6 months, but I don’t think we’ve been that diligent. We’ve done it a couple of times in a year and a half.

      ~Jessie

      • My husband and I recently did concrete counters and we sealed and waxed, but it seems that we didn’t seal well enough because we are already having dark spots when water sits on them for more than a few seconds(that go away when it dries) and a stain in one spot. Do we have to sand off the wax to reseal, or should adding more wax handle this for us? Any suggestions? I had planned on waxing them every few months, but it’s only been about a month.

  59. Great looking countertops! I recently poured my first section but had a question regarding the concrete patch filler you used for the holes. Were you ever able to sand it as smooth as the original concrete? Will the sealer ‘smooth out’ the texture difference between the filler and the original concrete or should I refill the holes and sand again?

    • Hi Casey! Yes, where we patched it was pretty much as smooth as the counters. There were a few areas we missed {which we noticed after putting them in}, but it should be pretty even with the filler. I would suggest trying to refill and sand again and seeing if you can get it more smooth. Good luck!

  60. I am dead set that I *MUST* have concrete countertops. My husband is afraid they are going to stain because we aren’t the best at keeping up with the kitchen mess. We compromised and made a “test” slab. (Full disclosure, we want to use Ardex feather finish overtop of our laminate, so they aren’t actually poured, but in my head shouldn’t all concrete be the same no matter the method it’s applied?) However, we cannot get our test slab to properly seal. I see you have kit wax & am about to order some of that off of Amazon, but I was curious as to what criteria the sealant has that you used? Did you just use any floor sealant? We don’t have a Menards at our disposal, so I don’t know what to buy. The stuff we got from Home Depot does NOT seem to work.

  61. Hi Jessie! This looks great! I am really interested in this idea for my kitchen renovation! Could you please tell me how many square feet of countertop that you did in concrete? Also, for your corner, why did you decide to do two separate pieces instead of an “L” shaped piece for that section? And what did you use to seal the seams between the two pieces? Thanks!

  62. Your countertop looks great. We just installed concrete walls in our bathroom and are thinking to use the 100% carnuba wax on the walls. Have you experienced any issues like “blooming” – white spots appearing where water contacted the countertop? I heard that beeswax does this, but not sure if carnuba has this issue.

    Thanks,
    Andy

  63. Great work, we would like to make some countertops also. Thank for sharing your expedition.

  64. Hi, I’m kinda new here and I find this concrete DIY incredible!!! I really would like to try it in the house I am renting. It is in sad need of repair so the owners have given me free reign. My question is and it seems so minute compared to the scope of the project, but did you then caulk the seam between the concrete backsplash and the tile above? Sorry for such a dumb question. I’m kinda new to DIY too :).

    Thanks.

  65. And your baby is so adorable. I wanted a baby girl so bad and God gave me 5 boys. I now have a granddaughter and I love her to pieces!

    Blessings, Karen

  66. How much of the 60 grit do you recommend buying?

  67. Javier ramos says:

    I sealed a concrete counter top and the roller left some lint in the sealant,what do i do now to fix it??

  68. Dan Mitchell says:

    Good afternoon, those countertops look fantastic! I have a project in mind using a live edge wood slab and concrete for a table…but the finishing steps are holding me up…did you just use an orbital sander for your counters?

  69. Your kitchen is beautiful and such an inspiration. My husband wouldn’t go for the full kitchen but we compromised and I have a beautiful concrete bar top! He ordered a finishing kit that included a cleaner, sealer, wax and polish. We can’t figure out whether to put the polish or wax on first. Can’t really understand on the products. Do you know? My guess is wax, then polish. I never read that you used a polish though.

    Thanks for this wonderful tutorial!!

  70. INterested to know how the countertops have fared since you put them in? Have you had any stains or etching from lemon juice/vinegar or oils? If so how did you fix that? Thanks for the tips!!

  71. What did you do for the sink hole? Did you create a form before pouring the concrete, or cut it out afterwards?

    • Our sink is a farmhouse sink which doesn’t need a “hole.” The concrete slabs on either side butt up to the edge of the sink. We just had a piece of concrete that went at the back of the sink for it to rest on and then siliconed it to the side slabs. You can read more about it in the tutorials.

  72. Deborah Calderon says:

    was your sealant food grade or non-toxic? What am I looking for in a sealant please?

  73. homeMADEhome says:

    Great job you guys…love the detail in your tutorials, keep them coming! Poor Doug Thompson selling counter material that stopped being cool in the 90s. I want to do my concrete counters a charcoal, oiled soapstone colour… Can u suggest a Brand of dye/colourant? I have heard of using regular dish soap as a release as well, which is what I use for small projects like planters and also non-stick cooking spray! Which I would think would stain, no? If u wanted very thin slabs 1″ or so would u use chicken wire instead? Thank u SO much for all the great references. A CDN handy woman….

  74. Hi Jessie, Looks great! I’m considering it…. Could you please tell me how you cut out the area for the sink? Thank you :)

  75. Oh sorry, I see you answered that question already :o Thanks again.

  76. bernie mack says:

    I spoke with the manufacturers of Kit wax and referred to the msds sheet and this is not considered food safe

    • Hi Bernie,
      There is a link with an update to the way we wax them and the new concrete countertop wax we used instead. Feel free to go back to the post and follow the link to the new post.

  77. I’m planning to resurface our laminate kitchen countertops with a concrete finish. Most DIY’ers recommend the ARDEX Feather Finish but I like the “stoney” look in yours. Do you think if I used the same concrete countertop mixture just to resurface with a few layers in application it would give the same look? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Janel! I haven’t ever tried it, but I would assume you could do the same thing with the countertop mix we used. I would love to know if you try it!

  78. Thanks for sharing this! The concrete counters turned out very nicely! I would love to do something very similar in my own kitchen. If my husband is on board with the idea, then we will definitely need to start renting equipment. You can’t really do much with concrete without the right tools!

Trackbacks

  1. […] bedroom and bathroom.  Floods of memories about how awful sanding is {from hours of sanding our concrete counters and kitchen cabinets} came back but I suffered through and sanded it down to the bare wood.  I […]

  2. […] but why not make a wood wall?  When we were ready to upgrade our kitchen, we went with some DIY concrete counters with lots of  personality.  Rather than buying a mirror frame or some molding to spruce up our […]

  3. […] we made our concrete countertops last July, we had researched ways to finish them off and settled on some carnauba wax for the […]

  4. […] it was time to sand.  My least favorite job in the world.  I must say, after sanding the concrete counters for more time than I care to speak of, every other sanding job does seem pretty easy.  It was a […]

  5. […] 7′ long concrete countertop and two smaller pieces that were a little too rough to put in the kitchen but would be perfect outside.  The problem is we have sort of an awkward lay out.  I should have […]

  6. […]  One more score from Ikea was this hanging drying rack.  I love that it clears off our pretty concrete counters, but is still functional and actually kind of […]

  7. […] for awhile, you may remember our big kitchen renovation almost two years ago.  At that time, we made our concrete counters, painted our kitchen cabinets white, DIY’d a subway tile backsplash, and installed a new […]

  8. […] is the process that Jessie at Imperfectly Polished used to do her concrete countertops.  They look great!  But wow…what a lot of […]

  9. […] ich bin die erste Person, dies zu tun. Bevor ich anfing, fand ich eine super hilfs Tutorial von Imperfectly poliert . Ich empfehle das Lesen durch ihren Prozess, wenn Sie erwägen Kleinigkeiten erledigt Betonplatten. […]

  10. […] stick it up. Mike typically did 2 rows per night. The hearth is a leftover concrete slab from when we made concrete counters at our old house. It goes perfectly with the stone we […]

  11. […] the full, extensive instructions can be found here, the basic gist is that, with a process involving de-molding, filling in air bubbles, sanding the […]

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