We finally got our concrete counter top done for our kitchen island. Let me just say it was a lot more work than I anticipated and it would have been very frustrating without the help of our friends from Concrete Contracting Solutions (Chris & Kevin Paisley).
But it turned out amazing and I love it.
Read on to see our DIY project come to life.
To begin with I searched the web looking for directions. I found a lot of You Tube videos and websites on how to make a concrete counter top, but the one I thought looked the most practical for us was the on this link - http://tatertotsandjello.com/2011/07/summer-social-guest-project-make-diy.html
Thus, I began by going to our local Home Depot and ordering Quickrete Concrete Counter Top mix and gathered our other supplies: melamine board, charcoal colorant.and silicone caulking. In the mean time I contact our friend Chris who owns a concrete business and asked if he had ever made a concrete counter top. He hadn't, but was interested in learning and wanted to help with our little project. And we were glad to have his help!
|To begin with we measured and remeasured the size we wanted the island top. Then Bob and Todd began to cut the melamine board to make our form. Melamine board is ideal for this project because it is very smooth.|
|We used drywall screws to put the form together.|
|Next we caulked the seams. We did not use painters tape around the caulking as the link suggested. But in the end we think this might have been a good idea.|
|Smoothing the caulking|
|Todd cutting old fence to use for support in the concrete.|
|Pouring the concrete into our little mixer.|
|Making sure the concrete was the correct consistency. |
It should be about the consistency of a Wend'y Frosty.
|Spreading the concrete in the form|
|We had to make several batches of concrete so it was tricky to get the color the same with each batch. In the end we blended the batches together as we spread it around in the form.|
|We placed a piece of old fence in the concrete for reinforcement.|
|We pushed the fence down into the concrete and also added some re-bar for extra reinforcement.|
|Adding more concrete on top of the fence.|
|We smoothed the concrete with a board making sure to tap the sides and bottom to get the concrete down in the form.|
|This is actually the underside of the counter, but we still wanted it to be nice and smooth.|
We let the concrete sit for about a week before we removed the forms. I was really excited to see what things looked like once we took the forms off.....
|It didn't look too bad.|
|The edges were a little rough.|
|Just a few air pockets that made little holes on the top or so I thought.....|
|Until Todd started rubbing over the light colored spots. Then lots of little air pockets popped and we had a ton of little holes on the top. Now what? That's when I called in the experts. |
Thank goodness for friends in the concrete business!
|Chris and his brother showed up with some ideas...... First they sanded it to make sure all the air pockets were opened up.|
|Making concrete dust|
|They took things down to floor level to make it easier to work on .|
|Then they made a mixture of cement and a little sand with a rapid set acrylic polymer (basically glue) added and skim coated the hole thing to fill in all the holes.|
|Everything was filled...now we needed to let it dry and harden - and hope all the holes were filled in |
Click on "read more" to see the finished project.
|Here is a picture of the dried skim coat.|
It was time to begin the sanding process. Chris set us up with several levels of diamond grit sand paper. Beginning with 50 grit we sanded off the skim coat.
|Since this was supposed to be a project for my husband and me - I insisted on doing some of the sanding.|
we all sanded - a lot!
We sanded using each grit of sand paper until that level of sand paper no longer made dust.
|The sanding was a long process. One morning I worked over 4 hours just sanding with the different levels of sand paper. 200, 400, 800.... My arms and hands felt like jello at the end of the day.|
|The final sheen was achieved by sanding using a 3000 diamond grit sand paper.|
So here it is.....although I had hoped the color would be darker -
I love it!
Oh, the island was custom made by another friend, Lamar Ratliff.
He does amazing work if you ever need a piece of furniture made