So last week on Instagram (I’d love it if you’d follow me!) I shared a picture of my kitchen demo thus far. I removed the upper cabinets to make way for floating shelves and tore out the existing backsplash to replace it with something brighter. But then as soon as I did that I couldn’t wait to get started on this project!
When I was looking through the surplus of inspiration out there on the interwebs, I was torn between a granite countertop or a concrete one to replace the exising Formica laminate. I’m on a tight budget so I opted for concrete. I thought it ultimately looked best with the concept I was going for.
But even though concrete is a more affordable option, it still wasn’t in my budget. The average cost for concrete countertops is anywhere from $65.00 – $135.00 per square foot. So I went back to Pinterest to find an alternative route. In my search I found this tutorial and decided it sounded simple enough and the finish product looked awesome!
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This is what my countertops looked like originally. Now, let me be clear, I have nothing against Formica. I actually quite like it. My rep is awesome and I just used it in Parlay. But while it’s great for commercial environments, it just wasn’t the option I wanted to stick with for my home.
The first thing you want to do is rough up the existing counters. I used a medium grit sandpaper and my electric sander with moderate pressure. Wipe off any dust that accumulates.
The product I used is Henry Feather Finish and is extremely easy to use. You just add water! The “formula” that I used is 2 parts powder to 1 part water. Unlike what the image shows, you actually want to add the water first and then the powder.
Be sure you mix it in a bowl that you don’t mind ruining. ;) This is what the mix should look like. I’ve read different opinions on consistency; some say like soup, some say like gravy. I found the consistency that I like the best is like frosting.
Using a taping knife, spread a thin layer on your counters. And I really cannot stress this hard enough. Thin, thin, THIN! I ended up applying 5 – 6 layers to get the result I was happy with.
This is the end result of my first layer.
For my counter edges, I decided I really didn’t want an ogee profile anymore. I thought the illusion of the concrete would be ruined. So for this I filled in the “gap” and smoothed over.
I soon discovered that the taping knife that was recommended was harder to manage in such a small space. If you’re doing really large counter areas, I think that it would be perfect. But because each portion of my counters were 4 square feet, I switched to a 6″ putty knife. My method was to add a dollop with the spatula and smooth out with the putty knife. It worked so well!
This is what it looked like after 5 – 6 layers and while it’s drying.
After it completely dried I needed to seal it. But I wanted to make sure it was dust free and those pesky little particles wouldn’t get sealed up. That would be gross. I took my brush vacuum attachment and went over the entire space.
I did a lot of research on the sealer I was going to use. Because this is a kitchen and there’s going to be food prep here, I wanted something heavy duty. I chose Cheng Concrete Sealer in the 500ml bottle. This stuff goes a looooong way, you really don’t need much of it.
Before applying, get the concrete wet. This helps the sealer activate. The formula is 1 part sealer to 1 part water and, again, this stuff goes a long way. Apply with a paint brush and let sit for 5 minutes. In that 5 minutes, continue to keep the surface wet. I used a small spray bottle and sprayed every minute. Once that 5 minutes is up, remove any sealer that was not absorbed with a damp cloth. Repeat this process after 30 minutes have passed.
This was such an incredibly easy project! While it took longer than I had anticipated, I’m so, so happy with the results! And I promise to post more pictures once the kitchen is a bit prettier. ;)
I’m linking up to these great parties!