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DIY Concrete Countertops Using Self Leveling Cement!
We are still at it, a home renovation that was suppose to last a month is going into month 5. There is really nothing blame, except lack of time. I started my Bachelors degree program and hubby had to go back to work, but we have been weekend warriors trying to get everything done. We really only have a few things that need to be touched up and we can finally say that this renovation is a wrap!
One thing that was high on my priority list was a new kitchen island. I had one of those small store bought ones, and it was just not doing the job. Not enough storage, counter space, and it looked tiny in our large kitchen. So, I opted to build my own! These DIY Concrete Countertops Using Self Leveling Cement was a fairly simple process, but time consuming. I did it all on my own while the kids were at school and hubby was at work, so please excuse the lack luster photos. Hopefully you will get the idea.
I still need to do a little more sanding and one more coat of sealer, but so far I am extremely happy with them! I used to stock cabinets as my base and left over wood from when we raised the floors as my base countertop and the frame.
I cut the main piece of wood to size and then processed to build a frame so that I could pour the cement in place. I wasn’t able to get a good photo of the frame, but below is a diagram of how I built it. I used brad nails to tack everything together.
I then proceeded to caulk the inside of the frame. This helps with removal because the cement will not stick to it and it fills any seams to prevent the cement from leaking out.
I primed the main countertop board with cement primer. I would suggest you do some research and find one that works for you. I used a basic primer I picked up at Lowes and it worked great.
While the primer was drying I went around the entire frame and duct tapped all of the seams. This is a secondary fail safe to prevent leaking. I also recommend keeping some extra on hand just in case, I missed a small area after I poured and ended up having to rush to another room to grab the tape to fix the leak.
Once the primer was dry I cut down cement ladders to fit the area. I placed them about 1/2 inch from the edge to help support the cement and prevent cracking.
Because I had to work pretty fast I was unable to get photos of the pouring process. But, I poured a layer in and then placed my support ladders into the wet cement. I used a trowel to push the cement into the corners and edges. If you can, I recommend trying to get all of your cement poured at once or there will be extra steps.
If the first layer dries before you can pour more, you will want to prime that first layer or when you pour the next batch the dry stuff will suck all of the water out of your fresh cement. It is a pain, but worth it.
After everything was poured and dried it was time to remove the frame and get sanding….and sanding….and sanding.
There were a few areas that I didn’t like and it looked a little flat to me so I ended up using a feather finish cement over the top to give it texture and fill in any low spots. After I was happy with the final results I sealed it with a concrete sealer. There are a ton of different sealers available on the market. If you are going to be using the countertop for food prep, I would recommend a food safe sealer.
I am thrilled with the way this DIY Concrete Countertops Using Self Leveling Cement turned out! I even ended up doing the same thing in my pantry/laundry room, but that revel will be another post!
All in all, I would say that this process was easier than other methods that I have seen for concrete counters. I would say though, if you can get help with doing it, it will be a lot easier!