DIY concrete countertop: Before and after kitchen makeover

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Sand the kitchen bench well
Sand the kitchen bench well

Many people are stuck with an outdated kitchen because it’s just suuuuuuuccchhhh an expensive space to redo!

While an entirely new kitchen may be out of reach, there are some affordable jobs you can do yourself to give your kitchen a new look.

Today we’re sharing a clever, cost-effective DIY that can see you turn that bland laminate countertop into an on-trend and durable concrete finish.

This is a great option if you can’t afford to splurge on stone or if you’re saving up for that ultimate kitchen but want a change NOW. The best part is, you can do this DIY concrete countertop project over a weekend.

Before kitchen makeover
Before



[ingredients title=”Items you will need”]
  • One bag Ardex Feather Finish
  • Sealer
  • Leveller
  • Bucket and stirrer
  • Sandpaper
  • Sponge
[/ingredients] [directions title=”Steps:”]
  1. Give your countertop a clean and good sanding to prepare the surface. Apply masking tape around your sink (or remove the sink if you can) and anywhere that your kitchen joins with another surface that you don’t want to cover (e.g oven cooktop).
  2. Mix up a small batch of Feather Finish — around one cup and slowly add water while stirring until you have the consistency of cake batter (not too thick that it won’t spread easily but not too thin that it won’t grip to the surface).
  3. Mixing up Ardex Feather Finish
    Mixing up Ardex Feather Finish
  4. Work quickly to spread the mixture over your countertop (the mixture starts drying after five minutes). You want to create a thin, smooth layer. Don’t be concerned if after your first coat you can still see patches of the old countertop underneath — you will apply at least three coats of this mixture.
  5. Applying the first coat
    Applying the first coat
  6. Wait until the first coat is completely dry (it will become light grey) before lightly sanding it. Smooth out rough edges and imperfections.
  7. Sand the kitchen bench well
    Sand the kitchen bench well
  8. Apply a second thin coat and allow it to completely dry before sanding. (At this stage you may be looking at your countertop thinking ‘What have I done?!’. We were laughing hysterically at the hot mess we had created but don’t worry, it will come together and look awesome!)
  9. Keep layering the concrete mixture
    Keep layering the concrete mixture




  10. Apply a third thin coat and allow it to completely dry before sanding it smooth. (By now you should be thinking ‘Damn I’m good!’. Your countertop might be ready to seal after this step or you may need to do one or two more thin coats depending on the colour of your countertop and the coverage you were able to get.)
  11. Once you have perfectly sanded your final coat of Feather Finish, apply two generous coats of matt finish sealer with a sponge to seal your countertop and keep the moisture out.
  12. Seal with two generous coats
    Seal with two generous coats
[/directions] [box type=”info”]Hot tips:
– Apply thin layers (think crepe thickness!)

– Clean up your mess along the way. If you get any mixture on the splashback or cabinetry, it will be easier to remove this with a damp sponge while it’s still wet

– Allow each layer to completely dry before sanding or you will lift off all your hard work

– Give each layer a good sanding as it will leave you with a super smooth and hard finish

– Get the right tools. We had to use our fingers to apply the mixture on the sides of the countertop as we didn’t have a small enough leveller — it was messy and took longer

– Reapply sealer at least once a year to keep your countertop protected
[/box]

Finished kitchen bench top makeover
Voila! Your kitchen bench top has a new look
Smooth and durable finish
Smooth and durable finish
Close up of Ardex Feather Finish
Close up of Ardex Feather Finish

We love how this product completely mimics concrete — a natural pattern and mottled texture.

If you want to take on a DIY concrete countertop project, why not ‘pin’ our tutorial to your Pinterest account or share it on Facebook so you can return to it when you need it?

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Hi. Great job. In Australia where did you get the Ardex Feather finish from? In regards to grout eg where benchtop meets tiling do I remove grout then contrete and then re grout or not needed to remove and or replace? Thanks.

    • Hi Natalie,

      Thank you! There are a number of Ardex stockists across Australia who would supply Feather Finish or could order it in for you. Best thing to do is contact Ardex and ask them where the closest stockist is to you: http://www.ardexaustralia.com/ardex/contact-us

      We didn’t remove the grout and reapply it and were happy with the end result. So long as you apply the layers thinly and create a clean line where it meets the wall (we carefully wiped excess away with a damp sponge), you will get a good result.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Awesome post, about to attempt this on our ugly blue kitchen benchtops , will send some pics if you like. Ardex feather finish was slightly nightmarish to track down, if you are in melbourne then i got it from Trident flooring in Campbellfield.

  3. This looks so awesome! We just got into our new apartment, and were thinking of doing something similar for our dining table. Just wondering how the countertop is holding up over time? We’re trying to find the best sealer we can for the job and were considering the Aquamix one you’ve used here, so any indications on how it wears would be really, really amazing! Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Vicky, so sorry for our late reply. We totally recommend this DIY and the products used – our kitchen countertop is holding up great! Not all sealers out there are safe for food preparation areas but this one is and it’s lasting the distance. Next up, we plan on following this DIY to make an outdoor kitchen 🙂 Best of luck with your makeover!

  4. Hello and thank you for sharing your excellent project. Looks great! I would love to find out how the bench is holding up a couple years later and if it needed any more coats of sealer since.

    • Thanks Marinos! The kitchen bench is holding up really well and we have not been taking care of it as we should! There is a bit of minor chipping on the bench edge (where we’ve accidentally slammed down cutting boards or knocked it) but you can add a step in to this tutorial to help prevent this. After sanding, you can apply a special primer such as Eco Systems Prep ‘n’ Prime which will help the concrete feather finish grip much better. Also, we should be resealing the bench each year but haven’t been doing this. So for not having primed the bench and for not sealing it, we’re pretty amazed how great it looks 🙂

      • Thanks again Style Curator 🙂
        I will be using your advice on our old/new bench. I think you have saved us a lot of money and also helped me keep the wife happy. Ile be happy to share pics when done if you have an email address or contact for I can use to send them.

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