Have you ever started one home renovation project, only to find that you’d run into a big problem that would mean embarking on a much bigger endeavor than you planned?
That’s what happened to Tania from Run to Radiance. She was putting her fridge in the built-in spot in her new house, when she found out the fridge was just a little too big for the spot! Her only options were to buy small fridges for the rest of her life and keep the existing structure of the kitchen, or redo all of the kitchen cabinetry.
Since she had wanted to eventually upgrade the kitchen, she figured she could just move up the timeline. She ripped out the cabinets and countertops, and then had to figure out what to replace them with.
Tania loved the look of butcher block, but knew she realistically she wouldn’t be able to maintain it. Instead, she went with concrete countertops that is her new favorite thing!
Ideally you’ll want to do this project in a large open space that you won’t mind getting dusty and dirty. Tania did it in her garage.
Make sure to lay plastic underneath all your molds so you can clean up the dried concrete easily!
The first step was to create the countertop molds. She found some tutorials online and had her father-in-law help out. Some ambitious DIYers pour the concrete right on top of their existing countertops, but Tania loved how flat the molds made the finished counters.
You can use plywood or melamine particle board to make the molds. Be very sure that wherever you place the molds is a flat surface or your countertops will be uneven!
Cut the rebar because the concrete needs something sturdy to hold onto.
Tania mixed the Quickcrete’s Countertop Mix which is formulated particularly for just this sort of thing, and then poured into the molds until they were about halfway through.
Level with a trowel and then add the rebar. Pour some more until the molds are filled and level with a trowel again, making it extra level.
After that, it’s time to get all the air bubbles out of the concrete. Having fewer air bubbles helps prevent cracking.
Tania used a hammer to bang on the bottom of the mold to bring the bubbles to the surface. You could also try using an orbital sander which would use vibrations to pop the air bubbles.
After a week, Tania removed the counters from the mold and flipped them over. The concrete was the perfect shade of gray and it was so much fun for her to hold up paint samples against the concrete!
See more details here.