Tuesday, September 22, 2015

DIY Concrete countertops

Pete and I have always wanted to try concrete countertops. This is the first house were we both thought they would fit the overall flow of the house the best. Pete did a lot of research before we got started and ended up finding a local contractor that sold the molds that you can just break off after the concrete dries, which made the process a little easier than we expected. I did a terrible job take pictures during the process. Probably because I was trying to wrangle the kid's and ended up leaving because of all the dust flying and the loud noises. We recruited the troops (Pete's family) and got to work! They first started by measuring out all the length's and screwing down the molds.

Wes and JD making fun of me taking picture's!

After all the mold's were set, they started mixing up the concrete and pouring it in! They used sanders to press on the outside of the mold's to viberate all the air bubbles to the top. At the same time, someone else had to be smoothing the concrete out and someone else needed to be mixing up the next batch. It was a tiring and tedious process. Everyone looked plum wore out (and DIRTY) when the girls and I got back to the house. The concrete had to dry at least a few days before the molds could be broken off.

Pete started breaking the molds off and sanding the corners smooth.

We couldn't decide if we wanted to stain them or leave them traditional concrete color. We ended up going for it, and staining them. My motto is always "go big or go home" and Pete is more reserved. Our teamwork was defenitly not on point during the staining process nor did we have a very good game plan to begin with. There were a few points in the process that I just wanted to take a sledge hammer to them and start over. I got vetoed pretty quickly.

When we finally gave up and decided that they looked okay, Pete's mom came over and the first words out of her mouth was "you're not finished are you? It looks like you're on step two of the process." Needless to say, we went back and tried to blend a few spots that just looked like giant spills. I think we either got use to the way they looked, or they really did get better. Either way, other people that come over comment on how good they look. Who knows if they are just being nice, or they really mean it. Ha!

We are really hard on our counters. More than the average family I would say. Our counters also get a lot of use, by a lot of people. We have family dinner at my house once a week with Pete's family, so it gets kind of crazy in my kitchen on a weekly basis. I think overall they are holding up pretty well, but there are definitely a few chips and dings. Also, concrete is super porous, so I have had to be extra careful about spills, cutting up fruit, and where I set my oils. I have used a cutting board more than ever with these counters. I think the dings actually helped the overall look, but I don't know if everyone would feel that way. I also think once we decide on a backsplash, it will change the entire look.

Would I do them again? Probably. They are for sure the most cost effective counters, and I really do like the overall look. Would I stain them again? That's a big fat NO. #liveandlearn

If you are thinking about putting concrete counters in your house, leave a comment or email me! I am always up for renovation talk! :)

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