Here is the post on the cement countertop overlay!
The overlay that you just trowel over your existing nasty laminate countertops!
It’s super easy folks! ….and cheap!
It’s also super messy and has some serious drawbacks that may stop you in your tracks!
So if this is something you’ve considered….read on!
Here’s a good before and after.
What is my personal opinion about this method of countertop resurfacing?
I LOVE the way they look!
The price is pretty much UNBEATABLE!
they can not take a beating!
I have 6 kids. Three are boys and they are DESTRUCTIVE!
I seriously baby these countertops. If you’re mixing something….use a placemat under the bowl,
If you’re using the toaster…..put it on a placemat!
The crockpot….can you plug it in and set it on the stove please?
Yes, seriously, the amount of pickiness these countertops have created drives my husband a little nuts!
However, they look awesome, and they were around $90 start to finish, so don’t complain family and use a placemat!
Here’s a quick tutorial and what I will share on how to help with the durability of these countertops.
We started off with countertops that were in decent shape and not an awful color at all, however, they were a little stained and looked dated. I think someone had given this kitchen an early 90’s makeover.
Even if your counters were in bad shape, I think a cement overlay would be a perfect fix.
I gave the existing counters a quick sand with the hand sander to rough them up hoping to help the cement stick well.
Then I taped EVERYTHING OFF!
Um…ya, don’t judge, that is kitchen plastic wrap.
I was desperate ok?
However, it worked. The goal is tape off everything because you will do A LOT of cement sanding and it gets EVERYWHERE!
It’s a huge mess. Tape off every doorway and the floors!
You can see I used a sheet to take off the doorway.
Also, before I keep going. I did not use the feather finish from Ardex like everyone else did.
I used Ardex SD-M white.
Why? Because it was white and I wanted light counters.
Was I concerned it wouldn’t stick?
No, not really. It’s meant for the same floor resurfacing as the feather finish is.
It didn’t really turn out “white”, but it is very light and looks almost quartz-like when sanded down well, instead of like cement.
I mixed the cement, and troweled it on with the largest trowel I had. A large trowel or a yard stick would be a good flat surface to help trowel the cement over the counter.
Most of the on-line tutorials say to apply about three different layers of cement, sanding with 60, 120 and 220 grit sandpaper in between each layer of cement.
Now on the countertops, I followed adding 3-4 layers of cement and “sanding three times in between each layer” to a tee!
I wanted to do it right so they would have the best chance of “making it” (holding up) at our crazy house!
I later did my desk top the with the same cement and took some serious short cut…..no difference everyone! Basically, the short cuts didn’t make a real difference in my opinion.
I’ll save you some time.
The pic above shows the what the first layer of cement looks like.
It looks pretty rough. You do sand and sand and sand. I hand-sanded with 220 and maybe even 300 just to make sure it got really smooth.
Most people want an “artesian” cement countertop look.
I think I wanted mine to look like quartz for super cheap, so I tried to get any and all “ripples” out!
Here’s a pic of my finished desk top.
Remember I said I did it differently.
I only added 2-3 layers of cement and I barely sanded in between.
This was one of the last projects in my entire kitchen makeover and I was sort of just done!
Anyways, I figured (on the desk) I would have to sand the heck out of it at the end, so why not just sand off anything super high in between layers and then get the hand sander out at the end with some super fine grit. It took a lot of sand paper, and it wasn’t quite as smooth, but it was fast….and not as messy, and really it looks the same as the counters.
The sealer I used on the desk make ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
So keep reading! I’ll hit that when I get to the sealer part.
After tons of sanding, and re-applying and doing all of my dishes in the bathtub, I was finally ready to seal.
and then used this spendy food safe sealer that they suggested, AFM Safecoat Acrylacq.
Here’s the deal. It’s not that I’m into eating toxic stuff, and I’m not asking you to NOT be concerned, but this stuff didn’t cut it when it came to “holding up” against my family.
….and I think we were actually pretty counter friendly.
It’s been 5 mo, and there are a lot of marks.
I’ve told myself to just embrace the “rustic concrete” look, so that I’m not super annoyed with the counter marks. Some of the marks are concrete patina. That look is actually kinda cool and I can handle it, but anytime a kid ran a car over the counter, or accidentally made a scratch (which isn’t tough considering the sealer on these.) Anytime my husband left a sticky coffee cup and then let it set and pulled it off (taking the sealer with it), it left marks!
Coffee cup mark seen below.
The spots are what I consider countertop concrete “patina”.
I think moisture gets in the concrete pours and darkens them.
The cup ring is obviously from a cup.
Like I say, it doesn’t look like this when you are in front of the counter. In fact, you barely notice it unless I point it out, but still…..it’s annoying.
How to avoid this and make your countertops more durable.
Forget the expensive food safe stuff and just use polyurethane!
I know….it sounds like I’m saying just be toxic or something, but for heaven’s sake…just use a plate!
Let’s think about it. What makes your dinning room table durable? Probably something toxic.
Unless you’ve gone to great lengths to buy or refinish a table yourself with non-toxic sealer, you are eating off toxic sealer!
Just use a poly, and then have your kids use a plate when eating off the counter.
I used polyurethane in satin on my desk. It has held up beautifully with only one coat.
Use two coats on your counter and I think you’ll be fine.
I let my stick coffee cup sit on my desk every day…no problems.
I drag things across it…no problems.
I really think Poly is probably the answer to keeping these countertops from staining and scratching like mine have.
So what’s the consensus on this cement overlay?
Find an Ardex dealer and buy some cement (I think around 15-30$/bag depending on white or gray and location).
…and then seal with the impregnator and polyurethane!
…and just use a plate.
Then enjoy the beauty of your new countertops, and the money you saved!
Please feel free to ask me any questions!
I think this is a fantastic makeover option and I’d love to help you try it!