How to Refresh a Dated Vanity Countertop With Concrete

This budget-friendly DIY solution breathes new life into an outdated bathroom vanity. Just a few hours of work and easy-to-source materials will give you a fresh, contemporary look. Make your new concrete countertop smooth and sleek or leave it more textural for a chiseled look.

Dated Vanity Refreshed with Concrete

Dated Vanity Refreshed with Concrete

In just a few hours, easy to find materials transformed this outdated countertop to a fresh, contemporary concrete look.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Materials Needed

concrete underlayment for flooring such as Henry's Feather Finish
drywall tray or disposable mixing bowl
6" metal drywall knife
orbital sander (optional, but recommended)
latex gloves
150- and 220-grit sandpaper
concrete sealer
sponge

Prep Vanitytop

Mask off the area to countertop area to prevent getting concrete on walls and cabinets (Image 1). Remove the faucet, knobs and drain from the sink basin (Image 2).  Sand the entire surface with 150-grit sandpaper. Use the sander for large areas and your hands for the basin and hard-to-reach spots (Image 3). Note: The sanding step is critical to give the concrete something to grab when applied. Dust the surface with a damp cloth and allow to dry before proceeding.

Mix Concrete and Apply First Coat

Mix the concrete according to the manufacturer's instructions in small batches until you get a feel for how quickly you can apply it versus how quickly it begins to harden in the mixing bowl (Image 1). This will also be determined by the amount of countertop you need to cover. Apply the first coat to the countertop by scraping it onto the sanded surface with your drywall knife (Image 2). This should be a very thin coat. It is meant only to attach to the surface and make a base for additional coats. Put on latex gloves and use your hands to apply a thin coat to the basin (Image 3). Smooth it out as thin as possible and don't worry about bumps and ridges. You will be able to sand those away later. Use your finger or thumb to apply a coat into the corners where the countertop meets the backsplash (Image 4). Allow the first coat to dry completely before proceeding. This time will vary depending on temperature and humidity, but count on at least 2 hours.

Apply Second Coat

Do not sand the first coat. Apply the second coat of concrete to the first coat in a thicker layer. You can work in straight lines or cross-hatch or random lines. The pattern in the surface will be determined by how you lay the concrete. You will want to make sure it is fairly even and smooth although you can still sand away any unwanted parts. Allow the second coat to dry completely before moving on to the next coat.

Apply Concrete to Vanity

Apply Concrete to Vanity

Do not sand the first coat. Apply the second coat of concrete to the first coat in a thicker layer. You can work in straight lines or cross-hatch or random lines. The pattern in the surface will be determined by how you lay the concrete. You will want to make sure it is fairly even and smooth, although you can still sand away any unwanted parts. Allow the second coat to dry completely before moving on to the next coat.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Apply Final Coat and Sand

Using 150-grit sandpaper, sand the dried surface to remove any unwanted pieces of concrete. Dust the surface with a damp cloth and allow to dry before adding the third coat. Add the third coat in a layer similar in thickness to the second coat. Again, allow it to dry completely before proceeding. When dry, sand with 150-grit sandpaper first, then with 220-grit sandpaper to obtain a smooth finish. If you feel you have reached a thickness of about 1/4" and you like the look of the surface, you can stop adding concrete at this point. If you want to further smooth out blemishes or feel uncertain about the thickness add a fourth coat sanding with both grit papers after drying.

Sanding Surface of Vanity

Sanding Surface of Vanity

Using 150-grit sandpaper, sand the dried surface to remove any unwanted pieces of concrete. Dust the surface with a damp cloth and allow to dry before adding third coat.

Photo by: Sam Henderson

Sam Henderson

Seal the Surface

Liberally apply concrete sealer to the entire surface with a sponge (Image 1). Apply three coats allowing the sealer to dry between each coat (Image 2).

Reinstall Faucet

Finally, reinstall faucet and enjoy your freshened-up bathroom vanity.

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