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Concrete Gives Kitchen a Fabulous Counter

See how a young family's kitchen makeover gets started with a concrete countertop.

Kitchen Makeover: Project Overview

These homeowners, a young family, don't know where to start. A design team to will show them how to build and install new concrete countertops, install a new backsplash, redesign the existing cabinet doors and spice up the breakfast nook by creating a mosaic tile tabletop.

Below is a summary of steps, as well as a list of tools and materials used, as seen in this first Don't Sweat It project: concrete countertop.

Kitchen Makeover, Project 1: Concrete Countertop

Materials and Tools:

white thinset
3/16 tile spacers
clear latex caulk
white grout
concrete mix
staining agent
air compressor and hoses
finish nailer
hammer
pry bar
drill
mixing bit
chisel
caulking gun
measuring tape
spray bottle
gloves
eye protection

Steps:

1. Turn off the water and remove the sink and faucet. Remove the countertop and backsplash. Shut off the gas supply and pull out the old stove.

2. Use the old countertops as the base, attach similar material to the sides, using a finish nailer, to create a mold for the new poured countertops.

3. Use plastic foam with duct tape on the sides to fill in the sink area. To get a smooth curved edge, use caulk on the corner seams on the inside of your molds.

4. Pour the concrete mix in the mold and level the top.

5. Let the concrete set up for at least four hours.

6. Once the countertops are dry, remove from the mold and epoxy onto the base cabinets. Caulk the seams.

7. If desired, mix staining agent and fill a spray bottle. Tape off adjoining surfaces to the countertop to avoid spreading.

8. Spray evenly across the surface to saturate the concrete. Since the stain we are using is an acidic base, use a mixture of water and baking soda to neutralize the acid. Finally, blot with paper towels until no excess stain comes off.

9. After staining, seal the countertop with beeswax. This will help prevent the concrete from absorbing any atmospheric moisture or spills.

10. Reinstall and connect the sink, faucet and drain lines.

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