Friday, 16 October 2015

Our DIY Ardex Concrete Counter top

I wanted to build a versatile kitchen counter in my workshop,  so we could get some new photos of our plate racks. I feel like i'm the last person on the planet to hear about this stuff, but I saw a tutorial on using Ardex feather finish concrete and I was completely sold.

The main draw being, you can just put it straight onto your existing counter tops. We built ours from scratch, but if you were doing this in a kitchen, I think you'd just key the surface of the laminate or formica first.

I've put together my DIY, but please note, at this stage, it's only for photo shoot purposes and I haven't completed the sealant step yet.  I'm really pleased with the finish of it and found it so easy to use that it's definitely going to be the next project we do in our house.

The first thing we did was build a wall for our backdrop.

I worked out how I wanted the base of my kitchen units to look. It's 16ft wide in total, but made in 3 parts so can be used in different configurations.

We built the kitchen unit….( and hung the racks because I was over excited!)

 Painted the wall.

Then the fun began!
These were the tools I used to mix and spread the concrete.

I put a couple of inches of water in the bucket and added the Ardex powder until I was happy with the thickness. I don't think you can really go wrong,  Just work quickly as the concrete starts setting immediately!

I pretty much emptied the bucket over the counter first as it enabled me to spread it quicker. I used really thin layers as I found it easier to manage.

Cover the whole top as smoothly as possible.

But don't worry too much about lumps and bumps as these can be sanded/ sponged out in the next step. 

At this drying stage,  I used a damp sponge and wiped over the whole surface, it meant less time sanding. It probably made the layers thinner, but I think it helped the overall look and I will definitely do this step again when I'm making the counter tops in my house.

Once it's dry, sand it down!  This was my favourite part as you can really start shaping the corners if you need to.  ( I rushed mine a bit as some patches aren't dry yet, but I don't think it caused any problems. )

A sanded,  smooth (ish) edge.
Repeat with another few layers.  I think I will do 5 or 6  thin layers in my kitchen.

That's as far as I needed to go for my photo shoot counter top! But I found this brilliant tutorial during my research, it might help with the next step -sealing the countertop.

For now,  here are my concrete countertops! And last but not least, the world's greatest  plate racks!

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