Concrete Countertop Makeover
Concrete countertops are really awesome. I love them, so when I was looking for an affordable solution to re-covering the laminate desktop in my daughter’s room I thought concrete would be perfect. Long story short they turned out fine, but I learned a bunch along the way and I’m going to share it with you. PLUS I am showing two precious décor items we incorporated in her room as well! I thought I was being cute when I picked a bright lime green laminate top for the built in desk in my daughter’s room. When we bought our 1951 ranch there was so much bad to it, but the amazing desks in my kid’s rooms were one piece of saving grace. They just needed to be re-painted and re-surfaced. The bright lime green was cute for a while, but when Mae requested a room makeover the bold color limited the color palette options. A BUNCH. So I decided it had to go, but a new countertop had to be super duper affordable.
Concrete countertops really are great for a budget friendly makeover. They aren’t even that hard to do, smearing the concrete around is kind of fun. If you are re-doing counters on a simple desk surface you don’t have to work around a sink or stovetop like you would in the bathroom or kitchen, easy peasy right? Well, here’s the thing. The right product makes ALL the difference. I did not select the right product.
Here are my suggestions for getting DIY concrete countertops right (or any DIY for that matter!)…
- Research the product you are going with, read the reviews online and trust what you read.
- Search for tutorials on You Tube or Pinterest. Bloggers and DIYers will tell you the truth and give you AMAZING time and money saving tips. Study up before you start.
- If you can’t find information about the product you are thinking about using, don’t use it. Go where the information is.
- Make sure you have all the tools you need BEFORE you start. This is easier if you do your homework first.
- If you start off on a project and it doesn’t seem like it’s working like it should (as in, this isn’t as easy as all the video tutorials suggested) STOP. Ask questions, see if there is a product help line you can call. Don’t make the mistake I did in thinking it was my fault, sometimes it is, but sometimes the product is not right for the application or you missed an important step.
- Overestimate the time the job will take. If you try and rush, things go bad.
- If you aren’t happy with your results let the company know about it so they can improve, should they desire to do so. Maybe they will even make it right with you by providing more product or instruction. Leave a review for others to read. Share your tips and mistakes for others to learn before they start.
This post contains affiliate links, this means should you make a purchase I might receive a small commission, thank you!
I didn’t do my homework, I didn’t stop when I should have and I didn’t end up with countertops straight out of my dreams. Do they look ok in pictures? Yes. Do they meet the need of a sturdy surface for my daughter’s desk? Absolutely. I just wish they would have turned out like that smooth gorgeous surface you see all over Pinterest and Fixer Upper! This project took five times as long and I had to go back for more product, costing more money, to try and make it right. In the end they are mediocre at best, definitely not ideal for a smooth writing surface as I had hoped.
Here is what I will say about the process. True feather finish goes on in multiple thin layers. This stuff had to much aggregate in it and I tried to layer it, but it WOULD NOT smooth out. My husband knows a bit about concrete and suggested misting it with water and troweling it smooth. That helped some, but if you add to much water you will get soupy looking water marks and discoloration on the dried concrete. It took more product than I imagined, probably because it was meant to go on in one thick coat and I did multiple thin layers. You really want to get a concrete stirrer to attach to a drill for best stirring results. I had one and it was a definite bonus.
Luckily I’m easy going and not to worried about it, but I would never recommend a product or application to you guys that I don’t 100% back. That being said if you are in the market for concrete countertops I HIGHLY RECOMMEND going with Ardex Feather Finish (it is NOT what I used, but I have multiple friends who have used it successfully and it has tons of tutorials available). You can let me know what you guys think! Even though they aren’t perfect, my girl still crafts and creates on them…Now the fun stuff! Look how cute this garage sale find is on my daughter’s bed. I scooped this breakfast in bed kind of tray for 50¢. I didn’t even have to paint it! The tray still had the tag on it from Foley’s…ha! Remember Foley’s? Stuff always comes back around and you can find the greatest things at a good yard sale. Next Mae wanted a fun way to display pictures of her friends, family and animals. We trotted out to the pile of scrap wood I hoard like a maniac and picked the perfect piece of skinny, long wood. A quick cleaning and then we took it inside to upcycle. Mae used my favorite wood glue to attach tiny clothespins across the top and the bottom of the wood. You could paint or stain the wood or pins, but we left it as is. I added a few picture hangers on the back, hung in in the wall and in minutes we had the cutest picture hanging solution to go over her giant chalkboard. To see the other DIY art in her room go here!It’s safe to say that Mae loves how her room turned out, concrete countertop hiccups and all. We had fun pulling it all together and certainly didn’t break the bank on any of it. I hope these little tips will help you tackle a DIY you’ve been dreaming of and I really hope it goes more smoothly than mine! Don’t forget to tell others about your successes AND mistakes! Just so you don’t think her room is always neat and tidy, here is what her desk usually looks like…she really lives in her room, and I’m so happy she loves it!
Here are a few successful makeovers 🙂
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