Refinishing Concrete Countertops: A Complete Guide

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Is your concrete countertop decaying? Then you must get it refinished right away. Don’t worry about the cost of it because you won’t be needing professional help.

That’s right folks, with our guide even a DIYer like you can refinish a concrete countertop.

What is the guide for refinishing concrete countertops?

Start by preparing the surface. Then polish the surface with a damp polisher and fill in the holes with white concrete. After that, seal the countertop and let it dry for 48 hours or more. Finally, sand your concrete countertop, seal it with some non-toxic wax, and buff it.

Does that sound inadequate to get the job done? Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging like that. Just advance to our next section for further details!

Is Refinishing A Concrete Countertop Worth The Mess?

Yes, refinishing a countertop is absolutely worth the mess. Refinishing countertops alone might seem like a hassle. But learning how to do it yourself will save you a hefty sum. 

Refinishing will save you around $400-$1200 including labor costs. Besides, it is more cost-effective than making replacements. It will reduce your costs by 50%-65%.

Then comes hygiene. The stains and holes can become home to various bacteria. Fixing your concrete countertop will fix the overall environment of your kitchen and home. It is also required after fixing the gap between your dishwasher and countertop.

Concrete is long-lasting. To expand its lifetime further, refinishing is crucial. Otherwise, the increasing amount of damage can eventually break it completely.

Refinishing concrete countertops is environmentally friendly too. Every year tons of concrete materials go into landfills. This destroys soil fertility and causes air pollution. We can save our environment by being a little frugal.

Now that we know why refinishing is important, let’s get started on the refinishing process!

Step-by-Step Guide to Refinish Your Concrete Countertop

Refinishing is a must to fix old and damaged countertops. But it could overwhelm you if this is your first time. This is why we’ve divided our guidelines into 5 steps. So, let’s get working-

Necessary Equipment

The working process could be daunting for many. So, to avoid future complications, grab the tools listed below-

  • Safety goggles
  • Safety gloves
  • Face mask
  • Towel
  • Concrete polisher and pad
  • Grit pad
  • White concrete
  • Concrete sealer
  • Food-grade wax
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Angle grinder
  • Buff pad
  • Concrete countertop sealer
  • Water hose

Have all the tools ready? That’s great! Now put on your safety gear and let’s get to work!

Step 1 of 5: Prepare The Surface

First, start by clearing your countertop. Remove every article that’s placed on your concrete countertop. Then grab a wet towel or sponge for cleaning the surface of your counter. Wipe till all the dirt and dust is off.

Step 2 of 5: Polish The Surface

 Start by fetching your concrete polisher and attach a rough polishing pad to it. Then connect a water hose to it and plug it into the switchboard.

Turn the device on and position it on the surface at a 90° angle. Then move the device from one position to another. This will ensure even removal of the old sealer. Then change the polishing pad with a grit pad and polish one last time. This will get rid of all the scratches, etch marks, and cracks on your countertop.

Are you looking for a good concrete polisher? Here are some great ones to choose from:

Product 1
Product 2

Step 3 of 5: Fill in The Holes Or Divots

A common countertop problem is holes or divots. Countertops usually decay with time and end up getting unsightly holes. 

To get rid of the holes, use 12oz-16oz white concrete or cement. Mix the concrete with some dry concrete color of your liking. Make sure the amount of concrete color does not exceed 8-9% of the concrete’s weight. 

Fill the holes and let them dry according to the instructions on the packaging.

Step 4 of 5: Seal The Countertop And Let It Dry

For this step, you’ll need to purchase a quality concrete sealer. Then mix it according to the instructions on the pack. Apply the first coat of the sealer while the concrete countertop is still wet. Apply uniformly on the surface as well as the sides. You can use a roller for quicker application.

Before the application of the second layer, wait until the first one dries up. After adding the final layer, let your sealant dry for 48-72 hours. We suggest you use a quality product like Thoroseal or Drylok for less drying time.

Step 5 of 5: Sand The Countertop And Apply Some Wax

Wax is an excellent sealant used for polishing and waterproofing your countertop. After your sealant dries up, take 220 grit sandpaper and sand the sealed surface. Sanding allows better absorption of the wax.

Grab your angle grinder and attach a buff pad to it. Then lather your food-grade wax on the sanded countertop and buff it. We advise you to apply it on your countertop every 1-2 months.

That’s all you need to refinish your concrete countertop. Now just reinstall all the faucet fixtures and your counter should look as good as new.

Special Tips

We’re confident our guide has made things easier for you. For further assistance here are a few tips-

Wear a face mask and goggles because the concrete particles can irritate your eyes and lungs. Prolonged exposure can even damage your respiratory tract for good.

While clearing your countertop, put the items or articles in a box. This will keep your surroundings tidy and make rearranging much easier later on.

If you don’t have white concrete at hand, you can substitute it with grout. Just make sure the grout is unsanded and matches the color of your countertop.

You can use 440 grit sandpaper instead of 220 grit sandpaper. But keep in mind, 220 grit sandpaper has a coarser abrasive. It will get the job done much faster.

We suggest you use muriatic acid to clean your concrete countertop. It will get rid of stains and grease without damaging your countertop.

Lastly, don’t cut your fruits and vegetables directly on the counter. This will create unsightly etch marks and scratches. So, purchase a wooden or plastic chopping board to keep your countertop intact.

Well, that is all for this article. We wholeheartedly hope our guidelines and tips will be beneficial.

FAQs

Question: Which is the cheapest countertop?

Answer: The price varies from material to material. Ceramic tile countertops are the cheapest. They cost around $5-$30 per square foot. While the most expensive countertops are the travertine ones, costing around $50-$100 per square foot.

Question: How long will a refinished concrete countertop last?

Answer: The lifespan of a refinished countertop is anywhere between 5-7 years. With special care and maintenance, you can extend it to 15-20 years.

Question: How much time does it take to refinish a countertop?

Answer: This depends on who is refinishing the countertop. It takes a professional around 4-6 hours to refinish a countertop. On the other hand, a DIYer can get the job done in 6-8 hours or more. 

Conclusion

Well, now you have the ultimate guide to refinishing concrete countertops. You can now fix your countertop without professional assistance! 

In case you don’t want to go through the hassle, take help from a professional.

Good luck refinishing your concrete countertop and goodbye!

Scott Kelly