DIY Concrete Countertops

I know I said we were going to do butcher block counters, but then I thought about a few things. First being we're paying for a wedding so is paying thousands for new counters really a priority this year? Second being we already have a lot of natural woods in our home and I didn't want to stress about the counter wood matching other décor woods. Then I discovered there's a concrete overlay product you can put right on top of the laminate. Say what?!

Immediately I loved the idea of grey counters with our new white cabinets. Added bonus, this DIY really wasn't too difficult and it came in under $200. In case you forgot, here's what the kitchen looked like before we did anything.

Here's what it looked like after the cabinets were painted. Better but I still hated the counters(and backsplash, that's next).

And here it is with a brand new concrete counters! Ta-Da!

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I won't post much of a how-to because we followed Young House Love almost to a tee. Here's there post on how to do it. The only differences are that we used Henry's Feather Finish because we could pick it up at Home Depot and I can get too excited about projects to wait for shipping. Our counters did turn out a bit darker than theirs look and I wonder if the Henry's is darker or if we did something else different.

Pro tip: If you are planning on selling your home soon I highly recommend this project if you need to update your kitchen on a time crunch and on a budget. Worried buyers won't like the concrete look? I get that. But I know more people will like the trendy concrete over the dated laminate.

We also did super small batches and worked slowly to make every layer as smooth as possible. Minimal sanding needed. Roughly one cup of mix and 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. water was just the right amount of concrete mix for us o be able to take our time and still use it all before it hardened in the bucket.

The final difference is that we didn't wait a full 24 hours between coats. I believe the shortest time between layers was six hours and it turned out fine. We were trying to get it all completed before I left for my Cali trip.

We did the sealant just like they did. Honestly this project only takes so long because there's a lot of waiting between coats of concrete and sealant coats. But totally worth it. I can't say I'll never end up with different counters but I can say these new counters are MUCH better than the laminate.

Next on the list, backsplash! Although the tear in our (clearly) cheap laminate flooring means new floors are coming soon too! Careful moving those stoves during these projects, guys! :o 

Updating Your Banister

So the kitchen started this all. I immediately knew I wanted white cabinets. Then I thought we'd get rid of the counters and install butcher block (I love it and it's less expensive than marble). Then I knew we'd need a new backsplash, which will probably end up being glass subway tile. So with that in mind, the oak banister simply would not do. The living room looks into the kitchen and the stairway. I want a cohesive look. 

View from the living room. Just wouldn't do.

View from the living room. Just wouldn't do.

What's a girl to do? Oh right, break out that sander! Remember when I said the DIY kitchen cabinet project wasn't for the faint of heart? That's not the case with the banister project. It was super easy. 

You start by sanding down the banister, just like the cabinets. I used a sander to cover most of the area but this could be done with sanding paper if you don't feel like investing in a sander. We got this one down just far enough to take off the glaze. We chose black paint for the banister so we didn't feel the need to sand too much. Using a dark stain is also a great way to update it. All in all this project only took a couple of hours and cost a whopping $13!! 

Cost breakdown: 

  • $9 HGTV Showcase pint. It was on sale!
  • $4 Krylon matte finishing spray paint

Seriously, though. You can't beat the ROI on this project! Such a great way to update the home whether you're selling and want to appeal to buyers or you just want a change. Interested in those windows turned mirrors? Stay tuned because that DIY project will hit the blog soon!