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QUICK & EASY DIY CONCRETE COUNTER OVERLAY VANITY MAKEOVER Using Rapid Set® Cement All®

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This post written in partnership with CTS Cement, who makes my totally fave concrete!
Update Your Vanity With A Super Easy DIY Concrete Overlay

 

My apologies for being M.I.A. for most of April. I was out of town for the last two weeks of the month. I went to my first blogging conference and then a buddy met up with me and we went on what I’ve dubbed our Thelma & Louise road trip. But more on that in the next post. In the meantime, I’ve got this awesome concrete vanity makeover to share with you. It’s actually a thin concrete coat over laminate so it’s a quick and easy fix to update any old, ugly vanity or countertop. Keep scrolling down for the full tutorial, but first check out some of these countertop makeovers (click images to go to tutorials).

Marbled DIY Concrete Countertop – Full Step By Step Tutorial With Easy To Follow Pics

HOW TO MAKE CONCRETE COUNTERTOPS - PART 4 - GROUTING & SEALING

 

DIY Concrete Vanity Top With Integral Sink

HOW TO MAKE A CONCRETE COUNTERTOP OR VANITY TOP WITH INTEGRAL SINK

 

Envirotex Coated Countertop

refinish kitchen counters

source: solovelycreations.blogspot.com

 

…Now back to our regularly scheduled program…

The motivation for this project came from some other projects I’ve seen online that use what’s called a feather finish. Feather finish is basically a generic term in the concrete world that simply refers to the application of a very thin coat of concrete. The product they used did the job, but the issue was that since the product was made to be applied as a feather thin layer, it required four or five layers to get good coverage AND each layer had to be sanded before applying the next layer. Ugh! That just seemed like too much work to me for something that could be really easy. So I decided to experiment with my favorite concrete product, Rapid Set® Cement All® to find an easier way.

I have an old laminate cabinet and counter that I use as my work bench that was the perfect guinea pig for experimenting. So I mixed up a bunch of small batches of Cement All® with varying consistencies and various color pigments and applied them to the laminate surface, then sealed them. Check it out…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Cool, huh. And boy were they sturdy. I actually took a hammer to it to see what would happen. Not a crack or chip or anything. So I was all ready to go for it on the real thing: an ugly laminate vanity top at mom and pop’s place.

Here it is…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Can you say Ewee!

And here’s how I made it bootiful…

 

Materials Needed For Your DIY Vanity Makeover with Concrete Overlay:

Cement All®

Rapid Set® Flow Control®

Rapid Set® Set Control®

Utility knife

Pigment (optional)

Grout mix

Measuring containers

Mixing bucket

80-grit sandpaper

Concrete rubbing stone

Pre-taped plastic sheeting

Latex gloves (optional)

Water

Something to mix your concrete (either a small shovel or trowel or a drill with a mixing attachment)

Squeegee and/or mud knife

 

Steps For Your DIY Concrete Overlay Vanity Makeover:

First give the countertop a quick sanding with a heavy grit sandpaper. Then use a utility knife to score the surface.
QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Clean off the surface to remove all dust and debris. This is going to get messy so tape off any areas where you don’t want the concrete to go. I taped around the wall and then also attached a plastic sheet to the cabinet, allowing it to drape over the floor. I LOVE using pre-taped plastic because it’s so easy to just peel and stick to whatever surface you want covered. Not only should you cover the vanity cabinet, but also the nearby floor because you’ll get a lot of concrete drips when applying the concrete to the side edges.

Do not mix up your Rapid Set® Cement All® until you have finished the prep work listed above since you’ll want as much time as possible to work with the concrete before it starts to set.

When the prep work is done, mix up the following ingredients: Rapid Set® Cement All®, Rapid Set® Flow Control®, Rapid Set® Set Control®, pigment, and water, following the package instructions. Cement All® requires four parts Cement All® to one part water.

Always start by adding the water to your mixing container before adding the dry ingredients.

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

For my vanity top, I used just a bit over 64oz of Cement All® (using two 32oz containers).

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

And for the pigment I used Ashby Integral color in Harvest Gold.

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

This is the first time I tried the Rapid Set® Flow Control® and the Set Control® and I don’t think I’ll ever mix up any Cement All® in the future without them. They are AWESOME! Even though Cement All® is already easy to work with, the Flow Control® made the mix super smooth (plus it increases the strength of the concrete!). And the Set Control® really helped extend the time I had to work with the concrete before it set, which was super helpful. Plus, the two packages were only a few bucks, so totally worth it!!

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Remember, dry ingredients are added after the water.

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

If you’re adding color to your mix, I do recommend mixing the pigment really well with the dry ingredients before adding it to the water to ensure that the color mixes evenly. I did not do this and ended up with some speckles of color. Lesson learned.

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Next, mix for several minutes until smooth. I used a drill with a mixing attachment, but you can also mix by hand using a small trowel.

Here’s what the consistency should look like once thoroughly mixed…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

If you’ve added pigment (which is totally optional), don’t be scared if the wet color of the concrete is not what you had in mind. The wet color will look completely different from the dry color, which will look completely different from the final sealed color. So the best way to know exactly how much pigment to add for the exact color you want is to mix up a few small batches beforehand, like I did, with different proportions of Cement All® to pigment, then seal it. You’ll only know what the exact final product will look like after it’s sealed.

Once the mix is ready, start packing it onto your vanity starting with the edges.

 

sink 9a

 

I simply poured some onto the surface and used that to cover my edges.

I do have to admit that the edges are a little tricky. Start by just packing it on. Once the concrete gets a little stiff then you can work on smoothing it out. If you try to smooth it out too soon, you’ll end up just wiping off what you just put down.

As you can see, I totally used my hands to do this. I did start out with gloves on, but they came off pretty quickly which gave me more control with spreading the concrete evenly.

You will get concrete on the floor so make sure the floor is covered.

Once you have your edges all covered, start on the surface. Basically, pour and spread.

 

sink 10

 

And here’s a little trick I picked up… A thin bladed squeegee is AWESOME for spreading concrete!!! I found it A LOT easier to spread the concrete with a squeegee then with either a mud knife or concrete trowel.

 

sink 11

 

The squeegee will leave you with a rougher surface than a trowel. For this project I wanted a rougher surface and you’ll see why shortly. But if you don’t want as rough of a surface, then after you smooth everything out with the squeegee, you can then go over it with a concrete trowel.

 

sink 12

 

And don’t worry about making a mess. The excess concrete is easy to remove, just don’t wait until the excess is completely dry.

To remove the excess concrete, use a scraper on the sink and surrounding areas. I also used the scraper to scrape some uneven concrete off of the surface.

 

sink 13

 

After you’ve scraped off any big chunks of excess concrete, simply wipe a moist sponge over any remaining concrete. It should come right up pretty easily.

Once the concrete starts to set on the vanity top, take your wet sponge or a spray bottle and moisten the entire surface. You can do this a few times over the next hour or so.

Here’s my finished, moistened surface…

 

sink 14

 

And here’s what it looked like when dried…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

See what I meant when I said the wet concrete will look completely different from the dry concrete. And it will change again when I seal it.

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

If you have any high points on your surface, you can use a concrete rubbing stone to even it out. A rubbing stone is simply a heavy grit block, usually around 10 or 12 grit. You can find one in the concrete section of any Home Depot for about $12. With such a heavy grit, it is really easy to remove too much, so I do recommend going easy at it so you don’t remove more that you want. Also, if you plan on adding a second color to your countertop, using the stone too much will reduce the pockets on the concrete where you’ll want your second color deposited.

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

When you’re satisfied with your surface, wipe it down again to remove any debris.

It’s now time to apply your sealer. I used Ashby Super Seal, the same sealer used on the marbleized concrete counters I worked on back in December.

You can find sealers in the concrete section of your Home Depot. However, I’ve only ever used Ashby, so I can’t really speak to other sealers on the market.

Follow the mixing and application directions supplied with your sealer.

My sealer goes on white, but dries clear. Here’s the vanity top with the wet sealer applied…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

And here’s what it looks like dry…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Next, mix your grout following the package instructions. You can add a secondary pigment to your grout. I used the same color pigment that I used with the Cement All® mix, but at a higher proportion so that my secondary color remained in the same color family, yet darker.

 

UPDATE YOUR VANITY WITH A SUPER EASY DIY CONCRETE OVERLAY

 

Once your grout mixture is prepared, use a float to spread your grout over the entire surface, making sure to press the grout into any surface divots. Then let the grout completely dry…


QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

When the grout has dried, moisten a sponge and wipe away the top layer of grout leaving behind the grout deposited in the surface divots.

The more you wipe off the grout, the less secondary color that will remain on the surface. So you can choose to wipe away the grout until to you reach a point where you are satisfied with the look.

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Rinse your sponge often when wiping off the grout. Otherwise, you could end up with unwanted streaks that may look like this…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

If you find streaks, simply rinse your sponge really well and go over them with your cleaned, damp sponge.

Here’s what my surface looked like after I cleaned off my desired amount of grout and let the surface dry…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

After your surface is dry, apply another coat of sealer.

Here’s my vanity surface after the second coat of sealer dried…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

After your second coat of sealer dries, if you feel you’ve removed too much grout, you can repeat the last step of applying grout, letting it dry, wiping away the excess, and resealing. The process can be repeated as many times as required to get the look you want.

 

And here’s my brand spanking new DIY concrete overlay vanity makeover!


QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

Cool, huh?

Are you ready for a close up…

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

 

QUICK & EASY CONCRETE COUNTERTOP - Skim Coat Technique Using Rapid Set Cement All

 

pinterest 2

 

 

UPDATE YOUR VANITY WITH A SUPER EASY DIY CONCRETE OVERLAY with Rapid Set Cement All

 

 

 

 

 

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This post linked to some of these totally fabulous blogs and Remodelaholic.

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86 Comments on QUICK & EASY DIY CONCRETE COUNTER OVERLAY VANITY MAKEOVER Using Rapid Set® Cement All®

  1. Theresa @DearCreatives
    May 12, 2015 at 7:06 pm (2 years ago)

    Awesome job! Not sure I’d want it for my house but, I do love the look!

    Reply
  2. Lauren
    May 14, 2015 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

    I love this!!! What a creative (and affordable) way to give your bathroom a face lift – I think I am going to have to try this, how cool

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 15, 2015 at 12:06 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Lauren! It really made a difference for this bathroom and it was so inexpensive!

      Reply
      • Jo miller
        September 23, 2015 at 6:55 pm (2 years ago)

        beautiful!!!! Terrific tutorial…very easy to comprehend. BUT, how long did this project take you?

        Reply
        • Jenise
          September 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm (2 years ago)

          Thank you Jo! I completed the project in one weekend. Each step is pretty quick, but I took my time in between each step.

          Reply
          • Pamela
            November 18, 2015 at 11:28 am (2 years ago)

            Hello Jenise. I am so impressed with what you accomplished with this proyect! I really want to congratulate you and to thank you, because this is just what I was looking for. My Fiancé and I just bought our first house, but its pretty old and the counters in all the bathrooms are deplorably ugly, and I can’t wait to get rid of them, but because we just bought the house we cannot really afford a full blown upgrade, so this is perfect! I just have one question: what color pigment did you use and where can I buy it?

          • Jenise
            November 20, 2015 at 3:00 pm (2 years ago)

            Oh my goodness, you are so sweet, Pamela. Congratulations on your first house. That’s so exciting!!! My cousin just bought her first house about a month ago. It is a head to toe fixer upper and I drove 12 hrs to North Carolina last week to pour some white concrete countertops for her. They turned out gorgeous. She’s still going to polish them so they have that marble-like sheen and I’ll be sharing her kitchen makeover and pour-in-place concrete countertop tutorial on the blog when she’s finished. But, back to your question, the color pigment I used is called Harvest Gold and you can find it HERE. The website sells it in contractor size buckets, but if you send them an email they can probably sell you a smaller amount. To get the two colors, I just added more of the pigment to get the darker color. A tiny bit goes a really long way. Hope that helps and please let me know if I can answer anything else for you. :-)

  3. Jann Olson
    May 15, 2015 at 10:24 am (2 years ago)

    This is such a wonderful makeover! I love the rustic look of the concrete. We have granite in all our bathrooms, but this is such a great way to update old countertops! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 15, 2015 at 12:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Jann! That’s so nice of you to say! Yes, it’s way better than laminate!

      Reply
  4. Lanie
    May 15, 2015 at 11:16 am (2 years ago)

    Seriously considering this! Would removal of the sink/faucet be advisable?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 15, 2015 at 12:15 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Lauren! It definitely couldn’t hurt to remove the sink and it might help make it easier to get an even surface if you do remove the sink. Honestly, though, the only reason I didn’t bother to do it was because I didn’t feel like getting under the sink and unhooking everything. :-)

      Reply
  5. Gwen
    May 17, 2015 at 7:00 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi Jenice! AWESOME tutorial! I’m ALL inspired to tackle a large vanity top in my bathroom. Question: it appears that you removed the side strips of laminate from the countertop and maybe prepped the surface with scoring…can you tell us more about that? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 17, 2015 at 7:40 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Gwen! I actually did not remove the side strips, but I did score it really well with the utility knife. I hadn’t thought of removing the sides, but now that you mention it, I’m thinking that that’s a pretty brilliant idea! Getting the concrete to stick to the sides was a little tricky, but I think having that really rough surface with the laminate removed will make it a million times easier. If you can, I’d also now suggest removing the top laminate surface. You are brilliant, girl! Why didn’t I think of this??? And definitely, definitely make sure to use the additives, especially the Set Control. Rapid Set sets really fast without the Set Control. The more you add, the longer you’ll have to work with the concrete.

      Reply
  6. Christine
    May 19, 2015 at 8:13 am (2 years ago)

    What a FUN project!! The counter top is great!

    Reply
  7. Handyman, Crafty Woman
    May 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Congratulations! You’ve been featured on Wicked Awesome Wednesday! Thanks for taking the time to share your concrete counter overlay tutorial. Feel free to stop by the website to pick up your “I’ve Been Featured!” button.

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 21, 2015 at 6:23 pm (2 years ago)

      Woohoo! Thank you so much for featuring! This is so exciting!!!

      Reply
  8. Tina Tejeda
    May 21, 2015 at 1:02 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi. I’m thinking about doing this on kitchen counters, which have tile on them. Anything I should do differently? Or should I take off all the tile and just apply to the plywood base? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Tina,
      Yes, you should remove the tiles and apply to the plywood base. Tiles are too smooth for the concrete to adhere to. But it’ll do great on the plywood.
      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  9. Linda
    May 21, 2015 at 6:07 pm (2 years ago)

    I love this idea and you did a great job !
    How do you think this would hold up on kitchen counters.

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 21, 2015 at 6:20 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Linda,
      Yes, I think it would absolutely hold up on kitchen counters. This stuff is pretty indestructible!

      Reply
      • Linda
        May 21, 2015 at 6:45 pm (2 years ago)

        Thanks for responding so quickly Jenise. I’m really excited about trying this.

        Reply
        • Jenise
          May 24, 2015 at 3:15 pm (2 years ago)

          You are so welcome! Let me know if you have any more questions. And if you do it, please post a pic on my Facebook page. I’d love to see the result and share it with my readers!

          Reply
          • Wendy
            June 1, 2015 at 9:26 am (2 years ago)

            I have made countertops with product from Granicrete. I put it on a thin sheet of cement backer board, the kind you use below floor tiles. I topped some of them with two part epoxy resin for a very smooth finish.

          • Jenise
            June 3, 2015 at 9:54 pm (2 years ago)

            Wow Wendy! That sounds like a great idea! If you get a chance, I’d LOVE for you to email me a picture to check it out! ([email protected])

  10. kristy
    May 23, 2015 at 3:23 pm (2 years ago)

    Have any color suggestions for a mohahany color cabinet? Also did you use the harvest gold in the grout mixture toi?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Kristy,
      Yes, I used the harvest gold to color the grout, only I used a much larger proportion of it to give the grout a deeper, darker color.
      As far as the mohogany cabinets, I googled some ideas here: http://bit.ly/1Asm0Jg. But I think a combination of a deep charcoal color for the base and grout with some red in it would look pretty cool.

      Reply
  11. C'dar
    May 27, 2015 at 3:30 am (2 years ago)

    I’m going to be moving to a house in July that needs to see the kitchen completely made over. I was wondering if I could put concrete over plank (wooden) counter tops like you did over this laminate? Would I follow the same instructions as far as the sand and scoring the wood before applying everything?
    Or should I just buy cheap laminate to put on the wood and then do this?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 30, 2015 at 1:04 am (2 years ago)

      Hi C’dar,
      Yes, you can absolutely apply concrete over plank wood. Not need to purchase laminate. Just make sure you roughen up the surface well and you’ll be good to go!

      Reply
      • Pat
        May 31, 2015 at 11:42 am (2 years ago)

        Just read that feather concrete cracked at joints of plywood underlay after a few months, not sure if that would happen with this application over plank wood or not. But, you may want to research in advance.

        Reply
        • Jenise
          June 3, 2015 at 9:56 pm (2 years ago)

          Thanks Pat. That’s good to know. I wonder if that would be dependent on the thickness of the wood, meaning that thinner wood would have more flex and therefore more likely to crack.

          Reply
  12. Anna
    May 31, 2015 at 9:13 am (2 years ago)

    Love this idea and am thinking about trying on my “lovely” teal colored bathroom vanity. It is a double sink vanity, so fairly large, and I’m wondering how much time the additives provide to work on the counter. Should I do it in two batches?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      June 3, 2015 at 10:03 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Anna, According to the product website (http://www.ctscement.com/rapid-set-set-control/), “At moderate 70° degree temperatures, 1 packet per 55 to 60 lb. bag of Rapid Set product will give you an additional 20 minutes working time. Add up to 4 packets per bag or as little as your application requires.” I only used about a teaspoon for around 2 quarts of the Cement All and it gave me enough time. I imagine you can do it in two batches, but my concern would be you might get what looks like a seam where the two batches meet. So instead of doing two batches, perhaps you can get a second person to work with you to apply a single batch.

      Reply
  13. Molly
    June 16, 2015 at 10:43 am (2 years ago)

    Excellent tute! I think maybe this novice could handle it! I have a couple of questions. What does the texture feel like? Is it smooth or rough to the touch? Also, how long does it tske for each step, for drying, the sealer, grout? Oh yeah ,one more , how do you calculate the amount of cement product you’ll need?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      June 24, 2015 at 2:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Molly, Sorry for the delayed response. The texture feels smooth to the touch however it is not a perfectly smooth surface. It feels smooth because the sealer gives it a smooth feel. But if you want a perfectly level, smooth surface then you can the little hand grinder to sand it down to smooth. As far a time, it took me about 20-30 minutes to lay the first coat, then I waited about 2 hours to dry (unlike other concrete, Rapid Set dries really quickly so no need to wait over night). I gave the first coat of sealer 4 hours to dry. The grout I let dry overnight. The next coat of sealer another 4 hours. As far as how to calculate the correct amount, since I’ve used the product many times before, I actually eyeballed it. But there is a link on the Rapid Set website that will help calculate the correct volume. I’ll take a look to see if I can find the link for you and let you know. Thanks!

      Reply
  14. Vicki
    June 19, 2015 at 2:26 pm (2 years ago)

    I LOVE IT! I have seen a similar look on bathroom floors. Has anyone tried something like this on floors? Anyone know if the process would be the same and if the product used here would be sturdy enough for floors?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      June 24, 2015 at 2:42 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much Vicki! The concrete overlay can definitely be used on floors. If you check out the Rapid Set website at http://www.ctscement.com, there’s an image on the homepage of a concrete floor overlay that they did at Nordstrom Rack. However, the used a concrete product called Tru Self Leveling, which will do exactly what it says, self level. The self leveling product will be easier to use for floors. Check it out.

      Reply
  15. Sunne Gambrell
    July 9, 2015 at 11:22 pm (2 years ago)

    This looks way cool Jenise. I want to try! How do you think it would hold up applied to the sink also. My bathroom counter is all one piece. Do you think placing objects in the cement would work? Like small river rock? Thank you for any suggestions!

    Reply
    • Jenise
      July 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Sunne, You’ll need to be able to roughen up the surface of the sink so that the concrete can adhere. If you can do that then it should work great.
      It’s definitely possible to place inlay items in the concrete, but if you’re going to use river rock then you’ll probably need to use a thicker overlay than I did.

      Reply
    • Julia Kerr
      November 17, 2015 at 5:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey Sunne, did you end up doing this? I’m curious to see how it worked in the sink, as that’s how my layout is but I really want to do this!

      Reply
  16. Angie
    July 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Love this idea!! I also love that you don’t have to do all the sanding required with some brands, which was making me hesitate. Do you have to do the grout step or could you just seal it if you liked the look? Thanks for the great ideas.

    Reply
    • Jenise
      July 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Angie! No, you don’t have to do the grout step. I actually really liked the way it looked before grouting, but my brother really wanted me to grout it so I did. So I love it this way too. :-)

      Reply
      • Tasha
        September 5, 2015 at 10:37 pm (2 years ago)

        I’m not sure what the purpose of the grout is? The counter does look beautiful!

        Reply
        • Jenise
          September 16, 2015 at 2:50 am (2 years ago)

          Thank you Tasha! The grout gives the surface a secondary color by filling in the small divots that I left on the surface.

          Reply
  17. Carol
    August 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm (2 years ago)

    Tacking strips on the bottom lip of the counter would make it easier to add the concrete to the counter edges to make them even and square. The strips would be removed after the overlay set and all the concrete corners could be sanded smooth.

    Reply
    • Jenise
      September 23, 2015 at 8:24 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s a great idea Carol! Thank you!

      Reply
  18. Dana
    September 16, 2015 at 8:59 am (2 years ago)

    This was probably one of the best, and most realistic, tutorials I’ve seen. I’ve been looking for ways to update without breaking the bank. I think I might try it on a counter top in our 80’s wet-bar area, but color it black. Thanks!! :)

    Reply
    • Jenise
      September 21, 2015 at 7:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much Dana! That’s so nice of you to say! You can definitely do the overlay in black too. Just use black pigment instead of the color I used. :-)

      Reply
  19. Deb. A.
    September 18, 2015 at 10:01 pm (2 years ago)

    This is FABULOUS! I had the idea to do this in my kitchen but have been hesitant because I was unsure of what exact materials to use. Discovered your tutorial on Pinterest and it looks AWESOME! Now I’m going to pin it and go buy the materials to do it myself. YOU ROCK!!

    Reply
    • Jenise
      September 21, 2015 at 7:02 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks so much Deb! I’d love for you to forward on a picture once you’re done!!!

      Reply
  20. Robyn
    October 15, 2015 at 3:34 am (2 years ago)

    So… how is it holding up? I am having trouble finding the sealer you used. the only place I can find it is $125 for a fairly large amount. I live in a small town and they do not seem to have it at Home Depot or ACE. Also, are you worried that the grout may not be able to adhere to the glossy sealer and may in time flake or chip off? I too am planning to use this in a 1926 kitchen, not bath. By the time I subtract for the double sink, I only need to cover about 11 square feet of 80 year old laminate that no longer has ANY finish to it and stains horribly! They do not make make it easy to guess coverage. Do you think a 25lb bag would be enough? Sorry for all the questions, but this looks really great and cheap for a quick-fix! (I am hoping for a terracotta type look when done!)

    Reply
    • Jenise
      October 20, 2015 at 7:31 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Robyn,
      The countertop is holding up perfectly, not a dent or scratch on it. I am not worried about the grout not adhering to the sealer. It is the same grout and sealer that I used on another concrete countertop project (http://diyfunideas.com/make-concrete-counters-like-pros-tutorial-ashby-system-part-1-intro-templating/) and the manufacturer specifically made them to be able to work together in exactly that manner. As far as the large amount indicated in the order, I recommend going to the contact form on the website (http://countertopsolutions.net/wp/contact/) and request if you can purchase a smaller amount (give them your measurements) and tell them that you saw a tutorial on my tutorial and wanted to use their product. Gerry, the owner, is such a nice guy. I’d be very surprised if he didn’t accommodate you. As far as the volume of concrete, 11 sqft at 1/4″ height is .229 cubic feet. The 55lb bag of Rapid Set covers .5 cubic feet. So the 25lb bag will cover .227 sqft. So that means with the 25lb bag you’ll be right on the edge with no room for waste.

      Reply
  21. Becky
    November 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Hi there..very cool idea!! I’d like to do my kitchen island countertop using this process. However, I think I’d like to do the opposite..dark concrete then a lighter shade, beige maybe for the grout..any thoughts?? I’m assuming to do a dark brown as the concrete base, I’d have to use quite a bit of color tint. Do you find that the powder works best or are there other options??

    Reply
    • Jenise
      November 9, 2015 at 10:32 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Becky. There are pigments available in liquid form. I haven’t used any of those, so I can’t really give you any feedback on it. But I’m sure either powder or liquid will work well. If you use powder, just make sure to mix it with the water before adding the Rapid Set. This will ensure that the color is evenly distributed. As far as how much you use, you’ll be surprised how a little will go a long way.

      Reply
  22. debra
    November 9, 2015 at 10:17 am (2 years ago)

    Can I find this product in stores.? It does look fantastic.

    Reply
    • Jenise
      November 9, 2015 at 10:25 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Debra, Thanks so much! Yes, you can purchase Rapid Set Cement All at Home Depot.

      Reply
  23. Pam Barker
    November 11, 2015 at 9:38 am (2 years ago)

    As another option to coloring your project, could you have just not used the pigment and grout, and instead, have done concrete staining befor sealing?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      November 14, 2015 at 11:31 am (2 years ago)

      Absolutely Pam. I have not yet worked with concrete stains, but it’s something I’d like to give a try and it’s definitely an option for this project.

      Reply
  24. Darcy DeBlanc
    March 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm (2 years ago)

    I was about ready to pull up my laminate in my kitchen and replace it with quartz but after seeing this, I am so ready to do this. I have always wanted concrete countertops. I do not like granite counter tops, everyone has them and they hold water spots if you have hard water. There is nothing unique about granite. Granite is quickly becoming like laminate, everywhere! Thank you for this. Love it.

    Reply
  25. LaineyH
    April 2, 2016 at 7:29 pm (1 year ago)

    Id like to do a bathroom countertop with the colors of the wallpaper. I’m not concerned about the three major colors, but want to ask about metallics. Can I sneak in some gold? Is it available for concrete coloring?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 29, 2016 at 12:25 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Lainey, Here is a link to some gold concrete pigments: http://amzn.to/25tlFF9
      I haven’t tried using metallics so I recommend mixing up a small batch first, let it dry and seal it to ensure you like the result. It’s important that you do seal it to see the true color. The unsealed concrete will look very different from the sealed final product.

      Reply
  26. cody
    May 13, 2016 at 1:54 am (1 year ago)

    I am interested on trying this over my kitchen countertops but they are tile. if i sand them, would it adhere to tile?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 27, 2016 at 4:26 pm (1 year ago)

      I haven’t tried this over tile so I can’t say for sure, but my assumption is if you can roughen up the surface enough then it should adhere.

      Reply
  27. AP
    May 17, 2016 at 11:20 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi Janise, thanks for the tutorial. I am reading “concrete” and “cement” used interchangeably. Cement contains hardening agent. Mortar is cement + sand. Concrete is cement+ aggregates+sand.
    Why do you use cement and not mortar which helps with adhesion? Would you actually use concrete since there are larger pieces of aggregates.
    This sounds like a much shorter route than multiple layering with the feather products.

    Reply
    • Jenise
      May 29, 2016 at 12:07 am (1 year ago)

      Hi AP, My apologies if I’ve confused anyone. I used Rapid Set Cement All and that product is actually a concrete product, only the aggregate is very small. Before using Rapid Set I emailed their customer service and asked which product would be appropriate for this project and they recommended using their Rapid Set Cement All rather than their mortar, so I went with their recommendation.

      Reply
  28. Sue
    June 13, 2016 at 6:07 am (1 year ago)

    Hi Jenise,

    Your tutorial was very inspiring. Thank you for leaving such detailed instructions.

    Do you think this could be used for a crappy bath? Would you be game to give it a try or does your experience tell you it would be a disaster?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      June 28, 2016 at 7:22 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Sue, I think I would be hesitant to try this on a tub. It may be a challenge getting it to adhere to the smooth sides of the tub.

      Reply
  29. Lia
    June 16, 2016 at 6:35 pm (1 year ago)

    Where can this Ashby Super Seal be purchased?? Can’t find on Amazon, Ebay, HD, Lowes, etc.. Thanks!

    Reply
  30. Vince
    June 23, 2016 at 1:40 pm (1 year ago)

    How well would this stick to a vertical surface? Im thinking about redoing my fireplace using this, and would cover it in backer board first. Do you think it would stick to this? Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Jenise
      June 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Vince, I would imagine that it would work since it should stick pretty well to a concrete backer board like Duroc. But I haven’t done a large vertical surface so I can’t say for sure. What I would suggest is to buy a sheet of the Duroc (only costs around $10) and leaning up against the wall, try spreading the Rapid Set on. Trying it out on a test piece is the only way to know for sure.

      Reply
  31. miguel
    June 23, 2016 at 11:31 pm (1 year ago)

    wow cool so can you do this over marble? I already did a thinset concrete ovrlay in my other bathroom and I like it but this could be a good one to do in my other bathroom although I would like them to match but just wondered if it would work on marble?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      June 28, 2016 at 7:12 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Miguel, It should work on the marble if you can get the marble scratched up enough to give the concrete something to adhere to.

      Reply
  32. Jhoell
    June 24, 2016 at 10:58 pm (1 year ago)

    Wow, that’s great! Very creative and I think it is inexpensive as well. Good job!

    Jhoell

    Reply
  33. Lynn
    September 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm (1 year ago)

    how thick is the surface cement? what keeps it from cracking?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      October 4, 2016 at 1:06 am (12 months ago)

      The surface is no more than a 1/4″ thick. It doesn’t crack because of the kind of concrete I used. Cement All is a concrete made with hydraulic cement which gives it specific properties that makes it 3x stronger than traditional concrete and also gives it superior adhesion.

      Reply
  34. Brianna
    November 16, 2016 at 2:17 pm (10 months ago)

    Hi! Thank you for having such a great tutorial! It has definitely helped me plan my kitchen countertop renovation.
    Do you think the Rapid Set Tru Self-levening would work just as well? I’m just a little apprehensive using the Cement All, since I have so much countertop to cover. Thank you in advance :)

    Reply
    • Jenise
      November 16, 2016 at 3:22 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks so much Brianna. I haven’t used the self leveling product, so I can’t say for sure, but I imagine it would be fine. According to the data sheet, it has 30 minutes of working time, but you can also increase the working time of any Rapid Set product by by adding multiple packets of Set Control. According to the website, each packet of Set Control will add 15-30 minutes of working time to a 50-70 lb bag of Rapid Set. You can read more about that HERE. The Tru Leveling data sheet (HERE) also recommends using a primer with it. So keep that in mind. I would suggest doing a small sample first. Perhaps pick up a small laminate top sample at Home Depot to do test. It shouldn’t be too expensive. I don’t suggest using plywood for a test because the wood will absorb water from the mix, so you won’t get an accurate result. Also, by doing a test first you’ll be able to get the feel for using the product. Alternatively, you can call the Rapid Set help line at 800-929-3030 or email them at [email protected]. I’ve emailed them before and received a prompt response. Hope that helps! Also, I’d love to hear how it turns out!

      Reply
      • Brianna
        November 18, 2016 at 9:35 am (10 months ago)

        Thank you for all of the helpful information! I will definitely let you know how it turns out!

        Reply
  35. Travis
    November 18, 2016 at 10:47 am (10 months ago)

    Thanks for the great tutorial. I tried this last night over my old laminate countertop. I used the flow control and set control and kept it watered for an hour after I applied as per the instructions on the bag. I woke up this morning to the whole thing curled up in big broken sheets on concrete! It did not adhere to the laminate AT ALL. Any suggestions or ideas why this happened? I also had a couple of plywood patches that were done and it didn’t stick to those either. Is it possible that a primer should be used first or that I mixed it to dry maybe?

    Reply
    • Jenise
      November 18, 2016 at 12:16 pm (10 months ago)

      Travis, You’ve left me stumped. Did you use Cement All? Did you sand and score the surface? Did you add too much water to your mix? The more water you add, the more you reduce the strength of the concrete. I’m not surprised though that it didn’t stick to the plywood. Plywood will absorb water from the mix so it won’t cure properly.
      You can try a primer. It can only help. But I’ve never used a concrete primer so I can’t make any recommendations on its use.

      Reply
      • Travis
        November 18, 2016 at 12:52 pm (10 months ago)

        I sanded with 60 grit and scored it. The plywood was primed with bullseye 123 to keep the wood from absorbing water. The concrete itself seemed strong, just no bond. I think I went to dry because I was worried about not being able to pack it on the edges if it was to wet. I’ll try a primer and a slightly wetter mix and see how that goes.

        Reply
  36. bodynsoil
    March 7, 2017 at 7:28 am (7 months ago)

    I love this project and need to try it for myself. I’m creating a collection of cement based projects on a post I’m doing, this one included..

    Reply
  37. Linda
    April 5, 2017 at 7:22 am (6 months ago)

    I just read your article because I’m learning about DIY concrete countertops. In one of the questions, someone asked you the color of the pigment you were using and you said Harvest Gold. I wanted to answer there, but there was no Reply link for that comment. I HAD to tell you, the reason I really want to get rid of these old countertops is because they are HARVEST GOLD! They were done in the 70’s when Harvest Gold was the ‘hot’ color. Plus they are laminate that looks like leather that was so popular! The cycle repeats itself.

    Reply

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