written by Melissa Dalton
Concrete veneer countertops are a great addition to any kitchen. It acts as a modern accent on the kitchen counters in the Portland Foursquare and also adds an industrial element to the Tumalo barn. If you’re looking to spruce up your own kitchen countertops and want to bring concrete into the mix, consider concrete veneer. Whereas pouring and forming concrete counters is much more time-intensive, applying concrete veneer over existing surfaces, like laminate or tile, is a temporary upgrade that can be done over a few days. Here are the basic steps:
1. CHOOSE THE PRODUCT
Ardex Feather Finish (available on Amazon) is a popular choice among industrious bloggers who have done this project. There’s also SkimStone, a hybridized cement coating available in store and online at the Portland-based specialty finishes shop Brush & Trowel. Be sure to read all manufacturer instructions before applying any product.
2. PREP THE COUNTER
Surface prep will depend on the substrate being covered and the product used. For instance, SkimStone recommends applying a base coat of its Bonding Primer over existing counters to give the veneer purchase. Other products might require the surface be sanded first. Make sure the substrate is clean of dust and grease before moving on.
3. TROWEL ON
Spread a thin layer of concrete veneer over the countertop with a trowel, making sure to hold it at a consistent angle and use steady pressure. Allow the coat to dry completely and sand gently between layers. Sanding creates a lot of dust, so wear safety glasses and a mask. Depending on the product and the look you’re after, the process typically requires several rounds of application.
4. ADD SEALER
Choose a food-safe sealer for kitchens and test before using to see if it changes the color of the concrete. Follow manufacturer instructions, which will typically include applying several coats with a brush or roller, so the sealer fully penetrates and covers the concrete coating. Be sure to let the countertop cure before heavy use.