How to Apply a Faux-Concrete Countertop Finish

Add a concrete sheen to any countertop with our easy how-to tutorial. We'll show you how to create a finish that rivals the weight (and the price tag) of real concrete.

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Concrete countertops are popular—they're durable, versatile and easy to clean, and they give off a chic industrial vibe. But oftentimes they have to be custom built for the home—meaning costs climb fast. Luckily, there's an easy DIY solution: a faux-concrete finish. A basic MDF countertop receives a facelift with the help of a gray feather finish, sandpaper, and sealer, and we'll show you how to get the look in your own home.  

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What You Need

  • Plastic drop cloth
  • MDF countertop
  • Primer
  • Safety glasses and face mask
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Ardex Feather Finish in gray, 10 pounds
  • Electric drill and mixing attachment
  • Putty knife
  • Plastic scraper
  • Electric sander or sanding block, 60- and 220-grit sandpaper
  • Damp cloth or wet/dry vac
  • Sealer (we used Buddy Rhodes Satin Concrete Sealer)

Before You Begin: Prep and Prime

Assemble your materials. Protect work surface and surrounding areas with plastic drop cloths. Prime MDF countertop and let dry.

Step 1: Mix Finish

Wearing safety glasses and a face mask, mix Feather Finish with water to desired consistency, following package instructions. We mixed ours in a 5-gallon bucket using an electric drill and mixing attachment until it reached the consistency of toothpaste.

Step 2: Coat the Counter

Using a putty knife, spread a thin layer of mixture over the primed MDF. Coat the top and all sides, spreading smooth. Use a plastic scraper to knock off the texture and smooth the surface further. Let dry 20 minutes, then smooth the edges with a damp finger. Let dry.

Step 3: Sand the Surface

Sand the surface using 60-grit sandpaper. Wipe with a damp cloth or clean with a wet/dry vac. 

Step 4: Repeat

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 four times. On the fourth sanding, use 220-grit sandpaper to sand the surface.

Step 5: Seal It Up

Apply five coats of satin concrete sealer using a clean cloth and following manufacturer's instructions. Let dry.

More DIY Concrete Projects

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