I know I owe you guys an update on the bar. I was hoping to be able to provide you a completely finished bar at this point, but nope. We are expert procrastinators! I am going to show you what we have completed to date…it’s so close guys…but it’s not the finished product. So I’ll be back with one more bar post, the BIG REVEAL. Today’s post will walk you through the steps we took to create the concrete countertop. Which I guess in the grand scheme of things, this will be a rather lengthy post in and of itself. Here is our step by step tutorial on creating a concrete countertop.
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How to Make a Concrete Countertop
If you are new or need a refresher, we’ve spent the last several weeks antiquing the tin for the bar surround and building the frame. Now it is time to give the bar a countertop. I’ve been itching for what seems like forever to create a concrete countertop. I felt it only fitting to do that in this room. The light grey is a nice tone to go with the dark moodiness of this space.
Concrete countertops are a little tricky, but with some planning and time, it’s an easy project. It took us a full day to frame the bar including the sink cut-out and pour the concrete. Then we let that cure for 5 days. I would give this project a solid week from start to finish. Here is the process we used to create our countertop.
Supplies needed to Pour a Concrete Countertop
1 | Build a Mold
The tricky part of the concrete countertop was building a mold. If you recall when we built the bar frame, we used standard OSB for the countertop foundation. Since bars overhang, we would need to create this effect with our concrete. To create the mold for the bar overhang, we ripped down strips of OSB and MDF boards. Honestly, you could use standard lumber for this part, but OSB was a lot cheaper and we had a table saw on hand. If you don’t have a table saw, a 1×4 would work just as well.
We used the OSB for the bottom and MSD for the sides since it has a much smoother finish and wouldn’t stamp the finished concrete. We created an L and then screwed this in beneath the countertop. Then, we took a 1″ piece of MSD and used it as a guide to give us an even overhang once the concrete is poured.
2 | Don’t Forget Any Cutouts
Since we are installing a sink, we had to create a cutout for the sink. We went ahead and cut out the OSB foundation for the sink as was directed. We are using this bar sink from Ikea. Next, we had to figure out what to use for the mold, since the sink isn’t a standard square this part stumped us. Luckily, we had some thin underlayment on hand so we cut a strip off and bent it around the curved edges for our sink mold.
3 | Pour the Concrete
That was a lot of work to get to the actual pouring of the concrete. But we were finally ready for the fun and scary part. Lay out your rebar where the concrete will go. This is an important step, although I can’t tell you exactly why. 😂 We grabbed a large plastic bucket to mix our concrete in and concrete mixer that just attaches to a drill to mix the concrete. Then we just poured the concrete and spread it out with a large putty knife. Chris mixed and poured the concrete by the bag. He had to work quickly to keep the poured concrete from setting before we added the next batch. Once it was poured it was just a waiting game.
4 | Removing the Molds
After three days, we went out and removed the molds from the concrete countertop. This is where we currently are. The edges are rough and the top isn’t smooth. Next, we will take an orbital sander and just work it down until it’s a smooth surface and edge. I’ll work with 100 grit paper first and then work down to a finer grit to smooth it all out.
Once that’s done, we will add a sealant to give it a nice glossy look. That will finish up this concrete countertop project and I’ll be back with more reveal shots. Once we finish the bar we are so close to being finished. I’ll need to seal the concrete floors and install the barn doors in the closet. After that, it’s just a few touch-up jobs and the inside of The Barn will be complete!
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