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Concrete table reno

Andadams
Junior Contributor

Concrete table reno

I have finally finished my latest DIY project, which unfortunately took me over 6weeks from start to finish. But now that my table reno is completed, I’m pretty proud to share the outcome.

 

I bought a 4+ seater Freedom table and bench seat combo off Gumtree. It was the perfect shape/size that we needed, just didn’t match in with the other decor. It was a dark brown laminate, which had seen better days, chipped and scuffed from the previous owner.

 

I sanded back the laminate on the chairs and table to see what was underneath. It’s a pretty heavy unit so I was hoping it was something decent. The legs of both the table and chairs were a nice timber, the tops of the chairs and table were a thick chipboard. Which would still work well for what I needed.

 

I had done (what I thought) was a fair amount of research on concrete tables. I didn’t want to create a solid concrete slab just cover the existing table top. But the concrete was a bit of trial and error. First time it didn’t work, even after the back braking hours I spent smoothing, it just wouldn’t stick to the timber when dried. After extensive further research, I found the right cement to use and also a high grade clear/matte concrete sealer, and presto results! Process was time consuming and did end up costing more than expected, but hell of a lot cheaper than buying this new from a store. Now we can eat at our table again.

 

I lacquer the table legs in a nice natural stain and sprayed the chairs completely with a Black Satin for contrast.

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aly
Super Contributor

Re: Concrete Table Reno

This looks fantastic, absolutely love the concrete look!
Community Manager Jason
Community Manager

Re: Concrete Table Reno

Well done @Andadams, many thanks for sharing.

 

Jason

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aly
Super Contributor

Re: Concrete Table Reno

Any plans to do up the bench seats as well? Perhaps give them a concrete look too?
Andy_Mann
Trusted Contributor

Re: Concrete Table Reno

@Andadams, I gave your work a like a week ago, & now I have a question.

What was the cement, that worked for you?

Andadams
Junior Contributor

Re: Concrete Table Reno

Hey Aly,

 

I'm going to leave the seats the solid satin black for contrast. The black also helps tie in with other furniture and accessories in the lounge room. Maybe if it was an outdoor settling I'll look into matching the seats.

 

 

Andadams
Junior Contributor

Re: Concrete Table Reno

I used something called Ardex Feather Finish. I picked it up from Carpet Court. Best to call around first to confirm they have stock available or if they need to order it in.

 

Would be more than happy to share my full journey/ learnings if you're interested.

 

 

Andy_Mann
Trusted Contributor

Re: Concrete Table Reno

@Andadams, fantastic mate, I hadn't heard of that product, & definitely wouldn't have clicked to look for something like that in a carpet place.

 

"Would be more than happy to share my full journey/ learnings if you're interested."

 

Sure am, the finish you got looks amazing, so I'll be learning from a master, one who's learnt through hard earned experience, & been honest about it.

 

By the way, I like that you stained the chairs black, they tend to disappear & highlight the table. It'd add a fair bit of weight to them too I'd imagine.

Andadams
Junior Contributor

Re: Concrete Table Reno

@Andy_Mann No dramas at all, I've just sent you a message with the full honest DIY. Any advise in between just shout!

 

Andadams
Junior Contributor

An Honest DIY Concrete Table

As there seems to be a fair amount of interest on how I did my table, thought I'd post my learnings and process. Sorry in advance for the long post!

 

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Desired Finish:

I wanted a table that was still a bit rustic, not polished shinny concrete, so it would still have a matte finish. If you want a gloss finish you’ll need to spend the time to polish the concrete (hell of a lot of sanding with fine grade grit sandpaper) and will need to look into a gloss finish sealer).

 

Products:

Other than the cement and sealer you can pick everything else up from Bunnings. Unfortunately normal cement just won’t stick to timber as when the timber expands and retracts with temperature the dried concrete will crack away (learnt the hardway!). With the Ardex Feather Finish (the cement/mortar), give your local Carpet Court a call to confirm they have the product in stock or if they can order it in. The Aqua Mix sealer I used is on the expensive side, but after reading many reviews and people struggling to manage their concrete tables from stains, it was a worth while purchase to find something that is heavy duty. So you don't to be that person that yells at yours guests for putting icecold drinks direclty down on the table for fear of rings!

 

ITEMS

  

METHOD

  1. Prepare the table surface. To ensure the cement has something to grip to you need to ensure that the surface has been ruffed up and gloss lacquers etc are removed. I used a course 60-80 grit sandpaper. Remember to also sand the edges of the table.
  2. Remove any legs of the table if you can, or cover them well.
  3. Dust off the table and wipe down with a damp cloth. Surface needs to be completely clean before applying the cement mixture.
  4. Make sure you wear gloves! In a bucket, mix-up up your concrete mixture with your hand spade slowly adding water until your happy with the consistency. (I’d recommend using disposable buckets, unless you happy to clean in between each coat). The consistency of the cement should be like icing sugar, easy and smooth to work with but not very liquidy that it will slide of the edges. Also only do small amounts at a time (e.g. enough to do the top and then mix again for the sides). This stuff can dry really quickly in thin layers, so just work with the amount you’re comfortable with.
  5. Ensure you’ve mixed the cement well and there is no powder left. Add in a good dash of Bond Crete. Mix well again (You’ll only need to add the Bond Crete in the first layer, this is just like a glue to help the concrete bond to the wood).
  6. With your hand trowel dollop a fair amount of mixture directly onto your table top, with the trowel smooth and thin it over the surface. This stuff should glide over really easily, it’s almost therapeutic. The thinner the layers the better, you’ll have more control if you keep them thin and smooth. Work your way around the table, making more mixture if needed.
  7. In terms of directions of the trowel, depends on the texture you’re after. I wanted something imperfect, so it applied the mixture in half circles.
  8. For the sides, I would put a dollop of mixture directly on the trowel and would then run it along the sides, then smooth out. Try to smooth out as much bumps, lumps and wipe off any excess. But if you do end up having dry lumps, don’t worry too much as you can always sand it off when it dries.
  9. Let each layer dry overnight before the next. You will find you will still see the table in patches after the 1st and 2nd coat, but don’t stress you’ll need to repeat the process for around 3 or 4 coats (depending on your coverage).
  10. Depending on how smooth your layers have been you can either go directly over the top with another coat, or lightly sand in between. It does become harder to smooth if the dried concrete layer before is bumpy. But if you do sand in between, I cannot stress enough to make sure you’ve dusted the table well. Any loose grit will end up getting dragged through your next layer leaving lines.
  11. Once you’re happy with the amount of layers, give it a day or two to completely dry before the final sanding.
  12. If you are looking to sand this down until you achieve a polish concrete look, then I’d recommend you do min of 5 layers. I was only going to do 3 layers, then I had a spill and dribbled water on a corner. Water will stain your table until it is sealed! So I had to do a 4th layer to cover, and then I sanded it back with 120 grit sandpaper with the electric hand sander. I still wanted to have some texture to the table, so it was still smooth but still showed some definition.
  13. Once you’ve achieve the sanding results you are after, time to seal it. Now I used a small soft foam roller to apply the sealer, I ended up having streaks where the roller was. Very faint, but I can still see them. So I’d recommend you use a soft cloth and apply the sealer in circular motions. Make sure you wear gloves as this chemical can react with your skin. Again only do thin layers, the thicker you apply the more is may leave streaks.
  14. Leave each layers 30min to dry in between. I had applied 4 coats of sealer in total, and you do start to notice layer by layer that it’s not absorbing as well – which means it’s working. Make sure if there is any sealer that just sits on top and not absorbed after 3-5mins is wiped away with a cloth. After the last layer leave it to dry before use. Instructions say within 2hrs hours of the last coat it can be used, but I left it for a day just to be sure.

 

Cleaning and maintenance: You won’t be able use regular surface cleaners as they may mess with the sealer. Best to just dust off the surface, and if you spill wipe it up straight away. I did also invest in an Aqua Mix Cement Cleaner & Resealer – since this is a dining table, which will come in contact with food, grease and everyday messes. So this spray will clean the surface and also adds a top up of the sealer.

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