Finishing Concrete Countertops

Finishing concrete countertops can be tricky, especially if you have no experience with concrete. There are countless ways to finish countertops, but for this we will use a basic method for a smooth finish that will be ready for acid staining.

Use a steel finishing trowel to smooth out the surface. But how do know when it's too wet to finish? When the concrete is wet, a trowel will leave dimples and stroke marks behind. The harder it gets the less this will occur. Finish the surface until it no longer happens. Rerun the edging tool a few times as you're finishing to maintain a smooth rounded edge.

countertop finishing

Before the concrete gets too hard, take the screws out of the face board and gently tap it loose to take it off. Use the same trowel to finish the face. If there are holes or voids, scrape some cream (cement) off the top using the toe of the trowel and fill them in.

concrete countertop finishing

A small paint brush can help finish inside those tight corners.

finishing concrete countertops

After the top and face are done, make sure the rounded front edge is as smooth as you can get it. To do this, take a small piece of plastic, dip it in water, curl it over the front edge, and drag it back and forth a few times.

finish concrete countertop

The last step is to sand the entire surface the next day. Not only does it make the surface smoother, but also opens it up for better acceptance of concrete stains resulting in richer colors. Use a fine grit sandpaper (150 or 180) and rub the surface by hand. Eliminate any trowel or edger marks left. Clean off all the dust in preparation for staining.

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