Nov 23

Counter Project

We have grown weary of the tile counters that came with the house. The grout lines are a major hassle and the tiles are chipped and scratched. We want the granite back that we had installed in the last house, but we don’t want to pay for it. What’s a guy to do?

Concrete! I’ve been playing with mixes and additives, and I’ve settled on a mix:
1 part play sand
1 part all purpose sand
1 part Portland cement.
To that, I add water, LiquidZ+ and a black pigment from Blue Concrete. My goal is to hand pack the forms, and then we’ll use a slurry that is just plain Portland cement and acrylic additive. I’ve got a test brick that I’ve ground to 3000 grit, and it turned out pretty nice:

It will darken once it is sealed, and it has a nice gloss that you can’t see from the photo. It also needs another coat of slurry, but it’s just a test brick…

I had to put together a mobile work bench for this – it’s amazing what four 2×4’s and some cheap castors will do:


This is where the molds will rest while the concrete cures, and it’ll be the grinding surface. I also built a mold out of melamine that I’ll hopefully get a few uses out of. Most if the counters are 24″ wide, and the base of this should work for most of those pieces. This is set up for one of the smaller sections, but if it goes well, I’ll also cast the larger section in it as well:


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