Starting from Wood, Formica or Tile Surfaces
How to Refinish Countertops Using DCI Concrete Overlay
Homeowners with old, outdated kitchen countertops put off replacing them because they don’t want to deal with the mess or take the kitchen out of commission for an extended period of time. Now, with concrete overlay, homeowners can refinish their old kitchen countertop to look new.
Concrete overlay can work with your current countertop surface, so you don’t have to spend a fortune removing and installing new countertops. By using concrete overlay instead of a solid concrete countertop, the structure won’t be as heavy. You can also make your countertop seamless using a concrete overlay, which you can’t do with any other material.
Our DCI Concrete Overlays are very strong and durable, perfect to stand up to the daily wear and tear of a countertop. The DCI Concrete Overlays are a one-step process and you only have to add water. Our concrete overlay mixes come in either Smooth or Complete. Smooth concrete overlay is for a smooth finish. The Complete concrete overlay is a hardy choice great for stenciling or using on a previously tiled surface. If you’d just like to try a sample of our product, we have 3 lb. overlay samples available.
Overlay can be applied to tile, cultured marble and laminated surfaces, as well as wood frames. Smooth surfaces must be scuffed with a sander to give the overlay something to properly attach to. All tile or laminate must be in good condition and well adhered to the current countertop surface to be a good candidate for an overlay. Read our How to Apply Concrete Overlay for the complete details for each type of application.
Installing a concrete overlay countertop doesn’t take long, but it does take patience. Line all of your walls, appliances, sink and underneath cabinets with plastic sheeting to protect them and keep concrete overlay on the countertop.
If you’d like to integrate Crushed Granite and Recycled Glass Aggregates into your concrete overlay countertop, apply the ¼” overlay coat and press the natural stone and/or recycled glass aggregates into place. Allow the overlay to dry. Then mix water and overlay to the consistency of a thin pancake batter to form what is known as “slurry.” Apply the “slurry” to the surface to fill any voids or pinholes and let dry.
After 24 hours, polish the countertop to reveal the natural stone or recycled glass aggregates. If you use small natural stone or glass aggregates, less than 10mm in size, the stones or glass can be mixed into the overlay, allowed to dry and then polished. You can add colored concrete pigment to the “slurry” mixture for additional color.
For countertops, you should hand trowel the concrete overlay using a square-ended trowel to spread the mixture and get in the seams and corners of the countertop. Use a paint brush to do the edges of the countertops. For a smooth surface, use a Magic Trowel to finish the surface. A troweled or textured surface is an option, but take surface functionality into consideration.
The coverage rates for our DCI Concrete Overlay vary depending upon the thickness of the layer you apply. For a ¼” in thickness you can expect a 50 lb. bag of DCI Concrete overlay to cover 20–25 square feet. For a skim coat, at 1/8” to 1/16”, a 50 lb. box should cover 50-130 square feet, again depending on the thickness.
Once the concrete overlay countertop has dried, you can then customize your countertop with acid stain, deco gel or concrete dye. Remember you must seal concrete overlay countertops. We recommend 500 Solvent-Based Polyurethane Concrete Countertop Sealer Mini Kit and 550 Water-Based Polyurethane Concrete Countertop Sealer Mini Kits for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Concrete Overlay Countertop Possibilities…
How-to Video Resources
How to Overlay a Formica Countertop
Acid Staining a Concrete Overlay Countertop
Sealing a Concrete Countertop with a Metallic Epoxy Finish