Kitchen Remodel Stage 1- DIY Concrete Counters with a New Sink and Faucet

Kitchen Remodel Stage 1- Concrete Counter

The kitchen remodel is coming along slowly but surely. Almost done with stage 1. All that is left is painting the base cabinets and the cabinet doors. The game changers, for me, were the counters and sink.  Our old sink and counter looked like this:

Old sick and counter

It was 6″ deep and the faucet barely came 2″ above that. Can you imagine how difficult it was to fill a simple bucket in that thing. Horrid! The counters are laminate. They had this horrible maroon tile back splash and the tile was on the counter edge. Removing that tile and putting molding on the edge made things look better immediately.

Originally I was going to router a 1×2 board for the front edge of the counters. However, boards aren’t 1×2 in big box stores. They are 1 1/2 or 2 1/2. I didn’t want to have to rip the boards I wanted down to size so I went in search of a different solution. This molding was in the cut bin of Home Depot. It is the exact right size and doesn’t need routering as it already has a rounded edge. Ideal!

Prepping for new counter

Next I removed the sink. This was a big deal for us as it meant no dishwasher and our bathroom sinks are just as teeny tiny as this kitchen one. Basically we’ve been using paper plates and the grill for a few days.

Removing sink

Very simple to do but did require a crowbar as that sink was glued down really really well.

Then I started the cement overlay on the counters. I read a million tutorials on how to do it so I felt confident. I sanded the laminate, mixed my Henry’swith a 1:1 ratio and plopped a glob on to start smearing. Wow. No one told me how anxious that could make a person. It didn’t seem to be sticking all that well to the laminate and I was having SERIOUS doubts about this decision. However, I persevered and did 3 coats.

Henry's First Coat

First Full Coat of Henry's

Look at how terrible that looks! What a nerve wracking first coat!

I did all 3 coats of cement on Sunday and Monday night after work I set about sanding them smooth (by hand, as I really didn’t want all that dust getting blown about) and sealing them. We simply used a high gloss sealant we bought at Home Depot. My sealant is not labeled food safe. Cheng Concrete Sealer is supposed to be food safe. I simply didn’t want to pay that much. Yes, I’m that cheap. Plus I wasn’t sure how this was going to go down so…… I don’t regret my decision (so far). I did 6 coats of sealant.

Cement counters

I have a plastic bag over the automatic dog waterer so it would stay marginally clean while we were doing this. I have caught 2 of our dogs licking the bag. Bucket of water right next to it but they still want that auto-waterer. I think it gives them that fresh toilet water feel. Also, anyone who has multiple dogs should do this. It has changed our lives. You have no idea how often we were cleaning and changing the water on our old 5 gallon waterer. I can’t remember if I’ve linked the one we have before but here it is. Also, it’s hooked into the water supply to the sink. We’ve had it about 2 years now and I’ll never go back!!!!! I don’t think our dogs want to go back either.

Automatic Dog Dish

As you can see we did not put the “back splash” boards up until after the counter was completed. The back splash boards were premium boards I put extra poly on. There is a slight gap that we are debating on. I think we may put a metal strip up as extra water protection for the wall and wood but we haven’t made up our minds yet.

My dad came and helped me install the new sink. I can be fairly handy after training (my Dad trains me usually) but I was nervous about this plumbing job. Probably because the last time I did any plumbing it resulted in leaks and mold in the master bath. We no longer have a bath tub in there thanks to me.

Wood Packsplash, Cement Counters, Stainless sink and faucet

I have started the slide-out trash can area. The floor is in it and I have the bottom drawer pull screwed into the wall. Now I just need to make the box for the trash can and we’ll be good to go there.

Industrial Trash Can

I made a chicken wire shade for the new pendant light and hung it up with a Vintage bulb. I’m not sold on what I did with the rope. May change later.

Chicken Wire Pendant Light

I made this spice rack ages ago to hide the hole I made in the front of the cabinets in order to replace the old microwave.

DIY Spice Rack

I have a partial wall that needs painted, and of course the cabinets and cabinet doors. I may wait on the partial wall until I’ve torn down the part connecting it to the wall I’m removing. I’m undecided as of yet.

Almost Complete Kitchen

So take a look at a few before and afters. Obviously this is after I ripped the wall and the cabinet down but before I’d really put anything up. The tear down wasn’t particularly planned so pics weren’t at the front of my mind at the time, just hammering.

Before 1

Before 2

Open shelves

Farm Fresh

A huge improvement don’t you think. I particularly like my tomato display, which will be canned this weekend.


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