Two weeks ago, I was the owner of a very sad dining set: el-cheapo Ikea table and chairs, and a bench I ordered online from Target. Poor, sad, mismatched dining set. I desperately wanted to update our kitchen look, with something lighter and brighter.
Meet my sad dining set:
There was only one problem: my children. 2-year-old twins and nice furniture do not make for a winning combination. Right now, the twins stay home full-time. This means that my furniture takes an all-day, every-day beating. I find it much easier to let messy and mischievous things roll off your back when you don’t have nice things.
Ok, R. So you want to flip over the living room chair and use it for a jungle gym? No problem. I stole the chair from Grandma’s house anyway. Climb away!
So the twins want to have races pushing chairs around the house? Race away. They were $20 at Ikea.
And so it goes that I will not be purchasing a new dining set for at least a few more years. I didn’t feel like living with a sad dining set for a few more years, which left me with a DIY project on my hands.
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I have been coveting concrete-topped dining tables: like this one. I have also seen some pretty do-able looking tutorials for DIY concrete kitchen counter tops around the blogosphere. Mix the two together, and you have a recipe for a DIY Concrete Dining Table Top!
Here’s Everything You’ll Need to Make this Concrete Table Top
- A dining set – the uglier, the better!
- Hardware (L-Brackets and screws, to be exact) – to secure the leaves of my dining table. This is optional if you have a normal leaf-less table.
- Masking Tape
- Sandpaper – a variety: coarse, medium, and fine grit
- Paint Brushes
- Primer – I LOVE Kilz Premium and use it all the time
- Paint – I used Behr from the Home Depot in a gloss enamel
- Concrete – Henry FeatherFinish Floor Patch
- Mixing Bucket
- Trowel and Putty Knives
- Concrete sealer – This one is food safe!
With the exception of the actual dining set, and the concrete sealer, you can get everything you need for this project at the Home Depot (No, they didn’t pay me to say that. I just like shopping there. I know where to find things, and people don’t judge me when I ask really stupid questions).
In case you forgot, here’s a reminder of what my sad, mismatched dining set looked like. Yes, those are stickers on the bench. Like I said… toddlers.
Step One – Sand & Paint
This table came with a leaf, so the first thing I had to do was stabilize the top. I installed L-brackets to the underside of the table. I didn’t want the table top sliding or shifting once I applied the concrete.
Sanding was a breeze, since the table and chairs were only lightly stained.
For primer, I turned to Kilz. I have a quart that I keep on hand for various projects. Just one coat worked perfectly.
Then it was time to paint. I used a high-gloss paint (extra durable and washable for the kids) in a custom shade of white. I love white Ikea furniture, and Debbie over at One Little Project went through the trouble of bringing the front of a dresser drawer with the to Home Depot to have a custom color mixed.
I did two coats of paint on most surfaces. I went for a third coat on the top of the bench, since it gets so much use.
I waited a few days, and then taped off the painted area of the table base before getting to the fun stuff: concrete!
Step Two – Concrete
After taping off any surface that I did not want to get covered in concrete, I proceeded to rough up the table top and edges with coarse grit sand paper. I’m not going to lie. My table top was pretty scratched and dented to begin with, so this step was pretty easy.
Next up: the actual concrete. Ardex Feather Finish is a common choice for concrete counter tops, but I have heard it is hard to come by. The guy at the Home Depot hadn’t head of it. So, I hopped on my iPhone (in the aisle of the store) to try to come up with another solution: Henry FeatherFinish. According to Emily at Better Remade, it’s pretty much the same thing. Sold!
Start mixing: I am by no means a concrete mixing and laying expert, but I do have one piece of advice. Mix small batches. This stuff dries quickly, so you don’t want the mix in your bucket to dry up before you get it all laid down. You can sprinkle water on top of the concrete mix as you go along to slow down the drying process, but just be careful not to add too much water.
The recommended ratio of powder mix to water is 2:1.
Layering the Concrete
Your first coat is going to be pretty rough. Don’t expect to get complete coverage on your first go-around. I ended up doing three coats, sanding between each.
Here is the table after one coat (but before sanding):
Here it is after 2 coats:
And here we are after 3 coats:
Somewhere around coat 2, I think I began to lose my mind. Like I said, I am not a concrete laying expert, and I just couldn’t get the perfect, smooth finish that I wanted. After a near-meltdown, I just accepted the fact that this was going to be imperfect, and it would just add to the “character” of the table!
So be warned: if you have perfectionist/OCD tendencies, this project will challenge you to your core!
A note on the edges: I found it easiest to keep the knife flush with either the top of the table of the edge, instead of trying to round corners when laying the concrete. I ended up with nice corners.
Does my putty knife look funny to you?
I have a confession to make now: I forgot to buy a putty knife. And the temperature was below zero, leaving me with no chance of leaving the house again just to buy a putty knife. Minnesota problems, people. So… I improvised… With a frosting spatula. Hey, whatever works!
Step Three – Seal
I didn’t take any pictures of this while in-progress. You know how it goes. You’ve already had enough close-calls with getting wet concrete on your camera. Why risk it with counter top sealer?
But, I can say I am happy with this sealer so far. It does make the concrete a bit darker, and it leaves a semi-shiny finish. So far it washes well, and I haven’t noticed any staining. But, it has only been a few days. I think if I do have problems, I will just re-seal.
All-told, I think I spent about $100 on supplies – paint, concrete, buckets, etc. Compared to the $1000+ I could have spent on a new dining set, I’m pretty ecstatic!
Do you love those botanical prints as much as I do? They’re available here!
I love the look of this table! I’m a perfectionist, but I love the textured look of the concrete on your table. Excellent job!
So cute! Page has officially learned how to climb on (and fall off) the couch, so I have a feeling that our kitchen table will soon take a beating….
This is why we don’t have nice things… 🙂
Looks great! I love how it turned out!
Rebecca Lopez says
This is so cool! Seriously I didn’t even think about doing a table top! Genius! You’re giving me ideas! Ahhh.
This is awesome! Thanks so much for linking this up to the Friday Frenzy – I am going to feature this on my FB page!
Thanks for sharing, Danielle!
I love your table makeover! I am trying to convince the hubby to let me makeover our kitchen countertops with concrete. Great tutorial!
Very. Nicely. Done. I wish you were up for hire:)
Kelly Hedlund says
Too funny that I was just recently asking my husband, “How do you think I could make a slab concrete tabletop?” (I saw a console table that had one and thought it was cool!) Your version seems WAY easier!!! And probably somewhat lighter. I love it!
This was a great tutorial, and your dining table and chairs look fantastic! I was curious about how to do a concrete tabletop, so I appreciate you sharing your tips and great photos!
This is the first time I’ve seen this done. I LOVE the look! I had a bad experience with concrete about 12 years ago (pregnant in the summer in Phoenix didn’t help the matter), and I’ve avoided it since. This project may just make me jump back on the bandwagon! (Plus, I’m in Seattle now, and I’m not preggo!)
Well done! Pinning!
Oh, yes. I remember those days… preggo and hot are a BAD combo! Thanks for the Pin!
You are a brave woman to take on this project with toddlers. I think it looks great. 🙂
Haha… Brave is one word. I did most of this project while hiding in my bedroom while the twins were sleeping!
jo skidmore says
I have a laminate countertop on a hallway cabinet that I have been wanting to change/cover for the longest time – this would be perfect!!!
Let me know how it works out!
I did my kitchen countertops with this product. It turned out great. It is quite a bit of work though!
CD Loken says
What a great tutorial! You make it sound so easy! I love how your dining room table and bench turned out! Thank you so much for sharing at The Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop!!
Kyla @HouseOfHipsters says
This is absolutely fantastic!
Linda Nelson says
Wow, what a fantastic job with your project. I love it.
Theresa @DearCreatives says
Oh this is amazing! I have a modern dining table but, it’s all scratched up. Maybe I should think about doing something like this. Great job on the re-purpose / DIY.
Looks awesome!!! Genius idea…u did a great job!
Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness says
Ok, this is SO COOL! I love the idea of concrete on a table top! Can’t get any hardier than that. And it’s perfect for kiddos, too! Great job!! 🙂
Thanks for the kind words, Amanda. Have a great day!
Jen @ Noting Grace says
Ah.May.Zing! This is so gorgeous and what a great idea to use concrete. That is a perfect solution with my 2 boys! Thanks for rocking the inspiration!
Yes, I would hope that concrete would be “boy-proof,” but you never know 😉 Thanks for stopping by!
You did an amazing job!! I love the table!! I would love for you to stop by and share your stuff on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday Link Party!! …It’s still open…http://www.cookinandcraftin.com/my-2-favorite-things-on-thursday-link-party-4/
Thanks for the kind words and the invite, Elaine!
Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! I’ve pinned this too!! Come back again next week and share your stuff!! I love having you!
This looks amazing! I would love to do this with our table, but I don’t know if our top has wood underneath if you removed the surface. I will have to check with my husband. Love the idea. Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from the Pin Junkie party!
Thanks Kirsten! I know people have done the same thing over laminate counter tops, so I would bet you can put concrete over just about anything!
Excellent job, it looks wonderful in your kitchen. And as for the frosting spatula, I’m with you – when Minnesota is cold I.don’t.go.
I definitely get the part about kids and furniture! You did a great job — I never would have thought to use concrete! Thanks so much for sharing at Snickerdoodle. Please come back later and share your latest. 🙂
Sydney @Tastefully Frugal says
This is just gorgeous! I love concrete floors and counters but never would’ve thought to put it on a table top… genius! I would love for you to link up with us at Talented Tuesdays…we get started at 9am CST
[email protected] says
Hey I just wanted to let you know I’m featuring your table on My 2 Favorite Things – Link Party this week. Come back and share some more!! I love having you!!
Love this idea!! Was wondering how it cleans up after sticky toddler food has dried on and what you use to clean it. I’m looking for something easy to clean and low maintenance with 2 boys!
Hi Sasha! It cleans up great! After 6 weeks of daily playdough, crayons, and food spills we’re still going strong. Even dried on food spills have washed off. I just use the Method all-surface cleaner from Target or vinegar-water mix.
This looks great. Good job! I’ve been curious about the concrete counter top project but nervous about it. This is a great way to get some practice and see if you like it!
Letisha Perry says
What a fantastic idea! My kids are in college and I still want to coat everything in concrete! Thank you for the cool ideas!
Thanks for sharing this! My two year old twins boys are destroying our table.
Aimee G. says
I love this so much!!
I love the idea. I also have an ikea table that needs some loving! 2 boys too!! I do want to keep my leaf and not seal it forever in concrete. I am thinking doing the 3 pieces separately but I am a little worries it won’t be totally even and flat. Any reco? Thanks!!
Deborah Tukua, editor Journey to Natural Living says
Hi, great looking table top. I’m thinking about doing this on my kitchen counter tops but would like it to be a lighter color. Do you know if there are stains, etc. that you could add to the mix or paint before applying the sealer? Thanks for sharing this great project.
Hi Deborah, I know you can add powders to change the color of concrete, but I’m not sure about making anything lighter. Sorry, and good luck!
Deborah Tukua, editor Journey to Natural Living says
Hi, Your table turned out great. I’m thinking about doing this to our kitchen counter tops, but would like it to be a lighter color. Is there a stain you can add to the mix or paint before sealing? Thanks again for sharing.
looks great! What do you think the chances of impressing leaves in the concrete would be? Too thin?
Great question Les! Perhaps if you did a layer or two first, and then impressed the leaves.
Anna H. says
This is such a great tutorial! My husband and I have considered doing this to our dining table. It currently has recessed tile and we want to remove them and do a concrete finish instead. One question that I am concerned about is does the concrete crack? We were wondering if shifting /moving the table would cause the concrete to crack or if the sealer helps prevent that.
Hi Anna. It hasn’t cracked really. There is one small crack in the center, but I attribute it to being from the spot where the table’s two leaves come together. If you did this on your table, I wouldn’t expect it to crack. Good luck!
Wow! This looks great! I really want a concrete dining table, but as you mention, I would have to pay over $1,000. I watched a DIY tutorial on Youtube on how to make one, but your awesome idea looks much easier with similar desired results! I have a couple of questions…1) Did you have to sand or polish the final layer? 2) How has it held up? My only concern about using a thin layer to cover a table top is that it might crack. Have you noticed any issues/cracking? Thanks, I will definitely try out your creative idea!
Hi Christina! Thanks for the questions. 1) I did sand the final layer and then seal with food-safe concrete sealer (It’s called Cheng – there is a link above). 2) There hasn’t been any cracking, per se. There is a tiny crack along the middle (where the leaves were) but it’s barely noticeable. It’s held up really well. I’m noticing a few dents, but I attribute them to my 2.5-year-old son who things the table is a drum set and metal spoons are drum sticks. The sealer is great, and makes wiping up any mess a breeze!
Wow! I love this. We got a hand me down particle board, ugly as anything dining set. I’m hoping to fix it up. It has two leaves that I would still like to use. Do you think this can be done without losing the function of the leaves?
Hi Tabitha. I think it could. I would recommend laying the concrete with the leaves separated. Then, put the leaves together when you do the sanding, so that everything is level.
You did an amazing job! It looks great! Googled concrete table diy and this was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!!
Glad I could be helpful over in my little corner of the blog-O-sphere!!
This looks great! I have the exact same table and was looking for a way to update it that isn’t “farmhouse”. Thanks for posting!
Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words, Laura!
This is too good!
And funny ;D
Have nice weekend.
Wishes from Sweden
have you had any problems with the concrete cracking thus far? i told my husband i wanted to do this very thing and he told me it would crack. determined that i was not the first to come up with this idea i googled and found your pin.
Hi Lize – only one small crack down the middle, where the table’s two leaves came together. It really has held up well.
I can’t wait to try this! Where did you find the seal coat?
Hi Robin – it’s called Cheng concrete sealer. It’s food safe and great for kitchen projects. There should be an Amazon link in the tutorial.
I have a question is it possible to add the concrete on a top of a tempered glass? Because our wood dinning table sticked with a glass top
That’s a great question! I’m not sure I would try it. You really need to rough up your surface before adding the concrete – I used sandpaper, but I’ve seen people who have scored their surface with a razor blade. I’m not sure you could so the same with glass.
Lori Jeppson says
I am wanting to do this for a picnic table outside. Can it handle outdoor sun/rain etc?
Hi Lori – I probably wouldn’t try it. Unless you can find an outdoor concrete sealer.
The colors combination just awesome <3 Can't wait to try it 😀
Hi! I’m an editor for Remodelaholic.com and am writing to request permission to use one of your table photos in an upcoming post. We would like to feature this in a round up and would include a backlink and clear credit to you.
Additionally, we routinely publish round-up style posts on our site and if you’re willing to allow us to use one photo from other posts you’ve done, we would love to add you to our directory of sites to feature. As a bonus, your site would then be on our radar for possible Facebook shares as well.
Please let me know if this would work for you. Thanks for your consideration!
Hi Kimberly – I allow anyone to share one image, as long as credit is given. See my policies: https://thecrazycraftlady.com/policies/
If you need anything additional, please shoot me an email at: [email protected]
My mouth dropped open when I saw the pic of the wooden table. I thought you’d made a concrete top and had no idea it was possible to turn a wooden dining table into a concrete-effect one. It’s really interesting and impressive!
Freg Desk says
Who would have thought that a furniture made up of concrete would be so successful!
I love how you covered the top of the table with concrete. It really finishes the project!
Wow, how creative this is! I love the finished look and how you added concrete on top! This inspires me to try at my house, thanks for sharing!
Cheryl Slack says
it looks great and the concrete sealer is a good idea since it will be used by kids but I was curious why you didn’t stain it so it looked less like raw concrete? or did you want the ‘natural’ look?
Brisbane mini concrete says
Don’t waste time by finding contractors and supplies for your home. Hire the best ones to avoid more problems.
Kevin Smith says
I always wish to have a $100 Dining Table like that and thanks for the awesome tutorials 🙂
Keep the great work!
Did you end up having any feather finish powder left over after the table was done? I am considering this for multiple tables.. I love the look!
Hi Jacqui – yes, there was quite a bit leftover – even after I added concrete to my kids’ play table. You could definitely use this for more than one project. It doesn’t take much!
Looks great!! The box doesn’t mentioning anything about curing the concrete. Do you (or any of your readers) know if this product needs curing (like covering with a wet towel after setting)? Thanks so much for the instruction and inspiration!
Nope! I didn’t do anything like that, and my table has held up for over two years.
Aaron C. says
I need to try this! I don’t like my plain wooden dinner table, this is much better than buying a new one.
Love your table and your humor. How has this held up for the past year or so?
Do you think it would work on a counter top?
Thank you .
Hi Alice – It’s been three years, and it’s still going strong (although, my kids have given it quite the beating with permanent markers and paint!!!). It would work great on counter tops. Check out Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body for a great concrete counter top tutorial!
I have read so many concrete blogs you have no idea. I want to thank you for yours. It was so real and unpretentious that I’m going to home depot today and I will finally take the risk to transform my own sad dining set.
LOVED your putty knife and just enough essential info, no fluff. Thank you graciously fod this. Now i want to cover everything in concrete!
Christina Holmgaard says
It looks really great ! And as the planner I am, I need to ask you – how long time did it take you, from start to finish ? 🙂
Hi Christina – It was several days, since I did one coat of concrete each evening after the kids went to bed. Waiting between coats took the most time. Actually applying the concrete and sanding was quick. Maybe 30-60 minutes per coat.
Malisha Mishel says
Wow! That’s really a nice Dining Table! I was in a crying need of such a Dining Table idea. Hope I got it and do perfectly like yours! On the way to start! Wish me good luck Aimee! 🙂
This is fantastic! I have a 1.3 and a 3.5 year old and this seems to be a good solution for our table area. My husband is worried the top will be super heavy and make it hard for us to move table aside to clean under it. (Eye roll here). Is it super heavy? Thank you so much! Your blog is great 🙂
Hi Katie – NOT heavy at all, since it’s just a thin layer of concrete 🙂