How to DIY a Concrete Bar Top - In a weekend! - A Life Unfolding

How to DIY a Concrete Bar Top – In a weekend!

DIY Concrete countertops with Feather Finish

Hello! Today I am popping in with an easy DIY of one of my favorite design elements in my recent kitchen refresh. I made my bar countertop out of Feather Finish I love the mix of the concrete look with the warmth of the butcher block, and best of all…it’s pretty easy to DIY yourself.



Concrete counter top in a weekend.

Concrete countertop in a weekend.


When we worked on our kitchen refresh for The One Room Challenge, we had six weeks to finish the space. That’s a bit intense considering this is our weekend home and allowed us about twelve days to get everything completed. BUT I LOVE the look of concrete in all forms (especially on countertops), so my heart was set on poured concrete to compliment the butcher block. About a week into the reno, I realized that the actual wall would need some sort of reinforcement to hold a 2 + inch concrete countertop (my dream), and we would need brackets or something to hold the weight. Yikes!

Here are the Formica countertops when we bought the house.



Before Pic

I didn’t want to have brackets added to support the counter because one, it would take up valuable space, and two, we were quite honestly running out of time (remember we only had six weeks to finish). So I thought, okay, I need a plan B. I had used a skim coat product once before at our rental home, and it has held up really well. So I decided I would use the same product here. You can peek at that DIY countertop here.

This is a simple DIY project, and I’d say even a newbie DIY’er can do it. It does require some sanding, which is messy and does require some patience. But I am confident you will love the results!

Here are the materials I used:

Handy Paint Pail (with disposable liners)

Paint sticks to mix the product


Ardex’s Feather Finish

511 Impregnator

Sponge applicators


Sandpaper (I hand sanded this time)


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The first thing I did was add plywood to give me the extra depth I was looking for. I like a larger profile countertop as it looks more substantial. We cut the plywood to the same size as the Formica by tracing the outline onto the plywood from the bottom and used wood glue and some screws to attach.



adding height to formica

I mixed the product according to directions. NOTE: Small batches work best; otherwise, the product dries out too quickly.



Handy Paint Pail

The trick is to apply the thinnest, most even coat possible. The idea is to layer the product slowly. Let it completely dry to the touch (I waited 2 hours for each coat) and then sand to a smooth finish. Wipe clean and add another layer, and repeat.



Feather Finish Wet

I also wanted to eliminate the beveled edge of the Formica countertop. We no longer had them with the butcher block, and a beveled edge screams the 1990’s. So we cut the plywood straight, and I filled the gaps with the product on the edges.



Beveled edge filled in

This is four coats before sanding the last coat. I think I could have gotten away with three coats, but I got a little heavy-handed with the sanding on coat three and needed to even it out a bit.



Final coat before final sanding

Final coat before final sanding

The next step was the 511 Impregnator. This is to seal the concrete so you won’t get water stains and food stains. I used three coats (letting them dry well in between applications) that I spread with the sponge applicators.



511 Impregnator

Once the 511 Impregnator is dry, you will want to seal it with a food-safe product. I choose Safecoat Arcrylacq because I used it before, and it has excellent reviews. I used 4 coats that I very lightly sanded between each coat. I chose the gloss finish for a touch of shine.



Safecoat Acrylacq

That’s all there is to it! A bit tedious, but I LOVE how they turned out!!! I left the edges a bit rough because I like the industrial feel. I caulked where the concrete met the wall.



Side view of Bar Top countertop.

Side view of Bar Top countertop.



Countertop using Ardex Feather Finish



Sink View of Countertop




It has held up to many parties at the lake!



Concrete Bar Top

Concrete Bar Top




I love the concrete with the butcher block and green glass tile. We are so pleased with how this turned out. Plus, if it’s stained or some flaw shows up, you can sand and reseal, and it’s good as new!



How to make a concrete counter top in a weekend.

How to make a concrete countertop in a weekend.

I am seriously considering using this application on a Fireplace next. I’ll keep you posted if I move forward with that project!

You may also be interested in:

Rope Accent Wall

DIY Wood Vent Hood

A DIY Mid Century accent wall


That’s all for now!

Until next time xo,


Share the ♡
  1. Hi Libbie!
    Your countertops turned out beautiful! And I love how you left the edges a little rough! A friend’s husband just finished concrete countertops in their home. I haven’t seen them yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I would love for you to share this at Homestyle Gathering via Serving Up Southern.
    >>> Kim

  2. Mary Beth says:

    This turned out beautifully! I want to redo my countertops until I can get all new cabinets, etc., and this may be the perfect way to modernize it while I’m on hold and beyond.

  3. Wow it turned out amazing!! Well done!

  4. Hannah says:

    What a transformation. It looks sooooo good! My friend Katy and I just started a new link up. We’d love it if you would share your posts!. You can find the link here if you are interested.

  5. Briana says:

    I’ll have to do this when I get a house!


  6. Libbie, I’m so impressed with your counter top. You are amazing! Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Turn About. 🙂

  7. Crissy says:

    Wow, I love the way your countertop turned out, Libbie! I would be so afraid to try this, so your tutorial really helps to see the process and make it less scary. Thanks for sharing at Tuesday Turn About!

  8. Julie Briones says:

    Libby, you did a lovely job! I really like the industrial look with the wood and green, as well! Maybe someday I can add this to a home of my own! We are so happy that you linked at Tuesday Turn About (all three of us are happy! LOL!). Hope you’ll be back this coming Tuesday! Hugs!

  9. Steph says:

    I am so impressed right now. It looks fantastic! So happy to find your fabulous blog!!

    Magnolia Stripes

  10. Cindy says:

    Wow!! Who knew it could be that easy to have concrete countertops! Thanks for sharing this idea – I have never heard about this option!

    • Libbie Burling says:


      Thank you for your kind words. I love this option so much I was happy to share. 🙂

  11. Love how easy this actually is! I always thought you need to do some kind of magic to have a concrete countertop, but you’ve certainly proved me wrong. Love the industrial and modern vibe of your countertop, it looks top notch. Thank you for this useful post!

    • Libbie Burling says:


      Thank you! We are loving the new countertop. As you can imagine at a house on a lake we have lots of company this time of year. It’s holding up well. Thank you for stopping by.

  12. Laura says:

    I love this! I currently have wood countertops that I hate! ( were here when I bought the house)
    I’ve wanted concrete countertops,but every video I watched was pouring 2 or more inches! I dont have time for that! I am definitely gonna do this! Thank you for sharing!

  13. Sandy says:

    How much sanding do you have to do and is it a hard sand or fairly easy? Thanks

    • Libbie Burling says:

      It was easy sanding but a bit messy. You need to sand with fine sandpaper between each coat. It’s a bit tedious but not hard at all. If you try it let me know how it goes.



  14. Tina says:

    Libbie! I saw your original concrete counter project at the rental property and then linked over to this in the comments. So glad to see you loved it enough to do it again! I’m planning on giving it a try on some fabulous pink formica, and I’m really curious if you’ve stumbled on any extra tips, and also how well it’s holding up? I did notice you added the 511 before the acrylaq, so I’ve got it on my list to pick up this weekend. Very excited for this low budget remodel!!

  15. Shelley butcher says:

    Hi Libbie. I’ve watched both your links and i’m so very impressed with your results, they look brilliant and the kitchen is beautiful. We will be re-decorating our kitchen soon and would love to try this, thank you so much for the tips. Happy designing and keep safe X

  16. Mindy says:

    Your shopping link isn’t working…

  17. Mark Sigeti says:

    How did you fasten the concrete top to the base securely, with such a large overhang

  18. Carol Karl says:

    Always wanted to know how to do this. Thank you.

  19. Ashley says:

    This looks beautiful! May I ask what you used on the wall under the bar top? I would love to do something similar 🙂

  20. elang game says:

    Very good blog post. I certainly appreciate this site. Continue the good work!

  21. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after going through a few of the posts I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly happy I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back often!

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