DIY Concrete Table Top

  DIY Concrete Table

Earlier this summer, I visited my sister, Heather, and fell in love with her DIY concrete topped coffee table.

Concrete Table 15

I went home and decided that the side table we had inherited from the previous homeowner would be AMAZING with a concrete top.

Concrete Table Before

It’s pretty traditional, and I really thought I could turn it into something I will call “industrial chic” – perfect for Steve’s man cave! Once school started, I scheduled a date to work on the concrete top with my sister.  I put my two older kids on the bus and hopped in the car with my youngest and drove two hours to see my sister.  We only had about three hours to work with (I had to be back home in time for the kids to get off the bus), so the pressure was on. Heather is a DIY genius.  This Concrete Table Top tutorial isn’t hard, AND it doesn’t require any extra tools! Heather already had the concrete.  It’s actually a lighter (“feather”) concrete. We just mixed small amounts at a time.  My coffee table really did not require much – and remember you can always make more!

Concrete Table 1

We used a disposable paint tray to mix the cement.

Concrete Table 3

We slowly added water using a watering can and used a paint stick to stir.

Concrete Table 4

We went with a cake batter consistency.  This stuff smells – and it doesn’t smell great.  My best description is that it smells like baby poop. 🙂

Concrete Table 5

After you have left the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, you can lightly slather it on the top of the table.  Remember to keep the concrete thin.  You will want to do several thin layers.  (I sanded my tabletop with an electric sander before I added the cement.)

Concrete Table 6

We used a plastic scraper to smooth out the concrete and wiped away the extra on a rag.

Concrete Table 7

You will repeat this process several times.  We did three coats on my side table.

Concrete Table 8

We found that an old sock was helpful for smooth out the cement – especially the sides of the table.

Concrete Table 9

We were short on time, so we used a fan to dry the concrete quicker.

Concrete Table 13

You can sand in-between coats, but I just (lightly) sanded at the end of the final (3rd) coat.

Concrete Table 10

After the concrete is dry, you can add the sealer.  (My sister says I should tell you 24 hours to be safe.)  I also did about three coats of this. (Once the sealer coat was dry, I added the next.  The sealer dried pretty quickly.)   Concrete Table 15

We poured a little bit on the top and used an old t-shirt to rub the sealer into the concrete. We repeated this process three times and added another layer of sealer once the previous layer was dry. And that was it for the concrete top – no special tools required!  This is where the concrete tutorial ends. But I wanted that worn rustic wood look that Heather had with her coffee table, so I continued…

Concrete Table 12

I wanted to get rid of the wood’s orangey look, so I used a stripper to get rid of the glossy finish in hopes that I could stain the wood a darker color.

Concrete Table 11

I used a brush to paint the stripper on.

Concrete Table 14  

I waited 30 minutes and started scraping.  Stripping is NOT easy.  And I lost interest.  Quickly.  I scraped as long as I could, and then I wiped away the rest of the old finish/stripper.  It was a mess. Concrete Table 16  

I added a dark walnut stain to the piece.  It does have more of the industrial-chic look I was looking for.  (Whatever that means, right?!)

DIY Concrete Table 3 DIY Concrete Table 1 DIY Concrete Table

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16 thoughts on “DIY Concrete Table Top

  1. perfect way for Cement Industry ! I will, really thank you !
    τελειος τροπος για βιομηχανικο τσιμεντο! θα το κανω, πραγματικα σε ευχαριστω!

  2. Can this concrete and sealer also be used on kitchen counter-tops? I would love to use this idea on my food prep counters. I adore this idea.


    1. Hi Lilith! Yes, I have seen people do it to both their kitchen and bathroom countertops. Just google “DIY Concrete kitchen counters” and lots of blog posts/videos come up. Good luck!!

  3. sara d

    This is amazing. Have an old t.v. stand, knew it needed help and I already decided to chalk paint it, but now I know I will also do the top with concrete! It’s going to look awesome. Thanks you so much for this post. If I still had my old place I’d be doing this all over the place.

  4. Thank You! I LOVED the tutorial, I was looking to put a concrete top on without having to make it from a mold. It would be so much easier to cover a full object as well… I had never heard of feather finish concrete; it sounds so much easier to work with! I am really into modern furniture but just repainted and distressed an entire French Provencial Bedroom Set for my daughter’s room. I have one suggestion to give your table a more authentic industrial chic look, it looks great but the drawer hardware looks a bit out of place for an industrial look. They have some fabulous industrial and chic style drawer handle replacements that would give the table a more finished look, you should check some out 🙂
    Best Regards,

    1. Besides two small nicks in it, it has held up really well. We have it in my husbands man cave between his couches. It has a lamp on it, and we put drinks and snacks on it so it sees a lot of use. So far, so good!

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