Concrete surfaces and accents fit well with all kinds of styles - from the cool, modern industrial to the warm, inviting farmhouse. But the perception of back-breaking 80 pound bags of concrete mix, a plumage of dust clouds, and messy mixing is enough to turn off plenty of casual DIY'ers. Skimcoating with a featherfinish over an existing surface gives you the look and feel of concrete without the headaches and backaches.
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First, prep the surface to be skimcoated by sanding over with the sand paper. This will help the concrete adhere better, especially if you have a very smooth surface. Ensure all dust is cleaned up before continuing.
Mix two parts featherfinish to one part water. The featherfinish is best in small batches as it's got a quick dry time so I'm using one cup of mix to a half cup of water at a time. Mix everything in the basin with the scraper.
Apply the featherfinish to your surface in a thin layer the same way you'd ice a cake. Smooth out harsh lines or divots as you go. It doesn't have to be perfect, either - concrete is organically modern so a little texture gives it character. Continue until you have your entire surface and side edges covered with the first layer and allow to fully dry. The product normally starts to set in 15 to 20 minutes and lightens as it dries.
Clean your basin and scraper as soon as you finish your first coat so the concrete doesn't harden. You've got a few more layers to go and working around hardened concrete is a pain!
Once the surface has fully dried and there are no dark spots left, lightly sand over with the sand paper and clean up the dust.
Follow the same process for layers two and three. Mix up your featherfinish in small batches and apply with the scraper. Let dry and sand between each. Sand layer number three to the smoothness you want on your finished surface and clean up.
I'd originally experimented with a concrete sealer as the final step in this project. But I quickly learned that even with multiple sealer layers, greasy drips resulted in stains. Ultimately, I found that Triple Thick Polyurethane provided my favorite finish - glossy and super protective. Apply the Polyurethane with a quality paint brush and allow to dry. Make sure you have adequate ventilation if you are working inside.
I've done tabletops as well as kitchen countertops with this concrete method and I love the results of each.
Please no food prepping directly on these surfaces, though - use a cutting board or plate at all times.
Concrete surfaces without the heavy lifting!