Apr 2019 DIY: BUILDING A CONCRETE TABLE
Taking your DIY concrete creations to the next level, Sephaku Cement talks you through the steps to curing your own concrete table or countertop. Trendy, affordable and not too taxing to craft from scratch, making your own concrete counter or concrete table is one of the simplest ways to spruce up your kitchen area, dining room or even entrance hall with an elegant receiving table.
Crafted into any shape or size you desire, to follow see Sephaku Cement’s simple steps mapping out the process to creating gorgeous concrete tables and countertops.
To begin with you will need:
- 1 to 2 bags or Sephaku 32 or Sephaku 42 depending on the size and depth or your countertop mould
- Double the volume of aggregate sand where the measurement equals to 1 part cement to 2 parts aggregate
- Wire Mesh (Typically available in 1.2m x 2.4m sheets)
- Melamine Wood – Cut to the shape, size and depth of the desired table top
- Painters tape
- 100% Silicon Caulk
- Water to mix
- Step 1: Prepare Your Casting Mould
Start by assembling your concrete countertop casting mould by securing the selected pieces of wood together. Using the measured melamine wood and drywall screws, secure the base (which will actually create the surface of the countertop once moulded) to the side pieces of wood. Keep in mind that it will be the inside measurements of the melamine wood mould that will form the final table top results. It’s also important to take care to use the correct length of drywall screws. You want to avoid the points of the screws piercing through the wood frame as this will create a blemish in the cast concrete mould.
- Step 2: Complete the Mould
Once assembled, the smooth surfaces of the inner melamine frame will be the mould that the outer cast of your table top will form. Prevent poured concrete from oozing or bleeding between the joins of melamine wood by sealing the corners with 100% silicon caulk. For an even more perfected edge, before “gunning” the silicon caulk into the grooves of wood, place painters tape for a guided and more accurate application.
- Step 3: Measure and Cut Metal Reinforcements
Once the silicon caulk has cured, carefully remove your painters tape and proceed with preparing the wire mesh reinforcement. Using a bolt cutter, measure and cut the metal wiring to loosely fit into the melamine casting mould leaving about an inch to measure around the border. Once measured and cut to fit, clean the inside of your casting mould, preferably using rubbing alcohol and paper towels to ensure that no dust, sawdust, metal filings or unwanted particles line the inside of the mould. Lightly oil the contact surface(where concrete will make contact with mould)
- Step 4: Mix and Pour your Concrete
Using a face mask, protective gloves and clothing, measure and mix the accurate ratios of cement to aggregate to water. It’s not recommended to mix your countertop concrete blend inside the wood mould, but rather in a wheel barrow or trough so as not to agitate any scratches, dents or unsightly marks in the mould (which will ultimately form part of the surface of your table top once complete).As detailed in pervious posts it’s important to begin by mixing your dry ingredients together including any pigment powder or coloured sand. Slowly add the water, taking care to mix well in between additions, following this step slowly will ensure that the accurate consistency is achieved, taking care not to add too much water too quickly which will result in a sloppy or soggy mix. Once mixed well, pour half of your concrete mix into the melamine casting mould and firmly tap the wooden frame with a rubber mallet all around the circumference of the boarder. Now place your wire mesh into the centre of the mould and pour the remaining concrete mix on top. Tap the frame once again using a rubber mallet which will remove any air pockets and unwanted air bubbles and finishing the step by smoothing the concrete surface with a trowel.
- Step 5: The Big Reveal
Once again, depending on the size and depth of the casting mould, allow your table top to cure between 3 and 4 days (or longer if you can). Once adequately cured, remove the secured screws that have kept your casting mould in place. Bang the frame using the same rubber mallet as above and the frame should fall away without too much effort. Using a sanding block smooth over any rough edges and borders and turn over your table to reveal a perfectly smoothed concrete countertop.