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Sealing Concrete Countertops + More

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Picture of Sealing Concrete Countertops + More
This Instructable will demonstrate how to seal concrete countertops and other large scale projects using CHENG Concrete Countertop Sealer.

The goal of any sealer is to protect the concrete. Concrete is porous, just like a sponge. The purpose of a sealer is to fill all of the holes in the concrete and to build up a thin shell that will protect the surface. There are three types of sealer available: penetrating, topical, and hybrid sealers. A hybrid sealer will soak into the concrete, similar to a penetrating sealer, and leave a micro-topical shell that helps provide some abrasion resistance. Additionally, a sealed countertop should be waxed to minimize friction and help protect the sealer.

Sealing is especially important for a kitchen countertop. Acidic foods like vinegar, wine, mustard, etc. will etch the surface of the concrete and many other things will stain unsealed concrete. Even everyday wear and tear, like dragging pots and pans across the surface, will take its toll on the concrete, and without some maintenance, it could start to feel like you're preparing food on the garage floor.

Sealers usually come in two finish types: satin and gloss. A glossy sealer will have a wet look, while a satin sealer will have a more natural look and feel. The glossy sealers have a tendency to look unnatural, and here at CHENG we try to maintain the natural qualities of the concrete. All of our work is sealed and protected, but it's all very subtle.

CHENG Sealer is 100% food safe and contains no harmful VOCs. It's easy to apply, and the tips in this Instructable will help you achieve a finish that looks great and protects the countertop for a long time. CHENG Sealer is a water-based acrylic, this means it is full of acrylic particles suspended in water. The acrylic particles are what fill in the holes, and this is what actually seals the concrete.

Supplies:
  • Rubber Gloves
  • (2) 1-gallon buckets (1 empty, 1 filled with water)
  • Terry Cloth Towel
  • CHENG Concrete Sealer
Step-By-Step Video:

 
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KevinKimmich11 months ago
That looks great! Do you know if this same procedure would work to seal sandstone?
CHENG Concrete (author)  KevinKimmich11 months ago
Hi Kevin,
If you're using a water-based acrylic sealer, this same procedure should work, even on sandstone. Try it out on a small sample first. A quick search finds some companies selling water-based acrylic sealers for sandstone, so even the concrete sealer we used in the demo should work. If it's a countertop, a good coat of wax will be important. If it's a floor or walkway, you might look into sealers that are more specific to floors.
r_harris21 year ago
A general question about the example countertop. Was it cast with colored concrete, or was the color applied as a stain before the sealer?
CHENG Concrete (author)  r_harris21 year ago
This particular countertop is pigmented with a custom color. It's actually fiber reinforced concrete (D-FRC Spray Blend), and wasn't cast like traditional concrete. The first coat is sprayed through a hopper gun, then a second layer is either cast (Casting Blend) or laid up by hand (Backing Blend). Spraying the first layer like this will help minimize air bubbles and also reduce the amount of pigment needed (only the surface coat needs to be pigmented). Check out the video below to see a tabletop being sprayed:


In general we don't use stains, all of our colored concrete is achieved with integral pigments. The base colors are what you need if you're making custom colors, but we also sell pre-mixed colors.

Hope this helps. Thanks for the question!
CHENG_DFRC_Countertop.jpg
All of your projects are so cool, thanks so much for another great post
dimmaz881 year ago
..What protects the wax....What protects the wax?????????

Nice counter, I keep trying to convince my girlfriend into concrete worktops but she's not convinced!
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