Thursday, September 6

Sealing Concrete Countertops

The full tutorial is now up! Click here to check it out.

If you follow me on facebook, you probably saw this sneak peek I posted a couple days ago. If not, SURPRISE! We have concrete countertops! We're still completing the final stages, but once that's done I will have a full tutorial for anyone else who wants to tackle a project like this.

One of the last things we need to do is seal the countertops - but there are SO MANY options. So we had a long talk with a guy at Lowe's and I think we've finally picked a winner. I think. But before we open the bottle and make it non-returnable, I wanted to give you a chance to chime in! So here our our options:

#1 - Stone sealer
This sealer seals the countertop (duh.) but does it without changing the appearance. When you seal your raw concrete it will keep the same color and sheen. The only difference is that it is now water and stain resistant. So if you want to keep that super-industrial look concrete is know for, this may be the choice for you. It comes with either a 2-year ($12) or 5-year ($30) warranty, and Mr. Lowe's said if you are going with this you should definitely spring for the 5-year.

#2 - Sealer & Enhancer
This sealer does a little bit more than the basic stone sealer. It deepens the color of stone/concrete, but still leaves a natural sheen. Mr. Lowe's said the best way to determine if this is the finish you want is to put a little water on the countertop. The deeper kind of wet color you what you'll get with this sealer. I'll go ahead and tell you - this is the one I bought. I like the deeper color and think it will be a better contrast with my soon-to-be-white cabinets. ($30/quart)

#3 - Sealer & Finish
This sealer kind of does it all, and makes the biggest difference in your final countertop. It deepens the color and gives the top a shiny finish. It would just look less like concrete and might show water spots more. ($30/quart)

 A few other tidbits about these countertop finishes:
  • They are really easy to apply, just kind of a wipe-on, wipe-off thing. I'll post more details when we get there. :)
  • They should last at least two years before needing to be resealed. To check the seal, just drip a few drops of water on the countertop. If they bead up the seal is still good, but if they soak in it's time to reseal. 
  • Mr. Lowe's also said that once we choose one we're stuck with it. Apparently it's not the kind of thing you can paint over with another finish if you don't like it. So... that's why I still haven't opened the bottle yet. 

So those are the choices. At the moment I'm definitely leaning towards #2. Any thoughts?


  1. Go for the darker color; however, deciding between the natural "touch" and a "glossy" finish is tough. I would better like the feel of the gloss, but it would not be worth it if water spots showed up too easily. You definitely need input from someone with that type of finish if you are seriously considering the glossy finish. I'm excited about seeing the finished product.

    1. I don't know how worried I am about water spots, really. If I don't notice the fingerprints that are probably all over our stainless fridge, I can't imagine I would be bothered by water spots on the countertop. :) I'm thinking more about what look I want, but I really can't decide! I wish I knew someone who had the finish I could ask! :)

  2. The countertops look great!! My question is……will option 3 and the fact that it has “shiny qualities” make it easier to clean? I don’t know why I am thinking that it would, maybe I am associating this with paint types….that I prefer the look of flat paint, but I often choose to go with semi-gloss because it is so much easier to clean. Since you are stuck with your decision for the life of the countertops….maybe you could do a test run, use a scrap of concrete or use an inconspicuous area of your patio or make a couple test pieces of concrete in old cool whips bowls or something? I know you would be throwing away the money for one bottle of sealant, but maybe it would be worth it? With Baby B in the house and maybe more babies in the future, your countertops are sure to get a lot of use and a lot of mess. Just a thought. <3 Aunt Cha-Cha 

    1. I don't know... I prefer semi-gloss paint for the same reason! You're right, we should probably do a test first. So then I guess the question is which one should I test first? If I test the one I'm more likely to choose first maybe I'll love it and not have to open the other kind. But how will I ever choose? :)
      Thanks so much for commenting, Cha-Cha!

  3. Great play by play! I love how it brought out your kitchen's entire "feel"!

  4. This post is exactly what I needed now. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Could you please post which of these products you ended up choosing to get the finish you achieved. Could you offer up the brand you used as well? Thanks so much. Beautiful countertops!

    1. Hi! We used the Dupont sealer and enhancer. Hope that helps! :)