It’s giving off kind of a stark/cold vibe in these photos, but after we add some colorful window treatments, stuff on the shelves/counters, and remedy that bad faux brick flooring (and that almond stove) we think it’ll feel like a whole new room. Sherry shared this quick peek at our first coat in Friday’s post, and we’re back with the final results, the details of how we got there, and an in-action video to hopefully help explain the process. Pictures don’t do it justice, but the whole room feels a lot more updated and less laminate-y.
In addition to the main kitchen area, we also gave the concrete treatment to the nearby nook by the eat-in part of the kitchen.
We haven’t sealed the counters yet (we haven’t been able to track down either of the two products that our research points to using), so the color will probably get a bit deeper after that step.
We did this using Ardex Feather Finish, which we’ve been really interested in trying since seeing a few other attempts like these from Kara Paslay, Little Green Notebook, Sarah’s Big Idea, and A Beautiful Mess. the first step was to rough up the existing counters with some high grit sandpaper.
Somewhere between all of their pretty pictures and the low price tag for Ardex ( per bag) I had assumed this would be a quick and easy task. Maybe it was because we’re first timers, or maybe it was because our work area was especially large (we were dealing with 45 square feet of counters thanks to the U-shaped area in the cooking zone and the nook area by the table), but it turned out to be a tiring and messy job that spanned across five days. We took a bunch throughout our four rounds of applying/sanding the Ardex and I’m just using the ones that are most helpful. This was before we realized our fingers would be taking a beating from all of the sandpaper gripping.
It wasn’t very complicated or difficult, just more labor and time intensive than we realized we were getting ourselves into. We wised up and added gloves and used nice big sanding blocks wrapped in high grit paper about ten minutes into it. The Ardex bag suggests a mixture of 2-parts powder to 1-part water, but we found that balance to be a little bit on the thick side – making it hard to spread and what we believe led to our first layer being, well, on the thick side too.
So we erred on the side of a bit more water from that point on.Like grout or thinset, the goal seems to be a toothpaste-like consistency.Thick enough that it doesn’t run or drip off your blade, but thin enough to spread easily.If you’re mixing larger batches it suggests a paddle mixer, but we did just fine by hand (Sherry took a turn mixing things too and didn’t have any issues doing it by hand).Since it starts to harden within about 15-20 minutes, we never wanted to mix up too much at once anyway.Spreading it on the flat surfaces was kinda fun, in a weird way.