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Refinishing Concrete Countertops Part 1 of 3

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One of the most frequent questions we get sounds something like this-

"I want to refinish my concrete countertops, what do I do? I don't know who made them, or what they used to seal them with, and everything on the internet seems to conflict with everything else! Help!"

As promised by Liverpool fans everywhere, you are not walkingalone.

Resealing concrete countertops is a process. Let's walk through what that process may look like for you.

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First things first, what sealer is on your countertops? You may not have an answer for this, but you will want to try your hardest to find out. Every sealer requires a slightly different approach, and knowing what you are up against will inform the rest of the process. If you can't figure out what sealer it is, we will address that in a bit. If your countertops were sealed with the Buddy Rhodes system, your process will be relatively simple.

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What shape is your countertop in? Has your concrete just lost it’s ‘pop’? If so, a little wax and a buff may be all you need. If your concrete is absorbing water, seeing staining or etching, then you will need to figure out how far to take the process. You may want to spot fix problem areas, or, as daunting as it may seem, stripping and resealing the entire piece may prove to take less time and give a better result than trying to chase spots will. In the case of sinks that have seen lots of wear, just refinishing a sink is not hard to do, just tape off the transition between sink and countertop.

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What will you use to reseal your countertops? There is no perfect sealer for concrete countertops. Artisans everywhere pray that one day we will overcome this simple fact, and people everywhere are searching for this holy grail. Much progress has been made in the past years, but we still aren't there yet. For every 'pro' a sealer offers you, there is a 'con'. It won't stain but it will scratch, it wont scratch, but it will stain, and so on.

Having run professional studios ourselves, we are settled on 3 different technologies. We have come to this conclusion by weighing a number of factors, including protection, ease of application, repairability, and aesthetic.

  • The first is what Buddy has been promoting all along, a penetrating sealer followed by a satin acrylic. This is a simple to apply and repair system that offers good protection against the common kitchen environment. It is not bombproof, but if something happens it can be repaired with relative ease compared to other sealers. Often a wax is used, more on that later.
  • The next system is a reactive sealer combination that requires quite a bit more commitment on the users part, and the final result is very much contingent on the concrete it is being applied to. When well applied, it is as good a sealer as exists, but because it is contingent on the concrete it is applied to, there is a complex set of variables that come into play. If you want more information about this sealer,GO HERE. (In many cases people will replace the Penetrating Sealer in Buddy’s system with the first step (CH Prep) of the reactive sealer, followed by the satin acrylic sealer. This is for people in the middle of the road between wanting it to be simple, and willing to commit some time and effort for slightly better protection. Again, if you fancy this,GO HERE.)
  • The newest sealer to our offerings is our Reactive Urethane Sealer. This is a urethane sealer combined with a reactive component. It performance coating that provides consistent results for stain resistance, ans is relatively easy to apply. As with all coatings, scratching is the main drawback.

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Now that we have outlined where we are, and where we are going, let’s figure out how to get there. Next Step


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