bathroom makeover + DIY concrete counters

Happy Monday!

I’m finally getting around to showing you the before + after pics of my main floor bathroom makeover which included DIY concrete countertops! I also revamped the vanity by giving it a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. (Note: prior to this project, I painted the walls and changed out the mirror but don’t have any before/after pics of that).

Let’s get to the details, shall we?!

bathroom before and after


As you can see in this before pic, the countertop was a 60s-era laminate that was not only unattractive, but was starting to chip away in some spots (mainly behind the sink). Rather than spend a few hundred bucks to replace the countertop (we already recently did that in our upstairs bathroom, seen here), I had a much cheaper alternative in mind. I’d been seeing a few tutorials for concrete countertops floating around on Pinterest, namely this one and this one, which turned out to be the perfect solution since I could just apply the cement right over the current countertop.

concrete countertopsA bag of cement, a container of sealer, plus a few weeks worth of time and here we are!

(If you want a detailed step-by-step tutorial, reference the two links above). One thing I will point out, however, is that once you’re done with applying and sanding the cement, the instructions on the sealer say to not use the sealer on cement that is less than 7 days old in order for the cement to fully cure. This is something that wasn’t mentioned in any of the tutorials I looked at but I think it’s important to note for the sake of knowing exactly how long this project will take you from start to finish. For me it was two weeks — applying and sanding three coats of cement to the counters over the course of one week and waiting an additional week to seal.

concrete countertops

You guys know from reading my kitchen cabinet makeover post that I am not a huge fan of distressed cabinets because it can be hard to differentiate paint from dirt/grime. The same distressed finish that was in our kitchen was also on these cabinets (wah, wah, wah). I gave them a good sanding followed by one coat of bonding primer and one coat of paint in ‘coffee white’ by Valspar. The window trim was also sporting the distressed finish (not really visible in the photos), so that got a few coats of new paint, too. The room feels so much brighter and cleaner now!

bathroom vanity makeoverI also replaced the hardware on the vanity using some knobs & pulls that a friend of mine salvaged from when she remodeled her 1920s kitchen. It was a bonus that they happened to match the mirror frame perfectly! And while we’re not sure, we think they could be original to her house, making them antiques — bonus!

before and after

Shortly after I started this project I was super excited to see that DIY-pros John and Sherry from the infamous Young House Love blog were also working on adding concrete counters to their house. You can see their in-depth tutorial here!

diy concrete counters

diy concrete countertops

The counters clearly show the trowel marks and various spots created by air bubbles and sanding. While this look may not be for a lot of people, I love the uniqueness of it — no two concrete counters are ever alike!

diy concrete countertops

window wall art

To go along with the new “industrial” feel that the concrete countertops gave this space, I hung up one of my antique windows that had previously been in the office.

bathroom makeover

Overall, I’m really happy with how the counters turned out. Now it will just be a matter of seeing how well they wear over time.

As for the room as a whole, I’d still like to get a new sink + faucet, and possibly opt for a different light fixture (similar to the one in the basement guest bedroom), but for now I’m calling this space good!

Want more before + afters? See our basement bathroom makeover here and our upstairs one here.

What do you think — could you see concrete counters being a fit for somewhere in your house?

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Filed under DIY, House & Home

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