As promised yesterday, here's a continuation of the front porch progress with a tutorial on how to make your own concrete countertops.
check out some other things you can made as accessories with it.)
The first, and probably most important step in making your own counters is to measure accurately. We had a little jog that we had to account for in the shape of the counters and each side was slightly different in measurement so the forms had to be adjusted accordingly. Measure carefully!
After that you have to gather your materials. You'll need concrete (we used a countertop mix from Menards).
You'll also need melamine boards, found in any home improvement store (often used for shelving). The key is to find smooth boards if you want a smooth finish.
You'll also need to figure out what you want to use as a support within your counters. You don't want the counters to crack so you need something structural and sturdy inside them. You can buy rebar or make your own. Michael originally planned on making his own, but lucky for him his wife is a genius (ha!) and suggested taking a shortcut with some leftover items we had in the garage.
We used this as the support within the concrete: Can you guess what it is?
Basically, Michael cut the shelving down and tied it with plastic zip ties to hold it together. He added some bent pieces of metal that sat on the edge of the forms and enabled the shelving to be suspended in the middle of the concrete (you don't want it settling to the bottom of your form since it is the top of your counter).
For the forms themselves, remember that the bottom of your form will become to the top of your counter when you're finished. So cut a board slightly wider than the counter you need and then tack side boards around it to get the depth you want.
You'll also need to use some silicone caulk to fill in the gaps so your edges are nice and smooth. This edging tool was handy for spreading the caulk evenly inside the form.
Other than the concrete top, the final thing we had to do to finish the front porch was trim out the bottom of the columns. They turned out great!