I have finally finished my latest DIY project, which unfortunately took me over 6weeks from start to finish. But now that my table reno is completed, I’m pretty proud to share the outcome.
I bought a 4+ seater Freedom table and bench seat combo off Gumtree. It was the perfect shape/size that we needed, just didn’t match in with the other decor. It was a dark brown laminate, which had seen better days, chipped and scuffed from the previous owner.
I sanded back the laminate on the chairs and table to see what was underneath. It’s a pretty heavy unit so I was hoping it was something decent. The legs of both the table and chairs were a nice timber, the tops of the chairs and table were a thick chipboard. Which would still work well for what I needed.
I had done (what I thought) was a fair amount of research on concrete tables. I didn’t want to create a solid concrete slab just cover the existing table top. But the concrete was a bit of trial and error. First time it didn’t work, even after the back braking hours I spent smoothing, it just wouldn’t stick to the timber when dried. After extensive further research, I found the right cement to use and also a high grade clear/matte concrete sealer, and presto results! Process was time consuming and did end up costing more than expected, but hell of a lot cheaper than buying this new from a store. Now we can eat at our table again.
I lacquer the table legs in a nice natural stain and sprayed the chairs completely with a Black Satin for contrast.
@Andadams, I gave your work a like a week ago, & now I have a question.
What was the cement, that worked for you?
I'm going to leave the seats the solid satin black for contrast. The black also helps tie in with other furniture and accessories in the lounge room. Maybe if it was an outdoor settling I'll look into matching the seats.
I used something called Ardex Feather Finish. I picked it up from Carpet Court. Best to call around first to confirm they have stock available or if they need to order it in.
Would be more than happy to share my full journey/ learnings if you're interested.
@Andadams, fantastic mate, I hadn't heard of that product, & definitely wouldn't have clicked to look for something like that in a carpet place.
"Would be more than happy to share my full journey/ learnings if you're interested."
Sure am, the finish you got looks amazing, so I'll be learning from a master, one who's learnt through hard earned experience, & been honest about it.
By the way, I like that you stained the chairs black, they tend to disappear & highlight the table. It'd add a fair bit of weight to them too I'd imagine.
@Andy_Mann No dramas at all, I've just sent you a message with the full honest DIY. Any advise in between just shout!
As there seems to be a fair amount of interest on how I did my table, thought I'd post my learnings and process. Sorry in advance for the long post!
I wanted a table that was still a bit rustic, not polished shinny concrete, so it would still have a matte finish. If you want a gloss finish you’ll need to spend the time to polish the concrete (hell of a lot of sanding with fine grade grit sandpaper) and will need to look into a gloss finish sealer).
Other than the cement and sealer you can pick everything else up from Bunnings. Unfortunately normal cement just won’t stick to timber as when the timber expands and retracts with temperature the dried concrete will crack away (learnt the hardway!). With the Ardex Feather Finish (the cement/mortar), give your local Carpet Court a call to confirm they have the product in stock or if they can order it in. The Aqua Mix sealer I used is on the expensive side, but after reading many reviews and people struggling to manage their concrete tables from stains, it was a worth while purchase to find something that is heavy duty. So you don't to be that person that yells at yours guests for putting icecold drinks direclty down on the table for fear of rings!
Cleaning and maintenance: You won’t be able use regular surface cleaners as they may mess with the sealer. Best to just dust off the surface, and if you spill wipe it up straight away. I did also invest in an Aqua Mix Cement Cleaner & Resealer – since this is a dining table, which will come in contact with food, grease and everyday messes. So this spray will clean the surface and also adds a top up of the sealer.