The Beginner-Friendly DIY That Brings A Standard Bathroom Up To Date

Ready for an update to your bathroom that won't put you out of your house and home financially? A simple DIY that includes concrete overlay lets you redecorate your sink without needing to replace or renovate it. Budget-friendly and beginner-appropriate, this is a fast solution to an outdated washroom that needs a little TLC. All you need is a concrete mix and about 20 minutes to complete this task, and you will soon have the ultimate faux concrete countertop hack that can be used in every bathroom (or any other countertop).

Concrete is a go-to style for designers and homeowners alike thanks to the minimalistic but chic finish it can give to any space. Modern and simplistic, concrete surfaces produce a neutral theme that is great for a variety of color palettes and gives even the most standard rooms a sleek atmosphere. If your sink is just a ceramic design that looks like it could belong to any house on the block, why not pivot and add a layer of industrial-looking concrete to change your washroom from drab to fab? Concrete countertops can be pricey to install, but this DIY gives you all the aesthetics for a quarter of the out-of-pocket cost!

Apply the concrete in layers before sanding

Gather your tools, which include self-drying cement like Ardex Feather Finish ($36.99), a Home Depot DryWall knife (6 inches, $10.13), and a drywall tray, an Amazon 2-inch putty knife ($5.55), sandpaper or a sander, Quikrete 873002 Concrete Cure And Seal Satin Finish ($26.22), gloves (latex or latex-free, but the kind you can touch the cement with directly), and a large, clean sponge. Look for sandpaper with 150 grit like the Home Depot Faster Sanding sheets to smooth out your concrete once it dries, then a second pack of Home Depot Faster Sanding 220 grit sandpaper to finish the mixture (both under $10).

Before beginning, you will want to remove your faucet fixture. If the faucet is dated, look around at your local home improvement stores for a budget-friendly replacement. Either find a new sink stopper too, or leave your existing one if you don't mind it. Use the sander to buff your current sink surface. This doesn't need to be a complete process: you're just aiming to sand it down so that the shine isn't as obvious to allow for the concrete to stick. Mix up your concrete solution, then use the putty and dry wall knives to scrape a thin layer onto your sink. Do this around the entire surface, forgoing the inner bowl since the shape of the knife won't accommodate the curves. Next, use your hands covered by latex gloves to add a thin coating of the concrete to the sink bowl. Once the basin and surfaces are all coated, let them dry before sanding the entire sink. By only using a thin layer, you're avoiding thicker applications that might otherwise need the electric sander.

A clean, chic, easy concrete sink finish

After your first coat, the following layers depend on preference. You can add as many or as few as you like, although at least two to five layers will ensure that all the underlying material is covered and the cement isn't patchy. The corners of your sink might be tricky to reach with the knives, so don't be scared to get in there with a finger. The sponge will help to flatten any rough areas left by finger application, but wait until you've added a few coats before using it. Give the concrete at least 15 minutes before wiping it, so it's not dry but not completely wet either. Finish with the sandpaper to even out bumps and thicker areas, creating a uniform finish. 

Sand using the 150 grit, then use the 220 grit for the final buff, paying special attention to the edges and basin. Lastly, paint a layer of finish on the entire area. This will add a glossy texture to make the concrete look less 'rough' and more polished. While you want to lean into the industrial look the cement provides, the finish will make it more fitted to an indoor bathroom. Re-install your sink, then admire your handiwork! Repeat these steps on your cabinets if you want to pull the theme throughout the whole space for a truly modern decor. Before you buy concrete countertops, why not give this hack a try instead?