Concrete Dining Table

Concrete Dining Table - UncookieCutter 13

Concrete Dining Table

Hi and Welcome back!

We finally have a dining table!  Woo-whoo!  I’m so excited to share this with you all today.  I made a concrete dining table and I’ve NEVER worked with concrete before.  I wasn’t sure this would turn out, and I made LOTS of mistakes, but I’ll take you through how I did it and what not to do ;).  Sorry, it’s a little lengthy! Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

It’s a weird thing to figure out your home style.  I started here with a blank slate and just sort of added things as I built or made them.  I thought I was going to go the farmhouse-style route, but as it turns out I’ve got more of an industrial vibe going on here.  That’s actually pretty cool!  I started seeing my projects described as “industrial”, so now I’m sort of embracing it and loving it.  If you want some great tips on how to figure out your style, go check out THIS article by Lauren at Bless’er House.  She’s turned her self-described “Cookie-Cutter” home into something that is so fabulously her own.

Anyway, I was originally going to build this table with a wooden top, much like I built my friend Jeni’s table HERE.  But, since I was kind of on an industrial trip, I tried to think of what may fit in this room a little better.  The dining area is open to the living/game room area, so I wanted it to look like it belonged.  We were talking and talking and talking about filling a hole in the yard with concrete, and I started thinking.  Concrete can be pretty, right?

So, after doing a bit of “research” I found that table on Restoration Hardware’s site for $2,500!  It’s beautiful (just as I expected it would be), but I don’t have $2,500 for one piece of furniture, no matter how nice it is.  So, I started looking around for how I could build a concrete dining table myself.

I found THIS tutorial by DIY Pete and it was fantastic.  I love how easy his steps are to follow.  I probably read through that article 10 times before I even attempted to start.  I should have followed him to the tee, but I made a few mistakes.  I won’t outline everything, if you are interested, go visit Pete, but I will go through the mistakes I made.

First thing was you have a build a mold.  Again, I’ve NEVER worked with concrete, so I don’t know what I’m doing.  Pete suggests getting plywood with a melamine coated side.  The Lowe’s here in our little town didn’t have that, so I ran into my first problem.

Now, what I should have done was drive an hour to the city to find a piece that would work.  But, because I’m impatient, I didn’t do that.  Also, I don’t even know if they make it in a size this large.  After talking it through with my newly-employed and thinks-I’m-crazy new BFF Lowe’s employee, I decided I would make my own melamine lined board.  I bought a piece of plywood, and since I don’t have a table saw, I had my friend cut it at Lowes to the size I wanted.  I wanted the top to be 84×40″, so that is what he made it.  I used a piece of sturdy board, so it was about a $20 for that.  I then found one of these thin sheets of melamine in the back and decided to grab it to line my board with.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

So, since the board was already cut, I trace it around on the underside of this board, and used a razor blade to cut.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

 

 

Lowes did have smaller sheets of the the melamine lined plywood, and I got my friend at Lowe’s to cut those down to four long strips at 2.25″ wide for the sides.  I attached three sides before I put my melamine sheet on top.  See Pete’s post for more detailed instructions on how to make the mold.

Once I had the 3 sides on, I slid the melamine sheet in, trimming as needed.  When I got it to just the right size, I glued it down.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Then I clamped it and used some heavy stuff to mash it all down.

 

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Side note – I should have been a little more careful here. I had one corner where it didn’t get pressed down all the way.  I thought the weight of the concrete would press everything else down, but it didn’t and I have one corner that turns up just enough to drive me crazy, although everybody else says they can’t see it :).

Then I added the forth side and took some time to make sure it was nice and clean.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Pete suggests using reinforcement.  Since my top was going to be way bigger than his, I added the mesh but also wanted to add some rebar to the sides to make it a little more sturdy and less likely to break off.  I laid all my reinforcements out before I got started to make sure everything would fit.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Then I removed the reinforcements, caulked the sides, and cleaned it again.   I used 100% silicone caulk and just  followed Pete’s directions.  Once the caulk is dry, it’s time to mix some concrete.

Now the mixing!  Fun, fun :).  I recommend some heavy duty gloves, the little disposable ones rip pretty evenly when you’re hand mixing.  I also recommend practicing first to get the hang of the right consistency.  I was able to make it work, but it’s a little uneven.  It was also a bit of a workout.

Here is the mix I used, it’s supposed to be stronger than others.  I figured it was worth it.  The price was around $5 per bag and I used 5 bags.  My table dimensions are 84x40x1.50″.  Make sure you buy enough concrete, I had to make a super quick trip to Lowe’s, in my messy clothes, because I only bought 4 bags.  That was not fun :).

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

I also added one bottle of this color for every two bags of concrete to get that dark grey color.  I tried a couple of things.  First, I added it to the water before pouring the concrete in, but that didn’t work very well because it separated and I had to try and pull the color off the bottom.  For the next bag, I tried adding in at the same time I added the concrete, and that actually worked better.  But the best way was to mix the water and concrete until it was the consistency I wanted and then added the color in and mix it around.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

 

Then I just started mixing and packing it in.  It was a LOT of work and hard to do, but I did it all by myself!  I just worked fast and did one bag at a time.

So, the reason I have the form sitting up on the 2×4 stacks is that I don’t have a work table that I could set this on.  I wanted to be able to tap the bottom, so I did this so I could get under the table and tap away with a hammer if that makes since.  So, I did my tapping all around and underneath to release the air bubbles.   Then the skimming and smoothing and it looked like so…

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

 

Then I let it dry for about a week, just to be safe.  I seemed ready the next day, but I wanted it to be as solid as possible.  Then I removed the sides and flipped it over (my husband had to help – it was crazy heavy).

When I pulled my melamine made board off, it didn’t look great :(.  As it turns out, my tapping the bottom plan didn’t’ work so well.  This was supposed to be the top, but the other side looked much better, so I decided that the part that was supposed to be the top was going to be the bottom.  I still wanted it to be nice and sturdy, so while the bottom was faced up, I sanded and filled the holes with the Portland cement and let it dry.  I also put a couple of coats of the sealant on to make it all nice and “together”.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

See all those holes :(?  It took forever, but again, this turned out to be the bottom, so it’s okay.

Then, I flipped it back over and worked on the top.  I again, filled any holes with Portland cement and sanded it, filled and sanded it, and kept going until it was done.

At this point, my top still wasn’t as smooth as I wanted.  It was very close, but since I didn’t want to keep sanding it, afraid I would knock more holes in it, I decided to stop.  I sealed it with two coats of sealer, then used Polycrylic on the top, very lightly sanding between coats.  I also made sure and let it completely cure between coats – maybe a day or so.  I put about 4 coats and now it is nice and smooth.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

It’s also way stronger than I thought.  I was worried it was going to be sort of brittle, but all the sealant and poly did the trick!

Then I let it dry and that was pretty much it.  The top probably cost around $110.  I bought 5 bags of concrete and 1 bag of portland cement – $35.  The board and melamine and sides cost about $50.  I spent about $30 on Polycryclic, color and sandpaper.  This is an estimate, but close to what I spent.

So, for the base.  I used THESE plans from Ana White.  I picked these, because I have built this base twice before and I knew I could make it strong enough to hold that top and that I could do it so that I wouldn’t have to drill into the top.

So, here are the modifications I made.  First, I made it a foot shorter.  So, all the measurements, subtract 12″ from the length if you want it to fit a top that is 84×40.

I then made the legs all one piece (steps 1-7).  I just added all the boards on each side leg at one time, like this. Sorry about my thumb in the pic.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

I always have a little trouble with the x in the middle, I usually have to shave little bits off here and there.  My  miter saw isn’t the most accurate and the ends were closer to 45 degrees (the plans say 50 degrees on the ends, but this needed a slight modification because it was a little shorter).  I usually take a straight piece as a guide so I can see right where the shorter “x” boards would line up.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Then I clamp it a use the clamp to “pull” it together until it’s in the just right spot.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Then I added two more supports across the top, one on each side.  Then I flipped it and made double sure it was going to fit the top :).

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Now, time to sand and stain.  I actually enjoy sanding.  It’s kind of nice for me, for some weird reason. Anyway,after a lot of sanding,  I painted on one coat of Minwax Special Walnut.  It was nice, but I wanted it to be a little  more “ash-y”.  That’s a word, no?  Anyway, I mixed an almost white, tannish wall paint with water.  About half and half ratio.   Then I took a rag a wiped it on, blending it in as I went.  That gave me this finish, which is really full of depth.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Then I did 3 more coats of Polycrylic and added these levelers.

I’ve used them before and they are super heavy duty and work great. The only part is, they don’t come with instructions. Here is a pic of how to do it, just in case you need it.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

 

DONE!  Whew!  That was something. Except, wait…we had to get it in.  The bottom part was easy, me and the hubs moved it in and made sure it was in the correct spot.  Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

At this point, I made sure it was level with the furniture levelers.

The top was a different story.  We estimated that it weighs over 500 lbs.  So, I had to bribe people over with burgers and beer.  It took a lot of us, and some dog beds, but we eventually got it in.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

The whole thing was quite comical, but we did it!

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

 

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

I put some double sided tape on the top of the legs, but as it turns out, I didn’t need it.  So, I had the guys lift it back up and I ripped it off.  In his article, Pete suggests  using caulk where the legs meet the table, but it is so heavy it really doesn’t need anything.  I tried to get it to slide off — nope!  I still might add it, but it’s okay like so.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

 

I’m guest hosting over on Old House to New Home this month and if you’d like to know how I made that hanging shelf out of reclaimed wood for about $10, go visit HERE.

Concrete Dining Table - Uncookiecutter.com

So, it wasn’t easy, but it was doable.  With minimal tools, and no concrete experience, I was still able to pull it off, so I’m convinced anyone could do it!  With the wood, stain, poly and furniture levelers, the base was still under $100, making the whole project less than $200.  Really!  Score!

Please let me know if you have any questions, or if anything doesn’t make sense.

Stop by to get all the details on how I made this concrete dining table, even though I had never used concrete before! Get the lowdown at UncookieCutter.com

Thanks for stopping by!

April

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135 Comments on “Concrete Dining Table

  1. This turned out perfect! It is beautiful. I hate it when I mess-up on project and I can see it, but everyone tells me “they cannot” or “it looks fine” –I feel like it is there way of telling me not to stress over it, but then every time I see the mistake I cringe. Great post–Lots of photos, love it.

    • I know what you mean! We had guests over last night and I was pointing out all the little imperfections I noticed and then I thought “i’m crazy, stop talking” haha. Thanks Jess!

  2. April this is absolutely gorgeous! Would love to see the chairs you choose to go with it!

    • Oh Jen, this would be awesome as a countertop! I couldn’t believe how cheap concrete is – a lot of bang for your buck! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. You’ve done it again! I seriously LOVE your style, and this table 🙂 Thanks for sharing at the Talented Tuesday party! Love seeing your projects! PS – If you’re ever looking for someone to collaborate with, I’m loving the industrial style right now too 🙂
    Lindi recently posted…Talented TuesdayMy Profile

    • Thanks Leslie! It really wasn’t so bad, however I’m going to lay off the concrete for awhile (we did some in the backyard too). Thanks for stopping by!

  4. This looks great! We recently made a wooden table for our patio that is similar but all wood. This is truly amazing. I hope to give this a try some day when we are in our forever home – because I do not have to move a concrete table! Simply Amazing!
    Elizabeth recently posted…Dutch, Dutch, Goose is on YouTube!My Profile

    • Thank you Elizabeth! That is true, you do NOT want to move this thing. If we ever sell, I’ll probably leave it, haha.

  5. April, this is amazing! I love how it has a concrete top to it. When I initially saw the picture on Facebook I assumed it was a standard wood top. Such a great idea! I have not used concrete in any project yet, and to be honest is all terrify’s me. I will say, I love your DIY weighs, You gotta do what you gotta do!
    Emily, Our house now a home recently posted…Hallway family command centerMy Profile

    • Thanks Emily! It wasn’t so bad, the concrete. I did have a few people (*men) look at me and laugh when I told them my idea, so you know I HAD to do it ;). Go try it, it’s cheap! Start with a small piece and see how it goes! I’m loving it!

  6. This looks awesome and is feeding my granite top dining table ideas.
    I’m curious as to what type of wood you used for the base, as it is carrying all that weight?

    • Just standard 2×4 studs. They are super strong and it is evenly dispersed. Thanks so much for stopping by! Good luck with your table 🙂

    • Sure!! Although, I’m pretty sure the shipping would be about the same cost as the Resto one, haha. I’m also pretty sure you could make it, you are pretty good yourself! Thanks for stopping by Sara!

  7. woman you are amazing! This is my favorite project of yours I’ve seen. And I love the photos, the pink socks making an appearance while you were cutting the melamine was great! I can just imagine the insanity of taking that table top inside!! very very nice!
    Orana recently posted…This is how our Expat Family WorldschoolsMy Profile

    • Thanks Cristi!! It really wasn’t so bad! I had about 5 guys laugh and roll their eyes, so of course I had to do it. It’s just concrete, super cheap if you mess it up, it’s no biggie. Thanks for coming by!

  8. W.O.W. This is an amazing table!! I am visiting for the first time, I found you on Terry’s Linky party from thecuratorscollection.com. I am a huge fan of RH too, and this table is just awesome! Great job, you should be so proud!

    • Thank you so much Rhonda! I was so excited to find Terry’s party, seems right up my alley! Can’t wait to come back in the morning with my coffee and browse around :). Thanks for coming by!

  9. I’m just blown away by how gorgeous your table is! And you built it yourself!! Plus the fact that you only spent $200 on it and it will last forever! You are one talented lady!

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  11. Wowzers! This is seriously the coolest thing I’ve seen in a long time. It looks like it comes straight out of a Restoration Hardware magazine! I’m pinning it for my own inspiration! I hope you’ll link your Concrete Dining Table and all of your other furniture makeovers with Friday’s Furniture Fix! Doors open every Thursday night at 9PM EST and close on Monday’s at 11:59PM EST. Hope to see you there! Take Care… Carrie http://thirtyeighthstreet.blogspot.com/2015/09/week-7-fridays-furniture-fix.html

    • Thanks so much Carrie, I just went over to the furniture fix party! Thanks for letting me know about it. I appreciate you stopping by!

  12. WOW! This turned out incredible! I am definitely pinning this because all those tips you shared are priceless. I’m guessing that table is not going anywhere for a long time! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link.
    Jenny @ Refresh Living recently posted…Fall Harvest MantelMy Profile

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  16. I would say your style is industrial too, but a little warmer. Nevertheless, I loved it and the concrete table was “Awesome”. That was a project I have been contemplating for a while, but I’m a bit intimidated by it.

    I loved the post and I am sharing it this week at Beautifully Creative Inspired Link Up as my one of my favs. Please pop on over and grab the featured badge, share and link up another post this week.

    See you at the party!
    Gina
    MirrorWatching.com

  17. Wow the table looks great! Before all the images loaded, I was already thinking it totally looks like something from Restoration Hardware! Thanks for sharing with us at the Merry Monday link party. I hope you’ll join us again next week. Sharing your post on Twitter!
    Ashley recently posted…Merry Monday 71My Profile

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  20. You did an awesome job on your table…I ♥♥♥ the design. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  21. My dad and I are helping our friend do some concrete cutting. We don’t know anything about this, so we figured it would be wise to get an idea of how it works. This helped, and I can’t wait to give it a try this weekend.

    • I’m so glad! I had no idea what I was doing (and still really don’t), but it was doable, and we love our table. I’d love to see your work. Good luck!

  22. I love love this concrete dining table!
    Just a thought… do you think it would work if you put concrete on an existing top? No need for a mold, just smooth it on? With the sealant and poly, I’m thinking it would protect it from chipping. Or am I wishful dreaming?
    Jennifer

    • I was just talking to a friend of mine about this! I do think it would work, but you still might have to make a mold. I’m not sure how the concrete would “stick” to the sides without a mold, but this was my first time working with it so I’m not sure. It sure would be lighter! Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to see it if you do it!

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  27. This is simply amazing. You did such a beautiful job — it has inspired me to do a (much smaller) version of my own. Quick question — did the charcoal color from Quikrete give yours a bluish cast at all? Your color looks ideal, but other people said (from amazon comments) that the color was on the blue side.
    I love that you had to use dog beds. They’re wonderful for moving heavy objects — pulled that trick many times!! Thanks for sharing,

    • Thank you so much! I can’t remember, but I didn’t use a whole bottle – maybe half a bottle for 3 bags – and it turned out really light grey. It doesn’t appear blue to me, but I have a lot of blue in here. I’m so glad you stopped by and I’d love for you to post a pic on FB when you are done! Good luck!

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  31. This is a beautiful table and I want to have one just like it my kitchen. What would be even cooler is if I can cut the concrete myself and do it that way. But if I’m really smart about this, I should have a professional service cut it for me. I’ll have to look into this more and see if it’s something that I can do.

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  35. I never would have thought of adding rebar to make sure the table doesn’t break off as easily. I can’t believe how inexpensive your DIY version was compared with the Restoration Hardware piece you used as inspiration. It all turned out absolutely beautifully! I do have one question, though. Is the polycrylic stuff you used on the top safe for eating off of?

    • Thank you so much Rachel! From what I understand, once Polycrylic is cured, it is food safe. I always feel like it’s something that’s going to do us all in, but this is as food safe as anything I could find. So far, it’s been great! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  38. Wow, your concrete table turned out very similar to the expensive one in the picture. I love the industrial look of the material when it is used in interiors. I wonder if it would be difficult to have concrete cut to size rather than pouring it into a frame. I bet you could get some interseting shapes that way.

    • Oh, that’s a great idea, I never thought of cutting it. That would be too cool. Thanks for stopping by!

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  41. Wow, you make this look way too easy. I can’t believe how nice it turned out. I might have to consider actually making one now. Thanks for sharing.

  42. That’s a great project! I like the smell of sanding, too. And the pic with your dog by the finished product really makes the table look good!

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