DIY Concrete Vanity {with integral sink}!

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble vanity with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

Hello Remodelaholic readers!  There are no words for how excited I am to be contributing to Remodelaholic!  I am Tasha and I blog over at Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body.  So nice to “meet” you all!

My blog focuses on thrifty DIY renovations and I am here to share with you one of my favorite DIY projects that I have ever tackled! You may have seen DIY concrete countertops all over Pinterest (and here  and here on Remodelaholic!).  You can pour them yourself into forms, but the easiest way to do DIY concrete countertops is by using a product called Ardex Feather Finish to apply on top of a stable surface, such as an existing laminate countertop.  I did exactly that in my laundry room and was thrilled with the results.  It was easy to do because the stainless steel sink in our laundry room popped out of place while I worked on the countertop.  You may have even read about it over here on Remodelaholic when I guest posted about my high style, low cost laundry room renovation.

Unfortunately, our bathrooms are full of cultured marble counter tops with integral sinks that were oh so popular in the early 80’s. Not my favorite look.  It was not in our budget to replace the vanity top in our powder room, so I had to get creative.  I took a risk and decided to attempt the DIY concrete look in the powder room.  I bet you are wondering…BUT HOW CAN YOU DO IT WITH AN INTEGRAL SINK?!   Buckle your seat belts.  I am about to show you how I did it.MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble vanity with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

DIY Concrete Vanity Instructions

Materials Needed to Create a DIY Concrete Vanity:

  • Ardex Feather Finish {which can be hard to find} OR Henry’s Feather Finish {which is also made by Ardex and can be easily found at Home Depot}
  • 14 inch Drywall tray
  • 6 inch metal Drywall knife
  • 2 inch plastic putty knife
  • An electric sander {makes some of the sanding work easier, but you CAN sand by hand if you don’t have an electric sander}
  • Latex gloves
  • Acrylic concrete sealer
  • 150 and 220 grit sandpaper
  • A large sponge

Steps to Create a DIY Concrete Vanity:

1) Remove your faucet and drain stopper.

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com! 2) Sand your counter top and sink.  This will dull the finish of the cultured marble and make it easier for the concrete to adhere.

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com! 3) Mix your concrete.  I simply pour some of the dry mix into my drywall tray, add water and mix it with my small putty knife.  You want to mix it to the consistency of pancake batter.  After mixing it, let it sit for a few minutes and then mix it again.  Now it is ready to work with.

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com! 4) Apply your first coat of concrete to the entire cultured marble countertop and any backsplash.  You want to apply a THIN coat–do not strive for full coverage on the first coat.  It will look like a hot mess, but don’t get nervous.  It will be gorgeous, I promise!  I use my large drywall knife to apply it to most of the counter top surface and I use the smaller putty knife to apply it to the small backsplash piece.  Use your fingers to apply it to the corners and top of the edges.  You may get some on your walls in the process, don’t worry, it wipes off fairly easily even after it dries, but you may wind up with some minor paint touch up work.

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

5) Now, apply it to the sink basin.  You have to do this with your fingers.  You should protect your skin with gloves.  Spread it around as best you can.  Again, it will be messy and you will see finger marks.  That’s okay!

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com! 6) Allow it to dry.  It dries fairly quickly, but I allowed each coat to dry overnight because I was working on it at night anyway.  Once it is dry, give it a light hand sanding.  NOTE: If you applied your first coat too thickly and there are significant imperfections, you may be better off using an electric sander.

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com! 7) Repeat steps 4- 6 until you achieve the coverage you want.  I was happy after 3 coats, but I am fairly experienced using this product and am able to apply it fairly smoothly.  If you have more imperfections, you will probably require more coats to get it nice and smooth.  The photo below is a photo I took while the second coat was drying {which is why it looks all splotchy}.

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

When you put your second and third coats in the sink basin, it helps to smooth the ridges left by your fingers out with a sponge AFTER the concrete has dried a little bit.  You want it to be just firm enough to smooth out the ridges–if it is too wet, you will wind up wiping off the concrete, which you do not want.  This requires a little bit of trial and error, but I would say as a rule of thumb, you can smooth it out with a sponge about 10 to 20 minutes after you have applied it.  {Do not try to smooth out the first layer–it will wipe right off.  Only do this with subsequent layers!}

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

8) Once you are happy with the coverage, you will want to do a final sanding of the entire vanity surface.  I do it by hand to ensure that I don’t remove too much of the concrete, particularly on the edges and corners.  But again, if you have significant imperfections, you may need to break out the electric sander.

9) Your last step is to apply a sealer.  I recommend using a water based acrylic concrete sealer in satin finish.  It gives your concrete a nice, smooth finish with a slight sheen.  It also darkens the concrete up a bit, which I like.  You will notice in the second photo below that the sealer has a milky appearance when it is applied.  Don’t worry, it dries clear.  Follow the directions carefully–do not apply the sealer too thick and/or leave puddles.  Also be sure to smooth out any air bubbles.  I applied two coats.  Also, take care to apply sufficient sealer around the inner edge of the hole where your drain will sit, otherwise water may seep into the concrete, which you do not want.

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

10) After the sealer dries, install your new faucet {or reinstall your old faucet}.  That’s it!  Can you believe how easy that is?

Time and Cost Involved to Create a DIY Concrete Vanity:

Each coat/sanding cycle took me only about 30 minutes.  Including the sealing step and removal and reinstallation of the faucet, this project took only about 2 1/2 hours, spread out over several nights after work and getting my girls to bed.

The cost was very low, coming in well under $20.00.  We purchased our Henry’s Feather Finish for $16.00 for the box and used less than 1/4 of the contents.  We already had the sealer left over from when I used this same technique in our laundry room.  And, since we are frequent DIYers, we had all of the other supplies on hand.  Even if you had to purchase the sealer and some of the other supplies, you would still spend far less than what you would spend on a new vanity top!

Check out the final result!

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble counter top and sink with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

Not bad for an amazing transformation, huh?  We just love it!

I would love for you to head over to my blog, Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body, to explore some of our other thrifty renovation projects, like how we totally transformed our kitchen for less than $700 or how we created a stunning herringbone plank wall FOR FREE using an old, ugly fence!  If you love concrete as much as I do, you may also enjoy our DIY concrete fireplace!  I hope to see you over in my corner of blog land soon!

UPDATE: To answer the questions about how this cement refinishing coat holds up and how to clean it, Tasha was kind enough to make a short video for you. Thanks, Tasha!

MUST PIN! Learn how to transform a cultured marble vanity with concrete on Remodelaholic.com!

——————–Update 5/21/2016——————-
Take a look at this!
Marble to Concrete vanity, before and after, reader built from Remodelaholic plans
MacLean, one of our readers, used this tutorial then shared photos with us. Here’s what MacLean had to say about it:
I looked up how to get rid of the wretched seashell yellow marble sink and found your post for using cement. It inspired me. I put cement over the sink layer by layer and finally I made that shell disappear and with some stain and sealer… well I ran with it and I couldn’t stop. Now I have an awesome bathroom. Thank you.
Beautiful remodel, MacLean. Thank you for sharing!
Do you have a project inspired by one of our posts that you’d like to share? We’d love to see it! Let us know here

————————————————–

Looking for more ways to update a vanity?

Paint it

vanity painted
painted vanity tutorial here

Remodel it

vanity remodeled
builder grade vanity remodeled — instructions here

or build it!

vanity long built
long vanity with added height — building plans here
vanity built
rustic DIY vanity building plans here
Website | + posts

Hi! I'm Tasha author and creator of Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body, where I blog about thrifty DIY home renovations, simple crafts and tips for a happy household. Join me as my firefighter husband, 3 1/2 year old twin girls and I renovate our outdated home one room at a time. We are living proof that you can create your dream home on a budget even when you lead very busy lives!

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135 Comments

  1. Hello, I loved this idea. I am in the middle of it right now. I feel like there are lines in the sink part. Any idea or suggestion? I have sanded and sanded. It is also darker when I sand it. Thank you. Angie

  2. Hi! It looks fantastic. Could you please talk about the weight of this? Could it be too heavy for the vanity? Thank you!

  3. I just purchased the Henry feather finish online this week. Excited for it to get here to do my kitchen countertops 🙂 thanks for the tutorial

  4. Hello! I followed your tutorial & did this in my bathroom, but I have a slight problem that you didn’t mention anything about and wonder how you avoided it… At the bottom of the sink, at the drain, it doesn’t slope perfectly, and a small puddle collects right next to the drain instead of going down. I’ve tried adding extra sealant to the edges of the drain, but that hasnt competely alleviated the problem. So, whats your secret?

    Also I keep finding that the sealant chips away a bit… I used the same materials as you. Did I just totally blow it? :-/

  5. Hi there! I did the same process and its lovely but i have awful stains where the soap dish sits – I assume too much water and soap residue is sitting there and started eating through. I am now sanding off my 3 coats of acrylic sealant and will redo the process with 2 steps – impregnating sealer and then a satin acrylic. I’m hoping that takes care of the problem. Have you not had a similar issue? Thanks

    1. Hi Jessica! No, we haven’t had that problem, but I have heard from one other reader that has had that issue. Did you use the exact sealer that I used? That’s the only difference I can think of.

    1. Hi Alissa! It can be applied to any stable surface, but I don’t think I would recommend it for a piano, especially if it’s a piano that gets played. I would think it would ruin the acoustics.

  6. I just bought a house with lots of gorgeous features but some really ugly, outdated ones as well. One of the worst is a hideous pink and tan cultured marble shower stall. Do you think this technique would work for it? And can you tell me if MacLean used acid stain to color his vanity? I’ll be doing all the work myself, so I really appreciate your web site.

  7. Couple of questions. Can this technique be applied directly to plywood? Is the mixture stiff enough to stick to the sides?

  8. Tasha,
    Do we have to remove the entire drain stopper? we removed the closing part but were hoping to keep the ring intact. can you please let me know your thoughts quickly! We are looking to do this project tonight!!:)

  9. Love this remodel! We just purchased a home and are considering doing this to our bathroom counter/sink. The house will eventually become a rental home, so I was wondering what the wear on the sink area that gets wet has been for you? I’m in love with the look, but want to make sure it’s practical for a renter who may not treat it as kindly as I would 🙂

  10. I know this is old, but do you have an update on how this has help up? Also, how long did you let the sealer cure before you used it>

      1. Thank you for the response. One last question I had was something someone else asked. Did you do the bottom edges of the vanity? If so, did you have issues with dripping cement?

  11. Hi Tasha!! Loved you tutorial! It’s seems very simple to do, but wondered about a couple of things. I want to add a concrete top to a kitchen island made of particle board with a piece of granite in the middle. One end of the top folds down or you can leave it. It is worn out and I want to replace it with concrete. Any tips on how to do this seeing how there are grooves around the granite and the part that folds down. The other question is the edges have like a design that goes in then come back out. How do you concrete something like this?

  12. I’m so glad I came across this genius tutorial. My sink has a shell design. Can you give me any tips on application / sanding this style of sink? My inspiration piece for my bathroom remodel is a driftwood carved tribal hammerhead shark. I’m hoping I can accomplish what I envision. Or, should I just wait till I can purchase a new counter top. Thoughts please? From a new follower ~ Cissy in Texas

  13. Did you put anything down after the sealer? We’ve noticed that the sealer scratches off did you have that issue at all?

  14. Did you have any difficulties replacing the drain ring after the concrete is added? I’m concerned that the additional thickness will cause problems. Thanks for any tips you may have!

  15. Hi
    Im tempting to do this on my ugly cultured marble top.
    Do I have to remove the faucet or can I do it with the faucet on?
    Thank you!

  16. Hi Tasha,

    You mentioned you have used this technique in the past. I am really eager to do this in my kitchen, but am not sure if it will hold up with the day to day use.

    Thanks!

    Zeni