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DIY Concrete Tabletop

Happy summer! We have been spending a lot more time outside lately, and for us that includes cooking outdoors. Usually pizza in the pizza oven. Which leads me to my latest project, a DIY Concrete Tabletop for our outdoor buffet table. This project is one I have been thinking about for a while now, but I finally sorted out the logistics. The short story is we have a wood buffet table on our patio that we use often for food prep, serving, and of course making pizzas. But the tabletop itself is very hard to clean, especially after countless evenings tossing flour around. My goal was to create a tabletop that could be wiped down easily and of course on a budget. You want to see how I did it?

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DIY Concrete Outdoor Table

This table was built for us years ago by a good friend and we have loved it from day one. But once we got our pizza oven, cleaning it became a challenge. Since I have been dying to take on a concrete project, I decided to skim coat a tabletop in concrete rather than trying to make a thick concrete slab. And you will never guess what I used as the top…..a hollow core door! We have half a dozen in the basement since we replaced all the doors in the hallway so I figured, what do I have to lose? This is what the table looked like when we started.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

DIY Concrete Table top Supplies

Hollow Core Door
Feather Finish
Nitrile Gloves
Spar Urethane
Gorilla Construction Adhesive 
Mixing Paddle
Mini Hack Saw
Sander
Nail Gun
Table Saw
Drill
Tape Measure
Wood Filler
Trowel
Putty Knife
Painters Tape

Why Faux Concrete?

I am sure you are probably wondering, why not make a real concrete patio table? First, they are VERY heavy and difficult to move. Second, there is a learning curve to mix concrete and get a nice smooth finish. Not to mention you need a concrete form, rebar and other items I do not have. I just didn’t think it was a great idea when I already had an easier option available.

Step 1

First thing, find a hollow core door to use as the top of the table. We have several on hand that were removed from our upstairs hallway. The good news is these are fairly inexpensive to purchase, but I would check the free section of FB Marketplace, Craigslist, or Offer Up first. You could also use a plywood top. This is what the door looked like when I started.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Step 2

Cut the door down to size. Since I planned to use this as a tabletop for an existing table base, I had to trim 11 inches off the length or the short sides of my door. I used my table saw for this but you could also use a circular saw. Luckily, I didn’t have to trim off the long sides since the 30 inch door width fit my size of table well. Depending on the size of your project, you may not need to cut it down.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Step 3

Reinforce the cut end of your door. As the name suggests, hollow core doors are hollow on the inside and only the outer edges of the door have wood supporting the outside covering. This is what the inside of my hollow core door looked like. Not much to it!

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Because I planned to skim coat the door in concrete, I needed the end of the door to be sealed off. So I used the 11 inch scrap I cut off in step 2 and cut the solid piece of supporting wood out of it. I am not going to lie, this was a little bit dicey of a cut, so I am not sure I would attempt this without a table saw. You could also reinforce this part with another piece that you cut down to size. I was just trying to use what I had as it was otherwise the same size. 

Step 4

Cut a few inches of cardboard out of the hollow core door that will be used as the tabletop. This was fairly easy to do with a mini hack saw. Just run it along the inside edge to cut it and pull out pieces of cardboard to make flat surfaces and room for the wood reinforcement.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Step 5

Add the wood reinforcement to the hollow end of the door. The straight piece of wood I cut from my scrap part of the door fit perfectly. If you want to see more details on this step, check out my DIY Concrete Tabletop Instagram story highlight.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

To make sure it stayed in place, I used the nail gun to put a few nails in the top and sides.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Step 6

Fill in any holes. Since I used an old door, I had to fill in the areas that were bored out for the hinges. I did not bother filling in the hole where the door knob was because I planned to use that hole for the gas line to the pizza oven. If you do not need a hole like I did, I would suggest filling it or trying to find a slab door that has not been drilled for a handle. I used wood filler to fill the hinge holes. I basically just slapped it on there, and lightly sanded it once it was dry in a couple of hours.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop 

Step 7

Apply the concrete finish. I used feather finish which I found at Home Depot. This is generally used to level out floors.

Full disclosure, this was my first time using this concrete mixture, so I was just crossing my fingers it would work, but I had read it is a much smoother consistency than other concrete products while still giving the look of concrete.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

It comes in a powder and has to be mixed with water. For mixing, it’s best to have a mixing paddle to attach to a drill. I already had one from mixing tile mortar in the past.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

I used a metal putty knife and the flat edge of a trowel to spread it out. It dries very fast so you have to work quick. I spread it all over the door and over the edges. My mix might have been a bit too thick (about toothpaste consistency) because I found it hard to spread completely flat but I was worried about using too much water.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

As it started to dry, I used my hands (with nitrile gloves) to smooth it out and make almost a striation pattern that resembled wood grain. I only had about 20 minutes to do this, so I went with it. Just don’t forget about the edges! Barry did those while I focused on the concrete tabletop.

You can see a video of the application in my DIY Concrete Tabletop Instagram story highlight.

Step 8

Sand the concrete tabletop. As I mentioned above, the application was fast and I definitely did not do a great job. Once the concrete was completely dry, it had a lot of rough edges which was not ideal. So I decided to hit it with the random orbital sander to smooth it out. I used 120 grit sandpaper and it worked! It now has a smooth finish and would be a lot easier to wipe down.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Step 9

Seal the concrete tabletop. I have no idea if this step was necessary, but since it will be exposed to outdoor weather year round and I want to be able to wipe it down easily, I decided to seal it with Spar Urethane. I used this on our outdoor sofas, dining table, and the pool deck, and have been happy with the results. But word of caution, the water based version does dry quick so you have to work fast. Even so, I prefer it over the oil based because I can clean my brush with soap and water. I wiped the tabletop down with a wet, clean rag first. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Then I used a brush to apply the spar urethane. I ended up doing two coats just to make sure it was well protected.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Step 10

Attach the tabletop. If you are replacing a tabletop like I did, you will have to remove the old top first. The previous top was simply face screwed with wood screws, so it was easy to remove.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Then I dry fit the concrete top in place. Once I had it exactly where I wanted it, I marked the front two corners on the bottom side of the table under the tabletop with painters tape to make sure I set it in the same place. You could also use duct tape.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Because I used a hollow core door and there is very little to screw into, I decided to glue the top down. I am a big fan of Gorilla construction adhesive and have used it for several other projects, like the stairs. I simply applied a bead of it all over the exposed top edges of the supports, then lined the tabletop up with my tape marks and set it in place.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Step 11

Final step, buy a pizza oven and enjoy! Ok, you don’t need the pizza oven, but it is really fun! Just saying 😉 If you want to see ours in action, check out my Instagram reels!

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

The finished product turned out even better than I imagined! I basically saved myself from buying new furniture. I cannot wait to enjoy this faux concrete countertop for the whole summer! I may even consider adding a concrete top to my outdoor table or make a DIY concrete side table.

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

This project was one I have been dreaming up for a while now and I am so glad I found a way to make it work. It cost less than $20 for the feather finish since I had all the other materials on hand. Pizza night clean up just got a lot easier! If you want to see more video and all my behind the scenes, check out my DIY Concrete Tabletop Instagram story highlight!

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Update! This tabletop has gone through two winters and two summers and it is still the best work table for making pizzas! It cleans easily and is holding up great!

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

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Garrison Street Design Studio - DIY Concrete Tabletop

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DIY Concrete Tabletop

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