How to Build an Outdoor Countertop

If your outdoor living space needs a countertop, look no farther than concrete mix to make one that’s stylish and will stand the test of time.

Paver patio with paver chairs and concrete countertop

Benefits of an Outdoor Countertop

Your home’s living space doesn’t end at your back door — it extends to the backyard. That’s why it’s a good idea to enhance your backyard life with amenities that make it more comfortable and functional. 

Whether you want to improve the space for entertaining or increase your home’s value for resale, it helps to have the basics — a fire pit and chairs — and some extras like a countertop. 

Building one couldn’t be easier — just stack some paver blocks and add a top. Concrete is durable and easy to clean, which makes it ideal for a countertop, especially one that will weather the elements.

Best of all, well-maintained concrete countertops age in style. That’s because concrete develops a patina — a natural, glossy film — that gives it more character and boosts its value.

So, whether you need a prep station for grilling or an outdoor table for eating, you can’t go wrong with concrete. 

Steps to Make the Countertop

Man builds a countertop form out of melamine

Shape the forms. First, you need a form in which to pour the concrete mix. Melamine’s smooth surface makes it perfect for the base — this will help ensure the concrete looks smooth after production. 

Screw strips of vinyl molding to the melamine for the edges, and seal the seams with caulk. Also, coat the entire form with lubricant so the concrete easily releases.

Add color. Stir Quikrete Liquid Cement Color into a 5-gallon bucket of water before mixing in some Quikrete Countertop Mix, as directed on the bag.

Mixing the concrete mix in a plastic orange bucket

Mix the concrete. Mix the liquid cement color, water and countertop mix with a drill that has a mixing paddle attachment. It’s an affordable alternative to renting or buying a portable concrete mixer. And it’s faster and more convenient than mixing concrete in a wheelbarrow with a hoe. 

Adding reinforcement bars to the melamine countertop form

Add reinforcement. Steel reinforcement bars help to prevent breaks and cracks in the concrete. Place them in the melamine form before filling it with concrete mix. 

Pouring concrete mix into a countertop form

Pour the concrete. Pour in the concrete mix and lift up the steel reinforcement bars from the bottom of the form. 

Using a trowel to smooth the concrete mix inside the countertop form

Smooth the concrete. We want this countertop to look its best, so before it dries, grab a float or trowel and smooth off the surface. 

Tap the form. While the concrete is still wet, tap around the form with a rubber mallet to release air bubbles. This will help ensure the countertop is smooth and free of blemishes. 

Let this dry for a few days, sand as needed, and then you’ll have a ready-to-install concrete countertop!

Further Reading



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