How to Seal an Outdoor Concrete Counter
An outdoor concrete counter comes in handy for various home projects. Few materials provide a surface as solid and stable as concrete does. This makes the counter ideal for all sorts of repair jobs. The counter is also a durable feature, given the high resilience of concrete. It is a good idea to seal your counter after you install it as well as periodically. This helps to protect it against damage by the elements. It also extends its longevity. It doesn’t take much effort to seal your counter as shown in the steps below.
Step 1 – Clean the Counter
Remove all items from the counter. Wash your counter with warm, soapy water. Use a brush to get rid of dirt and grease. Rinse, then wipe dry with a towel. Prepare a solution of 1 cup vinegar and 1 cup water in a bowl. Saturate a sponge with the solution. Apply onto the concrete to help clear stubborn dirt and stains. Leave the solution in place for about 15 minutes. Scrub the concrete with a brush then rinse with water. Wipe the concrete with an old towel. Let it air-dry for about 1 hour.
Step 2 – Sanding
Wear a respirator so that you don’t inhale dust and fine particles. It is also a good idea to wear safety goggles to keep fine particles from your eyes. Use sandpaper over the entire surface of the countertop. This enhances the absorption of sealer into the concrete. Be sure to sand all the sides of the counter as well. Clear away dust with a soft-bristled brush.
Step 3 – Repairs
You may notice some cracks in your concrete. It is best to repair the damage before you apply the sealer. Use a wire brush to remove loose concrete from the crack. Brush away dust and small debris from the crack with a thin paintbrush. Use a concrete filler to seal all cracks. Allow the filler to dry properly.
Step 4 – Apply Sealer
Obtain a penetrating sealer suitable for concrete from a hardware store. Use a paintbrush to apply a light coat of sealer onto the concrete. Be sure to apply onto the sides as well. Allow the recommended period for the first coat of sealer to penetrate the concrete. Let the surface dry before you apply another coat of sealer. It may take up to 3 hours for the counter to dry completely.
Step 5 – Apply Wax
Scoop a small amount of wax with a soft cloth. Rub the wax onto the top and sides of your counter. The wax helps to keep the sealer in place. It also helps to prevent stains and gives the counter a shiny appearance. Apply wax once a month onto your counter after you’ve washed it thoroughly.
Step 6 – Buff the Countertop
Use a power buffer to give your counter an even, smart finish. Return the items you removed in Step 1.