How to Wax Concrete Kitchen Counters How to Wax Concrete Kitchen Counters

What You'll Need
Concrete sealer
Concrete wax
Cotton towel or waxing pads
Concrete polish
Fine cloth

A concrete countertop in your kitchen can add great beauty to your home with color, embeded objects, fancy finishes, and more. But not having your concrete countertop sealed and waxed properly can cause great distress to its use. If you're planning on installing a concrete countertop, there are a few things you need to know that will save you time and money in the long run.

Choose the Right Products

Many manufacturers of concrete sealers and wax products will swear their stuff is the best, but there is no 'holy grail' wax or sealer that will work for every countertop. Be sure you have the right wax in order to achieve the desired finish you're looking for. With several types of products to choose from, keep in mind that all will require a lot of care and maintenance. You will also have to reapply both sealer and wax periodically.

Seal the Counter Before Waxing

A kitchen with a tile backsplash.

Before you can wax a concrete countertop, it's imperative that special care is taken to seal the concrete thoroughly. This will protect the countertop from elements in the kitchen such as acids, vinegars, and oils. The ingredients in most sealers are lacquer, urethane, epoxy, and acrylic films which help resist stains and keep the surface protected from spills.

Apply the Wax

If you only apply concrete sealer, the countertop will still be prone to scratches and burns. Damage from pots and pans, as well as ketchup and mustard stains, can occur. So, once you've thoroughly sealed your concrete countertop, you can apply a concrete wax. As with any application, be sure to follow manufacturer's directions on proper use of the wax and take any necessary safety precautions for that particular product.

You will want to use a wax that's made for concrete countertops. This may sound like a no-brainer, but I have seen people use wax that's made for cars. Some car waxes are food-safe, however, over time you will find the wax down in the crevices and corners and it will leave a colored haze and not give you the beautiful finish you were hoping for.

For a new concrete countertop, you will need to apply up to three coats of wax. You can apply the wax by hand using a 100% cotton towel, or you use an applicator pad. Dampen the applicator with water, wring it out, and then apply the wax. Use tight, circular motions and wax small areas at a time. You do not want to apply wax to more of an area than you can buff before the wax becomes hard. Depending on how much the countertop is used, re-wax at least every three months to keep your new countertop protected.

Once you applied the concrete wax, polish the surface to give the concrete countertop a great looking finish. Spray a fine mist of concrete polish on the area. Using a fine cloth, work the polish into the surface while it is still wet. Allow the polish to dry and buff the countertop until you have a beautiful shine. Keep in mind that the polish will not be easy to buff. You will have to keep at it until you have a smooth, slick surface.

Upkeep and Tips

An older woman cleaning a kitchen counter.

Now that you have a gorgeous concrete countertop that's properly sealed and waxed, take care to keep it clean. A mild detergent mixed with warm water and a soft sponge works best.

In the event that you do acquire a stain on the counter, you can remove it by using a laundry stain remover. Apply the stain remover to the area and let it soak in for a few minutes. Then, take dry laundry detergent and rub gently with a soft sponge. Rinse it with water and soak up any excess moisture from the countertop. Do not ever use lemon juice or vinegar on concrete countertops. Also, do not apply harsh or abrasive chemicals. If any liquid is spilled onto the concrete, be sure to wipe up immediately.

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