Tools for Do it Yourselfers

How to Build a Concrete Table

Concrete furniture looks amazing and really is cheap to do. Tables can be made without expensive or specialty tools and will jazz up your home or office in no time! I’ve built many tables and desks using these exact same processes.

This tutorial will explain how to make a concrete table top for any sized table you’d like to build. The actual base will not be explained, but full instructions to build it can be found on a Ana-White’s amazing DIY website. I modified her plans by adding to the overall dimensions and removing the wood top.

Project Level: Intermediate

Tools Needed:

Orbital Sander – Dewalt makes a great orbital sander for around $50.
Drill – I use a Dewalt Drill
Circular Saw
Table Saw – Optional (can use a circular saw instead)
Small Shovel (To mix Concrete)
Bolt Cutters (To cut wire re-enforcement)
Concrete Trowel – $10
Flathead screwdriver or chisel
Sanding Block with 100 Grit sandpaper (or a diamond pad).


  • 1 to 2 bags of concrete (depending on size of table) – I use a mix available at stores like Home Depot or Lowes ($5/bag) SAKRETE or QUIKRETE 5000 work great.
  • Portland cement – You may have to buy a full bag for $10.00. It will last for a long time as you only need a pint or so per table.
  • Wire Mesh – Pictured to right of concrete  (Available in 4×8 Sheets) – $8.00 – You can also use Diamond Mesh
  • Melamine wood – (Will cut to the size you want your table. You’ll cut strips to use on the sides of the mold as well. Available in 4×8 Sheets or smaller project size pieces. I like to use the 2 foot by 4 foot pieces for coffee tables.
  • Rubber gloves
  • Painters tape
  • 100% Silicon Caulk
  • A couple plastic cups to mix cement paste
  • Tub to Mix Concrete in – (You can also use a big 5 gallon bucket)
  • 1 5/8″ Drywall Screws to attach sides of mold
  • 120 and 220 grit sandpaper for orbital sander
Concrete Mix for Concrete Tables

Concrete Mix for Tables

Wire Mesh for Concrete Table

Wire Re-enforcement

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Concrete Tub to mix Concrete

Tub to mix Concrete

Melanine for Making Concrete Table Molds

Melamine for Making Concrete Table Molds

How to make a concrete table

1. Determine the size of table you’d like to make.

The buffet table I made is 17″wide by 52″ long by 1.5″ thick. Here is a diagram showing how I made the mold.


2. Cut the bottom of the mold out of melamine using a circular saw

This piece should be the exact width and length you’d like the concrete table to be.

3. Cut the strips that will border the bottom piece

If you want a 1.5″ thick concrete slab, add 3/4″ to the strips so they are 2.25″ tall. This accommodates for the bottom of the mold.

Mold Pieces Cut

Mold Pieces Cut

4. Assemble the sides of the mold.

Attach using 1 5/8 inch black drywall screws about every 8-12 inches. Drill a pilot hole to help it go in easier. Make sure to drill in from the side as evenly as possible.


5. Complete the mold

Once assembled, the mold will look like the photo below. You will now have a structure which concrete can be poured in. Note — the actual top of your concrete table will be very smooth because it will cure against the smooth and flat melamine surfaces. The part that you screed and trowel later on will actually be the bottom side. You will flip the mold once the project has cured.


6. Caulk the creases in your mold.

In the video I use a squeeze tube of 100% silicon caulk. You can also use a caulk gun. Then run a caulk tool to smooth it out. You can also use painters tape to get an even caulk line as pictured below.


7. Once caulked, use your finger to smooth out the bead.

Have paper towels around to clean off your hands when finished! As soon as you are finished pull the tape off while the caulk is still wet. Use a paper towel to remove any caulk that accidentally gets on other parts of the mold. Let cure for a few hours.


8. Cut Re-enforcement

Once the caulk has cured, go ahead and cut the re-enforcement to size using a bolt cutter. If your table is 52″ long by 17″ in width, cut the metal wiring to about 50″ by 15″. It will leave about an inch of play on each side. Then use rubbing alcohol and a paper towel to thoroughly clean the mold, making sure all sawdust and particles are out of the mold.


9. Mix Concrete

It’s time to mix up the concrete.  Follow the directs on the bag to see how much water they recommend adding. I like to pour some water into the tub prior to the concrete to minimize dust. Wear a dust mask for this process because the particles are not good to breathe. Mix 1 or 2 bags of concrete at a time. To stir up the concrete use a small shovel or garden hoe. I like to mix it to a peanut butter consistency. If it is too dry add a little more water at a time. If too much is added, put in a little more concrete mix.

*Now is the time to add liquid or powder coloring to the mix if you’d like. Another way to add color is by using concrete acid stain after the project has cured.



10. Pack Concrete

Take a handful of concrete (wearing your rubber gloves of course), and start packing the concrete into the mold. *Don’t forget to make sure your work table is as level as possible prior to packing the concrete.


11. Add Re-enforcement

Once the mold is filled up a little more than half way you’ll want to add the re-enforcement. Simply put the re-enforcement in place and then finish packing the rest of the mold with concrete.


12. Fill and screed

Fill the mold with concrete until it is full. Take an old 2×4 or straight piece of wood and screed off the excess to level out the concrete. Move the 2×4 in a sawing motion. Continue back and forth across the entire mold (multiple times) and fill in any low spots with extra concrete. Check that your work table is still level. You can always shim if needed. A level work table will make sure your concrete table is an even thickness throughout.


13. Vibrate the Concrete / smooth with trowel

Once you’ve finished leveling out the concrete lift your work table slightly up and down to vibrate the concrete. Vibrating the concrete will help minimize the number of air bubbles in your finished piece. This is a very important step. Another way to help vibrate the piece is to hit the bottom side of the table (underneath your piece) with a rubber mallet or hammer. Then use the hammer (or an orbital sander ) to vibrate the air bubbles out from the sides (tap the sides with the hammer). Finally, use a basic concrete trowel to smooth the concrete. The part you trowel will actually be the bottom of the concrete tabletop. You want the bottom side to be flat so it rests on your table base.


14. Sit back and relax – Wait 3 to 4 days – Have a cold one!

Now it’s time to sit back and relax. Let the concrete piece cure for a good 3 to 4 days before removing it from the mold. Cheers!

pete sveen - how to make a concrete table

Taking a break out on the deck near Bozeman, Montana

Part 2

15. Remove concrete from the mold

Remove all the drywall screws. Next, take a chisel and slowly pry the wood side away from the concrete. Make sure not to let the chisel (or flathead screwdriver ) touch the concrete.



Use a sanding block to soften the edges. Make sure to work from the corners and not into them. In the photo below, you’d start the sanding block at the corner and move to the left. This prevents blowing out the corner. Run the block lightly around all bottom edges. (It will only take a couple minutes.)


16. Flip the concrete and remove top of mold

Slowly flip the concrete. It helps to have two people. I like to take a few shop rags or foam to put under the concrete so when it is flipped vertically there is something for it to rest softly on. Continue flipping the piece and rest it on a few spare boards. Resting it on boards that are evenly spaced will allow the piece to dry thoroughly.

Flip vertically onto rags or foam

Flip vertically onto rags or foam.

Remove top of the mold.


Fresh out of the mold. Admire it!


 17. Sand concrete

Use an orbital sander to smooth the piece. You will expose a few more bug holes but that is okay. Run the sander on the sides and corners as well. The top edges will be pretty rough. You’ll fill in the rough area with portland cement after this process.


18. Fill bug holes and smooth edges with cement paste

Mix portland cement (not normal concrete mix) with water until it is a toothpaste consistency. You could mix the cement with a concrete fortifier to help it bond as well, but is not necessary. Rub the paste into the bugholes using a circular motion. Fill any other areas with the paste as needed. To fill the rough edges in put some paste in the bridge between your thumb and index finger. Slide along the edge as shown below. After filling the holes use a plastic putty spatula to remove excess paste. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours and then do a final sanding.


19. Final Sanding

Use 120 and the 220 grit sandpaper to remove extra paste and to give the table top a smooth finish. Round over the edges as well.


20.  Apply Sealer

Use a clean rag and get any remaining dust off the concrete. Next, find a new rag and use it to apply a stone or concrete sealer. These can be found at a local hardware store. Read the instructions to find out the best way to apply the sealer. Once the sealer drys I like to wax the piece. It adds an extra layer of protection and shines the piece up a bit. The paste wax I use is Johnson’s Paste Wax and can be found in the wood stain section at the hardware store.


Apply the wax in a circular motion. Then buff it with a clean microfiber rag or terry cloth. It will be smooth and shiny!


21. Set the concrete piece onto your base. If needed, feel free to run a thick bead of 100% silicon caulk around the top of base so the concrete piece doesn’t shift. I’d recommend using caulk on a coffee table because your feet pushing against it will shift the concrete. On a buffet table you could go with or without.


Nice rounded edges

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Smooth finish

Building a base

The base I built for this particular concrete top was designed by Ana-White. She has an amazing blog with all sorts of furniture projects. I modified the plans to fit this table. To see the design I was inspired by click here. Ana has detailed plans for the truss table project. My version is even featured on her site at




In a future post I will talk about other finishing methods. Below is a photo of what a table looks like if you grind it using a wet polisher and expose the aggregate (rocks/sand). It can be a neat effect as well, but requires a special polisher found here.


Please comment below if you have questions or have other tips to share. Good luck!

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  • disqus_qEziVFc8uC

    I really like the look of your table. I already have a piece of polished granite 52″ by 20″ and would love to use it as the top to this table. Do you think the base could support a piece of granite this size and if so, any recommendations for how to adhere it to the base? Thanks.

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi! The base I built could certainly support your piece of granite. If you’d like I could take photos to show you how I beefed up the plans for my base. You’d widen it as well. As for attaching it, I used silicon and it works real well. The piece is very solid. If you have any other questions please let me know. Thanks for your kind words. May I ask how you came across my blog? Cheers – Pete

      • disqus_qEziVFc8uC

        I should have asked, did you use pine for your base? Have you had any issues with softwood lumber warping or bending on you over time when used in the construction of weight bearing items such as tables? ThanksJordan

        • Pete Sveen

          Hi Jordan,

          I used pine from our local lumber store. I haven’t had any issues with warping or bending on any of the tables.
          I have a couple pieces – pictured below- ( a desk – 7 feet by 24″) and a buffet table (about 6 feet by 20″) that I made about 4 years ago out of pine. They look that same as they did on day 1. No warping. Just make sure to beef up the top so the concrete’s weight is dispersed well. (Concrete at 1.5″ thick is about 15lbs per square foot — very similar to granite.

          • disqus_qEziVFc8uC

            Is the picture with you sanding an example of the ‘beefed’ up based that you are mentioning? Also, to adhere the base to the top, did you run caulk along to top of the base, put on the top, and then caulk around the outside to ensure a tight bond?

          • Pete Sveen

            Hi Jordan, the photo is of the beefed u version. Normally that design would simply have 2×8’s for the wood top (instead of concrete). So I used 2×4’s instead of a top — to connect the two sides of the base at the top, making it very sturdy. To attach the top I put a decent sized glob of silicon in each corner and ran a wide bead around the perimeter. I did not run a bead around the outside at the end b/c I didn’t feel it was needed, but you certainly could!

  • Henry

    Love the look of this. How do you calculate how thick the concrete should be for the area? I’m curious about building a smaller (area wise) version while trying to cut down the weight for a more moveable table – pretty crucial in a college apartment. Thanks!

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Henry! Thanks for the question bud. So you really don’t want to go much thinner than 1.5 inches for a concrete table if you are using re-enforcement as it can shadow through and you can see the grid of the metal wire sometimes. But, I have done an inch thick before with diamond mesh (stucko type mesh) and it has worked. At 1.5″ it is about 15lbs / square foot and looks real nice. I think you’d be able to manage that weight pretty well if it is a smaller sized table. I wouldn’t go any thicker than the 1.5″ just because it starts to get super heavy. I hope this helps, if you have any other questions at all though let me know man. Good luck on your project Henry! – Pete

  • Janelle Stinson Vickers

    How do you attach the concrete top to the wooden base?

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Janelle! Great question. I typically use 100% silicon and run a thick bead of it around the top of the base. This prevents it from sliding around and if it ever needs to be moved to a new home you can separate the concrete from the base easily. If you’d like a more permanent attachment you could use construction adhesive / liquid nails. That is a much stronger bond. I use the table in my dining room against a side wall as a buffet style table. For that, 100% silicon works just perfect. Let me know if this helps or if you have any other questions Janelle. I’m happy to help! Cheers from Big Sky Country Montana – DIY PETE

  • Matt

    I am getting ready to embark on a pretty large kitchen table top project, and I want to try the concrete. The size concerns me a bit at 78″ x 54″, and I was wondering if you have done any oversized table tops and/or have any tips for doing one. Because of the size, I was considering creating a plywood core to lighten it up and also possibly adding 1″ x 1″ angle steel in addition to the wire mesh for added strength. The concrete will ultimately sit on a set of old drafting table legs…I thought the concrete would really accent the antique industrial look of the legs. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Matt! Thanks for the message. Congrats on deciding to go forward with the table. I have done a few oversized tables and they turned out great, but are quite heavy! All my pieces are at least 1.5″ thick. I’ve found thinner items (especially of that size) to have problems sometimes with shadowing (from wire mesh) as well as structural issues when moving larger items. I have done aprons around the perimeters to make 1.5″ pieces look thicker if needed. I think your idea sounds great. Couple questions that would help me out — Are you going to polish the top with a wet grinder, use my sanding method, or do a hard trowel finish? Were you planning to build offsite or pour in place? – That way I can provide some better feedback. Thanks! – DIY PETE

  • David Sims

    Really great instruction. I want to build a patio table but a kidney shape instead of a rectangle. Any ideas on building the form?

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey David! Great question. I’ve built a number of tables with rounded shapes and there are a couple ways I’ve done it. 1 – Buy a sheet of high density foam from the hardware store in the thickness you desire ( usually pink in color) – sometimes blue. Try to find foam that is 1.5″ if possible b/c that is a good thickness to work with. Draw the shape on the foam and then cut with a knife or jigsaw. Once cut, sand the edges by hand. Take out the part you cut and now you’ll have the shape left in the foam. Attach the foam on top of melamine and then glue it down – or lightly put in screws to keep it from moving. Caulk where the foam meets the melamine. I usually run packing tape along the perimeter of the foam to aid as a release and to smooth edges. — You can do this same process by laminating 2 pieces of plywood together. You can also buy bendable forms online, but they are kind of expensive. I’ve used garden/landscaping edging and that has worked for some of the projects. Let me know if that helps and thanks for the question. Good luck! – DIY PETE

  • kjwinsor

    Would like to make a concrete table for an outside patio. My husband and I live in Kansas so we experience all seasons and temps from below zero, in the winter, to above 100 degrees, in the summer. Would a concrete table if left out doors all year round hold up ok? What are your thoughts.

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi KJ, Thanks for your question! I lived in Lincoln, NE during college and am in Bozeman, Montana now. Both places have quite extreme temperature differences. The good news is, wherever you are, concrete will hold up great! It is super durable and made to last, even in these types of conditions. What I would recommend is using an outdoor oil based sealer for this project to extend the finishes life. The H&C concrete sealer available at Lowes or Sherwin Williams will do a great job and give it a nice durable finish. Let me know if you have any other questions! — but yes, a concrete table will do great outdoors. –I’ve made a number of them and they’ve held up for years — even after cold Montana winters and hot dry summers. Cheers – DIY PETE

  • Karen

    Great video! I am planning to make a round tabletop for an outdoor table and would like it to be 72 inches. Do you think that is too big and I should stick with a smaller top like 60 inches? Thanks!

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Karen! Sounds like you have a fun project coming up. 72″ is doable, as long ads you have some strong helpers. I probably wouldn’t go any thicker than 1.5″. The 60″ would be much easier to work with, but if you are up for it the 72″ is feasible. Send a pic when you are done, I’d love to see it! – DIY PETE

  • jenny

    Hi Pete! I am going to make a coffee table with a concrete top; However i want to liven it up a bit.. I was thinking colored sand scattered throughout the top- if i place that down before putting the first layer of cement should it give me the look im going for, or will it just look a mess do you think? Also, i want to build the base as simple as possible- kinda just a large closed off block underneath, but maybe with some drawers too- any suggestions on accomplishing that? And finally, I want this to be an oval table top, not too big, but im not certain of the actual dimensions yet, should i probably stick with 1.5″ like you’re suggesting to others?

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Jenny! Very cool, sounds like a fun project! for the colored sand, you could put a real thin layer of it and then add the concrete. Just sprinkle it real lightly. Piles of it would just make craters of sand and the sand would eventually fall out. You might mix it in with the concrete mix for the top part of the table (bottom of mold). When sanding some will become exposed. Although, if you really want it to show it’s true color you’d want to wet polish it using something like this: — as for the base, I’d check out and see if she has a cool plan to work off. For the oval top, I’d go 1.5″ or thicker. It will get heavy so make sure to have extra hands for the project. If you like a more bold look, go with 2″. – Good luck and email me pics when you are done. Can’t wait to see it Jenny!

  • Adam

    Hi Pete. Easily one of the best how-to videos I’ve ever seen. Thanks so much! I have two questions. 1) I am going to build a 6’x4′ table top and am worried about the large size. Will I be OK with 1.5″ thickness and the thin reinforcement you show here? 2) Does the Portland cement you use to fill the bug holes match the color of the cement perfectly, or can you see a difference? Also, if I color my concrete, can I color the Portland as well? Thanks so much for the help and the great video!

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Adam! Thanks for the kind words man, I appreciate it and am so glad it helped! 1) The 6 x 4 top is a pretty big piece, but definitely doable. I’ve done table tops this size at 1.5″ thick which have turned out awesome. The big thing you’ll want to do is give plenty of time to cure before flipping — and have plenty of help to evenly turn it. As for re-enforcement, the wire mesh i used would probably be fine, but I might beef it up a bit. I’ve used a slightly thicker hogwire fence before which is about 1/4 bars and they are much more firm than what I used. Whatever you decide to do, probably beef up the re-enforcement just a bit.

      2( For this project the cement matched pretty well since they both didn’t have any coloring integrated. When you color the concrete piece, you’ll also need to mix in a little coloring to the portland slurry mixture. I try and mix as close as possible but I don’t ever really measure anything. For bigger bug holes you can mix a little sand into the portland. It will help even things out a little more. Let me know if this makes sense, it’s a little hard to try and explain everything in writing:) Good luck and send pics when you get done. Cheers Adam! – DIY PETE

      • Adam

        Thank you SO MUCH for the quick response! No one at Home Depot had ever done anything like this, so I’m very happy to have your advice. I’ll definitely go for the thicker reinforcement and longer curing times. FYI, I received a bid for the job today: $1,900. Thanks for helping keep that money in my bank account!

        • Pete Sveen

          You bet Adam! That’s awesome you can save that money. Having them professionally done can get real expensive. — If you ever want to polish them you can always invest in your own wet polisher which can be done for around 170, but using this sanding technique you’ll be able to get a similar finish that I got on this project. Have fun!

  • raviamrita

    Hi Pete,
    So we thrifted a neat little 26 by 18 shelving, perfect for a kitchen island I am looking for. However it’s height is 30. I am thinking of not messing with the top ( by way of screwing in table legs etc. But doing a 4 inch concrete slab on it, say 30 by 20. Do you think it will work?

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi! Thanks for your question and it sounds like you have a fun project ahead of you! A 4 inch slab will be heavy so just make sure the base will be strong enough to support it. I think it will give the kitchen a real bold look and that it will look real neat. Have fun and good luck. Let me know if you run into any questions along the way!

  • doug

    Hi Pete, i would like to build a 60″ diameter outside concrete patio table with a concrete base and concrete benches with concrete legs. Any tips for building the forms and attaching the base to the table top and the benches to the legs


  • eleonore

    thanks for this amazing tutorial. I just finished my concrete table. The base I build is in maple so it should be strong enough. the table is 30X48″. I will post a picture next mojth of the final result. i am really glad i found your tutorial because everybody at homedepot laughed at me when they heard about my project!!!

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Eleonore! Thanks so much for the kind words and I’m so glad the tutorial was helpful. I can’t wait to see a photo! Please do email me with some pics! Yeah, it is surprising how little people know about concrete tables and counters. They are beautiful and a great way to make affordable and high end furniture if you have the time to do it. Great work Eleonore! – DIY PETE

  • Christine Blignaut

    Hi Pete, thanks for sharing this. I see many of the others asked questions around size. Well, I would really like to create a super-size table of 9’8″ X 3′. We are busy renovating so there will be ready-mixed concrete available, but I’m wondering about the required thickness and whether it will be too heavy to handle. Is this too ambitious? All I can think of to avoid flipping/moving it is casting it on it’s base and just removing the side strips – but then the large melamine board will need to remain which is not ideal since it’s outside. Will appreciate any tips/advice. Thanks!

    • Pete Sveen

      Good Morning Christine! Great question and thanks so much for the comment. Well — the size you are talking about is large as you mention, but certainly doable. While you could go the route I do in the video, it would be massive to move and work with. So, I’d recommend the pour in place method where you remove the side strips. I’ve done this a number of times for mantles and larger pieces. The big difference is how it is finished and the time required. Doing a pour in place is quick because you use a trowel to finish it. NO FILLING OF BUGHOLES or having to do much polishing! It looks great too, but requires some trowel skills. You’ll need to use a float to get the cream to rise to the top, and then trowel. What I would do when pouring is build a base out of plywood, seal it, and build a lip around it so an apron runs around the whole side and covers the wood up. I know this all is probably and info overload — so what I’d recommend is to google “How to make a pour in place concrete counter” to try and find out about the whole process. My video won’t be up for a bit, but I know there needs to be one b/c there are not that many online and I get this question quite frequently. Best of luck Christine! – Cheers – Pete

      • Christine Blignaut

        Thanks so much for the quick reply, Pete. I think I’m going to give it a try! Any advice on sealer to be used so that the plywood that remains under the table top doesn’t decay in wet weather?

        • Pete Sveen

          You betcha Christine! I’d recommend an oil based sealer and to role it on. Rustoleum from Home Depot is what I’ve used in the past (any color). Or, a spar urathane would work. Basically something to repel water from the concrete from being absorbed into the wood. Good luck! — Try googling ” Buddy Rhodes” hard trowel finish — to find his video about the process. Have fun! – Pete

  • David Stanhope

    Hi Pete, great table. I was curious about the ‘beefed’ up table you built for the frame using Ana White’s Buffet Table top plans. What were your wood measurements for the project?
    Her material list:
    2 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
    2 – 2×3 @ 8 feet long
    1 – 2×2 @ 6 feet long
    1 – 1×2 @ 4 feet long
    1 1/4” and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey David! Thanks for the kind words. Since I did not have a wood top, I simply used three 2×4’s to connect the two side sections on top. You can kind of see this in the photo where I am standing outside sanding the base. I attached a photo with the measurements from the table I made. Let me know if that helps and good luck!

  • Barron

    Table looks great man. I am going to start on a larger project ! Love the view from the deck !

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Barron! Thanks a lot! You’ll have to send me a photo of your table, I’d love to see it. Take care! – Pete

      • Barron

        Sure. I am going to be doing the counter tops first, then building a dinner table.

        • Pete Sveen

          Awesome. Can’t wait to see them!

  • bristol

    Hi Pete! This is exactly what I have been looking for. Do you have any suggestions on how to attach table top to metal legs or base? Thanks in advance

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Bristol! Great to hear. How sturdy will your metal base be and is it going to be a coffee table or one that is more counter height? I typically attach them with silicon like I do when installing a concrete counter. But it depends on the situation. Let me know a few more details and I’ll let you know what I think would be best. Take care! – Pete

  • Taylor

    Hi Pete. I just pulled my 30×60″ desktop from the mold. I was a little worried about the bug holes, but when I turned it over I decided I kind of liked the crazy look. Have you ever sealed a table without filling the bug holes w/portland? Is it possible? I still want it to be smooth surface but if I could fill the holes with a clear thicker sealer that would be awesome. Thanks!

    • RussSWFL

      Taylor, I recently completed concrete countertops, and dealt with the issue of the bug holes or “voids” caused from air bubbles. I actually liked the look of them, but obviously not ideal for a countertop surface where food and liquids can get trapped. I purchased some thick clear epoxy at Home Depot (the stuff they seal bar tops with, found near the wood stains) and filled the holes with that before sealing. The epoxy dried crystal clear so you can still see its a hole, but its flat and smooth allowing you to wipe it down….looks amazing!

      • Pete Sveen

        Russ, thanks so much for helping out and chiming in. I really appreciate it. I’d love to see a photo of your countertops sometime!! – cheers – Pete

    • Pete Sveen

      Taylor! Sorry I missed your comment. Bug holes will happen and I typically fill them with portland cement. I’ve also filled them with a different color cement which is kind of neat. I have always filled the bug holes on the top, but sometimes leave holes on the edges unfilled as it gives it a real organic and natural look. Sounds like Russ has some good advice on epoxy. I’ve used the epoxy before on wood and it’s worked great. It does change the look and feel quite a bit for concrete though.

  • Rob

    Hey Pete. Thanks for the great tutorial and troubleshooting tips listed in the comments. I am in the planning process and wanted to know which brand you used to seal the concrete before applying the wax? Would a sheet pad sander be able to handle the job or is an orbital sander a must?
    Thanks for taking the time to reply.

    • Pete Sveen

      Rob, sorry for the delay! For some reason my comment system hasn’t been notifying me the last few days. For a concrete sealer I used the brand TILElab – gloss sealer and finish — from home depot. I think it was about $25 and is made to use on porous stone like concrete. — I think you could definitely try a sheet pad sander. The orbital just might be a little quicker. Shoot me a photo of your finished project, I’d love to see it! Cheers – Pete

      • Rob

        Hey Pete, the project was a success. The tutorial was straight forward and easy to follow. I ended up creating two concrete tops (24″ x 40″) & (17″x72″). I decided to leave the numerous bugholes since the surfaces wont be used for food prep & I enjoyed the unfinished look. Thanks again for the tutorial & answering my questions!

        *Edit – Not sure why duplicate photos posted. Unfortunately I couldn’t delete the second set.

        • Pete Sveen

          HOLY SMOKES ROB! That looks great! I agree that the organic look of the bug holes is really cool as well. Such elegant and sleek looking design. Thanks so much for sharing and keep up the good work!

  • Oscar

    This is amazing, I am making my tables next week and I have some ideas, such as a hole in the middle with a little vase fixed on the underside of the table for plants/flowers. And I was wondering if I would have any trouble mixing in one tub charcoal colored concrete and on another a dark brown/red, y idea was to have a stripe on the table of the dark brown/red that blends into the charcoal color for the rest of the table. Will this affect the structural integrity? Should I mix the concrete in one big batch, then separate to two batches and add pigment?

    • Pete Sveen

      Great question Oscar and that is exciting you are going to make a few tables! Your idea sounds neat about doing the 2 different colors. You can certainly mix the concrete up in separate batches and then add color. Or you could mix everything together and then separate. It’s up to you. Does the stripe need to be be perfectly straight or are you going more for a stripe that kind of blends into the rest of the concrete? If it blends it will all bond together well and will not have structural issues. Let me know if that helps answer your question. Thanks Oscar and have fun! – Pete

  • Rory Korpela

    Pete, this table looks awesome and I think I’m going to build one for a Christmas gift this year. Do you have plans on the base you made? I’ll look at Ana’s site but if you’ve already got it drawn up, that would be helpful.

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Rory! Thanks so much for thekind words. That’s awesome you are going to build one for Christmas! — I have a link toward the top of the article for Ana’s plans which I’m sure you saw — and then I modified them. Here are the measurements I used for the base to fit the concrete top. Let me know if it helps:) Hope all is well and good luck! – DIY PETE

      • Rory Korpela

        Pete, thanks for sending the dimensions here. I just poured my concrete yesterday into the mold so it can cure. Do you have to use anything to secure the concrete to the base or is the slab heavy enough to stay in place by itself? The person I’m giving this to has kids and the last thing I want is for the top to get bumped off and fall on someone’s foot/head, etc.

        • Pete Sveen

          Nice work Rory. What I like to do is glue 3/4 thick wood blocks underneath to prevent it from sliding. I attach them with construction adhesive. In addition, you can use 100% silicon on the base to keep it secure as well. Run a thick bead of silicon on the top of the wood base and then put the concrete on. I prefer using 100% silicon over construction adhesive for this process because that way the top can be removed relatively easy if needed for moving purposes. Let me know if this helps. Thanks Rory and good luck! – Pete

          • Guest

            Pete, I realized I never posted pictures of the finished product. Thanks for your help with it. -Rory

          • Pete Sveen

            Wow Rory! That looks great!! Congratulation on a job well done :)

          • Rory Korpela

            Pete, I realize I never posted pictures of the finished product. Thanks for your help with it.

  • Drew Proctor

    Hey Pete! I love this tutorial and it’s such a great idea! It actually sparked an idea into my head. I am wanting to build a concrete patio in my backyard and was wanting to build a custom dining table on the patio. I was wondering if you think it would be possible to do a table that is about 70″ long by 45″ wide? Along with that, I would like to leave a hole in the middle of the concrete to drop in a propane fire burner pan. Do you think the size would work and also, do you think the hole in the middle is possible??


    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Drew! Thanks for the great question. A custom concrete dining table would be really cool. You might want to think about building the table right side up and doing a trowel finish. This technique is called cast in place. This would save you a ton of time and eliminate the process of having to lift or move the table. Plus you can leave the trowel finish as the the final look and don’t have to fill in bugholes because you won’t have them when done this way. You could easily build a hole in the center as well. Check out this video about halfway down in another post by Buddy Rhodes about the pour in place technique: — I think it would show you a good idea of how the trowel finish works. Let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great weekend! – Pete

  • Unibuilder

    Hi Pete. Great tutorial as I am going to embark on a new kitchen table. Thought I would share a pic of one of my out door patio tables. A little bit different in design as I want it to look old and I don’t seal them either. I find that year after year they tend to look better. This table in particular is well over 300 pounds. It has the panel as shown on the front in a different design on the back as well as side panels. The top alone is about 120 pounds. All I have on my ipad for pics is this one but can post a few more later. I have a website with more designs etc but wasn’t sure if it was appropriate to post here.


    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Glen! That is really cool, nice work! That’s funny you are just starting a kitchen table — I am working on one right now too! Except it is going to go on the patio, but could go inside as well. I decided to do it reverse cast and will be wet polishing it. What type of finish are you going to do and what type of base? What’s your site? Cheers!

      • Unibuilder

        Hi Pete,

        Not sure of the finish yet, as your was the first site I have checked out. I do want to add some colour though as the GF won’t go for straight concrete look. I will keep you posted as I progress. My website is

        Good luck on the new project

        • Pete Sveen

          Very cool Glen, thanks for sharing and let me know how it goes. I like to use acid stains too (here are a couple pics: ). Keep up the good work and let me know how your table project goes! I will be pouring tomorrow, and posting / doing a video but that will probably be a couple weeks before it’s ready. Take care! – Pete

  • Joseph Holschuh

    I finished the backyard ping pong table, and now it’s time to seal the thing. Here’s the problem: it’s very important that I preserve the appropriate bounce on this thing. As it stands, the bounce is more or less perfect. In afraid that if I use the wrong product, I’ll lose that. Any ideas on how to protect this thing from the weather while still maintaining a playable surface?

    • Pete Sveen

      Joe!! That is so awesome. Wow. Did you end up doing it in 2 pieces? I can’t say I’ve ever made a concrete ping pong table myself, but you’ll want a good outdoor concrete sealer for the job. I sealed both the LED concrete table and my latest patio bar with a few thin coats of the Quikrete sealer shown in the post: – I Think Valspar makes one as well. They are waterbased acrylic sealers. You can dilute them if you want to slowly build up the sealer to get the best bounce. My recommendation would be to get one of those sealers and to test it on a very small section or on a scrap piece of smooth concrete to see if it affects the bounce. You’ll have to post a photo of it once ya get it all sealed up! Will you be painting or making any lines on it? Looks great and let me know your findings. Cheers – Pete

  • alaina

    Hi Pete,

    I poured the mold on Saturday, flipped and took the top off on Wednesday, then started sanding on Thursday. With light sanding all of the rocks started to show. What caused this?

    • alaina


    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Alaina! Bummer, it looks it didn’t turn out like you wanted it to. What mix did you use and how much water was added? Was it real soupy, dry, or do you think it was mixed about right? It either had to do with how it was mixed or if it needed more time to dry after removing from the mold. What grit of sandpaper did you use? Sorry it didn’t turn out exactly as planned this first time. It will still be usable just a little more texture :) I know you’ll get it down the second time for sure. Have a great day!

      • Nicholas Weinmann

        @ Pete
        What is the difference in results between adding too much water or not enough with regards to the final finish? If I were looking to achieve a smooth finish with no aggregates showing through how would I go about this/ what things should I avoid (ie. mixes, consistency, etc.)?


        • Pete Sveen

          Hi Nicholas! Adding too much water will make the concrete weaker and more susceptible to cracking and issues. I you do not want aggregate to show (and have a smooth finish) — you will want to wait for the concrete to cure completely ( after flipping let it continue to dry another few days ). Then sand using an orbital sander with 200 or higher grit sandpaper. This won’t remove the creme and will let very little aggregate if any show. If you are wet polishing start at about 800 grit since it will polish the concrete and not grind away the creme. Another way to not show aggregate is to do a trowel finish where the concrete is poured right side up like in the bar top projects — — Let me know if that helps. —- Using the Quikrete Concrete Counter mix also helps a lot in making the edges nicer since the aggregate is smaller and doesn’t chip out when using the orbital sander. Cheers – Pete

  • Morgan Colletta

    This is SO awesome! I am attempting a console table that also has a planter in it. I just got a little impatient and put way too much caulk. The more I tried to fix and smooth out the more I messed it up! It’s bumpy and wider in some areas. I worried the edges are going to be all jagged. Do you think it’s worth it for me to let it cure then pull off and do it again?

    Lazy but determined hehe!

  • Morgan Colletta

    This is SO awesome! I am attempting a console table that also has a planter in it. I just got a little impatient and put way too much caulk. The more I tried to fix and smooth out the more I messed it up! It’s bumpy and wider in some areas. I worried the edges are going to be all jagged. Do you think it’s worth it for me to let it cure then pull off and do it again?

    Lazy but determined hehe!

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Morgan! I’m glad the tutorial has been helpful! The caulk will help give it rounded corners — and the concrete will form around the caulk. If they are huge glops then you’ll be able to tell in the final product. If is isn’t that big of a difference in being bumpy/wider then I probably would leave it. You will use the sander to round over the edges a bit, so that gives you a little room for error / removing bumps. If you feel they are pretty big, the easiest way to remove caulk from the mold is by using a razor blade. It will remove quickly and easily. Let me know what you decide to do and good luck! – Pete – ps: to help prevent the uneven caulk in the future you can use masking tape on each side of the same — run the silicon — and then smooth with your finger. The excess will go on the tape which you can then remove.

      • Morgan Colletta

        Thank you so much for your detailed answer, I so appreciate it! I ended up redoing it so the silicon step. I actually have another couple of questions if that’s ok.

        I poured my concrete into the mold- I added a built in box in the center so when I flip it over I’ll be able to plant some succulents- however, I underestimated the amount of concrete needed and I have about 1/4inch left until the concrete hits the top of the mold.

        I’m concerned that the center box I added doesn’t have enough concrete over it and will crack. I want to go get another bag tomorrow and add it ontop to fill the rest of the mold but don’t know if it will adhere because the bottom part started to cure already.

        Any thoughts on what to do to keep it from cracking?

        Let me know if this is making sense thank you!!!!!!!!!

        • Pete Sveen

          Hey Morgan! Sorry for the delay — you are probably done by now, but if not here is what I’d recommend. Since the concrete is so thin at 1/4 inch there will be problems. With it cured, adding another bag may help — but you are going to want to use a concrete bonding agent to help it secure to the existing concrete as much as possible. Scuff up the existing concrete to give it a rough surface to bond to if it is smooth. I’m not sure how well this will work, but that’s my 2 cents. If anyone else has suggestions please chime in :) Let me know how it turns out Morgan! – DIY Pete

  • Jarrod

    Hi Pete, I just gave your tutorial a crack but i’m hoping you can help me out with a problem. Once my concrete set, i flipped the it over and all the edges all around are crumbling. Do you know what could cause this problem or what i did wrong? Hopefully you might have an idea to help out..

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Jarrod! Did the concrete get mixed up thoroughly? Is the rest of the surface looking good? Could you post a photo so I can have a look? Hopefully I can get ya helped out! – Cheers – Pete

      • Jarrod

        Hi Pete, I’m pretty sure i mixed the concrete thoroughly. The rest of the slab looks great and i’m really happy with the result. It’s just the edges. Do you think i didn’t seal the inside enough? Cheers

        • Pete Sveen

          Hey Jarrod — the top looks great — nice work! Yep, you did well mixing it up and vibrating the concrete. Was the caulk completely dry when you put in the concrete? Either way — you can take care of this and it won’t be a big deal. Mine have rough areas too sometimes. You’ll want to use the orbital sander with about 220 grit to round over the edges. Sometimes small rocks can chip out but that’s okay. You’ll come in later with the slurry paste which will fix up and fill in the rough areas, bug holes, and anything that chips out. You can repeat this process a few times if needed to get the perfect rounded edge. Hope that helps! — Also, a wet polisher would bevel that edge smooth if you have one. But definitely not necessary. — Your sander will work just fine for this table. – Pete

          • Jarrod

            Hi Pete, Thanks for your response. Yes caulk was completely dry when i placed the concrete in. I will continue with this slab and see the results after the slurry paste.

            I will post pictures of my BBQ bench when it is completed.

            Thanks again!!!

          • Pete Sveen

            Hey Jarrod! I think you’ll be able to get it looking how you want it with a few coats of the slurry. So glad you are making the BBQ bench, it’s going to be awesome!

  • Lindsey

    Hey Pete! We are building (or attempting) a 70″x42″ concrete table for our patio. We have a concrete truck that is pouring a slab for us and we have some left over so I decided to try this adventure. Any suggestions, comments, things to get?

    • Pete Sveen

      Hey Lindsey! That sounds like quite the table. A couple suggestions — Make sure it is no thinner than 1.5 inches in thickness. Have a good team available to help when flipping it. — Besides that — I’d watch all 4 of the youtube videos on my channel just to see some different finishing options etc. Let me know how it goes. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! – DIY Pete

  • Sandy

    Hi Pete, like everyone else thanks for the great project. I am trying to build a faux stone wall made with concrete about 1/2″ thick with mortar as well , any suggestions?

  • Daniela Martínez

    Hi Pete, thats a great tutorial! I wanted to ask a few questions if thats ok… i’m doing a coffe table (all concrete) I´m working with a few aggregates so it would be stronger. But my problem is that when I start working on it at the end and sand it the aggregated pop up and I don’t want that, I want it to have that matte finish. How can I do that? how may days do I have to let it rest? or do I work on it before is completely dry (the problem here is it will loose its shape)? i hope you coulp help me! thanks you, Daniela

    • Pete Sveen

      Hi Daniela! I’m not sure if you have finished or not but it sounds like you may need to let it cure longer if aggregate is popping out on the top surface. Temperature, humidity, the concrete mix used, and water ratio will all play a roll in curing time. To play it safe I’d wait 4 or 5 days before removing it from the mold in your situation. Flip the concrete and then allow it to cure another 24 to 48 hours prior to sanding or polishing. Are rocks actually popping out on the top surface or just the edges when using a sander? Feel free to post a project photo if you’d like so I can see what is happening. Cheers! – Pete

      • Daniela Martínez

        I actually really like how it looks, but is not what I was looking for. I want a “matte-smooth-shinny” finish. When I polish it, the aggregates start showing up, and I want it to look like if my concrete mix was only cement. Here is a picture of my coffee table.

        • Daniela Martínez

          Coffe Table

          • Pete Sveen

            WOW. THAT looks great! Yep, I’d let the concrete cure a little longer (especially after it is completely out of the mold. Then start with 800 grit and it will polish the concrete without grinding down and exposing the aggregate.

          • Daniela Martínez

            Thank you!! it was a lot of work!! Is really hard to let it cure on water is really big (or at least that is what I call letting it cure :) ) Thank you I will take your advice on the piece I´m starting tomorrow! thank you very much!

        • Pete Sveen

          Hi Daniela! I don’t see the photo yet, but I think I understand what you are saying now. So you are wet polishing it and exposing the aggregate. You can prevent this by starting with no more than 400 grit on the wet polisher. I typically start at 800. I classify anything over 400 grit as polishing and not grinding. 400 grit on down will grind the creme of the concrete away giving it the exposed aggregate look. 50 grit would cut right down to the aggregate quickly. 800 grit will usually keep the creme or at most give it a salt and pepper type finish (showing just small specks of sand in the mixture. To get the real natural look you are going for I’d start with 800 grit and see how that goes. This won’t expose the rocks and it will be a nice smooth/matt-shiny finish. Let me know if that helps!

  • Jarrod

    Hi Pete,

    Here is a pic of my BBQ bench with concrete bench tops thanks to you. Your tutorial was the best. Thanks heaps for the help


    • Pete Sveen

      Jarrod! Your BBQ BENCH looks so awesome! Nice work and thanks for sharing the photo. I wish it was bbq season up here in Montana. I am going to have to build an outdoor kitchen like you did! Nice work man!

  • Samanthaandkai Power

    IS it possible to Concrete a table you already have l dont Like to throw
    anything Out

    • Pete Sveen

      If you have an existing table you could do what’s called a “Concrete Overlay.” You buy a polymer based concrete mix and apply it over the existing surface. There are different prep techniques depending on what the existing surface is made of. I’d recommend doing a google search to find a few examples. Good luck!

  • Pete Sveen

    Hi Karen! Sounds like you have a fun project coming up. 72″ is doable, as long ads you have some strong helpers. I probably wouldn’t go any thicker than 1.5″. The 60″ would be much easier to work with, but if you are up for it the 72″ is feasible. Send a pic when you are done, I’d love to see it! – DIY PETE

  • Polina Sh

    Hi Pete,

    I have an old bistro table that used to have a beautiful mosaic top…but my forgetfulness and our harsh winter ruined the table top… now can i re surface this table – i am not much of a handy person but would like to try… i am okay with a simple concrete top and some randomly placed tiles/glass……or just plain concrete.

  • Pete Sveen

    Hi Polina! If you are looking to re-purpose what you already have, I have a recommendation to try out a concrete overlay material. It looks like the black ring stands up a bit and could be used as a form to cold in a thin layer. Assuming that is hardibacker/cement board under the tile here is what I would do. Remove all tiles and scrape surface clean. Get a concrete bonder and coat surface (available at HomeDepot/Lowes), then apply an overlay like this one which can be found at Lowes/HomeDepot: — or ask your local concrete supply store what options they have. Trowel to get a smooth finish and then apply color to it if desired (acid stain or waterbased stain). That’s just my 2 cents :) Good luck! – Pete

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