How to Make a Concrete Bench Top

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Making a concrete bench top takes a bit of diligence and the right tools and materials. If you follow the appropriate steps, you will have a concrete bench top that will make you proud for years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4 inch lumber
  • 4-by-8-by-3/4 inch plywood
  • 3-inch wood screws
  • Screw gun
  • Portland cement
  • Sand
  • Rebar
  • Gravel
  • Finishing trowel
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Shovel
  • Concrete brick
  • Build a frame for your bench top. Cut 2-by-4 inch lumber to the desired size for your bench top. If your bench top is 4 feet by 2 feet, cut two 4-foot boards and two boards that are 2 feet 3 inches long; the extra 3 inches will allow for the 1 1/2 inch 2-by-4-by-4 foot boards. Attach the 2-foot-3-inch boards to the ends of the 4-foot boards. Use 3-inch wood screws to secure the frame together.

  • Mix the concrete. The mixture will be a two to one mixture; for every two shovels full of sand, add one shovel full of Portland cement. Add water to the wheelbarrow first (about half of a 5-gallon bucket). Add 16 shovels of sand and 8 shovels of Portland cement. The mixture should be slightly runny (cake dough consistency). Add two shovels of gravel to the mixture.

  • Place the 2-by-4 framing on top of a flat sheet of plywood. Add 3-inch screws at an angle, and attach the frame to the plywood. Dampen the frame and plywood to prevent the dry wood from absorbing water out of the concrete mixture.

  • Pour about 2 inches of concrete into the 2-by-4 form. Tap the sides of the frame with a hammer to release any bubbles from the mixture.

  • Cut four pieces of rebar that are each 46 inches long. Place the rebar into the concrete but don't push down. Make sure the rebar isn't touching the ends of the wood; this will cause the rebar to be exposed when the concrete dries. Pour the rest of the concrete into the form and tap the sides of the wood. The tapping will settle the concrete and give you a smooth finish. Smooth off the remaining concrete with a finishing trowel and allow it to dry for 24 hours.

  • Remove the forms and polish the concrete. Use a concrete brick to smooth the surface of the bench top. Dip the brick in water and lightly rub the concrete to give it a smooth finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may change the shape of the bench top to any other form that you wish.

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