High School Students Concrete Countertop Kitchen Island Project

If High School Students Can Do It, So Can You!

Direct Colors supports secondary and tertiary schools teach students how to create with concrete. Michael Keck, a construction teacher at Cienega High School in Vail, Arizona, contacted us about donating materials for a class project. The students would be learning to make a concrete countertop island. Concrete countertops are becoming more and more popular for residential and commercial applications and we felt this was a useful skill for the students to learn.

The class decided to integrally color the white countertop mix using concrete pigment. The color chosen was Crème Beige (1198-1lb.). Mr. Keck formed up his pre-cast countertop and troweled in about 1/8 – 1/4 in. of countertop mix into the form before carefully pressing his blue, clear and aqua glass aggregates into place. He then added another thin (~1/4 in.) layer of mix before vibrating. The countertop was internally supported with a combination of fiberglass netting and chopped fiberglass.

After 10 days the countertop was removed from the forms and the surface sanded with a 100-grit pad to reveal the glass aggregate finish. While Mr. Keck’s students did not elect to polish the countertop beyond a 200-grit, the surface can be polished further up to a 3000-grit if desired using polishing pads and a wet polishing kit.

Once the countertop was cleaned with a light solution of concrete degreaser and water and allowed to dry, the surface was sealed using Krystal Kote Water Based Sealer and waxed with our Natural Countertop Wax to protect the finish.  Every concrete countertop is a unique work of art. Mr. Keck and his talented high school students have done a fine job on this concrete countertop island project and have learned some valuable skills for the future.

Mr. Keck’s Product List:

• 6 Boxes of White Concrete Countertop Mix
• Concrete Pigment  – Creme Beige (1198-1 lb.)
• 5 lbs. Blue, Clear and Aqua Glass Aggregates
• 1 Quart of High Gloss Water Based Acrylic Sealer
• 1 2oz. container of Natural Countertop Wax