Podcast: Marble Effects on Concrete Countertops with Ken Lazenby

You’re listening to Direct Colors podcast Episode 6: Marble Effects on Concrete Countertops. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for joining us. Getting just the right look on countertops can be a challenge so we thought we’d consult with a professional to see what tricks he might have up his sleeve. We sat down with Ken Lazenby with Ken’s Custom Designs based in Krebs, OK to talk about how he creates marble effects on concrete countertops. Learn how he makes builds and creates his concrete countertops.


Shawna Turner: You are listening to Podcast Episode 6. I’m Shawna Turner and today we’re talking with Ken Lazenby about Marble Effects Using Pigment, and Acid Stain on Concrete Countertops. Let’s get started. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming.

Our most frequent customer request is how to create  “marble effects” on floors and countertops. Could you tell our listeners what products you use to get a marbled effect on a countertop?

Ken Lazenby: Yes.  I use a marbling technique for most countertops with acid stain. I pick a base color and usually two complementing colors. I spray the lightest color first, fill in a spray pattern with the darkest color and then the medium shade. This works best if all colors stay wet.

ST: How do you create the marbled look itself?

KL: I use two techniques with a spray bottle. I use a spray bottle in the tightest misting position and change the distance to vary the pattern. For a veined look, I use more of a stream in places. Again keeping the colors wet they blend together and kind of take a shape of their own. Another veining technique involves using about a teaspoon of concrete pigment to a quart of water and applying to wet concrete overlay.

ST: Do you have a countertop sealer preference to really accentuate a marbled finish?

KL:  I prefer the 100% Epoxy Countertop Sealer. I use it for everything almost. Some customers don’t want that much shine. Sometimes I will use the solvent based sealers either the Sprayable Satin Finish or the AC 1315 High Gloss Sealer for outdoor countertops.

ST: And how are you applying the epoxy to the countertop?

KL: I pour it out of a mixing cup itself and then put it down with the 10 mil squeegee. I don’t backroll it. I use a chip brush. I cross the squeegee lines very quickly. Then I get out the heat gun and hold it about a foot and a half from the surface to pop any air bubbles. Sometimes I will use a spray bottle with acetone and shoot the surface once to clear all the bubbles very quickly and help the epoxy to level faster. You have to be very careful doing that because if you shoot too much acetone on there it can cause dimples.

ST: So how are you applying the acetone and what are you applying it with?

KL: With just a regular spray bottle like a water spray bottle.

ST: That’s very interesting. Any tips you would offer our DIY listeners about their own countertop projects?

KL:  I would say watch a lot of videos, especially the videos on Direct Colors website. There’s some good videos on there and on Youtube. Some of the products may vary but you get a general idea of what’s going on. Go to your local home improvement stores and look at countertops. Look at tile and stone and look at natural patterns. You can gather ideas from that. That being said, don’t be afraid to be creative and experiment with different colors and trying different techniques. A cheap box of ceramic tile makes great overlay samples before you start with your own countertop to make sure you’re going to like it. The last thing I would say is pay plenty of attention to protecting your floors and masking off your counters and walls before you even start. Epoxies can be messy and concrete can get on your walls. I would say this is one of the most important things taking the time to tape everything off and preparing the surface correctly.

ST: So you’re overlaying an existing surface on most of your countertops?

KL: Always.

ST: And do you have any thoughts on applying an overlay correctly and tips to a customer who might be trying to do the same at home?

KL: I prepare the surface with an orbital sander with a 40 grit pad and clean the surface after with an organic degreaser and water solution. I mix my concrete overlay fairly thin about thin pancake batter consistency. I usually do the edges first with a little bit drier mix using a rubber glove rubbing it on just as I saw on one of Direct Color’s videos. Sometimes I’ll use a blue stone texture roller and use your Concrete Countertop Form Release  as a mold release agent. I can roll the edge of the countertops to get more of a chiseled stone look on the finished product and then I’ll do my sealer top coat. Usually one coat is enough for me because I’m working with epoxy sealers a lot. If I have any bare spots, I’ll touch just them up.

ST: And how thick is the overlay coat you’re using?

It’s about a 1/16th to an 1/8″ because sometimes the sinks are still in place. It’s best to remove the sinks before you overlay but it’s not always possible.

ST: Thank you very much Ken. I appreciate it.

KL: Thank you.

Find more of Ken’s work at Ken’s Custom Design on Facebook or watch his countertop videos on our how-to videos and guides page on DirectColors.com.

If you have questions, call one of our expert technicians at 877-255-2656 and we’ll help you select the best products and technique for your needs.  If you prefer email, send in a free online design consultation and we’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.

Direct Colors DIY Home Improvement podcasts are produced twice monthly for your enjoyment and show notes can be found at directcolors.com/listen.  Feel free to add the podcast to your favorite RSS feed.  You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ , YouTube and Instagram. Thanks again for joining us!

Disclaimer: The information, views, and opinions contained within this podcast are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or recommendations of Direct Colors