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How to Restore or Resurface a Concrete Countertop with Finale

Finale DIY Concrete Countertop System provides an easy to make a real concrete countertop without all the mess and weight of traditional precast concrete countertops. It’s like painting your countertop with concrete.

Finale is typically used to transform outdated laminate countertops to modern concrete. However, it can also be used to restore/refurbish/resurface an old or ugly concrete countertop. After all, Finale is concrete, and it bonds quite well to concrete!

Removing Old Sealer and Contaminants

The most important consideration is surface prep. The concrete must be completely clean and free of oil, grease, dirt, wax, repellants, ANY kind of sealer, or other contaminants.

Unfortunately many old, stained concrete countertops are that way because they were “sealed” with wax or repellent. These substances contaminate the concrete. And even a coating sealer may not have been applied correctly and risks adhesion problems.

Therefore it is best to grind down to bare concrete to ensure that you are removing all such contaminants and underperforming sealers before applying Finale. Very poor quality concrete may need significant grinding to eliminate any flaking or spalling concrete.

Addressing Structural Problems

No microcement topping is capable of repairing structural cracks in concrete. If you discover that your concrete is cracked, after getting down to bare concrete, fill in the crack with a kneadable epoxy putty stick or a 2-part, 5 minute epoxy.

Bear in mind that filling in a crack with epoxy may not fix underlying issues that caused the cracks, like unstable or flimsy cabinets, bouncy floors, etc. These should be addressed and corrected too.

Tiny hairline cracks are not an issue and can be filled with Primer using the steps below.

Large Defects

If you have defects such as large holes or divots in the concrete, these need to be corrected prior to applying Finale. Like structural cracks, microtoppings are not designed to repair large defects.

After getting down to bare concrete, you will need to repair the defects with a kneadable epoxy putty stick or exterior grade wood filler. More details are below.

Steps to Restore/Resurface a Concrete Countertop:

1. Grind down to bare concrete

This is exactly the same process described under “Technique 1: Grind down to bare concrete” in the article “How to Reseal Concrete Countertops with Omega“.

2. Address any structural or large defects

For this you will use a kneadable epoxy putty stick or exterior grade wood filler, then sand it with 80 or 120 grit sandpaper. Using an electric sander makes this easier and faster.

Follow the detailed instructions in the Finale Written Instructions under “repairing damaged laminate”. That process works just as well for fixing structural or large defects in concrete before you overcoat with Finale.

3. Clean and dry

After you are done grinding the concrete, it should be thoroughly cleaned and dried, ideally overnight.

4. Fill exposed pinholes or hairline cracks with Finale Primer

Grinding any concrete, even the densest, best quality concrete, will expose at least a few pinholes. You might also have tiny hairline cracks in your concrete.

We recommend that you apply a coat of Finale Primer and use a plastic spatula, pressing to squeegee the Primer into any pinholes or hairline cracks. Then apply another coat of Finale Primer.

5. Apply Finale Concrete

At this point you can start applying Finale Concrete. If your primed surface is free of pinholes, you can proceed as normal per the Finale instructions.

If your primed surface still has pinholes, mix up a small amount of Finale Concrete to the consistency of peanut butter and squeegee it into the pinholes as if you were spackling a nail hole in a wall. After that concrete has dried, you can proceed with normal coats of Finale per the instructions.

6. Seal your concrete countertop

Proceed as usual to the sealing step, but this time use a high quality sealer! For example, view the CCI sealers here.

Restoring an old concrete countertop with a microtopping such as Finale takes some elbow grease and some preparation, but it pays off in the end.

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