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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some of you have seen this, but I built this concrete patio table about a year and a half ago...



For the concrete top, I used a reverse cast method. I built the form out of a sheet of melamine board. The bottom of the form is simply a piece of melamine cut to the size of the tabletop you want to end up with. The side boards of the form are ripped to the desired thickness of the tabletop, plus 3/4" (the thickness of the bottom of the form). In other words, if you want a 2" thick top, the side boards need to be ripped to 2.75". You screw those sideboards onto the bottom form board, and to each other, then caulk/smooth the interior corners to seal the form.

I used Quikrete Countertop Mix with a steel mesh for reinforcement. I have a friend that offered his concrete mixer to me, but I decided that for such a small job I would just mix it by hand in a concrete mixing tub. In hindsight I should have borrowed the mixer - mixing by hand was manageable, just not much fun. I filled the form about halfway, then laid the wire mesh in before filling the rest of the form with the concrete mix.

I beat on the bottom of the form with a dead blow hammer for a bit to work out most of the air bubbles, then I troweled the surface. I didn't get too carried away with the trowel, because 1) I wasn't very good at it, and 2) what you see in this photo ends up being the bottom of the table:



After a day or so, I removed the screws holding the side boards on, and peeled them away from the concrete. Be careful not to pry against the concrete because it can chip easily at this point. I then had some friends over to help me flip the top so I could take the bottom form off (which is actually the top of the table). It will look like this:



You will most likely find a few "bugholes" where you didn't get all the air bubbles worked out, but that it is okay. Just mix up a little portland cement paste in a disposable cup or bowl, and rub the paste into the bugholes.

The top of the casting will be surprisingly smooth, but this is where you begin wet sanding with some diamond polishing pads. You start somewhere around 200-grit, then progressively work up to the 800-grit. You may uncover some more bugholes in the sanding process, but again, just mix up some portland cement paste, fill them, and resume sanding after it has had a chance to set up. Here again, I didn't get too carried away with sanding because it was going on my patio. If it were an indoor countertop, I probably would have spent more time sanding it to perfection.

I built the frame out of cedar, and stained it to the color you see above. I used cedar because it is supposed to have a natural resistance to things like water, decay, and bugs. I put some casters on the bottom of the legs - they don't look great, but highly recommended if you ever want to move the table around (it is HEAVY).



You're supposed to wait about a month before applying a sealer (so the concrete can fully cure). I had other priorities, so I ended up waiting longer - you just want to be careful about what you put on it until you have it sealed. I used the Cheng Concrete Countertop Sealer, but there are other options. I also bought some Cheng Concrete Countertop Wax, but I haven't used it yet.

You can use Liquid Nails or something to attach the top to the frame, but I haven't done that yet either. I haven't worried too much about it because it's not going anywhere.

The metal barstools are from Amazon, and have held up pretty well so far.

Let me know if I missed anything. :thumbup:

 

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Administrator
Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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12,865 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MrMeaner said:
awesome Ware, great job!! Your patio looks like a great place to have some cocktails telling stories and having fun with friends and family!!!
Thanks! We do really enjoy it out there... great for having friends over and watching games, etc. That side of the house is east facing so we always have afternoon/evening shade. :thumbup:
 
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