How’s It Holding Up? DIY Concrete Vanity Update

February 10, 2016

Wondering how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up? Well, we have all that info for you PLUS info on a small tweak we made!

Hey friends!  I FREQUENTLY get asked about how certain DIY home decor projects we have tackled are holding up.  So, I thought it would be fun to run a “How's It Holding Up?” series on the blog for the next couple of weeks.  Kind of fun, huh?  First up we are going to talk about our DIY concrete vanity, a project that we completed when we updated our powder room and how it has held up since we originally completed the project about 18 months ago (in August, 2014).

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DIY Concrete Vanity History

As a reminder, THIS is what we started with in our powder room.

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

Oh yeah!  See that super sexy cultured marble vanity and builder grade mirror?!  Not to mention the super orangey oak cabinet base?!  Well, as usual, we were on a budget when we updated our powder room, so we needed a really economical solution to update the vanity.  We had great success when we created our DIY concrete fireplace, so we thought we'd give it a try on our vanity.  We LOVE concrete :)  But y'all, I had NO IDEA if it would work.  I mean seriously…  Who smears concrete all over their sink?  This girl.

It TOTALLY worked.  This is what we ended up with!

You can update your bathroom vanity without spending a fortune! This DIY vanity update using a concrete overlay with Ardex Feather Finish can be done for around $50 (including a new faucet). Check out the full tutorial!

It's hard to believe that's the same powder room, isn't it?!


You can read all about how we completed the DIY concrete vanity project and see the full original tutorial by clicking here, but then you need to come back and finish reading this post, because there is an important update!


DIY Concrete Vanity Update

Long story short, the DIY concrete vanity has held up phenomenally well!  But there is one tweak that I need to share with you.  If we had to do it all over again, we would have left the drain IN PLACE and applied the concrete around it.  Why?  Because we did ultimately get some discoloration around the drain, presumably from water seeping in under it and darkening the concrete.  You can see what I mean in this photo–look closely around the drain (sorry for the terrible photo quality–the photo below and the tutorial photos were shot with a phone camera at night)!

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink / designertrapped.comThe good news is that if you have already completed this project, it's a pretty easy fix!  Just follow the instructions below.

DIY Concrete Vanity “Tweaking” Tutorial

1) Use a utility knife to score the concrete overlay around the rim of the drain.

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

2) Remove the drain and continue scoring along the circle that you made around the drain with your utility knife until you are able to break away the concrete that was sitting under your drain.  Don't worry–the circle doesn't have to be perfect, but it does need to be slightly larger than the drain itself.

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

3) Re-install your drain.

4) Mix up your Ardex Feather Finish to a pudding-like consistency.

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

4) Use your finger to apply the concrete around your drain, being sure to overlap it on the surface of the drain ring slightly.  Don't worry about making a mess.  You can easily wipe any excess off the drain!

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

5) Use a damp paper towel to remove any excess concrete from the drain and to make the “circle” of concrete as smooth and even as possible.

6) Use your hand to wipe a small amount of concrete all over the sink basin.  This will simply help even out any color differences that may result from adding new concrete to old.

7) Allow it to dry (overnight, if possible).  Repeat steps 4-7 at least once.  You really want to be sure that you have enough concrete around the drain–this may take 2 or 3 very thin layers.  Allow the final coat to dry overnight.

8) Apply your Quickcrete sealer.  This is the FIRST time we have had to re-seal the vanity and we only re-sealed the sink basin.  I recommend following the directions on the package.  We added 3 coats of sealer, be sure to get great coverage around the drain.

That's it!  We “tweaked” ours about 2 months ago and it's PERFECT!  No more discoloration around the drain.  Wooo hooo!  Here is what it looks like, present day, after we tweaked the drain issue.

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

Would we do it again?

A million, zillion times YES!  Y'all, this cost us around $20 and we love it!  Even if we hadn't tweaked it, the slight discoloration around the drain would NOT prevent me from doing this again! But it is 100% perfect with the tweak.  So, so happy with this project!

I've put together another video for you about this project–it includes an answer to the very popular question of “how do you clean it?”  Enjoy!

And before you head out, be sure to grab my free guide on how to design a room you love so that the rest of your bathroom can be as gorgeous as your updated vanity ;)

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Want to save this project for later? Be sure to pin it!



Learn how our DIY concrete vanity is holding up 18 months after completion! / DIY concrete counter top / DIY concrete sink /

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  1. Ryan says:

    Thanks so much for this! Question – we have a similar outdated SHOWER – do you think this might work in there?

    • Tasha says:

      I have never tried this in shower or tub, but I really don’t recommend it. I am not sure how the water pressure would effect it day after day and any rough spots would be super uncomfortable! IF you do try it and it works, let me know! I get this question a lot! Thanks for reading.

  2. Stevie says:

    Will the counter stand up to some heat like a straightening iron or a curling iron? I really want to do this in our bathroom but it’s the only working surface.

  3. Julie says:

    I love this look, but I wonder how it would look stained? Do you have any experience staining concrete?

    • Tasha says:

      I actually prefer the grey, but I have heard of people that stain or mix in the colored powder. Good luck!

  4. Judy says:

    Looks great! I have an old formica countertop in my bathroom, do you think the concrete would work ok on that surface?

  5. Paige says:

    Im starting our bathroom vanity,but im doing it my self and have question regarding the drain. Do I disconect the drain underneath?
    The top portion is brass, plan on changing out to oil rubbed bronze. I dont know were to start.

    • Tasha says:

      You have to put the drain want to use first. So if you are switching it out, switch it first. Hope that helps!

  6. Becky says:

    I have a question about the “tweak”… How did you seal it without getting a bunch of sealer on the drain ring? Im trying to recover from doing it the first way as i didnt see the link for this until after i had done it and discovered we had a “pooling” problem… But i am curious how you got a nice seal on it without jacking up the drain ring? Thanks for your input!

  7. Jennifer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this awesome technique! I’ve read through the comments and haven’t seen this question asked yet. Have you heard of this finish working over corian kitchen counters after scuffing them up a bit?

  8. Aletha says:

    I am so impressed, love your blog! I would like to do my kitchen counters with this, but not the sink. How well do you think it would stand up under daily cooking/spills? Thanks!

    • Tasha says:

      Yes! Following the same guidelines of the integrity of the counter top (stable, no cracks, etc) it should be fine!

  9. bridgette babin says:

    I would like to do this in my shower as well as the counters in my bathroom – the shower will obviously have more water on a daily basis – how do you think it will hold up? We have a glass enclosure directly across from the shower head that the water hits but what I was wondering is how the walls and the floor of the shower would hold up. Any ideas?

    • Tasha says:

      I do not recommend this for a shower (for the record I have never tried it!) The amount of water that hits directly on it is hwat makes me nervous. If you do try it, let me know how it turns out!

  10. Felicia says:

    I could only find a high shine sealer and plain sealer. Which one should I get.

  11. Sue says:

    I’m definitely going to do this! But if I plan to replace the drain as well, what do you recommend? Do the concrete with old drain in place? Then replace it when I’m finished?

  12. Marlene says:

    I was thinking of doing laminate kitchen counter do you think it will hold up?

  13. AnneFey says:

    Can I add concrete color product so it’s not so dark? BTW , love the project, the pictures, the tips!!! Now I just have to get my “brave” on. This is a definite want!!!!!

    • Tasha says:

      I have never tried to do this but I have heard of people adding powder color to concrete. Good luck!

  14. cindy says:

    could you do this if your cabinet is formica?

  15. Courtney says:

    Do you think this would work on a shower suround. It is lab created marble like my sink which I plan to do. I would love for them to match.

    • Tasha says:

      I am not sure exactly the part you are talking about in the shower? If it is a part that doesn’t actually get wet I think it would be fine. I have concerns over using it in a shower proper because of the water pressure over time. Good luck!

  16. Nicole says:

    I’m motivated to try this! Do you think it would work on shower walls? Going over the ugly ceramic tiles with the feather finish?

    • Tasha says:

      I really can’t recommend it for a shower. It would be a whole lot of work and I am not sure how that much water pressure over an extended time would treat it.

  17. mark says:

    I wish I could post pics of mine I just did because for some reason the concrete turns dark around the drain its not leaking but I dont know why its doing that, I have a two sink counter I did the forst one like you did and the second one I left the drain in but either way the concrete turned dark as soon as I ran water on it it also has spots that turn dark is it the sealer I didnt go over enough or what?

    • Tasha says:

      I am really not sure? That has not happened to ours since I did it the second way. The only guess is that you need more sealer because the water is penetrating it. Good luck!

  18. Laurie says:

    Thoughts on staining the concrete surface before sealing? This is such a great idea but I don’t believe the modern look will work in my home. But staining it would make it work.

    • Tasha says:

      I have never stained concrete because I love the grey. That is certainly not to say you couldn’t try it, but I have no expertise about it!

  19. Bonnie says:

    Do you think this would work on a tub? I have a cast iron tub that is chipping and don’t want to refinish with porcelain or replace. I think it would look great in concrete, but worry about it holding up. Any suggestions or ideas?

  20. mark says:

    So I just did one side of my sink I have a double sink I needed a working faucet in my house so I did one side and going to do the other so are you saying to install the new drain and then concrete around it?

  21. Marsha Lawton says:

    Do you think I could get a porcelain sink scruffed up enough for the concrete to adhere? I’ve been looking for instructions to do this- thanks so much! I love the way yours looks- hope I can do half as well :-)

  22. Heidi weber says:

    Would you try this on a mauve pink cast iron bath tub?

    • Tasha says:

      I would not do this to a bathtub. It would be extremely hard to smooth and I am not sure how it would handle that much water pressure!

  23. Jason Roland says:

    Thank you so much for your follow up post. I have often wondered how these hold up!

  24. Sarah says:

    This is amazing!! So thankful I found this before going out a buying a new counter top! Thank you!

  25. Karen Marvel Shute says:

    We have a Formica countertop with a ceramic sink and a metal rim. Have you heard of anyone successfully covering all of that? Thanks for the great work from a fellow lawyer!

    • Tasha says:

      I am concerned about the metal rim. It needs to be a completely stable surface and if there is any movement with the rim it can crack.

  26. Caitlin says:

    I love the countertop! I really want to do it in our downstairs bathroom but we have grouted tile there now. Would that still work?

    • Tasha says:

      I haven’t personally done it on tile, but it can be done if the tile and grout are in good shape and aren’t cracked, chipping, etc. It would probably take more coats to get full coverage, but it should work! Good luck!

  27. Heather says:

    Hi Tasha,
    This project is so amazingly beautiful, and I’m pleased to read that the sink is holding up. I am considering doing this on my kitchen counters, and was wondering if you thought it could be used on a kitchen sink.
    Thanks for any input you can offer

    • Tasha says:

      I would be nervous to use it in the kitchen because that sink is used so much and it could crack it you drop something really heavy (like a cast iron skillet or crockpot.) Good luck!

  28. Amy says:

    I have a seashell shaped sink. Do you think I could get it a smooth shape like yours and hide the seashell ridges? Any suggestions would be great ?

  29. Laura B. says:

    I was wondering if I could add a stain to the concrete either after it’s set or in the mixing process. I would love to hear your thoughts on that.

    • Tasha says:

      I have no idea if you can add stain during the mixing process, I have only heard of people using the powder pigment and I don’t know what process they follow. I know people stain concrete, I just have never personally done it. Good luck!

    • Sonya says:

      There is a pigment you can add to brick mortar, don’t know why it wouldn’t work.

  30. Courtney says:

    Can you do this over laminate?

  31. […] That’s it for today folks.  Be sure to check out how our $20 DIY concrete vanity is holding up also–just click here. […]

  32. Have you used cosmetics or any anti-aging products with this sink? I’ve been considering it for my master bath. We just spent $9K on it and I cannot cough up the $2K that a quartz counter & new sink bowls will cost – this doesn’t include a new vanity, we’re reusing it! I like the look of the concrete, it’ll go with the style of the bathroom & the vanity. But I use some chemical peels, hair color, etc. and I’m wondering how the surface holds up to the wear and tear of a woman?

    • Tasha A. says:

      Hi Brooke! Great question. I use chemical peels and hair color in my master bathroom, but not in this powder room, so I’m afraid I don’t know! Sorry!

  33. […] Last week I shared details about how our $20 DIY concrete vanity is holding up, complete with a video, thank you very much!  Check out all the details of the DIY concrete vanity update here. […]

  34. I often see the concrete counters on Fixer Upper and wonder how they held up. Super interesting!


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