Mess-free concrete look varnish

DIY specialist, renovator and professional furniture expert Natasha Dickins from Little Red Industries shows how to create a concrete-look finish on timber without the mess of mixing up cement. 

OPENER

While I love the modernist look of concrete furniture, I’m not so keen on living with the hard lines of this industrial building material – or how heavy it can be. So I came up with a simple technique that transforms timber with a roller.

CONCRETE LOOK PLINTH

Whether you’re finishing a table or want to turn a plywood box into a stone-hard plinth, just three coats of easy-to-apply Monocel Stain & Varnish in Grey does the trick. I’ve used plywood here, but any timber will work, just make sure the finish is natural and raw.

VIDEO LINK: https://youtu.be/eVLdqOFAej4

FIRST COAT

After sanding the plywood all over with 180-grit abrasive paper, I wiped it with a damp cloth to remove the dust. I poured varnish into a mini tray, then loaded up the roller to apply a light coat, leaving it to dry for at least two hours.

TIP The first coat should be transparent enough for the woodgrain to show through.

SECOND COAT

I applied the second coat, working down from the top to pick up any drips, and left it to dry overnight.

TIP Seal the roller in plastic wrap to prevent it drying out between coats.

THIRD COAT

Before applying the third coat, I smoothed all over lightly with 240-grit abrasive paper and wiped over with a damp cloth. I stirred the varnish before pouring it into the tray and evenly applied it with the roller.

LEAVE TO DRY

How long the varnish takes to dry can depend on the  temperature and humidity, so it’s best to leave it for at least half a day to cure thoroughly before moving or putting anything heavy on it.

CONCRETE-LOOK PLINTH

Take one plywood box, seal it with three coats of Monocel Stain & Varnish in Grey to create a gallery style plinth!

TRESTLE TABLE LINK TO BONDALL https://www.bondall.com/how-to-build-a-trestle-table/]

I used this same technique to put a designer twisting on a trestle table. See how to make one here.

Have you used varnish to create different painted effects? We’d love to see the results! Be sure to post on Facebook or Instagram, tagging @bondall.au @monocel.timbercare and @littleredindustries