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Welcome!

 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

What is microcement? And why you (DIYers) need it in your life...

How to elevate your home DIYs with the help of microcement

Claire Douglas applying microcement to kitchen

Regulars round here will know that microment is one of my go-to materials for DIY projects, room revamps and even craft projects. I've used it to upgrade my kitchen worktops, build a DIY fridge surround, revamp my kitchen cabinets, build a bespoke kitchen backsplash, make custom furniture and even craft vases and pots for styling.


I don't expect you to just take my word for it, so in this post, I'll share the irrefutable evidence of why microcement is THE answer that DIYers and home renovators alike didn't even know they were looking for. We'll look at the main benefits of microcement, versatility, cost-effectiveness, style, food-safeness and water resistance and my top tips for completing a successful microcement project looking at specific projects that I've completed. I'll share the key tools you'll need (a spreader, a mixer, some dust sheets, buckets and water) and walk you through my favourite DIY microcement kit (no gatekeeping here... it's the one from ConcreteLab.co.uk. Finally, I'll talk you through some of the projects that I've got planned for this continuous coating. Let's get started...



The benefits of microcement

Microcement powder in a white plastic bucket

Microcement, also known as micro-topping or micro-concrete, is a trendy decorative coating composed of cement and polymers. Its popularity has been steadily rising (hopefully due in part to the fact that I'm on a one-woman mission to spread the word!), with microcement kitchens and bathrooms frequently showcased on social media and in magazines. Microcement can often be mistaken for solid concrete because it can be applied over (almost) anything. Its growing appeal among DIY enthusiasts is understandable due to its numerous advantages and I'm excited to share my top five with you now...


1. Versatility

Concrete cloth decor - microcement vase

Microcement's remarkable versatility and high resistance make it an excellent choice for DIY projects, particularly when considering its application on various surfaces. Whether used for microcement floors, coating walls, countertops or even vases and ornaments, microcement offers a smooth texture and a contemporary finish that rivals traditional materials. Its waterproof properties also make it suitable for wet areas such as microcement bathrooms, power rooms or kitchens. Moreover, its resistance to temperature changes and weather conditions makes it a perfect option for both interior and exterior surfaces, including microcement pools or outdoor areas (full disclosure: Im yet to use it outdoors yet - but have a few exciting garden projects up my sleeve for the Summer so watch this space). 

microcement primer in a foil-lined roller tray

The application process for microcement typically involves applying a primer base (possibly onto a fibreglass mesh, although I've not personally used the mesh yet - I think it's likely to be required for the bathroom project I have planned though) followed by a microcement base, then a second layer of primer and microcement, followed by a high-quality, industrial-strength sealant ensuring a seamless floor or wall coating. 


It’s so versatile that I made some decorative concrete-style vases from material that I soaked in leftover microcement mix (see image above). Tutorial here…



2. It's affordable

DIY microcement kit

The trend of using natural materials like stone and marble in interior design remains strong in 2024. However, custom-made worktops and kitchen islands made from these materials can be costly, making them inaccessible to many due to budget constraints. An alternative option is microcement, which offers similar aesthetic appeal but at a lower cost. Its application process differs from traditional materials, and it's highly versatile, making it suitable for various construction projects, including those requiring high temperatures or outdoor surfaces. With proper surface preparation, microcement provides a seamless finish and is resistant to water and food-safe. Overall, microcement offers a cost-effective and stylish solution for achieving a contemporary look. The DIY microcement kits only cost a couple of hundred pounds vs the many thousands associated with the luxury worktops, so it's definitely worth investigating if you love the look of natural stone but don't have a squillion pounds to pay for it. 


As you can see from the below images, I created a more expensive and bespoke-looking kitchen worktop and backsplash with the help of some MDF and microcement, a bit of imagination and a fair amount of elbow grease. This budget DIY kitchen transformation was well worth the effort and has really elevated what was a previously uninteresting space. 


kitchen before microcement application
The results of a DIY kitchen revamp using microcement
DIY kitchen revamp using microcement

3. Lightweight and more sustainable than concrete

True to its name, microcement requires only minimal amounts for a project due to its application in thin layers. With a final thickness of approximately 2-4mm, its strength once fully cured compensates for its lack of depth. The lightweight finish and thin layers make microcement an ideal choice for larger installations, as it covers a significant area with minimal material. For instance, I utilized only half a kit to coat the built-in fridge unit I constructed, showcasing its exceptional cost-effectiveness.


DIY fridge surround using microcement

Another advantage of it's minimal thickness is that it's more environmentally-friendly to transport and deliver. Solid concrete worktops aren't terribly good for the environment in the first place. let alone after you factor in the transportation costs and carbon footprint, so how fab is it then that a DIY microcement kit comes in a large bucket that can fit easily into a standard courier's van - no articulated lorries or two-man deliveries required. 

 

4. Once sealed, it’s food-safe and waterproof

DIY microcement application as part of kitchen revamp.

The process of applying the recommended sealant can be quite laborious, involving multiple layers with varying concentrations. However, the effort pays off as microcement, once sealed, transforms from porous and prone to staining to graffiti-proof, food-safe, and waterproof. This makes it an ideal option for kitchen and bathroom installations. While I'm eager to begin my microcement bathroom transformation, my current kitchen revamp project still brings me daily joy.


5. Inject some colour with microcement

Microcement can now be found in various colours, making it ideal for edgy and on-trend interiors and minimalistic and neutral schemes. Let’s face it, a dusky pink microcement bathroom or a sage green microcement sink unit will get a lot of attention for all the right reasons.  Don’t panic if pastel hues are a step too far; trusty off-white or the grey shades of microcement will tick all your boxes, bringing understated simplicity for the win. With different finishes and colour packs available, microcement offers an infinite array of aesthetic possibilities, appealing to both DIY enthusiasts and professional interior designers alike.


How do I use microcement?

Microcement typically comes in a kit that includes a liquid primer, bags of microcement powder, and bottles of resin liquid. These components must be mixed before application. Similar to concrete, there's a limited window of time to work with microcement before it begins to set. It's advisable to mix small batches and organize your workspace efficiently to avoid wasting time.


The application process involves several steps. First, ensure the surface is sturdy and any joints or cracks are sealed. Apply the primer and allow it to become tacky. Then, apply the first coat of microcement to a thickness of 1-2mm, using firm pressure to achieve a smooth, flat texture. After allowing it to dry, sand the microcement to remove any lumps or imperfections. Clean and dust the surface before applying a coat of primer for the second layer of microcement. The second coat, also 1-2mm thick, should be smoothed and sanded to achieve a total thickness of approximately 3-4mm. Fill any pinholes with leftover microcement mixture to avoid difficulties during cleaning.


It's crucial to seal microcement with an industrial-grade sealant to ensure its suitability for home environments. A non-slip finish can be achieved for vertical surfaces such as shower trays or microcement stairs. Overall, proper application and sealing are essential to achieve the desired final result and ensure the durability of the microcement surface.


Tips for a successful microcement project 


Microcement kitchen makeover by Claire Douglas
  • Work from the top down during the microcement application process to avoid spilling microcement over areas you’ve already covered and smoothed.

  • Apply the sealant carefully, spreading with a roller from the bottom up, so you don’t drip splashes on unsealed microcement, which could leave marks. 

  • Use a flexible spreading tool to get a smooth finish

  • Be sure to wear a mask when sanding to prevent inhalation of the dust; a sander with a dust extractor/collector is helpful too. 

  • Don’t cut corners on the sealant, especially for high-traffic or food prep areas.

  • Don’t apply too thickly or thinly, as this can lead to cracking. 


Where can you buy microcement?


I’m a huge fan of the Concrete Lab microcement polished concrete kits, which come in various sizes and colours. Their YouTube channel is super helpful with tutorials for getting started too. 


How is microcement so strong?

Despite being very thin, the layers of microcement, once cured, are very resilient. The use of epoxy resin and fiberglass mesh ensures its durability, making it ideal for high-traffic areas like kitchen countertops or even commercial premises.

What tools will I need for a microcement DIY project?

DIY microcement spreader tool

You will need the following tools to get the best results from your microcement DIY project


  • 2 clean buckets 

  • Durable foam roller frame & tray(for the primer)

  • Multi-purpose masking tape

  • Measuring syringes for sealant 

  • Measuring jug 

  • Paint mixer or similar to mix the microcement with the resin liquid

  • Protective gloves

  • Protective eyewear

  • Dust mask 

  • Flexible spreading trowel or spatula

  • Sander with a selection of grit pads or, alternatively, some sandpaper sheets

  • Dust sheets - microcementing can get messy! 



Is Microcement cheaper than tiling?

Micro cement is definitely cheaper than tiling especially if you have a love of high-end tiles. When you factor in the cost of tile adhesive and grout, a DIY microcement kit, which will cover a large surface area of 5 or 10m2, will be much more cost-effective than tiles. 


What are the disadvantages of Microcement?

Due to the various stages of the microcement application process, there's no denying that it takes time to apply, so this could be considered a disadvantage if you are in a hurry to complete your DIY/home reno project. However, the time spent is well invested as the results will be spectacular and last for years. 

The process of applying microcement is messy, so this could be viewed as a disadvantage if you don't enjoy getting hands-on with DIYs and you don't want your home to be disrupted through the process. For me, the cost savings and end result make up for the disruption and dust. 


Microcement coffee table

Why is micro cement so expensive?

Over a small area, microcement can feel expensive because you need to invest in all the tools and materials, but over a larger area - say 5-10m the cost works out very competitive especially when compared to the costs associated with tiling or installing natural stone. 


Does Microcement crack easily?

I'm happy to report that I haven't had any issues with cracking on any of my projects and they've been fully tested by family life over the past couple of years. The trick is to prepare the surfaces ensuring they are stable and sound, prime properly and apply thin coats. 


Is microcement a good choice for DIYers and home renovators?

Whether it's for a small DIY kit or a large-scale commercial space, microcement's innovative material and versatility make it the perfect choice for achieving contemporary and durable design solutions.


If you are more of a video person, below are some links to Insta reels about my microcement projects...



Where next?

Here are the links to a selection of microcement-related posts you might enjoy...





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