Saturday, August 25, 2012

Polishing and Sealing the Counters

The counters are now polished and sealed. They looked amazing after being polished, if I may say so myself.

My goal in polishing the counters was two-fold. I wanted to 1) not effing electrocute myself, and 2) polish the counters. I finally procured a grinder that would work with my polishing pads (by the way, I got almost all the supplies for this project from concrete exchange, which is run by Fu Tung Cheng, the author of the book I used to learn how to do this. If you plan to embark on a concrete project I HIGHLY recommend that you both read this book and purchase supplies from concrete exchange.) 

Anyhoo, back to the hazards of polishing concrete! In order to accomplish this, you need to operate a hand-held polisher or grinder whilst pouring a stream of water over the area of concrete you are polishing. (Easier said than done when you're working alone, btw, though Cheng has advice on how to do this that worked out fine.) So, you're standing in a pool of water operating an electrical device, which also happens to be one that, if you're not careful will grind through your electrical cord. Which, as it happened, the previous renter of the grinder had done. The guy at the sketch-tastic rental place helpfully wrapped the exposed section in electrical tape and pronounced it safe because there wasn't any copper showing. He gave me some safety tips: "You need to be careful, you could get shocked...well, you shouldn't get shocked...well, you might get a little shocked...keep your feet dry and you'll be fine." Needless to say, I was a tad nervous about polishing. I wore my bean boots and heavy-duty PVC-coated gloves for insulation, and I hung the wires up high so they wouldn't be sitting in water (too much). It went fine, though halfway through I noticed the electrical tape job was coming apart, and there WERE copper wires showing in there! Scary. And then I noticed there were like eight grinder cuts on the cord. So I took a little safety break and electrical-taped those suckers up. 

But the polished counters looked awesome! I really got the hang of it and they looked beautiful. Unfortunately, Mr. Cheng's sealer directions really sucked, and I messed up the sealing process pretty good. I totally ruined the smooth, gorgeous polishing job. But it's not permanent damage, and no one except me will really notice/care, so I'm gonna live with it til it's time to reseal.

Tomorrow we'll install at least one section of counter. Stay tuned for pics...

No comments: