Good news, peeps: we’re finishing off the last of our plastering today! We’ll be priming and painting the dining room later this week. We’re actually ahead of schedule right now because we found a shortcut for making our custom concrete window sills. (If you don’t remember those from upstairs, check em out here.)
In order to make concrete sills, you first have to make a mold. Then you mix up the concrete, pour it, thawp out the air bubbles and wait for it to dry. And finally, you clean them up a bit before installing them. We skipped most of those steps and went straight to the clean-and-install part with these babies:
Those are concrete walkway stones for yards and patios. We went to a local nursery and picked up 3 of them for $80. Each one measured 36″ x 24″ and they’re about 2″ thick.
These slabs are much more textured than ours because they were made to mimic stone:
We went for a super smooth, velvety finish in our DIY version. We’re OK with not having matchy-matchy sills throughout the house if it’s something interesting.
Another big difference between our DIY version and these pre-made slabs is the lack of rebar support. The pre-made slabs don’t have rebar in them, so they’re more fragile than then ones we made. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Since there’s no rebar, we can cut these suckers down to whatever size we want. We just have to be really careful while lifting and moving the slabs because they could easily break if we don’t distribute the weight properly.
We measured out our cuts and drew them on the slab using permanent marker. Then we cut it:
To make our cuts, we used a grinder and a circular saw, both loaded with diamond concrete blades. The slabs are 2″ thick, which means there’s no way we’ll be able to penetrate them with one cut. Instead, we first used the grinder to score the cut.
Then we went over the score line using the circular saw:
It helps keep the dust down if you hose the slab with water once in a while:
We ended up giving each cut 2 passes with the circular saw. The first cut was set so the blade cut one inch deep. the second cut was set so the blade cut two inches deep.
After each slab was cut down to size, we were left with 3 window sills that slid right in:
Each one sticks out a bit, just like the windows upstairs:
And we’re really digging the texture:
We sealed up the cracks between the drywall and the sill with painter’s silicone:
And that’s a wrap: we’re done with the window sills! We saved ourselves about 2 full weekends worth of work with our little shortcut. We also have enough left over to do the window sills for our kitchen, so our $80 spend was stretched to two rooms. Not bad, considering how much time it saved us.
We’ll be back later this week with updates on our dining room. We’re currently duking it out over paint colors, but we’ve narrowed it down to a couple of choices. Stay tuned!