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Tough love – concrete 101 – your go-to guide to caring for concrete furniture

It’s industrial, timeless, durable and organic. It’s also making a serious comeback. You’ll find it on dining tables, coffee tables, side tables, kitchen benchtops and more – and each piece is unique.

It’s concrete, but not as we once knew it.

These days engineered concrete is making a serious play as the interior designer’s material of the moment, and we couldn’t agree more. It works with super contemporary schemes, it works in loft-style apartments, it works on patios and it can modernise a classic interior.

Pair it with luxe leather, warm timber, distressed black metal and textured throws, rugs and cushions and you’ll be bang on-trend in the blink of an eye.

So….you’ve been sold into buying your bit of concrete – congrats. Now – how to keep it in tip-top condition:

  • Avoid acid

A good rule for life in general really, acids aren’t the friends of most surfaces if you want to avoid staining so don’t chop lemons directly on your concrete surface, avoid acid-based cleaners and don’t spill the vinegar or leave the olive oil bottle lying around on the table!

  • Act fast

There’s no doubt spills are unavoidable, but there is a way to minimise any issues – act fast. The less time moisture sits on concrete surfaces, the better, so mop up any mishaps asap.

  • Variation is normal

As with most organic products, such as natural stone, you should expect some colour variation and mottling with concrete surfaces, which will change and develop a unique patina with time – just like leather does.

  • Heat protection

It’s best not to put hot items directly onto a concrete surface as it’s likely to discolour the sealant – buy some funky heat-protective mats, placements and coasters and preserve the surface below.

  • Forget complicated chemicals

Resist the temptation to buy cleaning products packed with fancy chemicals, they’ll usually do more harm than good, and avoid citrus-based cleaners or anything containing acetone, alcohol or bleach. Go old school with warm water and gently soap applied with a soft cloth instead (just like grandma used to). Nothing more is needed.

  • Seal the deal

To extend its life and prevent it from marks from the trials and tribulations of modern life, finish your concrete surfaces with a quality sealant appropriate for the surface – ask your retailer – and reapply it once a year. You can also apply a suitable wax every six months or so, if you like, just do your research and be sure to use an appropriate wax and religiously follow the application instructions. Wax on, wax off!

  • Concrete furniture and concrete pools are not the same

Don’t be fooled into using the same cleaning or stain-removal products on concrete furniture that you would for a concrete swimming pool – they’re way too caustic and will only make any stains worse.

  • Don’t be too boisterous

Sure concrete is tough, but don’t sit or dance on your concrete surface if you want to prolong its life. Also avoid any vigorous knocks with hard items as the edges of the table may chip. It’s also wise to avoid dragging sharp or rough objects across your concrete surface to avoid scratching.


Check out Matt Blatt’s new season concrete styles below – all of which have had an appropriate sealant applied in the factory (because that’s just the kind of people we are):

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