Subject to wear and tear day in and day out, kitchen countertops must be updated eventually. With DIY countertops, homeowners enjoy not only savings, but one-of-a-kind results.
No matter where you live, a Chicago apartment or a rural Montana ranch, kitchen counters see a great deal of wear and tear. It’s only a matter of time before they must be refurbished or replaced. While even experienced remodelers have been known to shy away from countertop installation, we can think of at least two reasons to try turning this into a do-it-yourself project: money savings and one-of-a-kind results. Scroll down to see five affordable and creative ways in which homeowners like you have handled DIY countertops successfully, and with flair.
1. GO FAUX GRANITE
Prefer the look of natural stone to your dour and dingy laminate countertops? You certainly don’t need to tear them down to fulfill your design dream. As seen in this project from Love and Renovations, the key to a convincing fake granite is in choosing three shades of paint (from black to gray, here) and dabbing with a sea sponge. Even after sealing the deal with a clear protective top coat, the luxurious look costs less than $50 to recreate! And even a year later, this DIYer says she’d do it all again.
2. CHOOSE CONCRETE
For good reason—it’s affordable, durable, and pretty darn cool-looking—concrete is becoming ever more popular in DIY countertops. Thank goodness that Imperfectly Polished makes it oh-so-simple with a trio of step-by-step tutorials: prep and planning, pouring and curing, and sand, seal, wax and enjoy.
3. PINCH PENNIES
In the past, we’ve seen pennies used to surface backsplashes and flooring. Now Domestic Imperfection demonstrates how they can look like a million bucks in DIY countertops. The cost? Literally pennies! Other unlikely countertop materials include pebbles, vase gems, coasters and license plates.
4. RIDE THE SUBWAY TREND
A perfect complement to a subway tile backsplash, this sub-one-hundred-dollar subway tile countertop concept from A Beautiful Mess makes once dark and confined kitchens look bright and spacious. Recreate it by mounting a cement backer board to a wooden board the size of your countertop, adhering subway tiles and tile grout to the backer board, then mounting the entire tiled board on your existing countertop with screws. While that may sound intense, their detailed instructions promise no saws required to make these DIY countertops!
5. CHALK IT UP TO CREATIVITY
While you may typically associate chalkboard with scrawled notes and kids’ doodles, the resourceful DIYer behind Kate Decorates looked at the medium and saw how its matte appearance closely resembled that of a high-end stone countertop material: slate. With just $50 and two coats—chalkboard paint and a clear protective finish—she boosts style in the laundry room.
6. MAKE CONTACT
Genuine marble slab countertops can put a dent in your wallet—or even in your pricey work surface, if the installation goes awry. Not so with this rock-bottom-priced replica from Make Do and DIY. The mastermind behind the blog recreated the elegant, striated look of marble in her kitchen for $30 simply by adhering marble-patterned contact paper to her countertops with the help of a credit card to smooth out imperfections.
Photo: designingdawn.com via remodelaholic.com
7. DO YOUR KITCHEN A SOLID
For counters so slick you can see your mug in them, ditch your cleaning rag and grab a paintbrush instead! Refacing a hum-drum cooking prep station with a glamorous and glossy monochromatic paint finish runs only about $120. Just follow the lead of Designing Dawn, whose instructions outlined on Remodelaholic will guide you safely from sanding for the paint to stick all the way to sealing for that extra high-gloss look.
8. REHAB RIGHT
No time? No energy? No money? Rather than replace them, make the very best of your existing countertops. If yours are laminate, a low-cost yet high-impact option is resurfacing. For wood, either apply a new stain or experiment with a distressed finish, following in the footsteps of the Buckhouse blog.
9. GO STAINLESS
Opinions are divided over stainless steel. Some say it’s chic and easy to clean; others insist that it scratches too easily and is appropriate only for utility spaces like the laundry room. One thing is for certain: it’s not cheap. That said, The Home Project managed to install their DIY countertops for under $500!
10. OPT FOR AN OLD DOOR
Have you heard the one about The Mustard Ceiling turning three oak doors into a gorgeous countertop for $100? There’s no punchline—they actually did it. Using the preexisting laminate as a template, the couple cut the doors to shape, before sanding and staining them for a rough-hewn yet refined look. While the original blog is no longer in operation, you can still follow along with the tutorial at Remodelaholic.
These 25 incredible DIY countertops prove you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a beautiful kitchen.
Instead you can update your old countertops or build new ones with these creative countertop ideas including concrete countertops, wood countertops, painted laminate countertops, and more.
25 Inexpensive DIY Countertops
When you are updating your kitchen on a budget, budget countertops are one of the biggest ways to keep costs down. You’ve got to see these DIY countertop ideas, including concrete, wood, faux granite, and more. These may be inexpensive, but they definitely don’t look it!
How to Paint Countertops to Look Like Marble
Painting our old laminate countertops to look like marble was a huge risk, but it was definitely worth it! You would absolutely never guess that they were painted.
Epoxy over laminate counters, AKA formica. • mimzy & company
If you have an old formica countertop that you want to makeover, an inexpensive option is to epoxy right over the formica. Get the easy how-to!
Update Laminate Countertops With Paint Using Rustoleum Countertop Transformations
Paint is a fantastic way to updated old laminate countertops and give them the look of stone.
How to Build & Protect a Wood Vanity Top
If you are looking for a warm and classic DIY countertop, this wood vanity top is perfect. There are tips for also protecting the wood longterm.
DIY Concrete Countertop Tutorial
Save a bundle on DIY concrete countertops with this in-depth tutorial with an included how-to video.
Why I Chose Laminate Countertops
Today’s laminate countertops have come a long way. You will be amazed at the transformation of this space by installing DIY laminate countertops,
How To Update A Countertop With Contact Paper
Get a beautiful and high-end look at a fraction of the cost using contact paper!
Solid Surface Countertop Fabrication
Cut out the middle man and learn how to install a solid surface countertop. This DIY countertop looks absolutely amazing and it’s easier than you think to install.
Today I’m showing you how to build a wood countertop with undermount sink. The one I built for my laundry room also has a sink insert so I can use the entire length to fold laundry. Wood counters like this would also work great in a bathroom or for a kitchen island. An inexpensive kitchen countertop would be easy to make. My total cost for this puppy was $25
DIY wood countertops
What you’ll need:
- Five 8′ 2×6
- Wood glue
- Lots of clamps!
The cost of a 2×6 is about $5 so this probably the cheapest countertop I could make. It’s inexpensive construction lumber so it’s quite soft. With that in mind, I purposefully distressed it before staining and oiling it. The finish will harden the surface a bit but it will still get more dings and dents as it gets used. Distressing it to begin with makes it look more like reclaimed pine, so all the future “wear and tear” will just add to the character.
This is the fun part. Use whatever items you see laying around to scratch, scrape and hammer the wood. Distress it until you like how it looks. I like, chains, hammers, chisels, nails, wire brushes, screwdrivers and rocks.
Join the planks together using clamps and wood glue. Below I’ll give you a quick explanation of how to join planks. If you want more details, check out my X leg bench tutorial.
How to build a wood countertop
- Trim the edges of each 2×6 with a jointer or on a table saw.
- Glue and clamp them together to form one wide wood plank
- If you are worried about keeping the whole surface flat during clamping, join pairs of 2×6 at a time. After the glue has dried, join the pairs together. That way you’re only worried about keeping one joint flat and even –at any given time.
Scrape off any excess glue once it’s set up. Then sand the entire top with a belt sander. Belt sanders take off a lot of wood FAST. Make sure you keep it moving all the time. Try to make sure you sand the whole surface evenly.
Lay a straight edge across the whole surface to make sure the countertop is even. If you see daylight under the straight edge, you’ll know where the high points are. Sand those areas more and then check again.
Then smooth the surface with a random orbital sander. Start with 80 grit followed by 120 then 220. I like to make sure to round the front edge because I don’t like sharp corners.
I got so excited about how pretty the wood countertop was looking that I started staining. Forgetting all about my plan to cut out a sink insert.
I almost always use more than one color for staining wood. Sometimes I stain with Briwax. This time I’m using black and dark brown stain. Smear it on, wipe it off and let it dry. Then do it all again.
Wood countertop with undermount sink
When I remembered that I needed a hole for my sink I temporarily discontinued my finishing efforts. I’ll have to sand and finish the edges once I cut the hole.
Cutting out a hole for the sink
Luckily my sink came with a template that made this task super easy. After placing my template in the correct place, I used a Sharpee to trace the shape.
Normally when using a jigsaw, I drill a starter hole so I can get the jigsaw blade in the wood in order to cut. I’m planning on using the cut out so I didn’t want to drill a hole — so I used a small circular saw to start the cut. The Matrix came in handy for that.
After cutting out the sink hole, I had to sand again… and then stain again. I simply apply layers of stain until I like what I see.
After three or four coats of stain I applied three coats of Waterlox tung oil. It penetrates the wood so the wood absorbs less oil with each coat. The wood looks quite dull after the first coat. With each consecutive coat the wood looks more and more rich.
I installed the undermount sink with the hardware provided with the sink. That was surprisingly easy.
I purposefully created a slightly larger reveal than you normally see with an undermount sink. With a sink insert I can use the sink area for folding laundry. Then when I need to use the sink, I simply remove the insert. It fits nicely in the cabinet under the sink. Having that extra space to hold laundry baskets or fold and sort makes a big difference. That sink area is about 1/4″ of whole countertop space.
Check that out how I prepared the sink insert.
If you like this post on how to build a wood countertop with undermount sink, you might also like my other DIY countertop tutorials and wood countertops with mitered corners
“DIY item” is currently a popular trend of modern society as people can create and personalize DIY products to their liking.
by Glitch Digital Contributor.
“DIY item” is currently a popular trend of modern society as people can create and personalize DIY products to their liking. At the same time, they can save a large amount of money compared to buying a new one at the store. DIY Wood Countertop is a particular example due to its expensive cost.
Below are the simple steps to make DIY Wood Countertop. Then, you can learn how to make your biscuit Wood Countertops at home.
Things to prepare
Countertops are one of the most expensive items that you need to buy to decorate your kitchen. So if you want to save money and customize on your own, a DIY wooden countertop is probably a good choice.
Before starting to build a DIY Wood Countertop, you need to prepare the following materials:
- 5 of 2x6x8 white pine boards
- Biscuit joiner/plate joiner
- Wood glue
- Driftwood stain
- Antique walnut stain
- White paint
- Gel top coat
- Chip brush
For the cutting jobs, a plasma cutting machine can get things done with ease. If you don’t have a plasma cutter, any device can cut wood, and metal is fine.
Steps to Make a Wood Countertop
DIY wood countertops is a project that helps you enjoy your time building and renovating with your style without spending a lot of money.
After preparing the necessary supplies, you can follow these steps: Create the Countertop Template.
Before you cut the wood, you need to create a countertop template to the size you want it to be. You can use cardboard or plywood to create one.
For your countertop to match the cabinet, you need to measure the exact size of the cabinet by placing the template on the top of the cabinet and using a pen and compass to mark the dimensions. Then cut the template to this size.
If your cabinet has an overhang part, you may need to mark it on the template then adjust the template if necessary to help the countertop match your wardrobe better.
Cut the Countertop Boards
After completing the countertop template, glue it on top of the board that you plan to use as the countertop. Then you can use a circular saw to cut the board following the size of the template. But before that, make sure you leave an extra 1-2 inches on either side of the board so you can square and cut the boards easily after applying the glue to the template.
At this step, you need to be skillful and proficient in using wood sanding tools such as a table saw, the circular saw to create precise cuts with the correct size.
Glue the Countertop Up
Once all the boards have been cut, we begin to glue them together. To help the boards stick together and prevent them from pulling apart over time, you can use hardwood biscuits.
First, you can use a plate joiner to cut about 20 biscuit slots on the board. And adjust the position so that the slots are in the center of the edge of the board.
After creating the biscuit slots and checking that everything matches, start adding glue to the places and insert the biscuits into one side of the board. Then press the boards forcefully to stack them together so that the biscuits enter their matching slots. You can use clamps (one top clamp, one bottom clamp, etc.) to keep them stay still.
After the glue dries, remove the excess one from the board with a chisel. Then you can sand the surface with an orbital sander to make it smoother.
Cut to the Final Size
You should use the template to check the size of the board. You can then use the saw tools to re-adjust it to the perfect size.
Alternatively, you can test your countertop by placing it on the cabinet and adjusting as needed until you have it exactly fit! Then you should sand the surface as well as other edges of the board again.
Apply the Sealer
After sanding, remove any remaining dust using an elastic cloth or a vacuum cleaner. Then apply the Universal Tung Oil sealer (UTOS) all over the board’s surface by pouring a small puddle on top of it. Then use a cloth to rub the UTOS around the entire countertop.
After you have applied UTOS to the countertop, let it sit for about 20 minutes. Then, use a new rag to remove the left-over sealer. Afterward, you need to let the UTOS dry for 24 hours before applying the finish.
Apply the Finish
You can use a sponge or brush to apply the Finish – H2OLOX. You must adjust the number of layers of H2OLOX on the board’s surface depending on the type of wood. H2OLOX will start to harden when exposed to air, so you should be careful and skillful when using it to get an excellent finish.
You must wait 24 hours to let it completely dry. After that, you can apply the 2nd coat, turn the countertop over and repeat the process on the remaining sides of the countertop.
If you want to re-decorate your home, you can start with your countertops. Instead of going to the store and not finding a product that suits your taste, you can make it yourself with a DIY wood countertop project. It is easier and cheaper than you think. And if you have experience in DIY work, you only need one afternoon to make a perfect wood countertop.
Posted: Oct 30, 2020 · Updated: Dec 4, 2020 by Jenna Shaughnessy · This post may contain affiliate links · 1 Comment
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Are you tired of your countertops but don’t have the budget for an upgrade? These DIY countertop ideas are an affordable alternative to buying new countertops. And they’re gorgeous to look at!
Your countertops are like the fabric of your kitchen. They weave through your daily routines (kids having a quick breakfast before school or your dinner prep during busy evenings). Not only do they have to be durable, but they have to look good!
But when you’re ready to update them, it’s hard to find affordable options.
One of my favorite room makeovers from the past year has got to be our DIY laundry room makeover. The functionality of the space made a big difference in our daily lives – our DIY countertop that has allowed me to easily fold laundry right out of the dryer. This budget-friendly project energized the space without breaking the bank.
While I was researching various methods for making our countertop, I was amazed by how many other types of DIY countertops were out there! Many other bloggers embarked on similar projects to improve their kitchens, laundry rooms and bathrooms.
I rounded up some of my favorites that I found and I think you’ll agree that these are some of the best DIY countertop tutorials. I can’t wait to see which one you pick for your budget friend room makeover!
More than ever, we’re seeing homeowners want to take their renovation projects into their own hands.
Whether we’re talking about couples, who’ve recently bought a fixer-upper or homeowners who been in the same place for years but are finally looking for a way to spruce things up, updating your countertops can be one of the simplest renovations you can do that will still make a huge impact on the look of your kitchen!
In fact, nowadays, quartz countertops are being hailed as one of the most popular countertop design choices, and for a few good reasons
For instance, unlike other natural stone types, quartz is a non-porous material, which means that it requires much less maintenance. It’s also tough and durable, making it both stain and scratch-resistance. More about quartz countertops you can find here.
And, because of it being a human-made, engineered material, you’ll have considerably more options in terms of colors, patterns, and designs.
How To Install Quartz Stone Countertops
While some countertops with angular or diagonal cuts can be a bit more complicated to install on your own, square or rectangular counters are quite easy and straightforward to DIY.
Below, we’ll take a look at the overall process of installing quartz countertops on your own.
Just keep in mind that if you have any questions or concerns about doing this on your own, it’s best to consult with a professional installation contractor who will be able to point you in the right direction.
Step 1 – Removal Of Old Countertops
Unless you’re building your kitchen from scratch, the first step will be to remove your existing countertops from your kitchen.
Start by taking a look underneath the counter for any screws, bolts, or brackets that might be holding it securely to your base cabinets. After removing these, the countertop will still likely be glued in place as well, so getting it loose might get a bit tricky.
You’ll likely need to use a crowbar to pry the countertop away from the cabinet gently. Just be careful that you’ve removed any mounting screws or bolts and that you’re not damaging the wood frame below, which needs to be kept intact to install your new counters.
Alternately, if you already have stone countertops that you’re removing, you’ll likely need to break them apart into smaller, more manageable chunks. Professionals will use a crowbar to pry up on the counter gently and then a hammer to break pieces off.
Just make sure that you’re wearing all the appropriate PPE when doing this. You might also want to lay down a few drop sheets to protect your floor and make cleanup as easy as possible.
While it’s not very complicated to remove your existing countertops, in some cases, it might be easier and faster, not to mention less messy, to contact a countertop contractor for a helping hand.
Step 2 – Preparation
After you’ve successfully removed your existing countertops, you’ll then need to take a precise measurement of your cabinets.
Once measured, you’ll then need to speak to a quartz countertop manufacturer to have the correct size slabs of quartz cut for you. This can either be done before or after you’ve removed your existing counter.
Then, once your new stone countertops are on their way, it’s time to make sure that everything else is ready for installation.
This means making any minor repairs to your existing cabinets, scrapping and removing any old glue, and making sure that there are no plumbing or electrical fixtures that will be in the way of your new countertop.
Step 3 – Quartz Countertop Installation
Next up, installation time!
By now, you’ve had your new countertop slabs delivered, and the only thing left is to have them installed onto your cabinets and to take care of any remaining finishing touches.
As you install your slabs, you’ll want to be gluing the countertop pieces down, using a high-strength epoxy, which will help make sure everything is held securely in place.
You’ll also need to install several brackets on your cabinets’ interior walls, which will screw into the countertop slab and help keep things in place.
If you’re unsure what type of epoxy to use or how many brackets to install, don’t hesitate to consult with a countertop installation professional before getting started. Regardless, the key here is to make sure that your counters will be solid and that they won’t move or shift once installed.
Then, once you’re happy with the way your new countertops are looking, the next step is to re-connect and install your plumbing and electrical fixtures.
Lastly, you’ll likely need to run a bead of caulking along the edges of the countertop in any areas where the slab meets your wall or backsplash.
Note that installing quartz countertops isn’t a very complicated process. However, it does involve a lot of precision measurements and fine details.
When To Call In The Pros
Although DIY renovations are extremely trendy right now, not to mention that you can save yourself hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, there are some countertop installation scenarios where you might need to call in a pro to help you out.
For instance, while installing either square or rectangular slabs of a quartz countertop will be quite easy and straightforward, installation diagonal or angular shapes may require the finesse of a skilled countertop installation professional.
In fact, special care is often needed to finish angular pieces by filling in the seams and cuts, which involves special filler materials.
So, unless you’re experienced at installing these types of countertops, in some cases, it might be best to contact a stone countertop installation specialist to help point you in the right direction.
Start to Finish
- bolt cutters
- table saw
- skill saw
- dust mask
- masonry float
- cement mixer
- painter’s tape
- steel mesh
- 3/4-inch melamine-coated MDF boards
- high-strength concrete mix
- black caulk
- 2×4 screed board
Like this? Here’s more:
Draw a Countertop Diagram
Measure the countertop area precisely. Make a diagram of the countertops, noting the dimensions of each side and end.
Build the Melamine Form
The concrete forms are made of 3/4″ melamine boards. Melamine is readily available at home centers and lumber yards, has smooth surfaces that don’t imprint on the finished concrete and won’t de-laminate.
Cut one piece of melamine the same size as the finished countertop. On the table saw, rip four strips of melamine 2-1/4″ wide and long enough to form the sides and ends of the form. The pieces for the ends should be long enough to lap the side pieces when assembled (about an extra 1-1/2″, or ¾” per end, longer and wider than the countertop itself). Use screws to assemble the form.
Seal the Joints
To keep black caulk from the rest of the form, apply painter’s tape on either side of the inside joints of the form. Apply black caulk to the actual joints to form a seal in the joint, and smooth it out with your finger to remove any bumps. Remember: Any bumps or indentions will affect the finished countertop. Remove the painter’s tape, and check for any areas missed with the caulk, and repair them carefully.
Cut Steel Mesh or Rebar to Fit Inside the Mold
Steel mesh adds strength and prevents cracking. (If you cannot find steel mesh, you can use ¾” rebar set in a cross pattern and secured with steel wire.
Thoroughly clean the steel mesh using steel wool and acetone. Lay it over the mold, and using bolt cutters, cut it to shape, staying at least 1 inch from the edges of the form all the way around. Drill screws every 4-6 inches around the top of your mold; you can suspend the steel mesh from these screws after you’ve poured in half of your concrete.
Mix The Concrete
Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully as slight deviations can and will affect the final product. The real danger is adding too much water or not getting the colors exactly right. Be sure to know exactly how much cubic footage area you have to fill with concrete. Mix accordingly.
Before mixing the concrete, put on safety glasses, a dust mask and old or protective clothing; the mixing process gets really dusty — and assemble the bucket, concrete, water, pigments and mixer.
Start to mix the concrete with water, alternating the mix and water until all of the mix has been added. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s guide to how much concrete you need for the job that you are doing. Precision is important. Mix the concrete for 10 minutes or according to the manufacturer’s directions. The best consistency seems to fall in sheets inside the mixer barrel as it turns over.
All those among the most exquisite decor, paneling, and trim function are made from woods, the biggest and longest-loved construction material on the planet. Even so, lacking safety, much wood can damage from water infiltration and humidity levels, causing swelling, warping, or perhaps even decaying.
Luckily, you could take the benefit of items that maintain wood when improving its unique features. While selecting the best solution for you, note that specific waterproofing approaches are perfectly adapted for internal or outdoor artifacts, whereas others are directed for medium- or light-grained material.
I need to maintain the wood’s colors constant, and when our Woodworking wood countertop was completed, the exact techniques — wax, oil — have been out because they’d have made the countertop too bright in color. I tried all kinds of stain before discovering one that fit as similar as close to the real hardware.
To plan for the stain on the
countertop, I covered the cabinet in protective dropping garments to protect our lovely white appliances and go through the woods with a brush to freshen up any dirt and pieces that could mess with the surface. I have used the generic brush-on method for staining, let it stay on, wash it off.
It’s on to the water-resistant point, after having the stain recover. Since I worked on a countertop, I needed one which was very sturdy and, of course, meal secure. After finding an excellent feedback web, I opted to go along with Water lox. I implemented their quite thorough advice on their site to increase that I received the finishing that I was aiming for. Water lox was very user friendly.
I made four layers, rubbing it with a naturally stiff brush on generously and making it dry in each layer for 24hrs. Here are a few benefits, drawbacks, and learning experiences. Then, whenever it’s damp, Waterlox smells terrible. We formed a pattern after the first coating of placing the Waterlox on the rights until we went to bed.
We unlocked the curtains, switched fans on, shut off the heating (because we had windows open), and locked the door. Since it was March, keeping doors unlocked was not precisely the best climate, although it was essential to dry and heal the polish for both the smell and the air circulation. After several hours, luckily, the worst smell could lessen.
Second, Waterlox also isn’t advised to sand between those layers. Instead, the guidance suggests you clean off the worktop with mineral oil to even get away from every dirt during every coating. I did that, and I still find the finishing is not as flawless as I want it to be.
I’m used to seeing that I have a very smooth texture and sand from every coating. The Waterlox guidance suggested using significantly more delicate steel wool to smooth off some difficult spots here between the second-to-last and third layer of paint, which I chose, but it is not super flat.
Fourth, it is quite a polished finishing board. I used the leading Waterlox Sealer/coating, which is suggested for the first several layers (or all coats, if you select) and is described as having a medium texture. There is a satin coating, but frankly, I was too inexpensive to manufacture one again, so I made all four paintings with the Original.