10 DIY Countertops That You (and Your Wallet) Will Love
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.
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.