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Your home should be your happy place.
Somewhere you can go to relax and get away from the world. A place to call your own. I feel like many people put off home renovations because the time and money involved. I’m here to show you sprucing up your home doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars or take up all of your time. I'll show you how I am working to create my dream home in my spare time with my spare change. 

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Wardrobe Overhaul
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DIY Butcher Block Counters

Just $200
for the whole

Counter tops are so expensive! Why not make your own faux butcher block counters for just $200 in supplies and one afternoon. Yep, I said it...One Day.
When looking into cheap countertops options I came across so many DIYers that installed their own REAL butcher block counters. Have you ever look at that stuff? Yes, I will say it is much cheaper than installing real stone. However, for my tiny kitchen it would have been more than $1400 for Ikea butcher block. When you are trying to keep a kitchen rehab under $1000 real butcher block wasn’t in the budget.
 I looked at hundreds of posts and blogs about DIY countertops but I didn’t find any that I loved so the next step was a trip to the hardware store. Wandering the aisles of Home Depot, I soon came across laminate white wood boards; sometimes they’re called project boards or edge-glued panels. I liked these boards because they most resembled real butcher block since the wood is laminated to make one wide plank.
It’s a pretty straight forward DIY so let’s get started!
Supply List:
Laminated wood boards ( Like These )
¾ inch screws
Nail gun and nails
Table saw or jig saw
Liquid nails and caulking gun
Stainable wood putty
Wood stain in desired color (I used Kona )
Foam roller
Paper towels
Latex gloves
I think planning and measuring for this projects took more time than actually doing to the project.
First I measured the existing countertops. I knew I just wanted to mimic exactly what was there which made this task much easier. I would need two boards to make up the depth of the counter top. Since my counters are 25” deep (which is pretty standard) I bought boards that were 16” and 12” wide, knowing that I would have to rip some of them down.
Next, measure how long the boards are going to be. This will tell you what length of boards to buy. They typically come in 4’ 6’ and 8’ lengths.
After I got the wood home I carefully measured and marked the wood to cut them to length. I had two small lengths around the stove and one long run for the sink. I started with the easier small sides to get some practice before jumping into the hard stuff.

Now the boards are cut to length I had to rip one of the boards down to fit the depth of the cabinet. This was the most nerve wracking part of the project, especially on the long run. I suggest using a table saw with a strong fence but you could also use a jig saw or circular saw.
Start by installing the board closest to the wall. I placed the cut side against the wall so the straightest edges would be next to each other and would make up the edge of the counter. Any cutting mistakes would be hidden by the backsplash tile and the caulking.
Place a dab of liquid nails every few inches along the top edge of the cabinets and set the first board in place being extra careful to not get glue on the top of the countertop. Where possible I secured the board with a few brad nails, I don’t think this step was completely necessary but it made me feel a little more secure.
Finally, I place the front board in place, after laying down a few spots of liquid nails. Carefully making sure the boards are lined up end to end and again adding a few brad nails for extra security.
Repeat these steps for each section of the countertop, carefully measuring and cutting each panel for a custom fit.
I liked the look of the new countertops but I wasn’t in love with them yet. I thought they looked a little thin and cheap. I decided to add another strip of wood to the front of the counter to give it the appearance of a nice thick board.
I took the scraps that had been ripped of the back and very carefully ran them through the table saw and cut them down to 1” strips. Since I had simply taken the strip off same board as the counter they were already the correct length, SCORE!
To avoid splitting the thing strips of wood it is necessary to pre-drill here. I predrilled and started all the screw ahead of time which made it much easier to install them on the countertops. Make sure your screws are short enough so they won’t go all the way through the counter.
Lining the edges up is the most crucial part of this step. If you have a really long run, I would suggest getting a little help holding up the edging as you screw it into place. Take your time while securely holding the edge in place finish screwing in the screw into place. I started at one end, then screwed in the other end and finished by securing the middle, with each step making sure the edges lined up.
It sure is amazing how much difference one inch of wood makes. That was definitely the look I was going for.

Now for the time consuming part: finishing…
I filled any holes and gaps with wood putty ensuring to take off any excess as to not discolor the wood.
I felt like I had been sanding for hours! But I knew I wanted the boards baby’s butt smooth before I put any stain on them. I decided to round the edges just a tiny bit, but they could have very easily been left square. I made one hundred percent sure everything was just how I wanted it before adding any stain.
I have used this stain many times before so I know what to expect as far as consistency and color, if you are using a new stain I would suggest doing a few practice pieces to make sure you are getting the look you desire.
Staining can be a very time consuming part of the project but it doesn’t have to be.
I use a high density foam roller, working in small segments. Rolling on a thick layer of stain and quickly wiping off the excess with paper towels. Seriously I stained my counters to the perfect shade in about 20 minutes. (I think I’ll do a more in depth tutorial on this later.)

I know that regular wood stain isn’t considered a food safe product but I decided to use it anyway because I don’t put raw foods on my counters and I don’t use them to cut or chop on. I would suggest always using a cutting board and not prepping food directly on the countertops.
To protect the counters I used a food safe butcher block oil that would protect the wood and repel water.
Finished product photos coming soon!

Look at that edge!


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