I made new countertops for my kitchen using a butcher block slab I bought from Ikea. This was a fairly easy and inexpensive remodel and a big upgrade from the old formica that came with the house. I hope you find some inspiration to do your own.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Step 2: Cut the Butcher Block to Size
I started the project by measuring for my cuts. I then secured a straight edge guide to run my circular saw along and made my cuts. I also changed out my standard circular saw blade for a fine toothed blade for a super nice, clean cut. The large block was held up off the ground and supported by 2x4's.
Step 3: Sand the Slabs
I next worked my way to to 320 grit and sanded the slabs smooth with my orbital sander.
Step 4: Stain
Before I stain wood, I use a wood conditioner. This helps to even out the color and create a much more even stain coat. As for the stain, I chose walnut for this project. The longer you leave it on, the darker your stain will be.
Step 5: Seal and Finish
I put a lot of time into researching sealers and finishes for these counters because I really wanted to protect them well. To protect these countertops (especially against water and moisture), I chose to seal them with several applications of Waterlox.
I started by sealing the bottoms and sides with two coats of the Waterlox Original, letting them dry for 24 hours in between coats. I started by using a paint pad but ultimately ditched that and just used a good quality paint brush for the tops.
The tops needed more protection than the bottom. I started this step by applying two coats of Waterlox Original, with 24 hours of drying in between. I also sanded each coat before applying the next with a piece of super fine steel wool.
I wanted the countertops to have more of a matte finish, so I used a mixture of 50/50 Waterlox Original and Waterlox Satin Finish for the last two coats of sealing - for a total of 4 coats.
Step 6: Installation
I removed the old formica tops and slid the new ones in place. I used shims to make the tops completely level.
To secure them, Ikea conveniently provided some angle bracket hardware and screws. I pre-drilled the holes and then screwed one side to the cabinet base and then one side to the countertop.
To make sure I didn't cut too deep, I used painters tape to make a depth guide on my drill bit.
Step 7: Caulk the Edges
The last step to completing the countertops was to caulk the edges. We'd been wanting to add a backsplash so I added the tile backsplash before finishing with caulking the seams. And with that, the countertops were complete!
Step 8: Enjoy Your New Countertops!
Such an improvement! For more detailed instructions on the countertops, be sure and watch the video. I hope this inspires you and I'd love to see pics of your countertops if you decide to make your own!