Monday, September 19, 2011

Faux Butcher Block Conter-Top Tutorial

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For those of you that emailed me asking how I made the butcher block counter tops... Here it is!
I'm going to tell you exactly how I made them and I'll even tell you about the mistake and problems I came across.

 First of all I would just like to say that the end results do not 100% look like real butcher block. The only way you are going to get counters that look like real butcher block is to get the real thing or make a trip to Ikea. Has a really go tutorial on how she did hers using Ikea counter tops.
With that being said, my counters do resemble butcher block just not 100% and the cost was ONLY $56 for the whole project. I did my counters all by myself and took one whole weekend to complete so Ladies don't think that this project is too difficult to take on. If you can work a jig saw than go for it.
But first here are some before and after pictures:



I first removed to older tops with a hammer, you might want to remove all the drawers and look under your counter to see if there is a couple of screws in the corners first and remove the kitchen sink.  Sorry I didn't take pictures of that step. It was surprisingly easy. I never messed with any plumbing and was very hesitated at first but there was now way to go forward with this project until I did. There has to be the first for everything!


Decide on what kind of wood you want to use. I wanted my counters to be thick so I used two pieces of 2"by10"s and 1 piece of 2"by8" for each counter. I measured the lengths of each counter and had my Orange(Home Depot) cut them for me so I wouldn't have to. You can use some heavy duty plywood instead of wood planks.
The counter where the sink goes I arranged my wood planks in the order that I wanted them but upside down in the driveway. I numbered the planks 1-3 and the right and left side of each plank. Remember that since the wood is already upside down to mark the left side of the planks as right.



 I sealed the bottom of each plank with a couple coats of sealer since it is the side with the sink.
What I did that I wish I didn't do: I got to careless with the sealer and let it drip down the sides of the planks. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time.

I flipped the planks right side up and placed the old counter on top in order to trace out exactly where the kitchen sink goes. I used a jig saw to make the cuts. This is the only cutting that I actually did myself for this project. Look at that nasty black mold. Yuckers!!!

After the cuts were made I took those pieces inside to attach to the cabinets.
 Before I glued the planks down to the cabinets I wanted to make sure that the sink hole was cut properly so I replaced the sink and made sure that the plumbing matches up right.


I used construction grade adhesive to glue the planks down to the cabinets. When we do decide to get brand new counters I can remove the counter tops with a heat gun so no biggy.

I worked on only one counter section at a time and started with the back plank and worked my forward and also gluing each plank together. I weighted the wood down with some bags of cement that I already had. Just use anything heavy. The glue dries in about 15 minutes.

I wanted to hide the wood seams as best as I could so I filled them in with wood filler and let completely dry.

I waited for 2 hours and then started to sand down the wood and smooth out the wood filler.
I used my electric belt sander for this project but still had to hand sand in some areas. I love this sander because I can attach my vacuum to it to cut down on some of the dust and mess. I used tons of sand paper and several different grits.
                                                                                                                                                       
After cleaning up all the dust I stained the whole surface. I wanted to use up some stain that I already had so I used red mahogany. I put on it on with a paint brush in a small area and rubbed it in with a rag.
After the base coat of stain was dry I made two more shades of stain. For one I used some black walnut stain and added a little of black paint to it and stirred until the stain turned thick like a gel.



For one I used some black walnut stain and added a little of black paint to it and stirred until the stain turned thick like a gel.



The second shade I mixed some red mahogany stain with some tan craft paint until it gelled up as well.
I did this so that the stain wouldn't seep under the taped areas.

I used tape to tape of sections on the wood that I wanted to darken  and lighten up with my stain goop that I made.

See in the corners where the stain wouldn't stain the wood. That's where I let the sealer drip.

I used the tape to measure the strips that I was taping up.

I brushed the stain gel on and let it set for about a minute and wiped it off. The  lighter strips turned out a little to light so a kind of dry brushed some more red mahogany stain over those areas to darken them up a little.

After I had the counter looking the way I wanted I sealed it with polyurethane. I believe that I did 7 coats, I didn't count. I just kept going until I got the desired shine.



I spent $56 on wood, poly and glue.


The trim cost $18

I hope this helped for those who contacted me wanting more info on how I made my counter tops.

I am linking up with:










Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

69 comments:

  1. STUNNING! I ADORE THE AFTER, WELL DONE. Enjoy your beautiful kitchen. winks-jen

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  2. Your kitchen is looking so cute! I LOVE your 'butcher block' counters! I forwarded this post to my husband and we're definitely considering doing the same thing when we reno. Thanks for the tutorial!

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  3. Great tutorial! Very creative solution to getting what you want :)

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  4. Those are some lovely countertops you got there. Great job!

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  5. Applause they are gorgeous!!!!Great ideas I'm filing this one away.

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  6. WOW! What a great project you did! I actually had to go back and REREAD the beginning because I was thinking that the white base/dark counter top was an "inspiration" photo you were going for but NOPE, that is YOUR finished project. Heartwarming, for sure to see you did this and sooo inexpensive!

    HUGE smiles here from me to you,
    Suzanne in NW Illinois

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  7. Wow! You did one beautiful job! Love your kitchen, I so need new counter tops and I'm showing my husband this, he is very handy and could do this too!
    I found you from 2805's party!

    Rondell

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  8. Forgot to add that I'm your newest follower! I'll be adding you to my bloglist...great blog!

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  9. Visiting from 2805 and am amazed at your project and that you tackled something like this! The end result is very nice!

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  10. These are just beautiful! Such an economical way to update your countertops too!

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  11. OMG! You're so talented, maybe you can do this to many people and open up your own company, my goodness, it's fabulous your after counters!! Congrats! Have a fun weekend. FABBY

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  12. What a terrific job! They are rich looking and just gorgeous! Smart and thrifty at the same time!

    Thank you so much to linking to Potpourri Friday. Your participation is appreciated!

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  13. This is wonderful! I love it! I actually have the same color cabinets and counter top as your before pics. I am so ready to paint my kitchen white, but I think I am going to stain the cabinets after I paint them. I am going to try this when we are ready to do the kitchen. I am your newest follower. Thanks for sharing! I hope you can visit me sometime too:)

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  14. gorgeous counter-tops! your kitchen is beautiful.

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  15. That's so amazing! I've always wondered if I would be able to do this with my counter tops, but you are so brave!

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  16. Wow...that looks great! I'd love to have you link up at my new linky party -

    Creative Genius @ http://www.thecreativepaige.com

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  17. Nice job on the counters!!! They look fantastic!

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  18. You go girl....that was a project to on, and you hammered it. Love the new look. I have the same old counters that you had...I would love new counters, but right now, I am into traveling as often as I can...maybe someday I will change. Enjoy your hard work.
    Hugs,
    Ellen

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  19. Stunning! I've been wanting to redo our countertops since we moved in. I'm going to share this with the hubster. :) Awesome job!

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  20. BEEEAAA UUUU TIII FULLLLL!! :) I am def showing this transformation to the husband!

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  21. I really, really want to redo my kitchen cabinets/counter tops...textbook contractor Oak color cabinets, Beige Formica counters, BORING!!

    This I can do and cheap enough to actually do.

    One question? How would doing all the sanding & staining have done say in the garage instead of in place? Seems like it would be easier to contain the mess in a workshop/garage area??

    I came here from "You're Talking Too Much" feature about the Feet for your Cabinets...will be swiping that too :)

    Thanks,
    Amy

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  22. Stunning! If you didn't have pictures and instructions, I would never believe these aren't custom made butcher block!

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  23. This turned out so great!

    XO, Aimee from ItsOverflowing.com

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  24. I'm so glad to have stumbled across this tonight! I will be honest, I was having my doubts, until I saw the final results. Using the wood filler and taping off areas to stain darker was brilliant! We are in the process of turning our attic into a small apartment for my daughter and granddaughter. We got a great deal on some cabinets at the habitat for humanity re-store but we need a countertop. It will only be around four feet long. We could do this for next to nothing. Thanks so much for sharing this.
    ps
    I found this via My Favorite Hate Mail blog. Wow, those were some nasty comments you got. My husband and I have the same type relationship. He never knows what may be under construction when he comes home from work. He may want to ban me from Lowes at times, but never in 25 years has he wanted to divorce me over my sometimes sneaky redecorating ways. I can tell I'm going to like you, I'm off to read more of your blog.

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  25. Found this post on pinterest today! I'm SO excited b/c I was surfing to look for examples of beadboard backspash to be sure that's what I wanted... we are also looking to replace our counters... I think we're just going to copy it all! We're overhauling the kitchen so I'll come back in a few months and link up our before/after pics! (we are in the planning and saving stage right now) Thanks for the step by step!

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  26. What a great idea! I am going to do this for my mom to get rid of her yucky 70s firmica:) She will love it!

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  27. wow, that is art! I would love to do this to my counters. or better yet, maybe you can come over? haha. I would love to do this though, I'll add it to my diy list.

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  28. I really love the way this turned out!! My mom is in a little old house now and we have been trying to figure out some creative and cheap ways to update her kitchen countertops and yours is it! I love it! We are going to do this very very soon! I will post our outcome too on my blog at Primer and Painted Nails on blogspot. Thanks for this post!!!

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  29. I Love it! You have my exact small galley kitchen too.

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  30. Looks awesome! love it.
    you did a wonderful job on this.
    Pat

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  31. First of these are beautiful!!! and just what i have been looking to do to my kitchen!! But i was wondering How they are holding up are there possibly a couple of things you would have done differently? E-mail me i and super interested in doing this! Thanks!!
    -Shelly (ssweeks58@yahoo.com

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  32. I would be pretty cautious doing this as a longer term solution! Especially anyone living in a drier climate or that bakes a lot. By not using kiln dried wood you risk the wood cracking and warping over the next year as it dries and acclimatizes.

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    Replies
    1. Kelly, that answers my exact question.

      Loraine, we are in the process of buying our first house, which will be needing new countertops (there is 50's yellow and sage green tile that is in not so great condition). We don't really have the funds to do a complete remodel, but find this particular post useful because we can forgo the formica counters with something with the look and feel of wood w/out the price of butcher block counters. We found this post prior to finding our house, so a thank you is in order because we were looking for complete kitchens prior to us finding this home, which we would have said no to otherwise. We like your ideas a lot!

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    2. When my ex boyfriend redid our kitchen he used heavy duty ply wood and we stained it with food safe stain, and they held up very well. I used those counters for two years before I moved out. I am going to be remodeling my kitchen, and I have been wanting to find something quick and easy, my kitchen isn't very big and I don't want it fancy pancy, this will be perfect. Thank you! It looks awesome. And I'm on a small budget too, so this will save me a lot of money!!! Yay!!

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    3. When my ex boyfriend redid our kitchen he used heavy duty ply wood and we stained it with food safe stain, and they held up very well. I used those counters for two years before I moved out. I am going to be remodeling my kitchen, and I have been wanting to find something quick and easy, my kitchen isn't very big and I don't want it fancy pancy, this will be perfect. Thank you! It looks awesome. And I'm on a small budget too, so this will save me a lot of money!!! Yay!!

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  33. I wanted to comment because we just did this in our home. We did do a few things differently, due to my husband being a carpenter, and stubborn :)
    We completely ripped out our cabinets, and he built them from the ground up. I saw this one pinterest, and immediately knew I wanted it as my counter top. When we came to laying thw wood on the top, we put down some 3/4 inch plywood {not particle board}. I sanded every board, which took a full day.We used 2x6 and cut them similarly to wood floor, just to add more visual appeal. And then he screwed them down with deck screws instead of glue. Then I filled the cracks and screw holes with wood filler and let that sit over night. The next day o sanded. When that was finished we cleaned the wood and stained. I used two coats of stain and then two Thick coats of varnish. My husband used silicone to seal around the sink (he sealed it Well)..... They're done now and BEAUTIFUL. I thank you for posting this. Even though mine are different, I wouldn't have come up with it myself..... I was going to post a picture but it doesn't seem to be allowed. But if anyone would like to see, let me know, andooray@gmail.com

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  34. My concern would be if the polyurethane seal would protect against bacteria from being able to seep into the wood. Did you look into this?

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  35. What type of wood did you use and where did you buy it?
    Thank you,
    Heather

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  36. Hey - those look great. Have they held up well or are they denting and showing knicks now?

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  37. Thanks for the great tutorial! I'm going to send it to my husband for my home makeover Wish List ;D

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  38. Just found you on Pinterest! Such an awesome job. I'm thinking of using this in our bathroom redo!!

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  39. THANK YOU! Most links I have found on pinterest for this project haven't had much if any info on how to do it step by step!!! This was the first one I found. :) Thanks!!!

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  40. Hey, I found this on Pinterest, and I love it! My husband is nervous about me doing it, though...can you tell me how it has held up over time? Have you had to do any repairs?
    Thanks!

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  41. I just found this on pinterest and I LOVE it. I know this is what I want to do for my kitchen but my boyfriend is hesitant because he doesn't think the seal will protect against bacteria.. Can you let me know how this is holding up for you?

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  42. I just found this on pinterest and I LOVE it. I know this is what I want to do for my kitchen but my boyfriend is hesitant because he doesn't think the seal will protect against bacteria.. Can you let me know how this is holding up for you?

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  43. I love your counters! Great job. Do you find that they are easy to clean?

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  44. I am so totally excited about this I could do a flip!!! I LOVE the look of butcher block counters but the hubs and I are in the process of buying our first home, and I know once we are in it and all the budget won't be shifty enough for the real deal....not in the next few years anyways and THIS would be the perfect little project for me to do to still give myself the look I want!!! Ahhh! SO excited! LOL Thank you for writing up and sharing! I may have questions when I do this, I will pop over here for sure! LOL Thanks!

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  45. So how have these held up over time? If you were grossed out by the old moldy counters, I would be interested in hearing how you're liking these ones now. This is a good example of where a little information on the internet can spread quickly - and a great example of how there is some really bad information on the internet! Wood moves with the seasons, and any good carpenter could tell you that it's one of the primary considerations in installing a wood countertop. Gluing down the counter allows no room for expansion and contraction and the result ends up showing in the form of cracked counters. When that happens, your polyurethane finish (which is not resilient in the first place) will check and crack and allow an enormous amount of bacteria to be harbored in your wood - which is only made worse by the fact that it is a pithy, construction-grade softwood, which will also begin to rot. It would be interesting to hear an update. Some simple changes (screw your counter from underneath using a fender washer over a large hole in the cabinet, with the screw centered in the hole in order to allow for movement, and use a durable finish such as a conversion varnish or, better yet, Waterlox). Filling in the gaps with putty will just give it a convenient place to show cracks. Your boards should be squared on the edges and glued together, so they move as one piece.

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  46. What did you use on the ends? What type of trim did you buy? How is it holding up? Have you set hot pots on, what happened?

    I love it and an planning to tackle this next week :-) thanks for the instructions.

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  47. What did you use on the ends? What type of trim did you buy? How is it holding up? Have you set hot pots on, what happened?

    I love it and an planning to tackle this next week :-) thanks for the instructions.

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  48. I want to freaking hug you, and we haven't met yet! I can't wait to do this! Thank you so much for sharing your secrets!

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  49. Those look awesome! I can't wait to do this in my kitchen! Thanks :)

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  50. Thanks so much for this great tutorial! I have ugly formica countertops I'd love to replace. :)

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  51. I am a couple short weeks from my kitchen redo, just waiting for my new sink. My new counter tops will be these. I'm really thinking oil because I really want to use them. Not just enjoy how beautiful they are. Thanks for sharing. I was trying to figure it out in my head. No need to you did all the hard work.

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  52. Very nice! I think I might try it. You said $18 for trim. Where is the trim?

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. Very nice! I think I might try it. You said $18 for trim. Where is the trim?

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  55. It was a good job, but I think you may run into some trouble later on since you didn't reinforce the bottom. (Is the wood pressuraized?) Next time, use some studs or at least some wood glue to help clamp it all together more securely. This may be a good fix for 5-10 years, but wear and tear may end up warping the wood. Not saying this to be mean or anything, I mean you really did do a good job. But because of its simplicity, it may not last as long. Just thought you might want to know.

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  56. There are plywoods that are like birch faced which might be cool. I have seen it look good for floors. (Only pics) the ikea tutorial was nice but true butcher block is maple and verra verra costly. I have a solid butcher block table not kept up with oiling in about last ten years showing some splitting . Thirty plus years old.only danish oiled, sanded a few times for staining. Still very light. Yours look beautiful.

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  57. Awesome. Thanks for the grit to jump in and try something. I love the look and because of the low cost, it will give you a smile for many years. I am a contractor and understand all the "what ifs" in the comments. But they really don't matter. You have a beautiful product which you will enjoy even more because you had the guts to create them yourself.

    You will have a grateful heart as you use your pretty kitchen. We all learn as we go. The only ones who never learn, never try anything to begin with.

    So congrats. Great job. sk

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  58. Wondering how this has held up? Please update!!!

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  59. Awesome!! My husband and I have been slowly remodeling our kitchen ourselves. I have been without a sink for almost a year. You have shown me the best counter top and I can afford it!! THANK YOU very much!!

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  60. Absolutely beautiful!! I have similar cabinets and had no idea how to transform them, cheaply, to look like something newer than 1970, curved corners and old hardware. lol! Will 'steal' both your countertop ideas and the cabinets w/ beadboard wallpaper! Thank you for the wonderful tutorial! am moving on to your other pics and ideas!!!

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  61. Very nice. Actually, I don't see the need to simulate butcher block. Why not just go ahead and seal the dimensioned lumber, as is?

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  62. I love love love this! My boyfriend and I have recently moved in with an elderly friend who deeded him the house decades ago. It was falling apart when we moved in and we are remodeling one room at a time! I like this look even better than granite counter tops, and it is so much cheaper. Can't wait to try it!

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