Marble is definitely the creme de la creme when it comes to countertops. But it can also break the bank when it comes to designing your kitchen or bathroom to include it. After seeing this amazing tutorial to paint MDF to look like marble, yes, PAINT it, (for $30!!!) I'm totally convinced that this is the way around the financial sacrifice. And it looks amazingly realistic that you might be able to fool even the most experienced of marble lovers.
Concrete counters. It's not a new idea to the internet, but it's always been one I've been partial to. I love seeing the different variations DIYers take on a concrete countertop, and this WHITE take is my new favorite. Definitely keeping this tutorial in the back of my mind for the day we own a kitchen!
If you read my blog post (and resulting comments from my fellow Curbliers) about granite countertops, you've discovered several reasons why a lot of people hate them. High on the list were coldness, chipping and its 'busy pattern.' I'm going to throw out another reason not to like it: It's not FUN. What would constitute a fun countertop? How about these very retro solid surface specimens:
Pictured above, with
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of having a long conversation with my big brother about home improvements. You see, he and his wife bought a new/old house last year that needed quite a bit of TLC. One room in particular in need of attention was the kitchen. Because circumstances being what they are, big bro will be selling this house in then next 2 years, so he's been doing his improvements with an eye toward resale. When it came to replacing the old laminate countertop, bro had to install what everyone is
So, what do you do with a giant piece of leftover, rough cut fir timber? Turn it into a modern floating bathroom vanity, of course!
Not only does this post include a 'before and after', it also includes a tutorial on how to make concrete counter tops! How's that for double duty?? First the before and after. Pictured above is a shot of Jessie's kitchen from about 2 years ago when she first moved in to her house. Below is what it looks like now, complete with shiny new DIYed concrete counter tops:
Like many people living in the 'burbs, our kitchen counters boast that favorite of builder-grade materials: laminate. We desperately want to replace them with something more in line with our style (and budget) and have tossed around the idea of DIY concrete counters or going the IKEA butcher block route. But then I saw this: countertops made from plywood.
I don't know about you, but I'm very skeptical of those 'looks just like the real thing' kinds of finishing techniques. Especially stainless and granite wannabes. That's why Tanya's remarks about her recent countertop makeover were of particular interest. The countertop before looks like it was a standard Formica product. Tanya wanted granite, but it was way out of budget, so she decided to use RustOleum's Stone Effects. Here's what she had to say about the project:
You apply it directly to your existing counter top. We followed the steps and at the end we bought the countertop epoxy and what a finish! It looks a lot like granite and it was only $100 (including the epoxy). (Note: Beware, anyone who wants to try this, with all the steps and the drying time for each step it takes about a week to complete and it isVERY MESSY. However, it was pretty inexpensive and looks fantastic.
And here's what the countertop looks like now:
The 'steps' that Tanya speaks of include a primer coat, stone coat and a sealer coat. For more info regarding the process, check out this PDF instruction sheet from RustOleum.
Cork! Recyclable! Renewable! Excellent anti-microbial properties! Wait...what? According to the manufacturer, yes. What say you? Would you give cork kitchen countertops a go???
Ugly laminate countertops can make us do crazy things, like trying to paint them. I've never really tried it but the thought has crossed my mind. Take a look at this resurfacing system that was developed in Canada and is being sold by ecocountertopsUSA, Canada and Australia.
One surefire way to jazz up a cookie cutter kitchen is to paint the kitchen cabinets a bold color to reflect your individuality. If you live in a neighborhood full of uninteresting kitchen cabinet choices that don't accurately represent your style, don't even hesitate - paint them!
October's Twin Cities Home Improvement Magazine featured a great breakdown of counter top materials, comparing their stain, heat, scratch and impact resistance in relation to the costs of each. Here's a very handy graphic to keep in mind if you're in the market.