DIY Wood Counter For Under $50

DIY Wood Counter Top for under $50 by Creatively Living

My husband and I purchased a late 1960’s home about a year ago. Little did I know that in less than a year we’d be building (and torching) a DIY Wood Counter in our dining room.

As the year mark was approaching, we’d made a lot of progress updating our home but hadn’t gotten to the dining room “built-in” yet; which was a dead giveaway of how old the house is (and not in a good way).

Built-in Coffee Bar Makeover BEFORE by Creatively Living

Here’s what it looked like BEFORE we made any changes to it.

After removing the upper cabinet piece and the shelving on the sides.

Painting walls, adding the chalkboard, having custom shelves built, leveling the cabinet counters to one height, and painting the lower cabinets…

Built-in Coffee Bar Makeover DIY Wood Counter Plain wood by Creatively Living

It was finally time for a new counter top!!!

I think I looked at every counter top option available (that wasn’t extremely expensive).

Since this counter is 10 1/2 feet long there wasn’t much available- certainly no pre-made counters and custom made are just too spendy for me.

Built-in Coffee Bar Makeover DIY Wood Counter Husband Torching New Counter by Creatively Living

So we decided to build our own!

We picked out a few pieces of 12 foot lumber at the store, cut them down to size, sanded, and TORCHED!

Built-in Coffee Bar Makeover DIY Wood Counter Husband Torching Counter top to make neat effect by Creatively Living

Yes, this is a picture of my husband TORCHING my new counter top!

But…it really gave the wood a beautiful look by bringing out the grain in the wood.

Built-in Coffee Bar Makeover DIY Rustic Wood Counter Stain and Poly by Creatively Living

Next we stained using Old Master’s Wiping Stain in Dark Walnut and added a few coats of (matted) polyurethane.

Beautiful Rustic Built-in Coffee Bar Makeover DIY Wood Counter by Creatively Living

Finally, we tacked the wood to the existing cabinets with Liquid Nails.

Beautiful DIY Wood Counter Top by Creatively Living

I absolutely love the way it looks. The DIY Wood Counter top was a great project for us and our style.

I’m thrilled that we now I have nearly 16 square feet of functional counter space in my dining room!

And I’m even more thrilled that we made it for under $50!

Holly Creatively Living


Linking to:
Sunday: Monday Funday, Get Your DIY on, The DIY Show-off
Monday: Home Stories A to Z, Sugar Bee Crafts, Inspire Me Monday,
Tuesday: Savvy Southern Style, Oh My Creative
Wednesday: Work it Wednesday, Live Laugh Rowe , The Best DIY and Recipe Party
Thursday: Tidy Mom, Inspiration Gallery, The Handmade Hangout, French Country Cottage, Brag-Worthy Thursday , DIY Like a Boss
Friday: Link Party Palooza, Lolly Jane, Funky Junk Interiors
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  1. I absolutely love this!!

  2. Wow, That turned out beautiful! I especially like the look of the wood counter with the creamy white cabinets!

  3. LOVE your torched counters–fabulous! Visiting from Blogtalk 😉

  4. Let me just say this is BRILLIANT! I love the way it came out and the creativity behind it. Well done!

  5. Looks so good and I love the torching idea!

  6. Super cool! Looks stunning!!

  7. yolanda smits België says:

    I’ts like in a magazine, top job !!!.
    i’m from Belgium and i like what your husband have done .

  8. could you post a full picture of the after. I think we could all appreciate your work better that way. Looks like you did a great job!

  9. I really love this idea. What is the board size you used? Are those 2×4’s or 2×6’s?

    • This counter isn’t as deep as a typical kitchen counter, so we used one 2×6 and two 2×8’s (remember to look at the “actual” size of the boards when you are buying them/measuring). Thanks for your comment!

  10. It’s absolutely gorgeous! What a transformation. Would love to see a picture of the entire wall and what you did with it. Looks like there may be a shelf above it. Can you take a pic of the after like the first one of the before?

    • I’ll be posting the before & after photos as soon as I finish decorating (believe me, I cannot wait!!). Thank you for your comments and question!

  11. Very cool!!

  12. A brilliant job, it looks amazing!

  13. I’m so excited to give it a try on a lid of a window seat bench I’m going to build. You did a fantastic job! I love doing things a little bit different. It’s not just regular stain. I love that you did that extra step with the torch! Silly question, but what color white did you guys use? I know there are different shades of white. I once painted my living room in white, but it had a blue tint to it.

  14. Beatiful! I never would have thought to torch them, but it really brings out the grain. Thanks for sharing.

  15. This is just beautiful! I love how it turned out! Thanks for linking up to the Handmade Hangout! You’ll be featured on my blog ( today when the new linky goes live at 6pm ET. I hope you’ll stop by and link up again!

  16. Wow, talking about kissing the frog and he turns into a prince, well you did just that. Your counter top is fab!

  17. It’s beautiful!! We will have a kitchen to redo soon. I’m wondering if you filled the ‘dips’ between the boards with anything? I’m thinking lots of crumbs would get caught & that would drive me crazy. Does the varnish fill in the dip well enough to to easily wipe crumbs off?

    • Hi Steph, Thank you.
      I did not fill the cracks. This counter space isn’t used as a dining or cutting service; I usually use large serving trays when I put things on it in hopes to avoid crumbs falling through or falling into the cracks. A little vacuuming clears it up, I also have drawers under the boards (not that I want crumbs in the drawers, but it is a place I can easily clean). Since we sanded really well and applied a few coats of poly, it’s very smooth surface, and wipes up really easily.

  18. Very nice, but how did you get the wood to look like the third last photo? I really like the light and the dark look of it.

    • Hi, I agree the contrast of the dark and lighter wood is really cool. If you take a look through the post you’ll see my husband torching the wood, the burning is what gives the wood the deep contrast. Glad you like it.

  19. Very nice, ……what wood did you use?

  20. Did you do anything to the wood between torching it and staining? Any sanding or other prep? I’ve tried this, but when I started sanding, it just spread the black char around into the lighter sections of wood. Perhaps I torched it too much. Or should have just left it alone and put the stain on.

    • We sanded prior to torching. Nothing in between torching and staining other than just wiping it off with a clean cloth. My husband has gotten pretty carried away with torching (other projects) and it’s been fine to stain/seal.

  21. What kind of this woods?

  22. I blog quite often and I seriously appreciate
    your content. Your article has really peaked my interest.
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  23. Fabulous space/counter top. I love it!

  24. WOW very good Idea. Looks brilliant. Do you use High-Gloss-Polyurethane or mat ?

  25. Did you pocket hole them to each other? If not they are going to warp, crack, and pull apart. Wood countertops are awesome but require biannual maintenance. We went with an oak countertop but we planned the logs down pocket holed hem together and anchored them down to mitigate cracks but still require maintenance. If you have any questions let me know please if be more than happy to help!

    • Hi Cody, The wood planks are secured to the cabinets below. I don’t expect them to get warp, crack, or pull apart over time- of course, there will be some wear and tear (one of the great reasons they were so inexpensive in the first place). Note that this isn’t my kitchen counter, it’s a built-in in the dining room. So it doesn’t really have water or heat set on it, except occasionally; it’s also not against an exterior wall, so that helps keep the the materials a little more stable as well. Overall, it’s been a very low maintenance area 🙂 Thanks for your question and comments.

  26. I love this, I was wondering how to do this where the sink goes, I have two countertops to make, I have two 8 ft . And I noticed at the end of your word when you were burning the boards, at the end the grain was going the wrong way, the board should of been turned around, or it would waterproof, that’s what I was taught.

  27. Beautiful!!!! Thank you for sharing!

  28. I was wondering how your counter top has held up over the last couple years? I was thinking of using this idea for a bar top.

    • Hi Hannah, It’s held up really well actually. Note that it’s a counter in the dining (not the kitchen) so it doesn’t get as much wear as if it were around the kitchen sink. I think it’d hold up great as a bar top. Also, if you want to protect it even further (or give it more shine), you could add a resin to the top. I just used a resin on my laundry counter and it’d look really awesome over wood like this.

  29. Dean Bate says:

    So what are those counter boards actually glued down to?

  30. Hi There. They are attached to the frame of the cabinets below them.


  1. […] ….and how she ended up with a DIY wood counter for only $50! […]

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