$100 Wooden Countertops Tutorial

 

How to use an old wood door to make budget-friendly DIY wood countertops @Remodelaholic

DIY $100 Wooden Countertops from Old Doors
Submitted By The Mustard Ceiling

Update Nov 2015: This tutorial has been so popular, but Elizabeth has stopped blogging and shut down her site 🙁 to focus on other endeavors. You can still leave your love for her kitchen in the comments!

I know many of you have read my posts about how we re-purposed three solid oak doors from Habitat for Humanity, turning them into kitchen wooden countertops.

Since I posted the final reveal of our kitchen, I have had several emails to write a tutorial on how we did it.  Technically I have a couple posts on the how-to, but I thought I would take the time today to put it all in one place.

before wooden door turned into butcher block countertops, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

 

We took these…3 solid oak commercial grade doors and turned them into…

 

DIY wood countertops from old wood doors, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

finished kitchen with solid wood doors repurposed into countertops, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

STEP 1: DEMO THE OLD COUNTER TOPS

First, we ripped out the ancient 1950′s laminate countertops, the old laminate top is what we used to create a template for the cuts.

removing old countertops to install new wood countertops, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

how to replace an old countertop with a solid wood countertop DIY, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

STEP 2: CREATE TEMPLATE FOR NEW COUNTERTOPS AND CUT

It was as easy as laying the old countertop on top of the wooden door and tracing the shape.

use old countertop as a template for the new wood countertop, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

Sand, Tape…and cut

tape and cut edges for new wood countertop made from solid wood doors, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

STEP 3: INSTALL

After making the cuts for the new countertops, it is time for the fun part….installation.

installing solid wood countertops made from old doors, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

installing solid wood countertops made from old wood doors, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

The first part of installation is easy, simply lay the countertop on top of the cabinets.  We had to use one door + a couple of pieces from the second door to make the first countertop.  Above you can see where we had to add a couple pieces.

Next, simply screw the countertop in place.

Step 4: DRESSING IT UP

Now it’s time to make these bad boy’s pretty

First step, we had to piece together the large portion of the counte top with the two extra pieces…easy

filling and sanding solid wood DIY countertops made from wood doors, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic
We simply used a wood filler and sanded.  I was a little concerned that the wood filler would not stain properly, but it worked beautifully.

Next, add the veneer edging.  When we first bought the doors we thought they were solid oak throughout.  Once we cut them we realized they were oak veneered with a heavy duty particle board filler.  Still a nice product for countertops, but we had to add a veneered edge so the interior particle board would not show.

After inspecting the grain we decided to use a white oak 1 1/2″ iron on veneer for the edging.  I bought it on Amazon.

veneer edging for solid wood countertops from upcycled doors, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

apply iron-on veneer to DIY wood countertops, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic
We bought the iron on edging.  I lined the top edge of the the veneer with the top edge of the countertop and started ironing.  The edging was a little wider than the width of the countertop.  To trim it down Alfred ran an exacto knife along the bottom edge, trimming it to size.

After we touched up the cracks and installed the edging.  We sanded the countertops down a third time and wiped them to remove the sawdust. Then we applied wood conditioner, in preparation for the final steps…stain and polyurethane.

use wood conditioner before staining solid wood upcycled door countertops, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

To stain the wooden countertops we used Minwax color Special Walnut.

staining DIY upcycled wood door countertops, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

The stain was applied by brushing it on using even strokes.  We allowed it to penetrate through the wood a few minutes and then wiped the excess off with a soft rag (basically we followed the directions on the container).

After two coats of stain and 24 hours of drying time….it was time for the protective finish, polyurethane.

We used Minwax Wipe-On Poly in a satin finish.  It was applied with a lambs wool applicator (you can find these in Lowe’s in the wood floor re-finishing section).  The lambs wool applicator applied a nice, even finish to the wooded countertops.  We applied one coat, let it dry, then sanded it down with a very fine steel wool.  This step we repeated approximately four times.  The Poly raises the grain in the wood, we continued to apply poly and sand until the countertops were smooth and had a nice protective finish.

finished white country kitchen with DIY wood countertops from upcycled doors, The Mustard Ceiling on @Remodelaholic

STEP 5: ENJOY!

I cannot tell you how much I love our new wooden countertops, they really add warmth to the kitchen and they are durable.  I had a question from one of my reader’s as we were going through the process.  She asked if we were going to cut on them, like butcher block.  We do not use them as a cutting surface, but I think as they get worn in they will still be beautiful.

Wow, this was a long post.  Thanks for sticking through to the end of our wooded countertops .

 

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26 Comments

  1. I just got butcher block counter tops about a month ago and I love them. I do wonder if I will stain mine later. Do you know if the sealer you used is food safe, just curious? I don’t plan to cut on mine either so it probably wouldn’t matter anyway but I just wondered if you knew.

  2. This is just what I needed!!! We are trying to sell our house, but don’t want to spend oodles updating it first. Hubs wants to redo the counters, and so I told him I would try and find a cheap way. Ta dah! We just took down 2 or 3 of these wooden doors in another remodeling project, so we have them already!! I am so excited to show this to him now, and get started.

  3. How are these holding up? My wife and I are thinking about doing this in our kitchen–they look great!

  4. Hi,

    I love what you’ve done! Attempting to do the same. Were the doors prefinished? They didn’t appear to be in pics. The only commercial doors I can find are. Do you think this would compromise the project if so, how?

    Thanks again,
    Nicole

  5. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Thanks for posting such a well written DIY. They turned out beautiful. I’ll be on the look out for doors now.

  6. Did you use solid core doors? I can’t see hollow core working if anything was dropped on the counter, like a large pot or even somethinh smaller, if it was heavy. Great idea, though and it looks wonderful and doors are reasonably cheap.

  7. I LOVEEE IT!!! Innovative idea transformed to a beautiful finish. Plus i love the contrast between the white cabinets and that wood stain. It just adds to the coziness and warmth to the kitchen.

  8. Wow beautiful job! I thought I was going to see the door painted, decorated and hung on the wall so was completely surprised to see it made into a counter top. Great job I love how it turned out so cozy and warm looking against the white. Love it:-)

  9. Hello,

    Thanks for detailed post on your project.

    Question: You said you sanded & taped before cutting. What purpose did taping serve? Is it a cut guide or did you cut through it? Thanks for any help you can give.

    1. Hi Drew,
      This project is from a guest, so I can’t tell you with 100% certainty, but typically taping before a cut helps minimize the splintering so the cut is cleaner.

  10. I love this idea and appreciate the fact that you saved it from the previous blogger so the rest of us can benefit from the creativity too!!

  11. Hi, loving this idea and needing to what what kind of saw + blade was/should be used to make these clean cuts. (I know you’re just sharing the article, but hoping for insight.) Thx!

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