DIY Decoupaged Kitchen Counter Recipe

4 Materials
10 Days
I had no budget to replace my kitchen counters so I came up with this idea to do it on the cheap.
I started with this little counter between my fridge and stove because it was small and if I messed it up it wouldn't matter that much. This is the before.
I already had everything I needed for this project, which was mod podge, some foam brushes, and scissors.. and some Stays Clear poly that didn't make it in this pic. The only thing I had to find was a cookbook with pages that I liked. None of my own fit the bill.
Thankfully one day my hubby found this one at a thrift store for $4, and it was perfect because it was large and had more than enough recipes to cover all my kitchen counters.

And the best thing was that it had red recipe headings to go with the red accents in my made over aqua and red kitchen.
I cut out what seemed like a kajillion recipes.
All my old counters have this built in back splash, so I started there.
I just added mod podge to the back of the recipes and on the counter.
Then I applied a very light coat of mod podge once each recipe was in place. I flattened the recipes as much as I could with the brush, my fingers, and a brayer.
Here you can see that I worked from the outside in. Not sure it really matters but this just felt right to me.
Then I filled in the middle parts, and to finish it off I angled some of my favourite recipes from that book on the top so I can use them if I want to. It also adds some interest. You can see there are a few wrinkles, but most of them disappeared as it dried.

Once the counter was dry I applied one coat of mod podge all over.
Here you can see most of the wrinkles are gone.
Then I did 4 coats of Stays Clear poly. I love this stuff because it doesn't yellow.

The poly is an absolute must. It protects the recipes, and makes the counters easy to wipe clean with a lightly damp cloth.

I have plenty of recipes left from the book I used so if I ever do get a stain I'll just cover it up with a new recipe. So I have no worries about that.
Here's the before again of the little counter area.
And the after. I was so happy with the results that I continued on and did all of my kitchen counters.
Here's a picture of my corner cupboard counter completed. To see the rest of my decoupaged kitchen counters please visit my blog post here.

It took 10 days to complete all the counters because of drying times between the coats of the poly. Also I couldn't do all the counters at the same time because we needed to be able to use the kitchen while I was doing this.

When I first did this counter makeover I thought it was going to be temporary until I could afford a new one, but I love it so much that I've decided to keep it.

Resources for this project:
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Tuula - Color Me Thrifty
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 20 questions
  • Mich Mich on Jan 17, 2019

    I like this idea! If I were to use pieces of wallpaper OR glossy pages from a book, would it work as well with the Mod Podge as your recipes did? Thanks for the great idea!

  • Tina Mcnicholas Tina Mcnicholas on Feb 04, 2019

    I love this idea! I have hideous counter tops and can’t afford to replace them right now. I’ve been trying to decide what to do with them. My kitchen and dining room are connected and I tend to decorate them similarly, in a very primitive country style, that I love and fits my 1850’s home. Any suggestions on what I could use to decoupage on my counters? I so want to try this but I’m stumped on what to use.

  • Renee Renee on Feb 18, 2019

    Can u set hot dishes or pan on the counter or hot jars cause I do canning and jars get hot

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  • Kathleen Kathleen on Mar 04, 2019

    Cute, easy and inexpensive idea!! Would be great in so many kitchens and baths because a lot of us don't have the skills and/or money to replace counters on our own. Thanks for the great idea!!!

  • Pam Pam on Dec 22, 2021

    I'm definitely inspired by this idea (and many others) and am going to decoupage on some foam board (if that's what it's called) and use it for a backsplash!!! I've been looking for an inexpensive idea for a very long time and I really love this. If the foam board is too thick, I may try poster board because I want to be able to remove it easily. A flannel backed tablecloth might be neat too.

    • Tuula - Color Me Thrifty Tuula - Color Me Thrifty on Dec 22, 2021

      Decoupaging onto foam board for a removable backsplash is a great idea Pam. I actually use a vinyl flannel backed tablecloth on my kitchen table. It would definitely work for a backsplash too.