DIY Wood Herringbone Counters

The Rozy Home
by The Rozy Home
6 Materials
2 Days

I want to start by saying THANK YOU to all of you for your amazing comments and compliments after revealing the kitchen. You guys are the reason I love sharing on Hometalk. A few of you asked what my island countertop was made of and when I responded, I was asked for a tutorial. So... here it is! While working on my kitchen island I knew I wanted to do something I haven't seen before. Something different. Something unique. Then it hit me. I walked into the garage, grabbed a few scraps of wood and started playing around. What I came up with was a herringbone pattern!

I began by laying a piece of plywood over the area. I opted for 1/2" because it gave more structure. I screwed it into the cabinet base - checking for level along the way (and adding shims as needed).

Next, I did a rough layout of how I wanted the counters to look.

I used wood glue and clamps to attach the side/edge pieces.

Next I added the interior pieces. Since there wasn't a good way to clamp them down, I used 20 pound kettle bells and other weights from around the house to hold the pieces down. You could also nail the wood blocks into the plywood if desired.

After everything was set (around 2 hours later), I added 1" x 3" trim along the sides, filled the gaps with wood filler and sanded.

To achieve the final color, I began by staining the wood black walnut....

Then I sanded it off. This step, for me, was vital because it allowed the stain to soak into the grain - giving the wood depth (If it were up to me, I would have probably just stopped here but the hubs hated it).

Next I created a white/gray wash. I mixed 1 part Snowbound (SW) with 1 part Classic French Gray (SW) and 2 parts water. I brushed the mixture on with a foam brush.

Next I brushed on a coat of ebony stain.

I immediately wiped it off with mineral spirits. It took a couple of pours of mineral spirits to get to the final color, but we loved it in the end. And yes, I actually poured the mineral spirits on the counters and wiped it off.

After getting the finish the way I wanted it, I added Watco Lacquer. I won't say this was an easy project - but only because my island has a lot of angles. If you are lucky enough to have a straight island, you could do this project in a weekend.

The final product. The cost for this project has a lot of variables. I went with 2 inch thick wood so it cost a lot more than using standard 1 inch thick wood. I also used white oak instead of red oak (which is a bit more expensive). I had the mill plane and joint the wood so allI had to do was cut it to length. The entire kitchen was around $1200. The island was roughly half of that.

The Rozy Home
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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3 of 9 questions
  • Wayne Mendenhall Wayne Mendenhall on Apr 03, 2018

    How did you integrate the under mount sink?

  • Linda Abernathy Linda Abernathy on Dec 03, 2019

    That was absolutely awesome! Thank you for sharing. I do have a question, I have cherry cabinets but my counter tops are getting blahhhh and want a change, what colors of paint(s) would I use that would somehow match the cabinets?

  • Donna Donna on Dec 03, 2019

    It’s beautiful but my question is the finish safe for food prep.

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2 of 64 comments
  • Diana Martinez Diana Martinez on Dec 10, 2019

    This looks awesome what would u recommend for the area of the sink?

  • Cindy Cindy on Dec 03, 2020

    I would be curious if it would hold up for years on end given the use of water and other kitchen Liquids? You did work so hard on it and it looks great!