A Penny Saved Means a New Kitchen Countertop

6 Materials
2 Days
We needed to replace the "cookbook pages" top on our kitchen island (which we made from two old nightstands). I'd been collecting penny project ideas on Pinterest and just knew this would be a perfect kitchen project.
I started collecting and polishing pennies. Lots and lots of pennies. Actually about $22 worth, and spent 12 hours total polishing each and every one.
We roughed up the surface with a sander then painted it flat black so the pennies would pop against the dark color. Then we nailed stained molding pieces to the edges leaving a bit of depth all around so the resin would pool. We used Minwax Polyshades in Maple for the wood. It has the stain and sealer all in one product.
We did NOT glue the pennies down. We did NOT put them in any kind of order or pattern. But we did shift them around alot to mix all the metallic shades of the polished coins.
We used this two part resin, which is an improvement over the old formula. It didn't smell, it set up quickly and it gave us totally awesome results. We used twice as much resin as we had used on the original project and it looks great. And yes, it is food safe. You've seen the shiny bar and tables in restaurants? This is the product they use.
We absolutely love how this came out!
Before and after. The skylight and the pennies are a winning combination, and the light brings out all the metallic colors and subtle hues. We could not be more pleased with this project.
At the end of each day the setting sun shines through my collection of blue glass and those pennies are just dazzling in the slanting light. I call this project a win win!

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Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Eric Eric on Apr 15, 2018

    Illegal to deface or damage USC? WHAT WOULD YOUR DEFENCE BE!

    l really wold like to know, before I do it?

  • Sue Smith Sue Smith on May 18, 2018

    What else could you use instead of pennies?

  • Barb C Barb C on Jan 04, 2019

    I am presently gathering pennies for coffee table top. Am sloshing pennies around in salt and vinegar to shine them. Works almost instantly. But does not make really dark old pennies useable. Does the brasso work better?


Join the conversation

3 of 28 comments
  • Mar28578742 Mar28578742 on May 17, 2018

    So creative and pretty! Than you for sharing!

  • Ros33354521 Ros33354521 on May 20, 2018

    I LOVE THIS IDEA SO COOL N UNIQUE, I wish I had talent to do easy back splash n fun all of the projects r awesome this takes the cake too bad my kitchen so tiny I have no where put n island