How can I install a cheap counter or cover this one (pic)?


I have dark concrete counters that the previous owner diy-ed. The protective coating is peeling and chipping. And the counters are very dark and unattractive in my small kitchen. Is there some affordable way I can cover them or diy a cheap butcher block (what I would really like to have)?

q cheap counter overhaul or diy
q cheap counter overhaul or diy
q cheap counter overhaul or diy
  6 answers
  • You could always give them a light sand and paint them a lighter color that may help brighten up the space. There are several counter painting kits out there to choose from.

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Jul 31, 2019

    Real Butcher block isn’t that cheap and it’s glued together wood strips- which are not recommended for Food Service.

    Raw meat germs, oils & grease, raw eggs - all should be completely removable from prep surfaces and they’re not with wood.

    Also putting countertops on top of countertops has too many challenges: plumbing at sink no longer fits, the front edge looks silly and how do you get it to stay in place? You can’t drill through the concrete and put in 3.5” screws from underneath.

    You can re-coat the concrete in lighter tones, after you sand off the remaining finish and clean it with a degreaser. I would go to a full line pro paint store and ask them for advice, on what exactly to use.

    You might be able to laminate over this mess with plastic laminate, epoxy and a router. Using a router in this application, as a beginner, could be frustrating and I would hire an experienced cabinet maker or craftsman to help with the router work. P-lam comes in a thousand patterns and 5 brands.

    I would go on line & order 5x7” samples of at least 10 different patterns, keeping in mind that the “finish” on the laminate changes the cost. A matte finish is much cheaper than a 3-D glossy “stone” finish on the same pattern.

    • See 1 previous
    • 34354174 34354174 on Aug 04, 2019

      Butcher block is very sanitary if kept oiled. I got tired of oiling mine and coated with a matte polyurethane, which is very food friendly after it cures.

      Never use a butcher block counter top as a cutting board. Use a separate board.... I prefer glass as it doesn't hide food in the cut crevices.

      I have also seen many tutorials on how to make butcher block. It is tedious work, but will save you a lot of money. Here are some ideas from Pinterest..

      Side note, if you can remove the concrete, do it.

      I love butcher block, any dents, mars or stains... most if not deep, can be sanded off. They are also timeless as is subway tile. You just can't go wrong with either.

  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 31, 2019

    If you really want the look of butcher block (which is NOT good for food areas as the previous poster noted) and really hate the concrete (which could be repaired) the least expensive route for you would be to cover them with butcher block look contact paper. It won't absorb germs and you can wash it. If it becomes damaged or you change your mind, it will have been cheap enough to pull off and throw away. This should keep you until you can afford a countertop you choose.

  • Sharon Sharon on Jul 31, 2019

    I've had butcher block counters for decades, you use a cutting board for food prep. And you continually seal the wood with food grade mineral oil. If properly maintained they are fine for the home..... but are not allowed in a commercial kitchens.

    You could use a professional epoxy product to refinish them, but you will still need to use a cutting board to prevent nicks and cut marks.

    • 34354174 34354174 on Aug 04, 2019

      Thank you Sharon. This is what I did as well, I put polyurethane on mine and never use them as a cutting board.

  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Aug 04, 2019

    MARBLE CONTACT PAPER ~ Just peel & stick. Cheap & Easy for a beautiful result.

  • Rachel Rachel on Oct 28, 2019

    What did you end up doing? I have the same slate throughout my kitchen and hate how dark it is. I have been looking into ways to lighten it. I would love to know what you came up with.