Thursday, October 17, 2013

Making a Kitchen, Part 7 - Counters

I just want to say that I love my new counters! Absolutely love them. And after going so long without counters, it has been wonderful just to have counters - to set things down on, to make the kids' lunches on, to look at and admire and stroke just because they're so pretty...

I used this tutorial from Breakfast For Dinner to make these gorgeous counters out of solid wood. Before Pinterest, I never would have considered making my own counters. It just never would have occurred to me. But when I realized that I didn't have to choose between cheap laminated particleboard and pricey granite or marble, and could instead make my own beautiful (and budget-friendly!) counters, the decision was easy.

The counters were fairly simple to install. It would have been easier if the cabinets I built were more square and level. Unfortunately I am an amateur at woodworking, and my cabinets are definitely imperfect. I adjusted as well as I could by using shims under the counters

I did run into a little trouble when it came to staining the wood filler. I used stainable wood filler for the seams between the boards and sanded it nice and smooth.

But when I stained the counters, the wood filler took the stain much differently than the wood itself. It turned out much rougher and grayer than the wood, and wasn't very attractive.

My sister suggested that I use a wood graining tool to camouflage the seams. So I bought this funny-looking rubber thing and a container of glaze, looked up a couple tutorials on youtube, and got to work. It still isn't perfect, but the seams blend in much better.

Bad picture quality - my pictures turn out so much better during the daytime!

There, that's better!

After sealing the counter tops with several coats of polyurethane, I have to say I am so pleased with my counters! They are thick and sturdy, and a joy to look at.

Here's what the counters look like with the backsplash I'm installing. More on that later...

Details: Counters are kiln-dried Douglas fir, using two 2x10s and one 2x8. Stain is Minwax oil-based wood finish in Provincial 211.

In case you missed it:
Part 2: A Day in the Life
Part 3: What Next? 
Part 4: "Before" Pictures
Part 5: Demolition and Prep Work
Part 6: Cabinet Installation 

Linking to:
Think Tank Thursday
Link Party Palooza
Project Inspire{d} 

1 comment:

Lynn said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your countertops!!!! I'm VERY impressed with your ambition in building all your cabinets & your skills!!! Can't wait to see your finished kitchen.